Written by and for designers, this dictionary of modern design is an important contribution to the field. Just a few reference works that take a comprehensive look at the development of modern design have been published, and among these the two that stand out most notably are The Design Encyclopedia, by New York's Museum of Modern Art (2004), and Design of the Twentieth Century (Taschen, 2001). The present work, with its primary focus on European designers of the twentieth century, is a welcome and timely publication.
More than 300 entries highlight the most influential architects and designers of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries--among them, Charles and Ray Eames, Noguchi, and Le Corbusier. Also here are studios like Ziba, whose ergonomic "natural keyboard" model for Microsoft put an end to the rigid design of computer keyboards, and manufacturers such as Apple, IBM, Kodak, and Sony. Although not seeking to be all-encompassing (the fashion industry is excluded), the volume showcases a diverse range of selected classic and innovative designs ranging from automobiles to everyday household items. Each entry contains an average of six to seven color photographs, for a grand total of 2,800 images. Entry text includes individual or company and product chronologies, a discussion essay, and, often, a Web site citation.