Design It!: The Ordinary Things We Use Every Day and the Not-So-Ordinary Ways They Came to Be

Design It!: The Ordinary Things We Use Every Day and the Not-So-Ordinary Ways They Came to Be

by Rona Arato, Claudia Newell
     
 

Behind the toaster, the toilet, the tub, the microwave, the camera, and countless other features of our everyday lives are smart ideas from smart people who executed them.

A bright idea of a book, Design It! is a great introduction to lots of satisfying careers from architecture to model making, to the pioneers - thank you, Mr. Cummings for the modern-day

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Overview

Behind the toaster, the toilet, the tub, the microwave, the camera, and countless other features of our everyday lives are smart ideas from smart people who executed them.

A bright idea of a book, Design It! is a great introduction to lots of satisfying careers from architecture to model making, to the pioneers - thank you, Mr. Cummings for the modern-day toilet! - and to the principles of good design that make life more pleasant. Rona Arato introduces young readers to the world of industrial design by focusing on our homes and by presenting the basics. She asks readers to be the judge: Does it do what it's supposed to (function)? Is it big enough, small enough, or light enough for the person who'll be using it (usability)? Is it safe and comfortable to use (ergonomics)? Does it look great (aesthetics)? And, is it eco-friendly? Equal parts fascinating history and eye-opening facts, Design It! makes for great reading and is a useful resource for those who are beginning to think about careers.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
What is good design? Household items from bathroom and kitchen fixtures to furniture, lighting, computer, and TV may be evaluated using a checklist. Is the item usable, comfortable, esthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly? Professionals who influence results include engineers, model makers, and molders. Against a background of history, stories of inventers and inventions in today's world are related. Instead of toasting bread over a fire, we use a toaster. But today's toaster had to wait until electricity was invented. Albert Marsh created a wire which would heat a slice of bread. "In 1926, engineer Charles Strite added springs and a timer to the invention to create the Toastmaster, the first automatic pop-up toaster." In 1930, pre-sliced bread was introduced making the toaster a household fixture. Inventions such as the Frisbee, Slinky, and roller skates also undergo checks for good design. The text is broken up by illustrations and dashes of color on every page. Kids will find inspiration in this book of exciting ideas. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—This book opens with an explanation of what industrial designers do and with whom they work to make better products. Brief chapters then cover such topics as home, communications, lighting, and toy design and include a good-design checklist that takes function, usability, ergonomics, aesthetics, and greenness into consideration. The language is chatty and inviting, and the pages are full of cartoon illustrations and text superimposed on colorful geometric backgrounds. Sidebars offer a wealth of further information. Brief biographies of designers such as Raymond Loewy, considered the father of modern industrial design, and Henry Dreyfuss, a pioneer of industrial design, are included. Unfortunately, there is no index. There are few other titles on industrial design for middle schoolers. One, Anne Welsbacher's Earth-Friendly Design (Lerner, 2009) focuses on the green aspect. As an introduction, this book is an enjoyable resource, especially for students who might be interested in a career in the field.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887768460
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

RONA ARATO was born in New York and grew up in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. She taught elementary school in Los Angeles and Toronto, adult creative writing for the Toronto District School Board, and she has conducted business writing workshops. She was an interviewer for Steven Spielberg's project to record the histories of Holocaust survivors, Survivors of the Shoa. Rona Arato lives in Toronto with her husband.

CLAUDIA NEWELL has illustrated for publications in North America, Europe, and Japan since the mid-90s. She has also created music, fine art, and the occasional blog entry. Her interests range from yoga to the frontiers of science.

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