Time to read: 1 min

This holiday I’m looking forward to digging into some of the books I’ve been meaning to read, but just haven’t found the time to read them. I’m sure my fellow engineers can relate!

My picks touch on some key design-thinking principles (yes — there’s value to understanding design principles as an engineer!) + 2 awesome engineering biographies and a visual exploration of classic products.. torn down, of course!

Here ya go:

1. The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman

A classic design-thinking read if you’re looking for a greater perspective on key product design principles to empower (and balance) engineering decisions.

2. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman

Another great work from Donald Norman — this one explores research around how emotion and cognition affect the attractiveness of different products and consumables. 

3. Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living, by Todd McLellan

I love teardowns! This book is a collection of photographs, depicting the inner workings of classic products, from an iPad, to a bicycle, to a grand piano.

4. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk is arguably one of the most extraordinary engineers of our time. This biography shares his story, following his rise to become a global technology thought leader and the challenges and lessons learned from building PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity.

5. Against the Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson, by James Dyson

James Dyson has invented some incredibly innovative consumer products — in this autobiography he shares the development story behind his most successful invention, the Dual Cyclone.

There you have it — happy reading and happy holidays!