Design is not about making things "look pretty" — it’s about improving our lives. Who doesn’t want to sit in a comfier chair or drive a more ergonomic car?

For an intriguing glimpse into the minds of the people who have made good design their raison d’être, watch Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix.

Each of the episodes in this eight-part series is dedicated to a designer at the top of his or her field. There’s acclaimed illustrator Paula Scher, and Bjarke Ingels, the architect whose crazy, futurist structures include the 2 World Trade Centre building that’s in the pipeline for New York City. Other subjects include Ilse Crawford, the godmother of interior design, and footwear designer Tinker Hatfield.

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