June 19, 2006

News & Opinion: D.I.Y. (Design It Yourself)

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:29 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Ellen Lupton and the students at the Maryland Institute College of Art wrote and designed a great book called D.I.Y. (Design It Yourself). The book's purpose is to make the idea of designing something less intimidating.

They start the book with a series of essays on designs and do-it-yourself design. It eases you into the idea that it is possible for you to design and that it is not just for the cool, hip kids who went to art school.

The rest of the book lays out 27 different products you can get your hands dirty with. They ranging from t-shirts to stickers to books. There is an overview and a series of projects in each chapter. The projects are rated by cost and difficulty so you know what you are getting yourself into. And there are LOTS of pictures.

The online version at is a wonderful compliment to the book. You will find condensed materials from the book. The resources section is alone worth the visit.

D.I.Y. is a definite How-To book, but it is really more about inspiration. I think Lupton and her students give readers the license to try their own stuff and see what happens.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.