📚 Books that will change your life in 2021

2020. What a year it has been. In all uncertainty and constant change of facts we sought solace in the stillest of places. Between the pages of books, where the ink lies permanent and images don't fade, there were stories and ideas that took us on journeys through time and space. Much-needed time-travel machines providing endurance through a time of continuous reflection and stress-eating. 

As much as I would like to believe that these days are behind us (for me personally they weren't as bad but I'm ready to move on), I think that's hardly the case at least for now. Moving into 2021 in bubbles (fizzy or social), we might as well make use of the time we have to expand our inner cosmos while the actual one goes to shit. 

Besides, when the present and future are fucked, what else is there to do other than look back for answers? I found some interesting ones in the books below and I think that you should read them too sometime this year. Maybe under your duvet with a cup of tea or even better during a really hectic morning commute to work while the guy next to you devouring McDonald's fries for breakfast is poking you with his elbow and PPE is an acronym which you can't really recall what it stands for. 

I really hope it's gonna be the latter. 

01. Ways of Seeing by John Berger (1972)

It's one thing to be looking and a different one to be seeing...
John Berger will make sure those two concepts align. 
Just make sure you don't skip reading the cover. 

02. The Language of Cities (2016)


By the time you will be able to walk the streets of your city again 
Deyan Sudjic's The Language of Cities will make sure you comprehend what goes into
weaving its architectural and social grid. In short, what makes your city, yours. 
I never saw London or any other place I visited in the same eye since reading this one.
A true gem.

03. The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (1906)


With so much tea you are having you might as well... joking aside this book 
will teach you how to take unlimited joy from everyday rituals such as drinking tea 
or exfoliating for the 15th time. It is the art of enjoying the simple things 
and a life-saviour for all things lockdown.

04. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (2017)

It takes everyone to change everything but we have to educate ourselves first.
Black Lives Matter, the movement that managed to overshadow a pandemic
is a race for equality that we all need to run in. Warm yourself up by reading this one.

05. The Politics of Design by Ruben Pater (2018)

Why limit this book to a design audience? Everyone should benefit from learning
how this increasingly democratised field (people design their stories and posts
everyday now) has an effect on the world as we know it. Why is the world map designed
with Europe at its centre and why is the default colour of plasters a light skin tone?
This comprehensive book will introduce you to how design can affect change
and hopefully how your stories should be more considerate.

Further reading for fellow designers...

1. What is a designer? by Norman Potter (1969)
2. Design as Art by Bruno Munari (1966)
3. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin (1936)
4. Ways of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist (2014)

*all dates correspond to the First Published dates