Summary of Make It New

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Rating

8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style

Recommendation

Stanford professor Barry M. Katz’s impressive, primary-sourced and research-backed analysis of the important yet often disregarded role that designers played in shaping Silicon Valley offers a true insider perspective on the development of design in the 20th and 21st centuries. Katz’s nonlinear style, at times, obscures his thorough account of the way various designers and their innovations fit into the timeline of Silicon Valley’s history. Sometimes his entertaining narrative devolves into recitations of lists of names and achievements. Ultimately, however, Katz makes a compelling case for how and why design’s role in Silicon Valley – and beyond – shifted from a backbench support function to a front-line position in product development. He also explores the advent of “Design Thinking” and its impact on design’s future. getAbstract recommends his treatise to design professionals and lay enthusiasts who wish to know more about design history and philosophy.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How pivotal designers and design firms helped shape Silicon Valley,
  • How design education evolved along with changing views about design’s role in product development, and
  • What new problems designers are trying to solve.
 

About the Author

Barry M. Katz is professor of industrial and interaction design at the California College of the Arts, consulting professor in the design group at Stanford University as well as a fellow at IDEO, Inc. He co-wrote Change by Design and Nonobject.

 

Summary

A Seat at the Table

Today, design and designers are synonymous with Silicon Valley and its innovations. But for much of technology manufacturing’s history since the 1950s, tech companies viewed the role of design in product development with skepticism. The few professional designers who came to Silicon Valley in the early 1950s had to fight to prove that design could do more than create packaging for the engineers’ beloved electronics.

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