November in books – Icons, Cold War and Pandemics

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November in books – Icons, Cold War and Pandemics

The thoughts, quotes, books and new ideas captured from my personal library in November.

What I read

Each month, I hope to share the books that inspired me the most:

Women Design: Pioneers from the twentieth century to today fills in a gap in most books on design history – women. From the ‘damsels of design’ to underappreciated creators in textile, product, interior, digital and architectural designers, learn more about the inspiring women who pioneered creativity while overcoming prejudice.

Ladies Who Create: Feminist Propaganda is a zine from Dropbox’s design department, a leader in inclusive design operations. Read and learn from spectacular women and non-binary creators in a neatly bound but radically inspiring journal.

The Leap Stories: Intimate Interviews On Overcoming Fear, Choosing Courage Over Comfort, and Designing a Fulfilling Career talks about taking ‘the leap’, focusing on a group of courageous Australian entrepreneurs from the likes of Canva, Offscreen and Tom Organic. While the leapers are mostly privileged to be have been able to leap in the first place, it’s still an inspiring and interesting read on making your mark on the world as an individual.

What’s next?

Humanocracy is about a different kind of design. The design of an organisation, more or less how to make an assemblage of people as good as the people themselves. Part critique on bureaucracy, part framework on creating creative, innovative organisations.

Touch Design for Mobile Interfaces is the latest from Smashing Magazine, who are renowned for their timeless publications on all things UX and digital. Their latest releases in print next month, all about designing for touch. Steven Hoober is a genius in his own right when it comes to human-interface science, so this is a match made in heaven.

Restorative Cities: Urban Design for Mental Health and Wellbeing is an exciting book about the future of urban design and architecture. A city created for mental health and wellbeing is a future I hope to be apart of.


The iOS App Icon Book is a very promising Kickstarter exceeding its fundraising goals. I hope it bucks the crowd-fund trend and gets off the ground, because icon design trends are a fascinating way to look at design history, all the way from skeuomorphism to neumorphism.

I first heard about Iskra Delta on the Interdependence podcast. The Cold War for Information Technology: The Inside Story is a little known story about how geopolitical history affected the modern technology industry. Learn more about how innovation in Yugoslavia came into the crosshairs of international intelligence agencies, forever changing Eastern European industry and east and west relations.

I found The Safety Net: Surviving Pandemics and Other Disasters on a blog post by Matt Mullenweg. It teaches us about how to reexamine the context of technology in the time period of civilisation, and how the internet could save us from existential threats.