Hello World

Hello World

Where Design Meets Life


Hello World is Alice Rawsthorn's definitive guide to design and modern life

Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. When deployed wisely, it can being us pleasure, choice, strength, decency and much more. But if its power is abused, the outcome can be wasteful, confusing, humiliating, even dangerous. None of us can avoid being affected by design, whether or not we wish to. It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing.

Hello World explores design's influence on our lives. Written by the renowned design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designed by the award-winning book designer Irma Boom, it describes how warlords, scientists, farmers, hackers, activists and designers have used design to different ends throughout history: from the macabre symbol invented by 18th century pirates to terrorise their victims into surrender, to one woman's quest for the best possible prosthetic legs and the evolution of the World Cup ball.

At a time when we face colossal changes, unprecedented in their speed, scale and intensity - from the deepening environmental crisis, to giant leaps in science and technology - Hello World explains how design can help us to make sense of them andto turn them to our advantage.

'Hello World is a new book by Alice Rawsthorn, the one and only, the best design critic in the entire world. She keeps the banner of design flying high. Irma Boom designed it, and Irma is simply the best book designer alive' Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Praise for Alice Rawsthorn's Yves Saint Laurent

'As gripping as a thriller, packed with plot, character and atmosphere' The Times

'Rawsthorn's excellent biography isn't merely a story about clothes, but of crises, comebacks and drug clinics, and as a document of the time it is compulsive' Evening Standard

'The best book I have ever read about the mesmerising cruelty of fashion' The Spectator

'Intelligent and pragmatic... this is a page-turner of a book' New Statesman

'What a story! A skilful interweaving of the artistic, business and emotional life of a great couture house' Mail on Sunday

Alice Rawsthorn is the design critic of the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of the New York Times. Her weekly Design column is syndicated worldwide. A trustee of Arts Council England and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, she is chair of trustees at the Chisenhale Gallery and the author of an acclaimed biography of Yves Saint Laurent.

About the author

Alice Rawsthorn

Alice Rawsthorn is the author of Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography and Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. A British Design critic, she writes for the International New York Times, and she is a regular contributor to Frieze magazine. she is Chair of Trustees at Chisenhale Gallery and the dance group Michael Clark Company, and a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery. She worked as an award-winning journalist for the Financial Times from 1985 to 2001 and was Director of the Design Museum in London from 2001 to 2006. She has sat on the jury of many cultural prizes, including the Turner Prize, the Sterling Prize for Architecture and the PEN History Book Prize.
She was awarded an OBE for services to design and the arts and she lives in London.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more