Design history and design studies seem somewhat replete with Readers these days. Some of these offer little more than what can, these days, easily be accessed online in any case. Others run the risk of the dead hand of disciplinarity, solidifying canons of ‘must-read-before-anything-else-can-be-done’. Few, in this reviewer’s opinion, offer surprising conjunctions and arrangements of previously published work that push a field in new directions or, for that matter, suggest possible new disciplinary openings.

Clive Dilnot’s edition of A John Heskett Reader: Design, History, Economics is a curious anomaly to all of the above Reader categories. This is the first Reader in design history that is singularly arranged around the oeuvre of one of its pioneers. We are well beyond ‘heroes of design’ narratives. But neither are we being invited to...

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