Top critical review
October 12, 2013
This book is engaging and employs subtle humour in the bio portion. Reading on, there are numerous practical exercises that help the student develop his eye, though not much by way of specific criteria for self-criticism. The content is clear and concise. The foundational theory of dominant - subdominant - subordinate is well done, though very brief.
The main flaw with this book is the paucity (absence?) of examples of excellent objects that were designed based on Kostellow's work. I say "excellent" because there are examples (an ugly car, an ordinary food processor, a pedestrian office chair, etc.) but, rather than vindicate Kostellow's teaching, they suggest that the emperor has no clothes. If that is the "best" that these ideas produce, one would better look elsewhere. That's likely untrue, but it's a reasonable conclusion from the examples. A generous serving of various specific examples of beautiful real world objects that show usable end products that embody the principles taught in each chapter would more effectively drive the points home. Other than that, a well written book that seems to advance sound principles. For me, I'm not sure it's a keeper.