Design as Art

Design as Art is a slim volume by Bruno Munari, originally published in Italian in 1966 and translated and published in English in 1971. Someone at some point recommended it to me and I’m fairly sure a few years ago I used career development money to buy it but didn’t get to it until this past fall. I finished this a few months ago and have been just looking at it and thinking about it quite a bit since then.

If you studied art or design from the 1960s nothing in this small book will be surprising or unusual, but it was fascinating to me how he laid out design versus art and how the two are more similar than often thought. And Munari takes you through all kinds of various objects and through simple illustrations shows how they may be art.

I enjoyed this dip into the 1960s way of thinking about both art and design and I recommend it. The chapters are short and it’s an easy book to dip in and out of when you need a break from the craziness that is life in our current world.

When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in have become in themselves a work of art, then we shall be able to say that we have achieved a balanced life. (p 27)