Dreyfuss' "Designing for People" proved an inspiring collection of anecdotes and stories exemplifying the true functions of an industrial designer. Nostalgia combined with some sage-like advice, Dreyfuss reminds the designer of his or her role in the product development field. To paraphrase Dreyfuss: the industrial designer is a person who wears many hats; one who is part artist, engineer, businessman, researcher, politician, builder, and guinea pig. His assessment is accurate and proven, and his words of wisdom should be used as a guideline for all industrial designers in modern times.
That said, Dreyfuss does tend to come across very matter-of-factly at times, leaving little gray area in his black and white world. As a result Mr. Dreyfuss sides with the Bauhaus approach where form follows function-indeed, he often mentions the resulting form of a product as a side-note, if he mentions it at all. Whereas this may be an annoyance for some readers, the lessons you take away from his life experiences are truly informative and insightful.
As the amount of 3D design in product development grows, designers today are faced with the difficulty of "skin designing" verses thoughtful, foundation-based designing. If nothing else, this book should serve as inspiration for those of us in the field to design based on function and aesthetics-we have a duty and responsibility to client and society to base designs on research and thoughtfulness, not simply the known tools in a computer program. In any case, DFP should be on the required reading list for industrial design students to teach the history and guidelines of our profession. "Designing for People" serves as not only a reminder of the way it used to be, but it also inspires the designer to believe how it should be now.