Andrew Mutter reviews ‘Design: Models of Change’

DMOC review in AD

AD, The National Society for Education in Art and Design magazine, Summer 2014, Issue 10, p.27







This book contains a wide range of thoughts about the impact of designerly thinking on people’s lives and the environment. Many of the chapters focus on the development of mental models and their implementation and impact. The central aim of this book is to challenge the sometimes forgotten debate about design as an attitude of mind and the importance of design education.

Design: Models of Change contains thoughts and perceptions that many have wanted to articulate but never had the chance to say. There is a lifetime of thinking on models of change; Baynes illustrates this with many examples including how textile designers, industrialists and environmental designers have impacted on our lives. The volume contains models of practice and thinking that are both past and current. What he says is still as important as it ever was, that is, that the quality of designerly thinking affects the quality of your life.

Professor Ken Baynes has designed a book that enables readers to reference scholarly design thinking and research in a precise and ordered fashion.

The book contains historical references, commentaries on trends in education and research, and modern thinking on design education.

The volume celebrates Ken’s immense achievements and his innumerable and invaluable contributions to Design Education fields over the last fifty years. His leadership and pioneering work have influenced many people, including myself. Design: Models of Change is a personal history of research and a compendium peppered with helpful diagrams and drawings that you can dip in and out of and lose yourself in a minestrone of scholarly argument. I personally like the link that Ken Baynes makes about the power and purpose of drawing in design thinking and his conviction that early children’s drawings are the origins of a range of adult attainment for example in written language and mathematical notation.

To summarise the themes explored are:

  • Humans use mental models of the world to act on the world.
  • Designers use mental models of the world to imagine the future of made things.
  • Everyone uses mental models to imagine the future of their environment.
  • Media, marketing and design promote models of a high consumption lifestyle.

Eileen Adams makes the point that the themed discussion is about shaping the future and this is very exciting and inspiring. However she states that the final chapter brings us down to earth with a bump and we wonder if our creativity and inventiveness threatens our survival. Eileen says with passion ‘read the book and make up your own mind!’

Andrew Mutter (Past-president NSEAD)

The early pages and the introduction are available as a free download by clicking on the button below:

Download Sample Pages

View the Book Page for Design:Models of Change


LDP’s recommended supplier is The Great British Bookshop:Great British Bookshop They can also be  ordered from good book stores (eg Waterstones) and online book sellers (eg BOOKS etc).

ISBN References

ISBN: [hardback, colour] 978-1-909671-00-3 … £55.00 RRP
ISBN: [paperback, B&W] 978-1-909671-01-0 … £15.99 RRP
ISBN: [ePub] 978-1-909671-02-7 … £18.99 RRP
ISBN: [Mobi] 978-1-909671-11-9 … £18.99 RRP
ISBN: [pdf] 978-1-909671-12-6 … £18.99 RRP

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