Product Guide, photographed for Architect Magazine, 21 January 2011.

Credit: Mike Morgan

Despite the name, the Design Museum in London’s How to Design series isn’t for DIY enthusiasts. How to Design a Light traces traces lighting evolution from Italian rationalism through the rise of the LED. How to Design a Chair includes an in-depth study of Konstantin Grcic’s Myto chair as it moves from principle to production. The series extends to guides on houses and typefaces, which won’t prepare a reader to design either. But taken together, the four How to Design books offer a solid foundation for appreciating the accomplishments of established designers. • $20 each; Conran Octopus, November 2010