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Why We Make Things and Why It Matters

By Andrew Lovett-Barron
Published in Reading
May 09, 2021
1 min read

I read this book when I was failing at learning woodworking (before ultimately getting distracted by sewing). It’s a great memoir of a craftsperson who is self-reflective, legible in his work, and clearly knows himself.

While I wouldn’t call it a deep introspection on the philosophical side of making (books like Abstracting Craft or even A Place of My Own are better at that), it provides some great insight into how a career and life can evolve around a craft, to provide for the kind of “continuous design process” that often beguiles those outside of the practice. Most designers know that insight, awareness, ideas, and revelations come at the weirdest times — That’s because steeping one’s self in the repetition, consumption, and introspection of a craft creates that unique way of seeing.

This book did a good job of reflecting that in the writer’s own experience, and I’d say it’s a great “zoom-out” book if you’re a designer or craft person feeling a bit stuck.


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Andrew Lovett-Barron

Software Designer and Researcher

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