Materials and Design

Materials and Design

The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design

1st Edition - October 8, 2002

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  • Authors: Michael Ashby, Kara Johnson
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080468655

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The history of man is recorded, recovered and remembered through the designs he created and the materials he used. Materials are the stuff of design, and today is not the age of just one material, but of an immense range.Best selling author M. F. Ashby guides the reader through the process of selecting materials on the basis of their design suitability. He and co-author Kara Johnson begin with the assumption that products in a given market sector have little to distinguish between them in either performance or cost. When many technically near-equivalent products compete, market share is won or lost by the industrial design of a product: its visual and tactile attributes, the associations it carries, the image it creates in the consumer's mind and the quality of its interface with the use and the environment.Ashby and Johnson address the problem of selecting materials for industrial design from a unique viewpoint. They acknowledge that materials have two overlapping roles, in technical design and in industrial design. The technical designer has ready access to materials information. Industrial designers often do not have equivalent support. Materials Selection in Industrial Design presents groundbreaking new information that, on one hand introduces engineering students to the principles of Industrial Design and to the idea that the selection of materials can directly affect the aesthetic qualities of the object. On the other hand they introduce industrial design students and practising industrial designers to engineering parameters through an accessible and holistic approach.

Key Features

* Easy to use systematic approach to the selection and uses of materials

* Many excellent attribute "maps" are included which enable complex comparative information to be readily grasped

* Full colour photographs and illustrations throughout aid the understanding of concepts


Undergraduate and recent graduate students in Industrial and Product Design, Materials Science and Engineering, as well as professors and curriculum development specialists in these areas. Materials Engineers held about 33,000 jobs last year. Because materials are building blocks for other goods, materials engineers are widely distributed among manufacturing industries.

Table of Contents

  • CONTENTS: Materials and Design: PART A: Driving Forces in Design; The Design Process; The Role of Industrial Design; Materials and Product Form; The Mind of the Designer; Organising Information for Design; Materials and Material Attributes; Processes and Process Attributes: Perceived Attributes of Materials; Materials and Product Interface; Materials and the Environment; Information Systems for Design; Material Selection and Inspiration; Case Studies; New Materials in Design: PART B: Material Profiles; Process Profiles; Colour Profiles; Design Styles: APPENDIX: Cluster Analysis; Aesthetic Attributes of Materials; the Analytical Approach to Selection; MAD Software; Problems and Exercises.

Product details

  • No. of pages: 352
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2002
  • Published: October 8, 2002
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080468655

About the Authors

Michael Ashby

Michael Ashby
Mike Ashby is one of the world’s foremost authorities on materials selection. He is sole or lead author of several of Elsevier’s top selling engineering textbooks, including Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Materials Selection in Mechanical Design, Materials and the Environment, Materials and Sustainable Development, and Materials: Engineering, Science, Processing and Design. He is also co-author of the books Engineering Materials 1&2, and Nanomaterials, Nanotechnologies and Design.

Affiliations and Expertise

Royal Society Research Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge, and Former Visiting Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art, London, UK

Kara Johnson

Since publishing the first edition of Materials and Design in 2002, Kara Johnson has worked at IDEO, a global design firm and strategic consultancy. Kara leads their efforts in Materials, with a focus on Manufacturing. Her work is primarily about linking a company’s brand and business strategies with the products they make.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director of Materials, IDEO - Global Innovation and Design Firm

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