See for Yourself: A Visual Guide to Everyday Beauty

See for Yourself: A Visual Guide to Everyday Beauty

Language: English

Pages: 176

ISBN: 1452117144

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This accessible handbook from design guru and Design Within Reach founder Rob Forbes uncovers the beauty in the commonplace and reveals how visual thinking can enrich our lives. In friendly text complemented by photographs taken on his travels around the world, Forbes explains how to appreciate the design elements that surround us in the built environment. Linking broad concepts such as composition and materiality to quotidian details such as the play of color in hanging laundry or the repeated forms in a row of ice cream scoops, Forbes reveals how an appreciation of the hues, patterns, and textures that surround us can enhance a life well lived. See for Yourself is essential reading to see more clearly, think more visually, and enjoy the world more deeply.

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products on the shelves based first on profit margins and staffed by employees clocking time.) In farmers’ markets, owners stack and arrange their goods without the need to shroud it in commercial packaging. We see and feel integrity and simplicity at work, and a direct hand involved. As humans, we are traders and barterers, and this direct encounter with makers reminds us of this honest social need. Farmers’ markets have been growing at a faster pace than malls in the last decade, in blue and

activating cognitive functions and the thoughts they bring. When we meditate, go into hypnosis, or sleep, eyes close. There is just too much going on out there to distract us. When we do have our eyes open, we are usually looking but not really seeing. I wrote this book to encourage each of us to develop stronger visual conversations with the world. While looking at the natural world—cellular structure under a microscope, or a field of flowers, or gazing at stars—we can teach ourselves how to

across the water. It facilitated a new economy. It changed the social dynamics of the region. People rely on it every day. Yet because it is so much a part of the Bay Area landscape, we can forget a group of human beings imagined, designed, and built the bridge—and some died doing so. It is a statement of our potential as humans, it reflects our optimism, and it inspires us to believe in something larger than our individual lives. This is utility at its best. This is intended design. In our

us, as the importance of our human relationships and our identities trumps most other issues. But after that, what do we willingly choose to view—and why? It is often voluntary and undertaken for basic stimulation. Another example of unintended design is a gas station on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The structure and lighting stopped three of us in our tracks one night. We were walking from a parking lot into a restaurant and each of us had the same visceral reaction and attraction. There

when placed next to modern plastic receptacles, they tell a story not only of material and form but also of how we choose to publicly address refuse. The contrast seen in decomposing railing supports in Panama City tells an equally interesting story about age; they also expose the hidden infrastructure of the columns, reminding us not to take things at face value, or to realize that all surface decoration relies on a functional infrastructure, or maybe that nature inevitably will win out over

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