The bark of a plane tree in Paris; a detail of a cotton towel in Japan; sunset in the Egyptian desert; soil in the Yosemite National Park, California; a tiled floor in Bangkok; a wall in Ferrara; an iron cart wheel in Antwerp...colours, textures, forms and shapes are the basis of this unique sourcebook that reveals the elements common to all design and literally teaches us how to see. Hauntingly beautiful and deeply instructive, it surveys our whole environment, natural and manmade, and shows us 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 in this book, 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 creative transformation that may involve inspiration or imitation, representation or limitation. Destined to become a cult book for artists, designers and craftspeople of all kinds, as well as being an important educational tool, this amazing volume is a startling reminder of how the search for something new is a voyage of rediscovery into past and present forms.