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Norman Potter

Norman Potter (1923–95) was an English cabinetmaker, designer, poet, and teacher. In the Second World War, and immediately afterwards, he acquired the skills of cabinetmaking; his life-long anarchist beliefs were also developed then. Through the 1950s he ran a workshop in Wiltshire, and began to work also as an ‘interior designer’ (a term he refused). In the 1960s he became a teacher, first at the Royal College of Art in London, then at the Construction School of the West of England College of Art, Bristol. After the first publication of What is a designer, he gave his energies increasingly to writing. His book Models & Constructs (1990) documented and reflected on his life & work.

Books

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Models & Constructs: margin notes to a design culture

Norman Potter

The author was a ‘maker’ – in words as well as in materials – and, now that he is dead, this book must be his testament. It is an account of his life and work, assembling particular events and their material outcomes within a large vision of life. It is the work of a believer in material and existential presence, in form, in continuity, in change.

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What is a designer: things, places, messages

Norman Potter

This long-established title shows powers of self-renewal, as new young readers find in it a stimulus to thought and action unavailable from more showy, duller items. An urgent book, it combines high-flown generalities with often striking specificity of reference. It addresses especially students at further education level in every design discipline, including architecture.

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