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Design Your Self: Rethinking the Way You Live, Love, Work, and Play

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Celebrated industrial designer Karim Rashid explains how to optimize all areas of life, aesthetic and spiritual, in this colorful, beautifully designed book. Design wonderkind Karim Rashid, whose projects range from the Trump Towers apartments to Lacoste sportswear to the ubiquitous Umbra garbage can, prescribes an organizational and style overhaul in Design Your Life. In s Celebrated industrial designer Karim Rashid explains how to optimize all areas of life, aesthetic and spiritual, in this colorful, beautifully designed book. Design wonderkind Karim Rashid, whose projects range from the Trump Towers apartments to Lacoste sportswear to the ubiquitous Umbra garbage can, prescribes an organizational and style overhaul in Design Your Life. In short, sharp chapters, he tackles topics as diverse as the wardrobe, office space, love life, and diet, answering perplexing questions like how to properly pack a suitcase, use colors to accent a room, and carve out free time in a busy schedule. Whether the reader is looking to redesign his physical space or spiritual life, Design Your Life offers comprehensive guidance that is straightforward and easy to follow. Rashid's philosophies center on quality over quantity, space over clutter, clarity over complexity, and a marriage of form and function in every design. With each page in vibrant color and packed with his charming artwork and sketches, Design Your Life is an ideal gift book–and the very embodiment of Rashid's functional style.


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Celebrated industrial designer Karim Rashid explains how to optimize all areas of life, aesthetic and spiritual, in this colorful, beautifully designed book. Design wonderkind Karim Rashid, whose projects range from the Trump Towers apartments to Lacoste sportswear to the ubiquitous Umbra garbage can, prescribes an organizational and style overhaul in Design Your Life. In s Celebrated industrial designer Karim Rashid explains how to optimize all areas of life, aesthetic and spiritual, in this colorful, beautifully designed book. Design wonderkind Karim Rashid, whose projects range from the Trump Towers apartments to Lacoste sportswear to the ubiquitous Umbra garbage can, prescribes an organizational and style overhaul in Design Your Life. In short, sharp chapters, he tackles topics as diverse as the wardrobe, office space, love life, and diet, answering perplexing questions like how to properly pack a suitcase, use colors to accent a room, and carve out free time in a busy schedule. Whether the reader is looking to redesign his physical space or spiritual life, Design Your Life offers comprehensive guidance that is straightforward and easy to follow. Rashid's philosophies center on quality over quantity, space over clutter, clarity over complexity, and a marriage of form and function in every design. With each page in vibrant color and packed with his charming artwork and sketches, Design Your Life is an ideal gift book–and the very embodiment of Rashid's functional style.

30 review for Design Your Self: Rethinking the Way You Live, Love, Work, and Play

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I'd say that this was a rollercoaster ride of a book, but I like rollercoasters. I found myself breezing through this book without even trying, which means I found it interesting enough to stick with to the end. I did find quite a bit of helpful information along with some ideas that really irked me. If you're rich, you don't need this book because it's just a rehash of what you already know-life rocks when you can buy whatever you want! But if you're barely making it, it can be a bit depressing I'd say that this was a rollercoaster ride of a book, but I like rollercoasters. I found myself breezing through this book without even trying, which means I found it interesting enough to stick with to the end. I did find quite a bit of helpful information along with some ideas that really irked me. If you're rich, you don't need this book because it's just a rehash of what you already know-life rocks when you can buy whatever you want! But if you're barely making it, it can be a bit depressing. Obviously we don't WANT to fill our lives with crap, but for some reason we do it anyway. Why we buy expensive books to tell us this is another mystery. Well, fortunately I borrowed this book from the library! What really got me about the author is that he tells the reader how to live the perfect life, but it's hard to take advice from someone who can afford only the best. He questions why we can't buy coffins from Prada and Gucci. He says that for our relationships to thrive we should hide nothing. You want to sleep with someone else? Just go ahead and ask your significant if you can. Duh! No reason to hide your feelings because it creates guilt! Argh. To each his own, I know. But it seems for every bit of bad advice there is enough good advice to help redesign one's life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Natalia

    I personally didn't agree with all of the ways this author/designer suggested on how one should reorganize their life. However, what I very much liked about the book is how it inspired me to make my own life everything I want it to be in all facets. The idea that we are all the designers of our own lives and we should take action in that role is appealing and motivating to me. I really liked the section on organization and that we should surround ourselves in all that we love and nothing less. I personally didn't agree with all of the ways this author/designer suggested on how one should reorganize their life. However, what I very much liked about the book is how it inspired me to make my own life everything I want it to be in all facets. The idea that we are all the designers of our own lives and we should take action in that role is appealing and motivating to me. I really liked the section on organization and that we should surround ourselves in all that we love and nothing less.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Lozano

    I read this books years ago, and it's one of the few books I wish I owned (if I could get my hands on a digital edition, which doesn't exist, unfortunately). I love Rashid's designs, and there is a strong correlation between his daring, outlandish visual aesthetic and his personal views on life. Rashid has no problem standing out and being different. He says plenty of crazy things in this book, and plenty of brilliant things. Probably in equal measure. But it's worth the ride. Do I love everythi I read this books years ago, and it's one of the few books I wish I owned (if I could get my hands on a digital edition, which doesn't exist, unfortunately). I love Rashid's designs, and there is a strong correlation between his daring, outlandish visual aesthetic and his personal views on life. Rashid has no problem standing out and being different. He says plenty of crazy things in this book, and plenty of brilliant things. Probably in equal measure. But it's worth the ride. Do I love everything he designs or says? Emphatically not. But I wish there were a lot more people willing to risk appearing foolish in the pursuit of exciting of their vision.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margot

    At first my interest was piqued by the colors and funky pages, but it turned out to be nothing but cover-fluff for more... well, fluff. His ideas on design and living seem appealing at first; talk of owning nothing you don't love and making everything an experience, etc. But he seemed to take it to the point of almost self-worship. If you aren't basking in a bohemian bliss of sensory input then life just isn't worth living. Schmeh. So I shall take from it what I can, and then put it happily back At first my interest was piqued by the colors and funky pages, but it turned out to be nothing but cover-fluff for more... well, fluff. His ideas on design and living seem appealing at first; talk of owning nothing you don't love and making everything an experience, etc. But he seemed to take it to the point of almost self-worship. If you aren't basking in a bohemian bliss of sensory input then life just isn't worth living. Schmeh. So I shall take from it what I can, and then put it happily back on the shelf.

  5. 5 out of 5

    JY Tan

    Good light reading. Basically it's just a compilation of life advice, grouped into different domains of life, by a famous eccentric designer. Interesting lifestyle perspective worth considering all the time, but is otherwise devoid of actual substance. It's actually worth your time considering how little it takes, where some of his radical ideas are worth contemplating. Lower your expectations considering that it's honestly just self centered ramblings from a rich successful liberal designer, an Good light reading. Basically it's just a compilation of life advice, grouped into different domains of life, by a famous eccentric designer. Interesting lifestyle perspective worth considering all the time, but is otherwise devoid of actual substance. It's actually worth your time considering how little it takes, where some of his radical ideas are worth contemplating. Lower your expectations considering that it's honestly just self centered ramblings from a rich successful liberal designer, and this should be moderately satisfying.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    I chose self-help, but it really is stronger and more action-oriented ways to live who you are. A designer by profession, he applies his design philosophy to life. Simplify. Do. Fail. Don't Conform. Look at everything in life as an opportunity to serve and be you. I enjoyed the quick read and found his take on designing 'Travel,' 'Work,' and 'Home' to be helpful, meaningful and expressive. To try and mimic his advice would go against his main point, but he provides a different way to look at way I chose self-help, but it really is stronger and more action-oriented ways to live who you are. A designer by profession, he applies his design philosophy to life. Simplify. Do. Fail. Don't Conform. Look at everything in life as an opportunity to serve and be you. I enjoyed the quick read and found his take on designing 'Travel,' 'Work,' and 'Home' to be helpful, meaningful and expressive. To try and mimic his advice would go against his main point, but he provides a different way to look at ways to make your life and in turn others around you, more beautiful.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jassim

    This is a collection of general life advices. I would say this is not written for general audiences. People from a specific wealth and social segment can only follow most of the advices. Even though, it encourages us to look at every life decision that we make as a design decision, which is an interesting perspective to look at it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Teri Temme

    Great reminders! Celebrate individuality.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Voicu Horațiu

    The feeling this book gave me is: small things matter, don't take all too seriously, trust yourself and enjoy more! The feeling this book gave me is: small things matter, don't take all too seriously, trust yourself and enjoy more!

  10. 5 out of 5

    oliviusarb

    A personal development book that has a total different approach, a good one, so it deserves 5 stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kassin

    Clayton's mom got me this for my birthday this fall - Clayton heard it was good. It was. It's a colorful, easy read with large font and quite a few pages with only a few words on them. I liked it because the format practiced what it preached - it was simple, to the point, and fun. It is broken down into several sections: Live, Love, Work, and Play, which is really all there is to life anyway, right? It was neat to learn about the author, Karim Rashid, who is a famous product designer I of course Clayton's mom got me this for my birthday this fall - Clayton heard it was good. It was. It's a colorful, easy read with large font and quite a few pages with only a few words on them. I liked it because the format practiced what it preached - it was simple, to the point, and fun. It is broken down into several sections: Live, Love, Work, and Play, which is really all there is to life anyway, right? It was neat to learn about the author, Karim Rashid, who is a famous product designer I of course had never heard of. He is totally full of himself (a Karimtini for happy hour, anyone?), but somehow you end up agreeing with him anyway. He wears only silver, white, and pink; hates hard edges on anything; and thinks you should have sex everyday and be great at your job, even if it's beneath you. After reading this book, I will try to wear less black, be more playful/take life less seriously, and take more pride in my work, even if it's just doing dishes at home. I'll use this too: "Try this exercise: Write down goals for every facet of your life. Then ask yourself how your goals mesh with the real world: How am I contributing to these goals? What am I doing to achieve them?"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sean Goh

    A quick easy read, with many applicable principles. An excess of 'shoulds' though, you have been warned. In order to create something new, one must make every effort to detach oneself from references. Do what you believe, and you will end up where you belong. Sometimes a subtle change of perspective or a detail one might have overlooked makes all the difference. If one is going to spend a lot of time with something (car, bed, laptop), it should be the best experience possible (and affordable). **Soci A quick easy read, with many applicable principles. An excess of 'shoulds' though, you have been warned. In order to create something new, one must make every effort to detach oneself from references. Do what you believe, and you will end up where you belong. Sometimes a subtle change of perspective or a detail one might have overlooked makes all the difference. If one is going to spend a lot of time with something (car, bed, laptop), it should be the best experience possible (and affordable). **Socialising should be a positive experience: to learn, to enjoy, to engage, to communicate, not just a way to get out of the house. Hence it is imperative to edit one's social obligations.** Opposites distract. Compatibility is key. To love someone is to let them be themselves, to allow them to live their life, to pursue their interests, and to nurture their individuality, not to confine or be possessive of them. The key is to give them complete trust. Clothes are part of the message you project onto others. Instead of waiting for opportunity to knock, open the door. Caring about the rest of the office is like caring about the street where you live. Doing nothing is the most draining thing in the world.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nageen

    In terms of what the book aims to deliver visually, I'll give it 5 stars. It involves you, for a moment enriches your visual capacity and is highly enjoyable. So in case you are bored or want some tips (though somebody else's opinions), this is the book to have. Of course if you are bit of nerd, you can always make your own notes and add in the art on the pages if you feel like making it a very personal copy. however this is not to be confused with the content. you may think that the content is n In terms of what the book aims to deliver visually, I'll give it 5 stars. It involves you, for a moment enriches your visual capacity and is highly enjoyable. So in case you are bored or want some tips (though somebody else's opinions), this is the book to have. Of course if you are bit of nerd, you can always make your own notes and add in the art on the pages if you feel like making it a very personal copy. however this is not to be confused with the content. you may think that the content is null and so unimpressive without the visuals and that's true in a way however that's what the book is about, adding in to the visual bookish ambiance that makes you feel good and not just the crooked philosophy of it. Rashid speaks in the ideal sense and many of us cannot achieve what we we want ideal in our lives. His reviews on sex especially, for instance letting the spouse have it with anybody in the name of independence is quite off the ground (read- abnormal) but hey that's just his view and nobody's taking a leaf out of his book from these particular pages..=) (or not, completely up to you) It's a very interesting read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    I re-read this reasonably often (at least once a year). Usually in a hot tub. When I first read it, it made me think about how I might improve the quality of my day to day life. As a direct result of reading this book, I started wearing more colors and tried to simplify my physical and digital lives. Perhaps at its root, the book espouses an intentional style of living in all facets of living. So that every thing we do in a day, every experience we have has some level of intent behind it, even if I re-read this reasonably often (at least once a year). Usually in a hot tub. When I first read it, it made me think about how I might improve the quality of my day to day life. As a direct result of reading this book, I started wearing more colors and tried to simplify my physical and digital lives. Perhaps at its root, the book espouses an intentional style of living in all facets of living. So that every thing we do in a day, every experience we have has some level of intent behind it, even if it the intent is to be spontaneous. Uncomfortable, painful, or simply plain aspects of day to day life ought to be reduced. Fun, interesting, compelling aspects of day to day life ought to be increased. The bright colors within the book and the playful yet simple graphics did a lot to make it compelling to pick up and read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nada

    Right, let's say that the book deserves 5 stars. I just had to take away two because of the pervert advice in the intimacy section. I am not just against bisexuality, public sex, and polygamy as mentioned in the book, I also gravely disapprove that such practices be advocated and admitted having been committed openly in a book. I find this wicked and scandalous. Other than this, the book is innovatively designed. Very inviting to read and to spend a long time with. A mood booster, I have to say. Right, let's say that the book deserves 5 stars. I just had to take away two because of the pervert advice in the intimacy section. I am not just against bisexuality, public sex, and polygamy as mentioned in the book, I also gravely disapprove that such practices be advocated and admitted having been committed openly in a book. I find this wicked and scandalous. Other than this, the book is innovatively designed. Very inviting to read and to spend a long time with. A mood booster, I have to say. As far the rest of the content is concerned, it's what we should all be reminded of at the age of 16, 26, 36 and every ten years afterwards for as long as we live. How to improve your life in order to maximize your wellbeing. An advice derived from common sense and is interestingly composed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    I bought this book in 2007. At the time I was living in Hong Kong and was in a sort of preparing-to-return mind set before returning to the USA. Though there are no Earth-shattering new ideas, the book is fun and has little nuggets of usefulness spread throughout. Rashid devides the book into sections: Live, Love, Work, Play. Within those he discusses design (of course), fashion, travel, sex, fitness, music and productivity. Rashid is pretty opinionated about pretty much everything, which I found I bought this book in 2007. At the time I was living in Hong Kong and was in a sort of preparing-to-return mind set before returning to the USA. Though there are no Earth-shattering new ideas, the book is fun and has little nuggets of usefulness spread throughout. Rashid devides the book into sections: Live, Love, Work, Play. Within those he discusses design (of course), fashion, travel, sex, fitness, music and productivity. Rashid is pretty opinionated about pretty much everything, which I found really amusing (though I can see this being a turn-off for other readers). The take away is that one should live consciously... not just in our behaviors but in our relationships, environments, clothing choices, everything. The thesis is the same as the title... design your self.

  17. 5 out of 5

    siso.sofy

    the book is okay, mean i be able to finish it even thought at some point i stop reading for 2-3 months before i'm able to get back and finish it again. it help me to think about my life, whether i'm doing my best for my life or to this point of my life, and what can i do i design my life again. there are some advice that i can use and there also some that make me think about it critically. but the best part of this book is the design and colors. love it. and it really stray me away from the typi the book is okay, mean i be able to finish it even thought at some point i stop reading for 2-3 months before i'm able to get back and finish it again. it help me to think about my life, whether i'm doing my best for my life or to this point of my life, and what can i do i design my life again. there are some advice that i can use and there also some that make me think about it critically. but the best part of this book is the design and colors. love it. and it really stray me away from the typical book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Flavia Nasrin

    Interesting view of how to "set up your life" from a designer's POV and strive. I like the pop color in the book, the plastic cover and the pink, vibrant colours. The content is suitable to approach a clean living, highly functional & structured life...not bad if you are a chaotic person. Karim Rashid is an excellent designer in the pop age and his creations are certainly energetic and useful. His website, his book and his work are all coherent with how he views design and life. Interesting view of how to "set up your life" from a designer's POV and strive. I like the pop color in the book, the plastic cover and the pink, vibrant colours. The content is suitable to approach a clean living, highly functional & structured life...not bad if you are a chaotic person. Karim Rashid is an excellent designer in the pop age and his creations are certainly energetic and useful. His website, his book and his work are all coherent with how he views design and life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura Ghitoi

    Despite his fame as a designer, in my opinion Rashid failed to translate his talent into a good book. It's a self help book with very few new things/perspectives for it to be worthy of more than 1 star. I also did not like he was talking about all these spheres of life since design is what he does and what he is known for. Lots of his advice is also awfully impractical for someone who does not share his lifestyle. Despite his fame as a designer, in my opinion Rashid failed to translate his talent into a good book. It's a self help book with very few new things/perspectives for it to be worthy of more than 1 star. I also did not like he was talking about all these spheres of life since design is what he does and what he is known for. Lots of his advice is also awfully impractical for someone who does not share his lifestyle.

  20. 4 out of 5

    LINDA

    This was a fun book to read! Boldly colored pages with textare intermixed with pages with vaious graphics. This book is all about how you live your day to day life, and small things that you can do to make it better for yourself. After reading it, I am very inspired to organize my bedroom, and my workspace.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ghadeer Fikry

    the content was excpected from first page but i like his approach in analysing every aspect of ones life & it was so inspiring knowing how he struggled & been refused many times before being who he is now .it is so simple that it could be a small handbook rather than a big book .graphics are extraordinary vibrant colourful really reflects the content of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Aja

    This book helps me organize my life and think much clearer. Some people say it's overrated, I think it's awesome. Simple, to the point and an easy quick read. I think it may be time to read it again. This book helps me organize my life and think much clearer. Some people say it's overrated, I think it's awesome. Simple, to the point and an easy quick read. I think it may be time to read it again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sidra

    I really enjoyed the book, loved the vibrant design. All of the things that the writer highlights is true to my own philosophies in life. life is simple yet sometimes we make it so complicated. I can see this as a book I will read yearly to remember.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kai Tan

    He talks about how important it is to spell check, yet i found 2 spelling errors in his book... I've never seen any spelling mistakes in books before this one. Also, interesting theories, though I wonder how many of his own theories he actually follows. He talks about how important it is to spell check, yet i found 2 spelling errors in his book... I've never seen any spelling mistakes in books before this one. Also, interesting theories, though I wonder how many of his own theories he actually follows.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Awin Salim

    I'm not sort of fan of his designed 'pink is a new black'.As for me white might be a new black. However, I like his writing more which are highly positive in mind, all is well, bad is not so bad, dare to take risk etc. Modernist in principal like I wanna be! We're same Karim. I'm not sort of fan of his designed 'pink is a new black'.As for me white might be a new black. However, I like his writing more which are highly positive in mind, all is well, bad is not so bad, dare to take risk etc. Modernist in principal like I wanna be! We're same Karim.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    Simple, straight-forward. Rashid uses design theory to construct a minimalist life philosophy with the aim of optimizing or attaining efficiency, function, balance, and style in all areas.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    While I don't completely agree with everything in it, I enjoyed getting a different viewpoint on what's important and how to become the best version of yourself. While I don't completely agree with everything in it, I enjoyed getting a different viewpoint on what's important and how to become the best version of yourself.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alana Moore

    I don't always agree with Rashid about the best way to do things but I love the concept of designing your self and the structure of this book anyway. I don't always agree with Rashid about the best way to do things but I love the concept of designing your self and the structure of this book anyway.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Great and fresh insights about all aspects of a person's life. Great and fresh insights about all aspects of a person's life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tan Chin

    This book provides real good guidance on how to enjoy living by using the design philosophy.

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