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Design Your Life

Ok. Ok. Ok.

I’ve got a problem.  I’m at home and no plans to go anywhere for a bit.

Yes, its true I’ve run out of Destinations to write about.  Hitting the road isn’t an option.

Not that there aren’t wonderful places here in Western Michigan, but frankly it has been hot and my lounge chair by  the beach and the warm water have been calling.

So I’ve become an armchair (make that lounge chair, please) traveler and delved into a book that has occupied valuable real estate on my bedside table.  It’s an interesting one and I’ll share a few highlights.

Called “Design your life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things” by Ellen and Julia Lupton, it actually started as a blog.  Well, when I read this I got interested.   The word Design always grabs my attention, but I am intrigued when people use their blogs to jump start  publishing careers.  Blogs haven’t been around that long and already they are a new way to get on a library shelf on a Kindle menu.

This is a book I’d buy though.  The artwork is clever and well done and a reader would miss out on the delightful illustrations if reading on an eBook. They are worth the price of the book themselves.   Make me want to meet the authors—identical twins—who share a fascination with the role that design plays in our lives. I’ll bet the conversation is lively when they get together.

The book tackles a wide range of topics, each in a light hearted but insightful way.  For example, the chapter on Front Porches, called Porch Envy, has this to say,  “And if television first drew people off the veranda and into the living room, the Internet has social charms that no sidewalk can provide.   Facebook is the new front porch.”

And I hooted over Underwear Architecture. Oh, the perils of bra fitting.  Very funny. They poke fun at our fascination with creating art on a plate in very high-end restaurants.  Their version of emergency food styling—how to make fast food look good made me laugh.

They do delve into some practical issues like procrastination, multi-taking, organizing your office, handling the holidays, arranging the furniture and my fav, “Mommy, where do baby carrots come from?”

This is a perfect read for a lazy summer day and a wonderful antidote to the super seriousness of  design mavens pontificating on their blogs.

Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

6 Comments
  1. posted by
    Shell Sherree
    Aug 7, 2010 Reply

    Sounds like very useful fun, and anything with charming illustrations is right up there for me!

  2. posted by
    Peggy DePersia
    Aug 7, 2010 Reply

    How about undesigning one’s life? That’s what hot, humid, muggy, sticky weather makes me want to do. That lounge chair ever beckons and, if well placed can catch those bits of breeze that perk one up a bit.
    Seriously though, the title is a captivating one and I could imagine a hearty conversation coming out of the concept as well. I’ll look for it.

  3. posted by
    smithsj
    Aug 7, 2010 Reply

    The illustrations are charming. I should probably check to see if the authors would let me include a couple of my favs in this blog…..later………..after some more lounge chair time.

  4. posted by
    Cindy Schad`
    Aug 8, 2010 Reply

    I definitely need to review the chapter on organizing one’s office space and paper piles!

  5. posted by
    Kim Waltman
    Aug 11, 2010 Reply

    So happy I ran into you today and even more so now that I’ve read your latest on Designing your Life…..sounds like a book that will stimulate and entertain……and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it!

  6. posted by
    mode20100
    Aug 27, 2010 Reply

    A+ would read again

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