The Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships, a book by Gail Greet Hannah
By Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, springtime-usa.com
Gail Greet Hannah’s Elements of Design is a book that outlines a set of lessons for understanding the structure of visual relationships and the life of it’s greatest teacher: Rowena Reed Kostellow. The series of exercises lead from the manipulation of simple forms to the creation of complex abstract threedimensional designs. This curriculum has become the foundation of most industrial design education programs, and also applies across the board to architecture, graphic design, and art. From the beginning and for over 50 years, Miss Reed taught three-dimensional design at Pratt. The main body of the book documents the four part design program (1. Foundation, 2. Advanced Studies in Form, 3. Studies in Space, 4. Development), describing and illustrating all the exercises with beautiful photographs of students’ best work from the ID Department archives. The book concludes with examples of the professional work of Miss Reed’s students that prove the effectiveness of the program.