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Books: Alexander Girard by Oldham & Coffee

Renowned designer Todd Oldham and writer Kiera Coffee have created this massive monograph on seminal designer Alexander Girard as the ultimate tribute to this design icon.

This 672-page book covers virtually every aspect of Girard’s distinctive career. As one of the most prolific and versatile mid-20th century designers, Girard’s work spanned many disciplines, including textile design, graphic design, typography, illustration, furniture design, interior design, product design, exhibit design, and architecture. Exhaustively researched and lovingly assembled by designer Todd Oldham, this tome is the definitive must-have book on Girard’s oeuvre.

Girard’s repertoire includes an incredible list of projects, including his bold, colorful, and iconic textile designs for Herman Miller (1952- 1975), his typographic designs for La Fonda del Sol restaurant (1960), his celebrated retail store Textiles and Objects (1961), his own Girard Foundation (1962) that houses his own extensive, personal collection of folk art from around the world, and his complete branding and environmental design for Braniff International Airways (1965).

Alexander Girard, by Todd Oldham & Kiera Coffee, Published by Ammo Books, ISBN: 9781934429846, 16 x 12 inches, 672 pages.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Apple Design

Apple is clearly one of the most influential design, manufacturing and software companies of our era. The forthcoming book is a comprehensive survey of the company’s products to date. The book is also a catalog for a new exhibition Stylectrical: On Electro-Design That Makes History, which examines “the complex process of industrial design in the context of cultural studies.”

Featuring over two hundred examples of designs, this publication focuses on Jonathan Ive (*1967 in London), Senior Vice President of Industrial Design for Apple, who since 1997 has been responsible for the design of all of the company’s products. Over the past decade, Ive and his team of designers wrote electronics design history with their standard-setting iMacs, iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Their user-friendly, distinct, and elegant design has made a significant contribution to the brand’s cult status.

This volume compares various approaches to design and casts light on numerous aspects of design history, deepening one’s understanding of contemporary industrial design. Following an analysis of the forms and functions of the featured products, the book provides an explanation of the innovative production methods and materials applied. Last but not least, it points out Apple design’s noticeable references to the simplified forms of the products manufactured by the successful German brand Braun, and lists the Ten Rules for Good Design promulgated by the company’s chief designer, Dieter Rams.

Exhibition: Stylectrical: On Electro-Design That Makes History, at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, (Museum for Arts and Crafts) Hamburg, August 26 – January 15, iPhone app

Apple Design, Edited by Sabine Schulze, Ina Grätz, foreword by Sabine Schulze, texts by Friedrich von Borries, Bernhard Bürdek, Ina Grätz, Harald Klinke, Bernd Polster, Henry Urbach, Thomas Wagner, Peter Zec, graphic design by Jung von Matt, 2011. 320 pp., 542 color ills., 25.80 x 30.70 cm, ISBN 9783775730105, Published by Hatje Cantz

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Folding Techniques for Designers: From Sheet to Form

Many designers use folding techniques in their work to make three-dimensional forms from two-dimensional sheets of fabric, cardboard, plastic, metal and many other materials. This unique book explains the key techniques of folding, such as pleated surfaces, curved folding and crumpling. An elegant, practical handbook, it covers over 70 techniques explained by clear step-by-step drawings, crease pattern drawings, and specially commissioned photography. The book is accompanied by a CD containing all the crease pattern drawings.

Paul Jackson has been a professional paper folder and paper artist since 1982 and is the author of 30 books on paper arts and crafts. He has taught the techniques of folding on more than 150 university-level design courses in the UK, Germany, Belgium, the US, Canada and Israel. These include courses in Architecture, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Textile Design, Jewellery, Product Design, Packaging, Ceramics, Industrial Design, Fine Art, Basic Design and Interior Design. He has also taught many workshops in museums, arts centres and festivals and has worked as ‘folding consultant’ for companies such as Nike and Siemens.

Folding Techniques for Designers: From Sheet to Form, by Paul Jackson, Paperback with CD-ROM, 575 illustrations, 224 pages, 220 x 220 mm, ISBN: 9781856697217
Buy it here: Amazon

Gridbooks by Sajak & Farki

Our good friends at Sajak & Farki have just launched Gridbooks, notebooks designed specifically for digital designers. The books feature a 15-point dot grid that can be divided into two, three, four, five or six columns, and a series of online advertising templates (leaderboard, skyscraper and big box) that aid in storyboarding digital campaigns. The notebooks also feature a notes section that includes space for tasks and note-taking. The books themselves are printed on Neenah Environment paper. The interior pages are made from 100% recycled materials. The covers are printed on black paper, and French-folded for strength.

Downloadable digital companion files are available for Adobe Photoshop® and Illustrator®. These pre-masked files allow art directors and creative directors to sketch ideas, scan them and drop them into the digital files for easy presentation and sharing. The notebooks are bound with raw steel double coils and are reversible, so left-handed sketchers can flip the book over and avoid drawing over the coil.

Gridbooks are the finest notebooks available for digital designers. They are designed and printed in Canada using recycled paper from sustainable sources.

Gridbooks, by Sajak & Farki

Books: A Taxonomy of Office Chairs by Jonathan Olivares

With its humble orgins, the office chair has evolved through the centuries mainly through constant technical innovation, which in turn has influenced their design. Design consultant Jonathan Olivares has taken an approach using a scientific methodology to classify and document 142 office chairs by their distinguishing features.

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs is an exhaustive visual and technical history of the office chair, from the beginning of the 1840s — a period that saw the origins of modern business management to the present. Over this time frame we selected the most innovative office chairs from the thousands that have been designed and manufactured. This rigorous selection process was been underpinned by only one rule: only chairs that have introduced an least one novel feature have been included.

The project was motivated by the unnerving fact that our society cherishes, studies and documents the the natural world, yet we keep little track of the products that make up our predominant reality. To piece together and coherently map this vast technical history we interviewed dozens of designers, manufacturer employees, and design museum curators, sifted through archival manufacturer catalogues, and consulted with biologists to create a method for taxonomizing a man-made object.

Each chair is illustrated, each innovation is explained in a short text, and the details of the designers and manufacturers are provided. In addition, the book includes over 400 technical drawings of individual components, organized into chapters that map their evolution. Few man-made objects have ever been studied in such detail, and the taxonomical approach provides an objective analysis of design history. The book will serve as a detailed encyclopedic and professionally researched tool for anyone studying, commissioning, buying or designing an office chair.

A Taxonomy of Office Chairs, by Jonathan Olivares, Designed and Edited by Nathan Antolik, Published by Phaidon Press, 2011, Hardback, 220 x 160 mm, 8 5/8 x 6 1/4 in, 240 pp, 1000 colour illustrations, ISBN: 9780714861036
Buy it here: Phaidon or Amazon

Books: Andreas Christen

Swiss Industrial designer Andreas Christen, (1936 – 2006) who once worked as a designer for Knoll International, is best known for his minimal art works. This hardcover book surveys his life and art.

Andreas Christen, by Margit Weinberg-Staber, Hardcover: 127 pages, 9.6 x 7 x 0.8 inches, Published by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg (2008), ISBN: 9783868280289
Buy it here: Amazon

The Story of Eames Furniture Video on Gestalten TV

From The Story of Eames Furniture, Copyright Gestalten 2010

From The Story of Eames Furniture, Copyright Gestalten 2010

© 2010 Eames Office LLC, from the Collections of the Library of Congress

Gestalten.tv presents an exclusive video interview with Marilyn Neuhart, author of The Story of Eames Furniture, and her husband John. Both have worked with the Eames Office in various capacities from the 1950s. Having been in close proximity to Charles and Ray Eames as well as the members of the Eames Office and their patron manufacturers for almost 30 years, the Neuharts had the extraordinary opportunity to absorb their stories. At their Los Angeles home, they tell the tale of working with Charles Eames in Gestalten.tv’s latest look behind the Eames.

“This book has been put together with almost the same attention to detail as a piece of Eames furniture!”
- Jasper Morrison

Source: Gestalten.tv

The Story of Eames Furniture by Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart
Published by Gestalten, Format: 25.5 x 29.2 cm, Features: 800 pages, full color, hardcover,
2 volumes in slipcase, ISBN: 9783899552300
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: The Story of Eames Furniture

From a small workshop in Venice, California, the Eames Office designed and developed some of the most iconic furniture in the history of modern design. Many of the people who worked with Charles & Ray Eames include, Eero Saarinen, Gregory Ain, the sculptor Marion Overby, graphic designer Herbert Matter, and John Entenza who edited Arts + Architecture Magazine whose lasting contribution was his sponsorship of the Case Study Houses project.

Thoroughly researched by Marilyn Neuhart together with her husband John, who both worked with the Eames Office in various capacities from the 1950s until 1978, The Story of Eames Furniture is an insiders account of the workings of the Eames Office from its founding 1943 and its closing in 1988. The book extremely detailed and gives real insight into the relationships between Charles, Ray and some of the people who worked in the office, like Harry Bertoia, who let it be known that he would quit working everyday at 5:00pm, much to the surprise of his co-workers and greatly upsetting the Eames’ Calvinist work ethic. The book also examines some of the tensions in running a design office: many Eames Office employees were never really sure if they had full-time employment, and often felt that they were not properly given credit for the design they created.

With detailed illustrations, photography and patent drawings, the book details design classics like the Lounge Chair and armchairs that were first presented as part of a New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) competition, “Low Cost Furniture Design”. The organically shaped plastic seat shells were later combined with various different bases and manufactured in their millions. The second book is also a history of Herman Miller, with its origins in Zeeland Michigan, founded by local Dutch businessmen, it traces the Company’s development from manufacturer of traditional furniture to the influence of design developments in Europe preceding WWII to the rapid post-war development of the Company. It also examines the significant influence that George Nelson had on Herman Miller when he worked as design director.

Book 1: The Early Years

The first book presents the early years of the Eames Office and its method of furniture design and development. It introduces not only Charles and Ray Eames, but also key members of their design team including Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Herbert Matter, and others–a widely diverse group of people who actually did the day-by-day work on the furniture projects and who together ultimately turned contemporary design in a new direction.

The story begins here with an account of the furniture Charles Eames designed for MoMA’s 1940 Organic Furniture Competition. It was this groundbreaking work with the light material plywood that led to his first commissions from the US Army for molded plywood splints and stretchers, which were used on a huge scaled during the Second World War. Creating these designs for mass-production, in turn, was the impetus for what was to be Eames’s major career in technology-based design founded on a new aesthetic.

This book focuses on Charles Eames’s early work with plywood. It documents how he pursued his goal of adapting plywood-molding techniques into a system to mass-produce furniture. In doing so, Eames was the first to develop and apply mass-production techniques to furniture thus creating the modern furniture industry as we know it today.

Book 2: The Herman Miller Age

This second book features the period from the aftermath of the Second World War through 1978, the year of Charles Eames’s death and of the functional end of the Eames Office. By explaining the pioneering industrial processes used with innovative materials such as fiberglass, wire, and aluminum, it provides incomparable insight into how new technologies serves as the genesis for the most interesting pieces of Eames furniture.

This book focuses on the role of the Herman Miller Furniture Company in the evolution of furniture design at the Eames Office. It offers an in-depth examination of the Office’s relationship to the company that was, in essence, Charles Eames’s patron in furniture design and development. In addition to producing and marketing all of the furniture that issues from the Eames Office from 1949 to Charles’s death and beyond, the Herman Miller Furniture Company funded all of its development and prototype work. This volume also investigates the influence of Don Albinson, who was Charles Eames’s primary designer and technician from the mid-1940s to 1960.

The creation and spread of the landmark furniture design documented here is simultaneously the story of how modernism became established in homes and offices throughout the world. This second book celebrates Charles Eames’s vanguard cultural achievement of giving modern society the opportunity of materializing its identity through the Eames Office’s furniture.

The Story of Eames Furniture by Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart
Published by Gestalten, Format: 25.5 x 29.2 cm, Features: 800 pages, full color, hardcover,
2 volumes in slipcase, ISBN: 9783899552300
Buy it here: Amazon

Phaidon Design Classics iPad Edition

This authoritative and meticulously researched collection charts the story of product design over the past 200 years. It was years in the making and was compiled via rigorous selection process by an international panel of design-world insiders, including architects, critics, curators, product designers, auctioneers, and historians.

The application offers, at the touch of a finger, access to an encyclopedic, illustrated history of 1,000 timeless design classics by not only renowned designers, such as Marcel Breuer, Achille Castiglioni, Le Corbusier, Jasper Morrison, Dieter Rams, Eero Saarinen, and Philippe Starck but also anonymously designed pieces, such as the clothes peg, the corkscrew, and the chopstick, that have stood the test of time.

Phaidon Design Classics, Available to download on the App Store

Phaidon Design Classic (3 Volume Set)
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

Heavily influenced by the German Bauhaus and Ulm School of Art, Dieter Rams pioneered a design spirit which embraced modernity and placed function above all, resulting in products that were free of decoration, simple in function and its purpose self-evident. Through his more than 40 years of work at Braun, Dieter Rams designed anything from hair dryers, cigarette lighters, loudspeakers, radios and radio-phonographs to clocks and watches. Each item holds a special place in the history of industrial design and has established Dieter Rams as one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century. With the logically-placed and spatial definition of their controls, simple forms and philosophy of functionalism, Braun products remain influential to product designers today.

Less and More elucidates the design philosophy of Dieter Rams. The book contains images of hundreds of Rams’s products as well as his sketches and models – from Braun stereo systems and electric shavers to the chairs and shelving systems that he created for Vitsoe and sold by sdr+. In addition to the rich visual presentation of his designs, the book contains new texts by international design experts that explain how the work was created, describe its timeless quality, and put it into current context. In this way, the work of Dieter Rams is given a contemporary reevaluation that is especially useful in light of the rediscovery of functionalism and rationalism in today’s design. Less and More shows us the possibilities that design opens for both the manufacturer and the consumer as a means of making our lives better through attractive, functional solutions that also save resources.

Read more: Ten principles of “good design”

Less and More is edited by Professor Klaus Klemp and Keiko Ueki-Polet. One of the world’s leading experts in the field of product design, Klemp has been acquainted with Dieter Rams for many years and is an authority on his work. Ueki-Polet is one of Japan’s most renowned design curators. She is well acquainted with design developments in both Asia and the Western world and works at the Suntory Museum in Osaka.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, Editors: Klaus Klemp, Keiko Ueki-Polet, German/English, 19 × 23 cm, 808 pages, full color, PVC cover, in slipcase
ISBN: 978-3-89955-277-5

Buy it here: Amazon or Gestalten

Editor's Picks

Konstantin B
…the compensation for all the things you simply did not do, polished to perfection. [more...]

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Buy it here: Amazon

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Buy it here: Amazon

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Buy it here: Amazon

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Buy it here: Amazon

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How to Wrap Five Eggs
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