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Required Reading

There’s a convention in academia that reading lists are broken down into two categories: Required Reading and Recommended Reading.

Of course, I’d prefer my students to read everything I recommend, but sadly in these attention span atrophied times – where it seems that even 140 characters is too much of a strain – the distinction between ‘Required’ and ‘Recommended’ proves useful. Required is inescapable.

We all, I hope, have ambition to grow creatively as individuals, and to do so, a little hard work is required. Put in the work, however, and your return on investment, I guarantee you, will be immeasurable. All that new knowledge pays off.

If you’re a creative (and, really, who isn’t?) I hope you’ll find some value in this list. The following books, though loosely categorised, focus on core principles that will, I believe, serve any self-respecting creative well, forming the backbone of a comprehensive library.

As a regular conference speaker, I’ve organised the books in two ways: firstly, by books that informed my recent presentations at conferences; and secondly, by books that I may not have mentioned at conferences, but still merit reading.

Books Recommended in Recent Talks

Whenever I speak at a conference, I endeavour to inform my thinking by weaving together some reading that I undertake beforehand. I recommend three books, which have underpinned my thinking, for every talk.

I recommended the following books at each of the events below. All books link to Amazon UK and – in the interests of full disclosure – are affiliate links. If you buy the books, you can help support my work, which I very much appreciate.

###Into the Unknown

DotYork · York, 2016

###Time and Creativity

beyond tellerrand · Düsseldorf, 2016

###Made to Measure Education

Glug · Leeds, 2016

Other books I recommended at previous talks will follow, when I find a moment to add them. Meanwhile, you may also enjoy the following…

Books you owe it to yourself to own (and read).

The following books merit reading and will, I believe, help to improve your thinking.

In each category I’ve ordered the books according to my personal preference, reflecting their usefulness to me. It’s always a challenge to introduce an order when you believe every book has value. It goes without saying that, if money were no object, I’d honestly recommend buying them all (or at least a couple from each list).

###Developing Self-Awareness

###Idea Generation and Innovation

###Design Theory

###Design Principles





Books I’d recommend highly, all in one – organised – place.



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