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Design Unbound (MIT Press)

Contributed by June Shin on Oct 12th, 2018. Artwork published in
November 2018
Volume 2, “Ecologies of Change”
Source: MIT Press. License: All Rights Reserved.

Volume 2, “Ecologies of Change”

Design Unbound, written by Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian and John Seely Brown, provides “tools for navigating today’s hyper-connected, rapidly changing, and radically contingent white water world” in two volumes (MIT Press).

The publisher writes in the book overview:

Design Unbound presents a new tool set for having agency in the twenty-first century, in what the authors characterize as a white water world—rapidly changing, hyperconnected, and radically contingent. These are the tools of a new kind of practice that is the offspring of complexity science, which gives us a new lens through which to view the world as entangled and emerging, and architecture, which is about designing contexts. In such a practice, design, unbound from its material thingness, is set free to design contexts as complex systems.

For a book dealing with the kinds of design that are free of “material thingness,” Sélavy (designed by Nina Stössinger), a typeface entirely comprising of dots loosely held together, seems an excellent choice. Sélavy is paired with caps from FF Milo.

The numerals of Sélavy were also used on Pragmatic Imagination, a five-book preview to the Design Unbound series. The typeface’s dot components establish a satisfying visual parallel to the pattern-heavy images chosen for the book covers. The secondary typeface used here is Avenir.

Volume 1, “Designing for Emergence”
Source: MIT Press. License: All Rights Reserved.

Volume 1, “Designing for Emergence”

Pragmatic Imagination.
Source: Pragmatic Imagination. License: All Rights Reserved.

Pragmatic Imagination.

2 Comments on “Design Unbound (MIT Press)”

  1. Michael Neugarten says:
    Dec 16th, 2018 1:43 pm

    Hi – is it possible to get the font that JSB uses in his “handwritten” slides? What font is that – and where can on find / buy it?

  2. Hi Michael, I’ve found some slides on John Seely Brown’s website that use Phill Grimshaw’s ITC Tempus Sans. Is that what you had in mind? If not, please point us to an image.

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