Non-Design Books for Designers

Dan Saffer
1 min readApr 10, 2019

I asked on Twitter for book recommendations that were not traditional design books, but still about design or were of interest to designers. I’ve collected the popular answers I could find on Amazon below (in alphabetical order by author):

A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander

How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand

The Mythical Man-Month, Fred Brooks

Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse

Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The Architecture of Happiness, Alain De Botton

Art as Experience, John Dewey

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl

Systemantics, John Gall

The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande

Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath

The Gift, Lewis Hyde

The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs

Impro, Keith Johnson

Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Point and Line to Plane, Wassily Kandinsky

Wabi-Sabi, Leonard Koren

Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt

The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan

Thinking in Systems, Donella Meadows

Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud

The Book of Tea, Kakuzō Okakura

Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke

Factfulness, Hans Rosling

The Reflective Practitioner, Donald Schön

Radical Candor, Kim Scott

The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp

The Aesthetics of Disappearance, Paul Virilio

Really all the books in the thread are worth checking out!