Mind the Gap

Published on: March 12th, 2012

I first heard the expression “mind the gap” on the London Underground.  I thought it so much more considerate than “don’t fall in between the trains.”  In the same spirit of consideration, we offer the following titles as a way of filling some of the gaps that are inevitable in anyone’s design education, given how vast the territory it embraces.  In addition to disciplinary surveys, you’ll also find some critical and historical anthologies in this very condensed compendium. Consider these references as part of the essential underpinnings of design studies.  But only part!  There’s much more to come as you will see in future posts.

See all 10…

Graphic Design

Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide

Drucker, Johanna and Emily McVarish (2008) Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide. New York: Prentice Hall.

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design

Meggs, Philip and Alston Purvis (2011) Meggs’ History of Graphic Design. Hoboken: Wiley.

Product Design

By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons

Caplan, Ralph (1984) By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons. New York: McGraw Hill.

Design in the USA

Meikle, Jeffrey (2005) Design in the USA (Oxford History of Art). New York: Oxford.

The Industrial Design Reader

Gorman, Carma (2003) The Industrial Design Reader. New York: Allworth Press.



Fazio, Michael, Marian Moffett, and Lawrence Wodehouse (2008)A World History of Architecture. New York: McGraw Hill Professional.


Kostof, Spiro (1993) The City Shaped. New York: Bulfinch Press.

Gandelsonas, Mario (2002) Shanghai Reflections: Architecture, Urbanism, and the Search for an Alternative Modernity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Social systems design

Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive

Atkinson, Paul, Michael Avital, Bruce Mau, Renny Ramakers, Carolien Hummels (2011) Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive. Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.

Interaction design

Designing Interactions

Moggridge, Bill (2007) Designing Interactions. Cambridge: MIT.



Program Contact

Caroline Dionne, Program Director

Program Update

Parsons is not currently admitting new students to this master’s degree program. Parsons is now offering a Graduate Minor in Design Studies that is designed to complement the MA History of Design and Curatorial Studies and other graduate programs across the university in design, liberal arts, and social research.