Spoon 100 - My First Design Book
This book holds a special place in my heart. It was the first design book I owned (before I came to understand that Design was an industry and a profession). It was a gift from my parents when I was in middle school. I came across it in the Seattle Art Museum's gift shop during one of our frequent family art outings and my eyeballs were glued to this book. Perhaps it was the shiny curved sheet-metal cover or the huge pages filled with entrancing photos... I was disappointed when we had to leave the gift shop.
A few weeks later, for either Christmas or my birthday or some other special occasion, I opened up a surprisingly heavy box to find a fresh copy of Spoon 100 still wrapped in plastic! Despite not understanding most of the terminology regarding manufacturing methods or material names, I read and re-read all the text (and soaked in the pictures) on each page. In fact, during grade school I did this with several books, most notably the collection of Star Wars: Incredible Cross Sections which I share with my sister (I learned a lot about hyperdrive, anti-grav, and shield generator placements on various star ships. Very educational!).
Recently I was back home and pulled this book off the shelf to have another read. Now, after going through design school I actually recognize some of the objects and names (the book was published in 2002, before smartphones!). Turning page after page, it reminded me about how I became drawn to design in the first place—I am a keen observer of the world around me and through designing I can translate those observations into something tangible.
There was something about those crisp images of mass-produced objects, conceptual renderings, and experimental designs that captured my imagination and seeded my daydreams. They presented visions of "What if?" and "Why not?". I believe those are important questions to challenge myself with when I design and it is something I will focus more thought on.
Unfortunately, this book (along with the rest of my design book collection) was too heavy to fit into my suitcase back in SF. Looking back, I am very glad that I stumbled upon this book and was exposed to the wonders of product design before I even understood what it meant!