After tossing ideas around related to this being the "first" exhibit, (i.e. design "firsts," manifestos, landmark movements, innovators, etc.) we decided to follow John Cage's advice – "begin anywhere." We interpreted Cage's words broadly when it came to curating this inaugural collection of books. We included design books that inspire us, or help us to get started (Karel Martens' Printed Matter / Drukwerk, the legendary work of Push Pin Studios, Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet); thinkers whose visionary scholarship changed how we regard the role of design today (Roland Barthes' Image Music Text, Buckminster Fuller's Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Marshall McLuhan's The Medium is the Massage); and visual experimenters of all kinds (John Maeda, Wassily Kandinsky, Archigram). We sought to represent seminal figures from a variety of fields, such as music (John Cage), fine art (Marcel Duchamp), literature (Italo Calvino) and modern science (Charles Darwin). We also chose 'tools' for beginning, such as Joseph Albers' Interaction of Color, Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies, IDEO's Method Cards and the ultimate tool book for a previous generation of creators/dreamers, Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog.

In keeping with John Cage's philosophies, some more recent publications such as Will Holder's F.R. David, Dexter Sinister's Dot Dot Dot and Metahaven's Uncorporate Identity represent attempts to reevaluate the modes of production within design and ultimately suggest "new beginnings."

We hope this collection of books inspires creativity and discussion for the students who share it. This is just the beginning. EX LIBRIS Committee #1 AD, JE, DG, LM, FP, MR, GS, LS