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Books: The Design Encyclopedia

The Design Encyclopedia aims to provide an account of the still largely unknown story of design. The book covers design throughout the world, from Japan to Finland. Manufacturers and key designers since the late 19th century are covered alphabetically, with biographical accounts of careers, listings of major works and exhibitions, and bibliographies for further reading.

The Design Encyclopedia, Edited by Mel Byars, 832 pages
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Beachlife: Architecture and Interior Design on the Seaside

Beachlife presents a selection of the best concepts in architecture, interiors and product design that deliver new and unusual insights into how the beach can be presented and utilised creatively. The book features structures such as beach clubs, hotels and vacation homes that can be found on ocean coasts and riverbanks. But, more than that, Beachlife also includes furniture and products made for the seaside, as well as original products by creatives from around the world who have discovered the beach as a location for experimental art, temporary installations and events.

Beachlife, Architecture and Interior Design on the Seaside, Edited by Clara Lowther, Sarah Schultz, 280 pages.
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Books: Desire: The Shape of Things to Come

Design in the 21st Century has liberated itself from industrial conditions and the associated physical demands. The clean and simplified designs of Minimalism, where less is more and form follows function, is widely practiced today but with new vigor and context. There is also an explosion of vibrant design today that breaks free from the minimal style of approach, prevailing in current design trends. With new technology, expanded choice of materials and a return to luxurious craftsmanship, designers are embracing design with scintillating attitude, challenging aesthetic boundaries and speculating new expressions in visual codes.

Desire is an up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers culled from around worldwide. It presents celebrated designers who represent the Modernists, creating sophisticated designs that are redefining the formal language of Modernism, blending the restraint of form with the refined use of materials. They are featured along with the inventors; visionary designers who continue to challenge our perception of design with futuristic shapes, and the experimental, innovative and often unprecedented use of materials.

Featured designers include:
5.5 Designers, Ron Arad, Autoban, Maarten Baas, BarberOsgerby, Joost van Bleiswijk, BLESS, Jörg Boner, Bram Boo, Tord Boontje, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Stephen Burks, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Committee, Christophe Delcourt, Stefan Diez, Tom Dixon, DRIFT, Kiki van Eijk, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Feichtner, Folkform, FRONT, Martino Gamper, Konstantin Grcic, Anna Ter Haar, Ineke Hans, Jaime Hayon, Studio Job, Hella Jongerius, Max Lamb, Kwangho Lee, Mathieu Lehanneur, Leif.designpark, Doshi Levien, Studio Libertiny, Julia Lohmann, Malin Lundmark, Peter Marigold, Haldane Martin, Jason Miller, Jasper Morrison, Nendo, Ernesto Neto, Marc Newson, Patrick Norguet, o-d-a, od-v, Robert Stadler, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Makkink & Bey, STUDIOILSE, Tjep., Ünal & Böler Studio, Patricia Urquiola, Marcel Wanders, Hannes Wettstein, Dirk Winkel, WOK Media, Michael Young, Oskar Zieta and many more.

Desire: The Shape of Things to Come, Edited by R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, A. Kupetz, S. Moreno, A. Mollard. 280 pages.
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Books: House of Concepts: Design Academy Eindhoven

House of Concepts presents the legendary Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands’ leading institution for developing design talent that has produced a veritable who’s who of the country’s creative scene. The book not only features the school’s graduates and their work, but also gives insight into the conceptual design for which the Netherlands is famous. The exciting visual content is complemented by extensive interviews with renowned alumni such as Jurgen Bey, Richard Hutten, Joris Laarman and Judith de Grauw as well as Jeroen and Joep Verhoeven.

House of Concepts: Design Academy Eindhoven, Edited by Louise Schouwenberg, Gert Staal, Joost Grootens
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Books: Airworld. Design and Architecture for Air Travel

For nearly a century now the airline industry has been an important player in the field of architecture and design. For many architects and designers it is an honour to design something for this branch of industry, from stewardess’s (and stewards) uniforms to signposting, from a terminal to services and cutlery. Airworld gives a good picture of the history of air travel, with a focus on the developments that design and architecture have undergone.

This is the first time that this theme has been illuminated so widely from the perspective of architecture and design. The exhibition Airworld. Design and Architecture for Air Travel is organized by the Vitra Design Museum. The Stedelijk has added posters from its own collection and objects that are typical for Dutch design.

Airworld. Design and Architecture for Air Travel, Exhibition at Stedelijk Museum
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Books: Hidden World of Dutch Design

Dutch designers are currently creating quite a stir on the international scene. What is the secret of their success? In How They Work photographer Inga Powilleit and stylist Tatjana Quax examine the working methods of seventeen designers, as well as the typically Dutch approach which has made them world-famous: a fanatical attitude towards work, a healthy lack of respect for convention, and a determination to go their own way. How They Work consists of portraits of the very top of the Dutch design world, which offer readers an honest and revealing look behind the scenes.

How They Work — The Hidden World of Dutch Design, by Inga Powilleit, Tatjana Quax,
224 pages, hardcover. Publisher: 010

Books: Lightness — Renaissance of Minimum Energy Structures

Recreating lightness with the synergy of different materials is the main theme of this book. It deals with smart combinations of fibres and plastics, with creating efficient shapes and freezing textiles. Lightness contains many examples, good as well as bad. They can be found in industrial design, architecture, bridge constructions, sports equipment and vehicle technology. Among them are a small airplane, a cooling trailer, a bicycle and even a flexible beer container. It will be difficult not to be inspired by what you will read and see.

Every now and again an unexpected publication arrives like a fresh breeze amid the dense and tediously repetitive undergrowth of architectural titles, an inspired piece of publishing capable perhaps of sparking some new discussion around a familiar subject.
- Ingerid Helsing Almaas in Architectural Review

Lightness — The Inevitable Renaissance of Minimum Energy Structures, by Adriaan Beukers, Edited by Ed van Hinte, English with Dutch summary, 192 pages.
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Books: Projekt Vitra. 1957-2007

Rolf Fehlbaum, chairman of the family company Vitra, describes the aim of this book in the following way: “We talk about this as a project, because for all those involved it is much more important than simply business. …The Vitra Design Museum with its collections, archives and miniatures is just as much part of the project as the classics of the twentieth century and the interior collages which we have developed in recent years. …we also simultaneously move forwards and backwards in time. We preserve the heritage of our classics in new editions, exhibitions and publications, but we are also actively involved in contemporary design. And we are no less interested in ergonomics, ecology, logistics and quality assurance than we are in the anthropology of everyday living.”

Projekt Vitra. 1957-2007, Edited by Cornel Windlin, Rolf Fehlbaum.

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Books: Phaidon Design Classics

It is the first definitive illustrated sourcebook on the evolution of design to include such a wide scope of objects in detail. From cars to furniture, from tableware to cameras, from everyday objects to airplanes, this breadth of design has never before been collected in such a way before.

“A guide to better living through design.” - Aaron Betsky, Designer.

“The ultimate tool kit to decode the modern world. Hugely thorough, and just the right side of quirky.” - Deyan Sudjic, Curator and Critic

“…very big, very yellow and very heavy.” - Terrance Conran, Designer

Phaidon Design Classics (3 Volume Set) (Design Classics)
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Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte

In Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte explores how to best display evidence looking at: mapped pictures; sparklines; links and causal arrows; words, numbers and pictures together; the fundamental principles of analytical design; corruption of evidence; and more. 

Buy it here: Amazon

Other Tufte Books:

  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd edition by Edward R. Tufte, 1983. The source for learning about displaying information. An excellent book for anyone who must use data to make decisions, convince others and educate others.
  • Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte, 1997. Visual Explanations centers on dynamic data – information that changes over time. It is Tufte’s 3rd book. Another excellent book.
  • Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte, 1990. “The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte’s books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables…”

Editor's Picks

Bell Side Table
Hand-blown in the traditional manner using a wooden mould, the transparent tinted glass base asserts a sculptural presence in space, contrasting intriguingly with the solid brass frame on top while also forming with it a harmonious unit recalling the elegant curving silhouette of a bell. [more...]

Suggested Reading

The Story of Eames Furniture
Brimming with images and insightful text, this unique book is the benchmark reference on what is arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
First-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11
A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

Cars
Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Design Icons

Fjordfiesta Scandia Senior
by Hans Brattrud

A Norwegian furniture design classic from 1957, Scandia Senior is a comfortable high-back easy chair with a leather head cushion, on a satin swivel base. [more...]

Resources

More Books

Case Study Houses
“It’s a huge coffee-table book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.” [more...]
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The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
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The U.N. Building
Symbol of world humanitarianism, a beacon of unity after the Second World War. More than 50 years on, the 39-story building is regarded as one of the pinnacles of mid-century modernism. [more...]
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Loblolly House
Including a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees", a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of this amazing house. [more...]
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Desire
The Shape of Things to Come. An up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Marcel Wanders
Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

How to Wrap Five Eggs
A mid-60s classic of Japanese design. Stunningly laid-out paean to traditional Japanese packaging is rife with sumptuous black and white photos of all manner of boxes, wrappers and containers that appear at once homely and sophisticated, ingeniously utilitarian yet fine and rare. [more...]
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