EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Design for the Real World

Human Ecology and Social Change

Victor Papanek

Out of stock


An instructive guide on environmentally responsible design, suggesting strategies for developing products that respond to human needs


Design for the Real World has been translated into twenty-three languages since it first appeared in 1971; it has become the world's most widely read book on design and is a required text in many design and architectural schools. This second edition offers a blueprint for survival in the third millennium.

Victor Papanek's lively and instructive guide shows how design can reduce pollution, overcrowding, starvation, obsolescence and other modern ills. He leads us away from 'fetish objects for a wasteful society' towards a new age of morally and environmentally responsible design.

Professor Papanek was a highly distinguished designer, educator, lecturer and writer, widely acknowledged for his visionary ideas on design theory. He was Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas at the time of his death in 1998.

Read More


'Wonderfully alive, and full of examples to instruct, amuse and horrify'
New Scientist

'Highly readable and informative … has become somewhat of a seminal work for those following the patterns of aid and trade and technological development today'
Financial Times

'Much of the pleasure of reading this book derives from [Papanek's] vivid imagery and the directness with which he expresses his very strong views'

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Second Edition Completely Revised

Size: 20.1 x 13.5 cm

Extent: 418 pp

Illustrations: 121

Publication date: 11 February 1985

ISBN: 9780500273586

About the Author

Victor Papanek (1927-1998) was a designer and educator who became a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products, tools, and community infrastructures.