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Hardcover | Out of Print | 296 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 102 figures | July 2012 | ISBN: 9780262018173
Paperback | $25.00 Short | £19.95 | 296 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 102 figures | August 2014 | ISBN: 9780262526708
eBook | $18.00 Short | July 2012 | ISBN: 9780262306560
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The Design Way, Second Edition

Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World


Humans did not discover fire--they designed it. Design is not defined by software programs, blueprints, or font choice. When we create new things--technologies, organizations, processes, systems, environments, ways of thinking--we engage in design. With this expansive view of design as their premise, in The Design Way Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman make the case for design as its own culture of inquiry and action. They offer not a recipe for design practice or theorizing but a formulation of design culture’s fundamental core of ideas. These ideas--which form “the design way”--are applicable to an infinite variety of design domains, from such traditional fields as architecture and graphic design to such nontraditional design areas as organizational, educational, interaction, and healthcare design.

The text of this second edition is accompanied by new detailed images, “schemas” that visualize, conceptualize, and structure the authors’ understanding of design inquiry. The text itself has been revised and expanded throughout, in part in response to reader feedback.

About the Authors

Harold G. Nelson was 2009–2010 Nierenberg Distinguished Professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and is currently Senior Instructor in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School and President of the Advanced Design Institute.

Erik Stolterman is Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington, and the coauthor of Thoughtful Interaction and The Design Way (second edition), both published by the MIT Press.


“The first edition of The Design Way changed how I conduct my work in education; the second edition is even stronger. Far from a mere list of ‘how to's.’ it helps develop a way of seeing, thinking, understanding, and acting with reciprocity that helps people become more client-centered, creative, and adaptive to others' ever-changing environments. I highly recommend this book and thank the authors for their outstanding work.”
John D. Bransford, Shauna C. Larson Professor of the Learning Sciences, University of Washington
“The second edition of The Design Way is the most useful and enjoyable book on design that I have yet read. It digs very deep into the intellectual and historical foundations of design thought in order to generate practical wisdom. If only the first chapter of this book was required reading for every first-year MBA student, the business world would be a much better place. And if it was also required reading for every science and technology policy person, we would actually have useful innovation policy. Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman have produced a genuinely great contribution.”
Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto