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The Nature And Art Of Workmanship (Design Handbooks)

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This is a digital reprint of David Pye's original 1968 edition. Within it he argues that the aesthetic quality of our environment depends as much on its workmanship as on its design, and that workmanship has been largely ignored. He proceeds to develop a new theory of the aesthetics of workmanship which can be applied to architecture, to the products of industry and to cra This is a digital reprint of David Pye's original 1968 edition. Within it he argues that the aesthetic quality of our environment depends as much on its workmanship as on its design, and that workmanship has been largely ignored. He proceeds to develop a new theory of the aesthetics of workmanship which can be applied to architecture, to the products of industry and to craft work. Mr Pye shows how and why we are conscious of finish and workmanship, goes on to ask why so much of our environment is impoverished and asks what can be done about it.


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This is a digital reprint of David Pye's original 1968 edition. Within it he argues that the aesthetic quality of our environment depends as much on its workmanship as on its design, and that workmanship has been largely ignored. He proceeds to develop a new theory of the aesthetics of workmanship which can be applied to architecture, to the products of industry and to cra This is a digital reprint of David Pye's original 1968 edition. Within it he argues that the aesthetic quality of our environment depends as much on its workmanship as on its design, and that workmanship has been largely ignored. He proceeds to develop a new theory of the aesthetics of workmanship which can be applied to architecture, to the products of industry and to craft work. Mr Pye shows how and why we are conscious of finish and workmanship, goes on to ask why so much of our environment is impoverished and asks what can be done about it.

30 review for The Nature And Art Of Workmanship (Design Handbooks)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    I can't review this book, it is too amazing. If there is an 'essential reading' list for creative philosophers though, this should be on it. This is DENSE stuff though- in another writer's hands, this could have become a multi-volume treatise. But Pye is to most artist-philosophers as cold ice cream is to hot butter. I find myself having to stop every few sentences to digest what he's just said, before I can go on. Seriously. If you enjoy manipulating the universe in any way- cooking, decorating, I can't review this book, it is too amazing. If there is an 'essential reading' list for creative philosophers though, this should be on it. This is DENSE stuff though- in another writer's hands, this could have become a multi-volume treatise. But Pye is to most artist-philosophers as cold ice cream is to hot butter. I find myself having to stop every few sentences to digest what he's just said, before I can go on. Seriously. If you enjoy manipulating the universe in any way- cooking, decorating, designing, composing, making music, making things out of wood or plastic or code or silicon or leather or fabric or cats or light or sculpey or paper or fiberglass, and you want to take your thinking-about-that to a higher level, this is your ticket.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trauman

    So far, the most important things I've gleaned from this book has been an incredibly clear and nuanced system of terminology for thinking about "design" and "workmanship." Amazing that this has been around for 40 years, and I've never really heard it referenced. Something tells me that, although it feels seminal, there might be some more important precedent or antecedent texts with similar or more important versions of this perspective. However, until I can confirm that suspicion, I'll think thi So far, the most important things I've gleaned from this book has been an incredibly clear and nuanced system of terminology for thinking about "design" and "workmanship." Amazing that this has been around for 40 years, and I've never really heard it referenced. Something tells me that, although it feels seminal, there might be some more important precedent or antecedent texts with similar or more important versions of this perspective. However, until I can confirm that suspicion, I'll think this book is groudbreaking and essential to my subsequent discussions of "work" in terms of digital textual production (i.e. web-design, digital stories, video blog entries)

  3. 4 out of 5

    DeadTrees

    WARNING: The softcover print-on-demand version of the book is of the lowest quality. The layout is terrible and the plates are all washed out. I promise you will be holding the book up to your face and squinting at them. (I did actually get to handle a hardcover edition and can confirm that it does not have these problems.) I can't explain why they changed the layout for the softcover. Problems with the physical book aside, I loved its contents! Pye's prose is thoughtful and fun to read. I would WARNING: The softcover print-on-demand version of the book is of the lowest quality. The layout is terrible and the plates are all washed out. I promise you will be holding the book up to your face and squinting at them. (I did actually get to handle a hardcover edition and can confirm that it does not have these problems.) I can't explain why they changed the layout for the softcover. Problems with the physical book aside, I loved its contents! Pye's prose is thoughtful and fun to read. I would probably give this 5 stars if it weren't for some of the content at the end of the book being a bit ranty and less interesting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carl Gauger

    This book picks up where his Nature and Aesthetics of Design leaves off. This is a refreshing book, not only because of Pye's deep understanding of "hand" workmanship, but because of the lack of chauvinism toward machine production. Indeed many insights applicable to mass production are given in the course of the work. Pye discusses how design intent must be translated to workmanship, the relation of economy to workmanship, and the integrity of materials and craftsmanship. Is it possible to spea This book picks up where his Nature and Aesthetics of Design leaves off. This is a refreshing book, not only because of Pye's deep understanding of "hand" workmanship, but because of the lack of chauvinism toward machine production. Indeed many insights applicable to mass production are given in the course of the work. Pye discusses how design intent must be translated to workmanship, the relation of economy to workmanship, and the integrity of materials and craftsmanship. Is it possible to speak of craftsmanship in the arena of modern mass-production? Yes--read this book for a wonderful introduction to how.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Some good stuff here, although much of it will seem a bit obvious to the experienced designer. I suspect that he thinks design means visual or industrial design, and would have a hard time accepting that most of these same principles also guide, for example, good software design. His comments on the use of computers are dated, but then he was a product of his time. My one objection to his philosophy is his separation of the aesthetic from utilitarian - they are not, in practice, that cleanly sep Some good stuff here, although much of it will seem a bit obvious to the experienced designer. I suspect that he thinks design means visual or industrial design, and would have a hard time accepting that most of these same principles also guide, for example, good software design. His comments on the use of computers are dated, but then he was a product of his time. My one objection to his philosophy is his separation of the aesthetic from utilitarian - they are not, in practice, that cleanly separable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave Armishaw

    After having written a very negative review of Richard Sennett ' s book I felt that it was important to emphasize Pope's classic treatise on a trendy subject. Unlike Sennett ' s view that all of us who desire to do good work can have "craftsman-ness"- Pye carefully in simple terms lays out the nature of practices that lead to craftsmanship. If you genuinely care, you must read, as carefully and respectfully as Pye gas written. After having written a very negative review of Richard Sennett ' s book I felt that it was important to emphasize Pope's classic treatise on a trendy subject. Unlike Sennett ' s view that all of us who desire to do good work can have "craftsman-ness"- Pye carefully in simple terms lays out the nature of practices that lead to craftsmanship. If you genuinely care, you must read, as carefully and respectfully as Pye gas written.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Horn

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jakob Jørgensen

  9. 4 out of 5

    Soni Gurung

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ibrahim Abu Abdo

  11. 4 out of 5

    Oskar

  12. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trav Olson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pepper

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nasrul Haqqim

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Dwi

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chuck T

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mpc1

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clif Brittain

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Verdugo

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michel Martens

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jim Williams

  23. 5 out of 5

    Domenic M. DAndrea

  24. 5 out of 5

    splendaConsumption

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  26. 5 out of 5

    Walter Underwood

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

  29. 4 out of 5

    lpkova

  30. 4 out of 5

    jamie

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