The Cooper-Hewitt’s New Electronic Publishing Series

Posted inThe Daily Heller
Thumbnail for The Cooper-Hewitt's New Electronic Publishing Series

On February 1, the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, will launch the first three titles in its new DesignFile line of e-books on design writing and research. According to a press release, DesignFile will publish “at least six to 12 titles annually during its first three years.”

The debut e-books are The Miser’s Purse by Laura Camerlengo, Hacking Design by Avinash Rajagopal, and my own Design Cult. Each will be priced at $2.99.

“Through DesignFile, Cooper-Hewitt is able to reach new audiences who want great design content quickly on a mobile device—the devoted groups who are passionate about design practice, theory and the pure aesthetics,” Caroline Baumann, the Cooper-Hewitt’s acting director, said in the press release. “By partnering with universities whose graduate students generate much of this cutting-edge thought, this new publishing platform will broadly increase public access to design scholarship and resources.”

Here’s more from the Cooper-Hewitt on the first books to be released:

In Design Cult, Heller reaches into the most contemplative recesses of his mind to offer an entertaining new collection of ruminations on the nature and future of design. A renowned designer, author, critic, co-chair, MFA Design Department, School of Visual Arts and National Design Award recipient, Heller expounds on such disparate topics as Milton Glaser, Japanese masks, velvet touch lettering, anthropomorphism and people in glass apartments.

The Miser’s Purse, originally written by Camerlengo as a thesis for the Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt Master’s program, tells the compelling story of how a small, decorative purse became deeply embedded in 19th-century Victorian popular culture. Known at the time as long purses, gentlemen’s purses or simply purses, they came to be called miser’s purses because their diminutive openings made it difficult to retrieve coins. The e-book contains 29 images and a video of the author demonstrating how to use a miser’s purse.

Originally written by Rajagopal as a thesis for the School of Visual Arts Master’s of Fine Arts program in design criticism, Hacking Design examines both common histories and persisting misunderstandings between hackers and designers and uncovers shared ground on which the two creative communities can work together. Rajagopal nimbly skips between the computer and design communities, from Makerbot to the Hacking Ikea site, from 3-D printing to DIY, providing 23 illustrated examples.