It has been interesting talking to my friends in the design industry about this book, they all seem have an opinion about it. Some love it, some hate it - what I enjoy is their strong reactions to the work.
So much "design" these days is the work of lost designers, mindlessly chasing their versions of "the iMac" or the "OXO Good grip" or the "Audi T.T." . Rashid is one of those few designers that manage to transcend the constant bleating by "clients" to provide designs that "stimulate consumer demand" and "lower production costs".
Visionary, experimental design is what Rashid's work is all about. To me, his work is about the re-interpretation of the consumer ethic in line with the emerging cultural and psychological effects of globalization. It IS still about the perpetuation of the system of consumption, but his objects are somehow transformed phenomenologically and semiotically, their referent being the culture of "now".
Critics like to disparage Rashid's work for being derivative and flashy - what IS interesting is his commitment to designing objects that everyone can afford
The book is crammed full of pictures detailing numerous projects over the last 10 or so years. Much of this work is extraordinary, especially the inclusion of some of the designer's original sketches, which give interesting glimpses in to the process of creation. The essays by Rashid and an diverse collection of associates makes for further insight into how highly regarded this artist/ designer is in the creative industries. Buy this book if you are interested in the state of contemporary consumer culture. Don't buy this book if you are a designer working in a cubical of a giant multinational consumer products company, you'll only feel depressed and unappreciated and trapped in a beige nightmare....