Design for the Real World

Design Sustainability Arts and Culture

Victor Papanek’s "Design for the Real World" is internationally considered to be one of the most read design books of all time. The book is based on the awakening of an alternative design concept against the background of the emerging post-fordism and new social movements.

Alongside a broad criticism of culture and consumerism, Papenek discusses social and ecological principles for practicing participatory, decentralised and democratic design. Reinforced by the current debate on issues surrounding climate and environmental preservation, Papenek’s work is becoming ever more significant. There are very few recommended reading lists in the field of social and critical design that do not feature his work.

Originally published in Swedish in 1970 the book has since been translated into over 20 languages, though Papanek was not happy with the original German translation, which has since gone out of print. Shortly before he passed away in January 1998, Papanek authorised a new translation, though its publication was put on hold as a result of the author’s death.

The revised annotated translation was published on the 10th anniversary of his death and includes an academically documented biography of Victor Papanek.

Author: Victor Papanek
Publisher: Springer