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    Design Reading: A Brand-new Conversation on AIGA.org

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    I am excited to introduce Design Reading, a new conversation on AIGA.org about the role of reading in the field of design. The goal of this discussion is to initiate a real-time feed of how books, specifically, can influence the way you work.

    Why books, you ask? A designer’s success relies heavily on the ability to problem solve, and reading cultivates critical thinking. It trains us to hear unique voices, to observe and to better understand issues around the world that would otherwise be foreign to us. In her book How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer, Debbie Millman describes the one trait she found most compelling in her interviews of today’s 19 most prolific and influential designers: empathy. Empathy appears as a result of heightened awareness and restructuring of patterns. Reading enables us to have a conversation with anyone, at anytime, about anything they’re interested in. It expands our horizons and adds color to our focus.

    The phrase “learning by doing” has gained popularity over the past few decades, probably for its resonant truth. Design Reading suggests that “learning by reading” can be just as effective: Readers inevitably draw impressions from the content they ingest. Studying books for their dominant ideas and crucial factors, interpreting their themes with a skeptical eye on content and organization, and relating it to our daily work can and will transform the design profession.

    Design Reading exists to encourage the practice of reading and provide a platform for members who enjoy the structure of prompted dialogue. Every two weeks I’ll post a new question in the Conversations section of AIGA.org, highlighting a book or passage relevant in some way to the field of design. Then you’ll be able to submit answers to that question, sharing your reactions, interpretations, criticisms or praise. I’ll also be tweeting from @designreading and encourage you to use #designreading while engaged in your own reading.

    To kick off Design Reading, I discuss Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein and ask, What role does memory play in design? Head to the Conversations section to submit your response

    I look forward to chatting!

    About the Author: 

    A South Carolina native, I graduated from USC in 2007 with a degree in journalism. I decided I liked designing a little better than writing, so I made the switch, working in marketing and design for 2.5 years in Charlotte, NC.

    I moved to NYC in 2010 to further explore design and attend grad school at Pratt Institute. I'll finish in May 2012 and hope to join a team of people driven by the love of design - who might let me write a bit, too. 

    Likes: prints and patterns, cars, and ice cream sandwiches.
    Dislikes: olives. and polyester.

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