This accessible handbook from design guru Rob Forbes uncovers the beauty in the commonplace and reveals how visual thinking can enrich our lives. In friendly text complemented by photographs taken on his travels around the world, Forbes explains how to appreciate the design elements that surround us in the built environment. Linking broad concepts such as composition and materiality to quotidian details such as the play of color in hanging laundry or the repeated forms in a row of ice cream scoops, Forbes reveals how an appreciation of the hues, patterns, and textures that surround us can enhance a life well lived. See for Yourself is essential reading to see more clearly, think more visually, and enjoy the world more deeply.
Designer Forbes, founder of the retail chain Design Within Reach, presents a guide to recognizing and appreciating beauty in all its everyday forms. He opens with photographs of seafood scraps in Panama and a bin full of nail polish in Seoul. "By paying closer attention to the man-made world, we become more insightful and more engaged, and we have a little more fun," he says. Forbes helps readers appreciate his perspective, offering a series of brief essays paired with photographs on applying concepts like form, contrast, and light and shadow to common settings and objects. The strength and character of angles are explored using photos of a door hinge and a slice of pizza. An array of house numbers in Charleston, S.C., and doorbells in Venice, Italy, illustrate the diversity of everyday objects. A collection of pocket watches appears next to groupings of keys and scissors, illuminating complexity of composition. The essays accompanying this cultivated kaleidoscope are equally impressive, as Forbes muses on cultural quirks ("red is a controlled substance in Brazil"), favorite places for finding inspiration (walkable cities and farmers' markets), and cultivating an eye for simplicity and unintended design, all of which help readers to see rather than look. This is an uplifting and engaging manifesto for mindfulness.