Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes
Jane Thompson and Alexandra Lange
Chronicle Books, 2010
9.2 x 12.2 inches, 192 pages

Designed at Pentagram
under the direction of Michael Bierut

When Design Research (aka D/R) opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1953, it became an innovative model for retailing modern furnishings, housewares, toys and clothing. Over two decades in business, it expanded to several cities and earned itself a passionate following among modern design enthusiasts. D/R offered a curated yet eclectic range of wares from couches to candlesticks, and set itself apart in its uniquely layered, and often whimsical, approach to display.

The book, which celebrates the store’s legacy and its founder Ben Thompson, reflects the richness of the D/R experience, weaving together narrative texts with first-person reminiscences, archival photographs, and artifacts.

Design Research won the AIGA 50 books/50 covers award. According to a juror the book is “a delightfully organized history that keeps the aesthetic of the store contemporary without becoming nostalgic. A book all designers should have!”