The author aims to transform the way we think about design by showing how integral it is to our daily lives, from the spoon we use to eat our breakfast cereal to the medical equipment used to save lives. Design, he says, combines both need and desire in the form of a practical object that can also reflect the user's identity and aspirations through its form and decoration. This concise guide to contemporary design goes beyond style and taste to look at how different cultures and individuals personalize objects. Heskett also reveals how simple objects, such as a toothpick, can have their design modified to suit the specific cultural behaviour in different countries. The book offers insights into how major companies such as Nokia, Ford and Sony approach design. Finally, readers are shown a vision of what design can offer in the future and especially in its role in humanizing new technology.