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


$18.86 $20.95 Save 10% Current price is $18.86, Original price is $20.95. You Save 10%.
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 18


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.

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

About 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Design It!: The Ordinary Things We Use Every Day and the Not-So-Ordinary Ways They Came to Be 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Conner23456 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed learning about the diffrent electronics that most people just use everyday and dont think where did this come from or anything eles. I think this book would be better for someone who likes electrons better. But, I did enjoy it.
jbarry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Decent interpretation on the concept of design for the younger set. Not an essential purchase but will work well as a fun additional pick in school libraries. It would be great to refer to with science class connections and career day programs.
NorthernStar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program. I really like the concept of this book, but found it a bit of an uneven mix of complex and simple. The illustrations are cute and colourful, but very stylized, I would have loved either photos or accurate illustrations of some of the items mentioned. Some of the activities in the "think like an industrial designer" sections would be fun for kids, others don't sound too interesting. I did notice in one section (p. 49) a glaring (to me, anyway) error where the author states "Electronics engineers develop the software that's inside - such as microchips that make the equipment work." - Since when are microchips software, and what about the programmers? On the whole, I liked this, but it wasn't what I expected, it would probably be good for a very young audience, or one with no technological background at all. Kids with a real interest in engineering or design would probably skim through this very quickly and it might not hold their interest. I would have liked a lot more detail and more examples, even if less categories where covered.
livebug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Design It! is an innovative introduction for young people to the world of industrial design -- the thought behind objects we use every day. It introduces the reader to people who work with industrial designers, like engineers, molders and model makers, and invites you to consider things you interact with every day from the point of view of an industrial designer. Each chapter covers a different area -- design for kitchens, design for lighting, design for toys -- and gives a brief overview of ¿how it was¿ before examining some of the most modern and innovative products available today. It gives examples of ¿thumbs up¿ and ¿what¿s the glitch?¿ in each area, and has the reader walk through a checklist covering form and function, usability, ergonomics, aesthetics and environmental friendliness or ¿green¿ness. This is an attractive book for upper elementary or middle school readers, who may wish the book were more detailed, but that will invite further research. I found this book fascinating. It made me consider things I use on a daily basis, like a bathroom sink or a lightbulb, from an entirely new perspective. Any young person who has an interest in either art or technology -- which is most of us -- will enjoy this book and might use it as a starting place for more in-depth learning about industrial design.
tripleblessings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received a free Early Reviewers copy of this book, with the request to post a review of it. This non-fiction book on industrial design for elementary school kids was well received in our family. Our grade 5 kids (strong readers) had not read anything on this subject before, and found it interesting and fairly engaging. I'd recommend it for kids aged 9 to 14, and for schools and public libraries.The book introduces some questions to evaluate what is good industrial design, and then discusses many examples and whether they meet those criteria: function, usability, ergonomics, aesthetics, and "green" environmental friendliness. As the book covers different areas of design for homes and other objects children are familiar with, it briefly reviews the history of what has gone before - from cooking on campfires to stoves and microwave ovens, or from drawings and handwriting to printing, typewriters and computers and then to wireless internet and cell phones. Our kids especially enjoyed the parts that compared one design to another, with the phrase "What's the glitch?" to point out problems with cost, ergonomics, safety or comfort. I appreciated the brief biographies of influential inventors and designers, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Edison, Marconi, the founder of IKEA, Bill Gates and many more. There is a wealth of facts, and questions to get young minds thinking critically about what makes something work well. It would be easy for teachers to plan activities around the ideas in this book, to start kids drawing, modelling and crafting some new inventions with paper and cardboard, modelling clay or Lego bricks.I asked our kids if there was anything they thought could be better in this book, and they said maybe the illustrations. Claudia Newell has produced clear graphics and stylized conceptual images of homes, furniture, appliances and devices, and people using them. However the colours are unrealistic and sometimes jarring, and the style is magazine-like and, well, industrial. We might have liked to see some photographs and other more realistic illustrations to make it more appealing.Overall, we'll give this book 4 out of 5 stars, and I think the children will return to it to browse and think about design and inventions.
mindylou182 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Design It! is a great book for kids to be exposed to the world of design and how things came about. Each chapter focuses on different designs (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). Each chapter tells the reader what it was like in early years and then gives information on how it has changed. For inventions we use today (toilet, refrigerator, etc.) it gives the background on how it came to be. The book is a great book for children. It has fun colors and is easy to read. I really liked the font for each chapter. The grids were a really good idea to support the engineering aspect behind the book. The book also gives examples of good designs, but also glitches to the design. The book was well done and easy to read. Perfect for kids.
jocraddock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not the book I thought it would be, but it's good for its purpose. As a classroom or school library (middle-high school, I think) book, it's fine -- attractive, well illustrated and quality text, if brief. It's not a reference book, but rather an "inspire" book, and if it could be left out for young people to grab and glance, I think it would help the creative thinking process.
laVermeer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Design It! provides an accessible introduction to industrial design for upper elementary readers. It opens by explaining the field of industrial design and situating the field in a larger social context. Subsequent chapters apply the principles of industrial design to everyday life: housing, hygiene, furnishing, communications, and entertainment. The book also features a brief glossary and several activities readers can try immediately to explore the application of industrial design.I found the repetition of the design principles checklist excessive and at times misleading. For instance, there is nothing inherent about a cell phone or a radio that signals its function; without turning a device on and seeing it demonstrated, we would not necessarily understand its purpose.The writer has also posed a challenge for herself in the discussion of communications technology, a rapidly changing field. She mentions the iPod personal music player, but not smart phones or touchscreen computing. While this omission is not a fault, it is likely to date the book quickly, as iPhones, BlackBerries, and iPads are currently so dominant and the market seems poised to demand similar technologies. Students are likely to recognize the omission.These points aside, however, the book is valuable in exploring a profession that shapes our everyday being but is rarely presented as a career option. As the pressure to choose and prepare for a career path affects younger and younger students, texts that discuss less well-known jobs are very welcome.Design It! is bright and contemporary in its layout, with many practical hints and clearly presented facts. The text is readable and appropriately pitched without becoming cutesy or superficial. From an educator's perspective, this is a very good book, and it should prove so from a reader's perspective as well. This title will make a solid addition to school and classroom libraries.
mavinger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very informative and well designed book aimed at children. I especially like the activities in the "Think Like an Industrial Designer" sections. The illustrations are cute and reminiscent of the work of Genndy Tartakovsky. However I was somewhat disappointed that the book didn't have pictures of actual items since the focus was on design.