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Books: Walter Gropius

Born and educated in Germany, Walter Gropius (1883-1969) belongs to the select group of architects that massively influenced the international development of modern architecture. As the founding director of the Bauhaus, Gropius made inestimable contributions to his field, to the point that knowing his work is crucial to understanding Modernism. His early buildings, such Fagus Boot-Last Factory and the Bauhaus Building in Dessau, with their use of glass and industrial features, are still indispensable points of reference. After his emigration to the United States, he influenced the education of architects there and became, along with Mies van der Rohe, a leading proponent of the International Style.

Walter Gropius, 1883-1969: The Promoter of a New Form, Edited by Peter Gössel.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Andrew Zuckerman: Creature

Andrew Zuckerman writes in his second book Creature, published by Chronicle Books “…when a subject is stripped from its context, its behavior, rather than its purpose, is all that remains.”
For the last five years, Zuckerman has been photographing a variety of creatures such as beetles, goldfish, doves, and elephants in a seamless, shadowless void. The photographs give no clue to habitat, habits, or even size: The animals Zuckerman portrays are pure form and presence, both exemplars and unique individuals. But unlike museum exhibits, these creatures are in motion. With the same high-speed technology he uses to capture a splash of liquid, Zuckerman freezes an instant in each animal’s life. The result is a portrait of motion without a trace of movement—no blur, no ambiguity.

Andrew Zuckerman: Creature, Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Loblolly House: Elements of a New Architecture

Known for their in-depth research and innovative, inventive, and meticulously constructed architecture, KieranTimberlake Associates put its ideas about streamlining the making of architecture to the test. The results took the form of a fully modular and award-winning house, featuring an active and adjustable double-skin facade so advanced that no client would consider it.
Situated on idyllic Taylors Island, off the coast of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, Loblolly House inaugurates a truly new, more efficient way of building. Unlike most houses, even those built with sustainability in mind, Loblolly disassembles as easily as it assembles, making it an ecologically sound structure with a manageable environmental footprint. Focusing on a single built project and illustrated with extensive photographic documentation and numerous detailed drawings, Loblolly House is the manual for componentized prefab. The book includes a DVD of the film “A House in the Trees“, a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of Loblolly House.

Loblolly House: Elements of a New Architecture + DVD, KieranTimberlake Associates
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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: Jewelry Design

Jewelry is commonly perceived as a beautiful piece of wearable art: stand-alone, sculptural, and aloof. However, in order to understand contemporary jewelry design, we need to view the work as we would the product of any design field: as conceptual projects, as material studies, as social commentaries, and as connections to the past. The various creations by international designers presented in this book give an outline on current trends and developments in the field of jewelry. Their work is presented as a snapshot of individual practices, a broad sampling of innovative creations and forward-looking designers. What unites them are everyday considerations on context and production.

Jewelry Design, Edited by Carissa Kowalski Dougherty.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Marcel Breuer: 1902-1981

Time magazine called Marcel Breuer one of the “form-givers of the 20th century“: with his invention of steel-tube furniture. In 1943, he conceived the “binuclear” house concept—the splitting of living and sleeping areas into separate wings—which he first applied to the Geller House I (1944-1946), and which would attain great popularity. After designing the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1953-1958), reinforced concrete, with its formal plasticity und structural elasticity, continued to give monumental character to buildings such as the Abbey and Campus of St. John’s University in Minnesota (1953-1961), the IBM Research Center in France (1960-1962), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1963-1966) in New York City. With his keen sense of proportion, shape, and material, Breuer is one of the most important Modernists and is still very much central in the discussion of contemporary architecture.

Marcel Breuer: 1902-1981: Form Giver of the Twentieth Century, Edited by Peter Gössel, Dr. Arnt Cobbers.
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Monograph: Jean Nouvel by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel, France’s premier architect designs his own monograph. Limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies packaged in a translucent plexiglass slipcase reminiscent of the translucent facades often seen in Jean Nouvel designs. Five years in the making, a book that will finally give the full measure of the architect’s talent. Two 400-page hardcover volumes give the most complete overview to date of Jean Nouvel’s career, including works in progress such as the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the Philharmonie de Paris, and the extension of the MoMA in New York.

Jean Nouvel by Jean Nouvel. Complete Works 1970-2008 Edited by Philip Jodidio
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Books: Le Corbusier Le Grand

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The self-named Le Corbusier was not only the creator of some of the most important and impressive buildings of the last century—Villa Savoye at Poissy, the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp, the capitol complex in Chandigarh, India—he was also an accomplished painter, sculptor, furniture designer, urbanist, and author. His work and social theories continue to be a dominant force in the world of architecture and design, while his elegant bearing, bow tie, and round black eyeglasses are still today a signature look for architects around the world. Le Corbusier Le Grand’s oversized format and luxurious binding reflect the legendary status of this “giant” of twentieth-century architecture and design.

Le Corbusier Le Grand, A spectacular visual biography of one of the greatest architects of the 20th century.
Buy it here: Amazon

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.
Buy it Here: Amazon

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

Karuselli Lounge Chair
“Without question my favourite piece of interior design, and undoubtedly the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in. I like to retire to one with a cigar and a stiff drink as frequently as possible." - Sir Terence Conran. [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...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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