The bark of a plane tree in Paris, a detail of a cotton towel in Japan, sunset in the Egyptian desert, soil from Yosemite, a tiled floor in Bangkok, a wall in Ferrara, an iron cart wheel in Antwerp.... Colors, textures, forms, and shapes are the basis of this unique book that reveals the elements common to all design and literally teaches us how to see. Hauntingly beautiful and deeply instructive, it surveys the environment, natural and man-made, showing how it can be defined in terms of basic elements: variable arrangements of dots; lines that are straight, curving, bending, or crossing; planes such as rectangles, squares, lozenges, triangles, and circles. All these are represented, with telling juxtapositions, in a wide range of materials and techniques, in one sense timeless and universal, in another datable and culturally conditioned. Ever-recurring design elements, they take us to the heart of the creative process: a transformation that may involve inspiration or imitation, representation or interpretation. Destined to become a cult book for artists, designers, and craftspeople, this amazing volume is a reminder of how the search for something new is a voyage of rediscovery into past and present form. 177 color photographs.