library

The Punkt. Library

The Punkt. Library is a selection of books that have inspired us along the way – since Punkt. was founded in 2008, and before. It has been part of our presence at a number of design fairs and trade shows over the years, for example the Punkt. Design Terrace at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.

The Library helps explain what we do and why we do it, and we present it as a contribution to the wider debate about technology and its rôle in society: the human value of elegant design, and the importance of an electronic device being a tool that works for its owner. Additional suggestions are very welcome. Most of the texts are in English, but there are a handful in other European languages.

They’re all real books, with pages, a cover and a spine: plenty of studies have shown that reading physical texts is still the most effective way of taking in what an author is saying. We could have had two separate lists, one for design and one for what technology is doing in the world. But actually, the latter is a subset of the former: any designer will be keenly aware of what a product is meant to do.

We have included the publisher’s description for each book, plus a link to their website at the end, but bear in mind that some books have different publishers in different countries. Books may also have appeared in different editions over the years.

If you’re interested in the background to Punkt.’s design work, Jasper Morrison’s shop has a number of titles available in addition to those listed by us. You can view them here.

Support your local bookshops! They pay local taxes, and are part of the community. You can find a bookshop and/or order online via the following organisations:

 

And maybe develop a library habit?

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads

The Attention Merchants

Tim Wu

A description of the people who rent out your focus.

New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future

New Dark Age

James Bridle

Slow-motion train crash. Do you get off?

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media

Jaron Lanier

What social media is, how it works and what it is for.

Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere

Driverless Cars

Christian Wolmar

The transition to self-driving cars seem to be arriving in much the same way as a computer operating system update does. What could possibly go wrong?

How to be Free

How to be Free

Tom Hodgkinson

A joyful blueprint for a simpler and freer way of life. Mediaeval in places.

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self

Bored and Brilliant

Manoush Zomorodi

The benefits of boredom.

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

Irresistible

Adam Alter

A practical guide to coming out the other side.

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams

Why We Sleep

Matthew Walker

The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The clock is ticking.

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

The Sleep Revolution

Arianna Huffington

How to get ahead by getting your head down.

The World Beyond Your Head

The World Beyond Your Head

Matthew Crawford

A book about “our scatterbrained ennui”.

World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech

World Without Mind

Franklin Foer

The downside of convenience.

A Book of Things

A Book of Things

Jasper Morrison

A chance to find out what lies behind JM’s work.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

How to get going.

Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern

Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern

Edited by Gemma Curtin, Fiona MacCarthy, Deyan Sudjic

One of Britains’ greatest industrial designers.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman

A book about intuition and logic. But this time, written by a Nobel Prize-winner.

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

The Shallows

Nicholas Carr

The Shallows is, writes Slate, “a Silent Spring for the literary mind.”

 

The Glass Cage

The Glass Cage

Nicholas Carr

“Automation weakens the bond between tool and user not because computer-controlled systems are complex but because they ask so little of us.”

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Reclaiming Conversation

Sherry Turkle

Reviving the fading art of conversation, in our age of echo chambers. Sequel to the spectacular Alone Together.

The Circle

The Circle

Dave Eggers

Novel about a young woman who gets a job in a giant tech corporation; made into a film in 2017.

Digitale Erschöpfung

Digitale Erschöpfung

Markus Albers

„Ständig erreichbar, immer unter Strom, niemals im Feierabend – Markus Albers zeigt uns, wie wir endlich wieder abschalten und dabei produktiver werden.“

 

Hatching Twitter

Hatching Twitter

Nick Bilton

Such a good read. Written by a journalist who interviewed everyone at Twitter about its early days. It has all the right ingredients for a great story: power, drama, betrayals, and more.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The Organized Mind

Daniel J. Levitin

“[M]ore than a self-help book…Levitin’s insights into sleep, time, socializing and decision-making are profound.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo

Physical clarity, mental clarity.

Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

Hamlet’s Blackberry

William Powers

“draws on the technological past and great thinkers such as Shakespeare and Thoreau”

The End of Ownership: Personal Property in the Digital Economy

The End of Ownership

Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz

A defence of permanence, for sanity.

The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online

The Ambivalent Internet

Whitney Phillips, Ryan M. Milner

For students of the weird, the wacky and the annoying.

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

Dragnet Nation

Julia Angwin

What “the connected world” really means.

Personal Connections in the Digital Age

Personal Connections in the Digital Age

Nancy K Baym

Aimed at “all students and scholars of media, communication studies, and sociology, as well as all those who want a richer understanding of digital media and everyday life”.

You are Not a Gadget

You are Not a Gadget

Jaron Lanier

Particularly suitable for the technically-minded.

Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

Delete

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

The benefits of being able to move on.

The People’s Platform

The People’s Platform

Astra Taylor

“a seminal dismantling of techno-utopian visions”

Alone Together

Alone Together

Sherry Turkle

Definitely one of my favourite titles in the Punkt. Library, this book was included with advance orders of the MP01 when it launched in 2015. Marcy Caines

The Inner History of Devices

The Inner History of Devices

edited by Sherry Turkle

This book made Punkt. a fan of Sherry Turkle.

The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life

The Laws of Simplicity

John Maeda

Ten laws of simplicity for business, technology, and design that teach us how to need less but get more.

Super Normal

Super Normal

Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison

Based on an exhibition created by the authors, that assembled 204 everyday products that each attain elegance and attractiveness without any element of ostentatiousness.

The Society of the Spectacle

The Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord

The 1967 classic. Very French, very now.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

The source of terms and concepts like Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole

Brave New World

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

The ultimate explanation of how today’s world works, written in 1931.

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