Patterns, tools, inspiration, theory
Universal Methods of Design
Martin, Hanington
Universal Principles of Design
Lidwell, Holden, Butler
Designing Interactions
Bill Moggeridge
Adam Greenfield
Designing and Engineering Time
Steven Seow Ph.D.
Designing with the Mind in Mind
Jeff Johnson
Graphic Design: The New Basics
Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips
IDEO Method Cards
Making and Breaking the Grid
Timothy Samara
Notes on the Synthesis of Form
Christopher Alexander
The First Six Books of the Elements of Euclid
Oliver Byrne
The Elements of Typographic Style
Robert Bringhurst
The Medium is the Massage
Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore
The Field Study Handbook
Jan Chipchase
Design with the Other 90%: Cities
Cynthia E. Smith
Design Like You Give a Damn
Kate Stohr,‎ Cameron Sinclair
Design Revolution
Emily Pilloton

Form and space

Architecture, sculpture, 3D graphics
Architecture: Form, Space, and Order
Francis D. K. Ching
Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice
Bailey, Mike
Conditional Design
Anthony di Mari
Operative Design
Anthony di Mari, Nora Yoo
Parametric Design for Architecture
Jabi, Wassim
Real Time Rendering
Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
François Blanciak
Digital Fabrications
Lisa Iwamoto
Design Drawing
Francis D. K. Ching


Bicycle for the mind
Concrete Mathematics
Graham, Knuth, Patashnik
Graphics Shaders: Theory and Practice
Bailey, Mike
Real Time Rendering
Tomas Akenine-Moller, Eric Haines
The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
Sussman, Abelson
Procedural Generation in Game Design
Tanya X. Short


Tools, processes, resources
Machinery's Handbook
Oberg, Erik & Jones, Franklin D.
Making It
Chris Lefteri
Pocket Ref
Thomas J. Glover


Fundamental needs: climate, energy, food security.
Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality
Pope Francis
Feeding the World
Vaclav Smil
Whole Earth Discipline
Stewart Brand
Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood


Startups, planning, theory
The Innovator's Dilemma
Clayton Christensen
The Innovator's Solution
Clayton Christensen
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital
Carlota Perez
The Entrepreneurial State
Mariana Mazzucato
The Art of the Long View
Peter Schwartz
Business Model Generation
Alexander Osterwalder,‎ Yves Pigneur
Lean UX
Jeff Gothelf, Shosh Seiden
Running Lean
Ash Murya


Understanding networked things
Signals and Boundaries
John Henry Holland
Designing an Internet
David D. Clark
The Moment of Complexity
Mark C. Taylor
Evolution in Four Dimensions
Eva Jablonka, Marion J. Lamb

Human systems

How did this all happen?
A Secular Age
Charles Taylor
Seeing Like a State
James C. Scott
The Origins of Political Order
Francis Fukuyama
Political Order and Political Decay
Francis Fukuyama
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Max Weber
Clash of Civilizations
‎Samuel P. Huntington
The Mystery of Capital
Hernando de Soto Polar

Tail risks

Global Catastrophic Risks
Nick Bostrum
Global Catastrophies and Trends
Vaclav Smil
Nick Bostrum


Philosophy, 1000ft views
Finite and Infinite Games
James Carse
The religious case against belief
James Carse

Ethics, meaning

The Periodic Table
Primo Levi
Survival in Auschwitz
Primo Levi
The Sunflower
Simon Wiesenthal
The Gulag Archipelago
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Story of My Experiments with Truth
Mahatma Gandhi
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor Frankl
The Courage to Be
Paul Tillich
On the Shortness of Life
The Enchiridion
To Have or to Be
Erich Fromm

Imagining better

Sci-fi, allegory, parable
A Canticle for Lebowitz
Walter M. Miller Jr.
Hard to Be a God
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Rainbows End
Vernor Vinge
Roadside Picnic
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
The Peripheral
William Gibson


Seamus Heaney
Denise Levertov, Collected Works
Denise Levertov
Shusaku Endo
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
Leaves of Grass (and other works)
Walt Whitman
Yoko Ono


Learning from others
Leonardo da Vinci
Walter Isaacson
Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Walter Isaacson
Three Worlds Gone Mad (The Hunter, The Hammer, and Heaven)
Robert Young Pelton


Books and tools in the backlog
Radical Markets
Eric Posner, Glen Weyl
The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
Richard W. Hamming
Seymour Papert
The Stack
Bejamin Bratton
Digital Humanitarians
Patrick Meier
A Thousand Plateaus
Deleuze, Guattari
Deep Learning
Ian Goodfellow, Yaoshua Bengio, Aaron Courville
Energy and Civilization
Vaclav Smil
Identity and Violence
Amartya Sen
Escape from Freedom
Erich Fromm
The World of Yesterday
Stefan Zweig
Our Posthuman Future
Francis Fukuyama
The Society of Mind
Marvin Minsky
The Hardware Startup
Renee DiResta
Art as Experience
John Dewey
Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation
Jencks, Charles, Silver, Nathan
The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing
M. Mitchell Waldrop