The name Hans J. Wegner (1914–2007) is inseparable from his unrivalled chairs, which helped Danish design to achieve its international breakthrough. Every design fan has his or her favorite from among Wegner’s approximately five hundred creations. Today, there is a hardly a glossy interior design magazine that does not include an illustration of the elegant China Chair (1943) or the Y Chair (1950), and even John F. Kennedy sat on his Round Chair, which is now simply called The Chair (1949). Trained as a furniture maker, Wegner usually made his prototypes himself by hand, using traditional joinery techniques such as tongue-and-groove or finger joints. In the process he pushed the limitations of wood, giving his designs an unmatched elegance. His sense of humor did not fall by the wayside, either, as evidenced by his splendid Peacock Chair (1947) or the masculine Ox Chair (1960), that latter of which is available with or without horns.
Just One Good Chair, Hans J. Wegner, Texts by Christian Holmsted Olesen, Graphic Design by Rasmus Koch, Format: 25.60 x 32.60 cm, 256 pp., 300 ills., English, 2014. ISBN 978-3-7757-3809-5, Published by Hatje Cantz
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The retro-futuristic epoch is one of the most visually spectacular in architecture’s history. The utopian buildings of the 1960s and 1970s never go out of style. This book compiles radical ideas, rediscovered photos, and visionary structures.
Driven by idealistic visions, utopian architecture aimed to overcome social divisions and political strife, to put us in touch with nature, and to enable us to live humane, healthy lives. For half a century, it was both hope and inspiration.
The Tale of Tomorrow surveys this diverse twentieth century phenomenon, featuring renowned works like The House of the Century or the TWA terminal, as well as lesser-known masterpieces, and profiling major thinkers such as Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, and Eero Saarinen. By digging through archives, corresponding with descendants of departed architects, and restoring photographs, the collection of utopian approaches herein maintains a visual power and infectious optimism.
Looking at past dreams, The Tale of Tomorrow is a call to reclaim our future.
The Tale Of Tomorrow, Format: 24.5 × 33 cm, 400 pages, full color, hardcover, English, ISBN: 978-3-89955-570-7, Published by Gestalten, Buy it here: Amazon
A complete monograph on the work of the influential British-born, Milan-based furniture and product designer James Irvine (1958–2013). James Irvine is an intimate look into the work and life of a design legend. Previously unpublished drawings, sketches, models and images from Irvine’s archives and personal anecdotes and texts from the designers who worked directly with him, including Jasper Morrison, Marc Newson, Konstantin Grcic and Naoto Fukasawa, reveal Irvine’s passions, interests and idiosyncracies like never before.
Ever since Henry David Thoreau’s described his two years, two months, and two days of cabin existence at Walden Pond, Massachusetts in Walden, or, Life in the Woods (1854), the idea of a refuge dwelling has seduced the modern psyche. In the past decade, as our material existence and environmental footprint has grown exponentially, architects around the globe have become particularly interested in the possibilities of the minimal, low-impact, and isolated abode.
This new TASCHEN title, combining insightful text, rich photography and bright, contemporary illustrations by Marie-Laure Cruschi, explores how this particular architectural type presents special opportunities for creative thinking. In eschewing excess, the cabin limits actual spatial intrusion to the bare essentials of living requirements, while in responding to its typically rustic setting, it foregrounds eco-friendly solutions. As such, the cabin comes to showcase some of the most inventive and forward-looking practice of contemporary architecture, with Renzo Piano, Terunobu Fujimori, Tom Kundig and many fresh young professionals all embracing such distilled sanctuary spaces.
Cabins by Philip Jodidio, lllustrations by Marie-Laure Cruschi, Hardcover, 24.2 x 31.7 cm, 464 pages, Published by TASCHEN
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The Brutalism project is a collaboration with Black Dragon press about Brutalism architecture in London. Three A2 poster, 5 colors screen print, edition of 100, signed. Eight A4 pages concertina litho booklet on 350gsm paper. With words by Michael Abrahamson architect and creator of Fuck Yeah Brutalism.
Brutalism, by Thomas Danthony & Michael Abrahamson
There will never be enough tribute to the immense talent of the French designer Pierre Paulin. This beautiful book of major works highlight the paradoxical and complex as well as the hair-raising concern for human creativity. Before becoming a cult designer Pierre Paulin (1927-2009) was a decorator located in the rue de Seine in Paris as attested by the stamp on the preparatory drawings of the chair Stuhl. An autodidact rebel, an unusual character, skinned alive, an outsider criticizing the caste of right-thinking design, he was primarily a pioneer and a visionary who experimented bold forms and new technologies coming out of the postwar boom. Mushroom (1959) Tranche d’orange (1959), Ribbon Chair (1966), Face à Face (1967), La Langue (1963) and Concorde (1966) … etc. Absolute icons, dressed in foam and stretched fabric, reveal a demanding formal economy and aesthetic quest. Innovative and anticipatory of these furniture collections, edited by Thonet France, Roche, Artifort, Herman Miller and now Roset, suggest sculptures that combine gesture and landscape, purification and pleasure, functionality and elegance. “I do not create. I design. I draw,” stated vehemently that prolific creator who refused dilution of design in art. In subliminal connivance with the times and its aspirations to happiness, the designer was able to shape a changing world where the body adopts new postures. “Creations by Pierre Paulin confront us as authoritative in their own right, achievements that demonstrate the power of a company and what it produces,” says author and art critic Nadine Down. Philippe Starck and the Bouroullec brothers admire a singularity that combines comfort and style. And judging by the many avatars inspired by his aesthetic, they are not the only ones to recognize the intelligent model of the hand and the mind.
Pierre Paulin. L’homme et l’œuvre, by Nadine Descendre, Published by Albin Michel, Language: French, EAN 9782226250575
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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the twentieth century’s most influential architects. His most well-known projects include the Barcelona Pavilion in Spain (1929); the Seagram Building in New York (1954-56); the Farnsworth House (1945-50), 860 and 880 Lakeshore Drive (1945-51) and the IIT Campus (1939-58), all in and around Chicago, and the New National Gallery in Berlin (1962-68). These are only a few of Mies’s pavilions, houses, skyscrapers and campuses, which all epitomized a radically new structural and spatial clarity.
The purity of his Mies’s architecture is almost surprising in light the diversity of his interests. An auto-didact, Mies studied philosophy and science as well as design. Author Detlef Mertins, spent over ten years researching and writing this comprehensive monograph. In addition to traveling to see the buildings and reading nearly everything written by and about Mies, Mertins also conducted a detailed study of the architectural, philosophical and scientific literature in Mies’s own library. The result is a lucid text that not only gives the reader detailed insight into all of Mies’s work, but which also explores the variety of ideas that influenced this exceptional figure. The scholarship is rigorous, but the accessible writing and the highly visual, project-by-project presentation also invites those readers who possess an interest in the topic, but who lack detailed knowledge in it.
Arranged in chronological order, the book’s five sections and its conclusion offer a synthetic portrait of Mies’s career and reception, spanning sixty years, two continents and two world wars. The text tells a continuous story, however, most chapters focus on a significant work (the Seagram building or the IIT campus), allowing for an in-depth presentation of photographs and drawings; other chapters focus on a specific event in Mies’s life (such Mies’s time as the head of the Bauhaus).
All the important buildings are presented through photographs, drawings and diagrams, showing the innovative structures, fine details and material richness that distinguish Mies’s work. In addition, many pieces of art and architecture that influenced Mies are also illustrated as well as being discussed in the text.
In his never-ending quest to capture the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote has been a faithful customer of the Acme Company, whose products-Spherical Bombs, Rocket Skates, Spring-Powered Shoes-invariably fail him at the worst possible time. Pentagram’s Daniel Weil has reimagined designs for five of these gadgets, rendered as a series of highly detailed technical diagrams. The drawings were inspired by Ian Frazier’s classic humor essay Coyote v. Acme and accompany a republishing of the article for Pentagram’s annual holiday card.
Originally published in The New Yorker, Coyote v. Acme presents the opening statements of an imaginary lawsuit by Coyote against Acme for his personal injuries caused by the faulty devices, citing 85 occasions in which they “did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling.” Our holiday greeting reprints Frazier’s essay as a mini legal brief with Weil’s drawings presented as supporting evidence. Weil carefully considered the design of each cartoon product, making sure the contraptions would functionally work.
So who is at fault, Coyote or Acme? Even when pressing his case, Coyote can’t seem to cut a break. Weil’s designs for the gadgets undermine Coyote’s legal claims with special safety features like “screw-in detonator” for the Spherical Bomb and a “weighted armor jacket” to be worn with the Rocket Skates. The look of the diagrams is inspired by the photo-realistic illustrations of the McMaster-Carr hardware catalog. But Wile E. skims over the fine print. As Weil tells Wired Design in a post about the project, “The Coyote, like most males, never reads the instructions.”
Pentagram Project Team, Product design: Daniel Weil, partner-in-charge and designer. Illustrations by Simon Denzel. Book design: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jesse Reed, designer. Coyote v. Acme © Ian Frazier. First published in The New Yorker, February 26, 1990.
Coyote v. Acme, by Pentagram
How do you achieve greater creativity at the world’s best restaurant?
René Redzepi committed to writing a journal for an entire year to reflect on this question and the result is A Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots. Three books in one, a journal, recipe book and flick book, A Work in Progress recounts the day-to-day life at Noma – from the trials of developing new dishes to the successes that come with winning the 50 Best Restaurant award. While the journal is the book’s heart, it is supported by the recipe book containing 100 brand new recipes and the flick book of 200 candid images which provide a stunning, and often humorous, insight into the inner workings of the restaurant and its talented team of chefs. Reflective, insightful and compelling, René interweaves observations on creativity, collaboration and ambition making A Work in Progress of interest to food lovers and general readers alike.
René Redzepi: A Work in Progress, Journal, Recipes and Snapshots, Hardback & Paperback, 220 x 267 mm (11 x 9 1/8 in), 648 pp, 300 colour illustrations ISBN: 9780714866918, Published by Phaidon
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Oki Sato founded nendo in Tokyo in 2002. Since then, it has become one of the most sought-after design studios worldwide. The name nendo is Japanese for modeling clay. It is indicative of the studio’s playful, yet rational approach. Nendo: 10/10 is a comprehensive monograph of the studio’s work. Each of the book’s ten chapters showcases one of nendo’s design principles. Chapters explore, for example, nendo’s compelling approach to multiplying, linking, concealing, balancing, magnifying, and folding. Featured projects include vibrant store concepts and mystically inspired exhibition spaces as well as sculptural furniture pieces, home accessories, and design objects. Nendo’s impressively clear, yet intriguingly sophisticated work not only represents the epitome of contemporary design from Japan, but also sets the tone for design’s future on the global scene.
Nendo, Format: 24,5 x 33 cm, 320 pages, full color, hardcover, English, ISBN: 978-3-89955-470-0, Published by Gestalten
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