Review: Do Good Design: How Designers Can Change the World, by David B. Berman

 

David Berman asks his reader to understand the ways in which design can impact society, arguing that it has the potential to change the world. Berman successfully establishes and outlines the need for change, and inspires his readers, both designer and design aficionado, to open their minds to the possibilities of a new design industry. What might such an industry look like? For starters, it would hold itself accountable.

 

With supporting Forwards from Erik Spiekermann (of Spiekermann Partners and Honorary Professor, University of the Arts in Bremen), Min Wang (Dean of Central Academy of Fine Arts School of Design in China and design director of the Beijing Olympics) and Richard Grefé (Executive Director of AIGA), there is no question that Berman’s work is not to be taken lightly.  

 

It is not a book about outlining his own accomplishments as a designer, or his own designs. Rather, it stays focused on qualifying the ways in which design has failed democracy, the environment, the feminist movement, and in fact design itself.  

 

All hope is not lost, as Berman maintains an extremely positive attitude in outlining the ways that design can be used toward creating positive and lasting change. The message is simple: designers have a social responsibility.  

 

I absolutely loved this book, and can’t wait to use it as a guide in my own research.

 

Interested in taking this design pledge? Do it.

 

Mary Hanlon

Mary is the founder, editor and lead contributor at Social Alterations. She is also a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where she researches responsible fashion and transnational labour rights activism in the wake of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

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