Robert L. Peters

22 March 2009

Do Good Design

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(book review)

Do Good Design: How Designers Can Change The World

by David B. Berman

AIGA Design Press / New Riders (Peachpit)

David B. Berman’s important new book is honest, timely, and hard-hitting, delivered with in-your-face directness—it presents a strong argument regarding the inherent power of design to shape our world and takes on greed, excess, and the scheming tendencies of advertising and “targeted” visual communications. Full of pithy quotations, well illustrated (with wide-ranging examples of manipulative media and manufactured needs) and impressively annotated and cross-referenced, Do Good Design rails against the consumptive excesses of the so-called “developed world” and urges designers to help steer a better course for our planet—before it’s too late. David combines his keen observation skills with courage to question the status quo, expressing his marathon call for positive change with passionate zeal. In his words, “the future of civilization is our common design project.”

I have known David (Duv to his friends) for nearly 20 years and have had the ongoing pleasure of interaction with him on matters relating to design ethics and the role design can play in shaping a more equitable and sustainable future. Thanks for writing this important book, Duv—and keep up the “good” work.

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I highly recommend that you buy this book, that you read it, and that you then act on it. Next, donate your copy to (or buy another for) your local library—it’s that important.

See David’s call to action (from an Icograda talk in Hong Kong) here. Take the do good pledge here. Access additional resources here and see the good others are doing here.

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