Materials and Design book cover

Materials and Design

The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design

Materials are the stuff of design. From the very beginning of human history, materials have been taken from the natural world and shaped, modified, and adapted for everything from primitive tools to modern electronics. This renowned book by noted materials engineering author Mike Ashby and Industrial designer, Kara Johnson, explores the role of materials and materials processing in product design, with a particular emphasis on creating both desired aesthetics and functionality. The new edition will feature even more of the highly useful "materials profiles," that give critical design, processing, performance and applications criteria for each material in question. The reader will find information ranging from the generic and commercial names of each material, its physical and mechanical properties, its chemical properties, its common uses, how it is typically made and processed, and even its average price. And with improved photographs and drawings, the reader will be taken even more closely to the way real design is done by real designers, selecting the optimum materials for a successful product.


Published: October 2009

Imprint: Butterworth Heinemann

ISBN: 978-1-85617-497-8


  • From the first edition: 

    "Both interesting and intriguing, this book should prove a valuable resource for those starting out in design or is also fun to browse through." - Science Magazine, June 2003

    "It is not often that I find it difficult to stop reading a book ... the word inspirational is used in various parts of (this) book -- and how appropriate this word is to this textbook ... For both students and designers, Materials & Design is a gold mine. In short, I thoroughly recommend this book" - Building Engineer, May 2003


  • Function and Personality; What Influences Product Design; Design and Designing; The Stuff...Multidimensional Materials; Other Stuff...Shaping, Joining, and Surfaces; Form Follows Material; A Structure for Material Selection; Case Studies in Materials and Design; New Materials-the Potential for Innovation; Conclusions; PRACTICAL REFERENCES FOR INSPIRATION: Materials Profiles; Shaping Profiles; Joining Profiles; Surface Profiles; Exercises for the Eye and Mind; Selected Materials Maps


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