Shiro Kuramata (1934-91) was a truly exceptional designer of furniture and interiors. Many of his poetic, precise and unique pieces, like the expanded-metal-mesh How High the Moon Armchair and the acrylic, aluminium and paper-flower Miss Blanche Chair, are still highly prized, collected by museums like MoMA and the V&A and sold at auction. Sadly, however, most of the hundreds of interiors he designed no longer exist, and can only be glimpsed in photographs or described by those who saw them.
This combination of the precious and the disappeared is appropriate for a designer like Kuramata, whose work was neither modern nor nostalgic, neither western nor Asian, but which has a remarkable creative power as well as a sense of endless invention. This compelling and highly influential work is documented here in this beautiful monograph.
Author Deyan Sudjic, the director of the design museum in London and the author of many highly-acclaimed books on design and architecture, tells the story of Kuramata’s life against the backdrop of Japan’s turbulent history from the 1930s to the 1990s. It was a period in which the collapse of the repressive conformism of Japan’s traditionally authoritarian social order released a creative explosion that propelled Japan into the creative forefront in cinema, literature, fashion, architecture and design, and Kuramata’s work occupies a special place in this period.
Designed by Jonathan Hares, and presented in two volumes with a beautiful acrylic slipcase, the book includes all of Kuramata’s work, depicted in never-before-published photographs and drawings from the Kuramata archives. Many projects are represented with images of the design and manufacturing process, appropriate for this very technically inventive work that continues to be of interest to a wide range of designers. Shiro Kuramata is a major figure who richly deserves the wider audience he is just beginning to attract, and this first-ever monograph will be of a quality and beauty to match the work he produced.
Shiro Kuramata, by Deyan Sudjic, 2 volume hardback ediiton in acrylic slipcase, 305 x 238 mm (9 3/8 x 12 in), 416 pp, 600 colour illustrations, ISBN: 9780714845005, Published by Phaidon
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The Utrecht furniture manufacturer Pastoe has been a leader in unique, timeless furniture of great craftsmanship and quality for 100 years. The roll-front Amsterdammer cabinet, for example, has been a design classic for years and is featured along with the work of Pastoe designer Cees Braakman in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Pastoe’s centenary is the occasion for this richly illustrated book, produced in collaboration with designers, architects, artists and photographers in the Netherlands and abroad.
Author and design critic Gert Staal relates the most significant moments in Pastoe’s history. Pastoe’s current focus is also discussed extensively. Along with fascinating archival pictures and documentation of every significant Pastoe design, considerable attention is devoted to today’s home environment and the current design domain. Pastoe’s new visions of contemporary living are highlighted in an inspiring way through innovative propositions specially developed for this anniversary by innovators like Naoto Fukasawa, Claudio Silvistrin, Scheltens & Abbenes and Konstantin Grcic.
Exhibition: Like Pastoe: 100 years of design innovation
Pastoe: 100 Years of Design Innovation, Author:Gert Staal, Anne van der Zwaag, Publisher: nai010 Uitgevers, ISBN: 9789462080683
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When Álvaro Siza, one of the great figures of contemporary architecture, won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1992, the Jury described his forms as “molded by light, [with] a deceptive simplicity about them; they are honest. They solve design problems directly…. That simplicity, upon closer examination however, is revealed as great complexity. There is a subtle mastery underlying what appears to be natural creations.”
Born in Matosinhos, Portugal, in 1933, Siza created his own practice in Porto in 1954, and he has been a Professor of Construction at the University of Porto since 1976. The architect can fill shelf afer shelf with his awards and prizes to-date: He received the European Community’s Mies van der Rohe Prize in 1988 and the Praemium Imperiale in Japan in 1997, the 2009 RIBA Gold Medal, and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.
He has built a large number of projects in Portugal, and worked on the restructuring of the Chiado area of Lisbon following a devastating fire in 1988. Siza designed both the Portuguese Pavilion for the 1998 Lisbon World’s Fair and the 2005 Serpentine Pavilion in London in collaboration with Eduardo Souto de Moura. He completed the Serralves Foundation in Porto, 1998, and the Museum for the Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2008.
Álvaro Siza. Complete Works 1952-2013, Edited by Philip Jodidio, Hardcover, 30,8 x 39 cm, 500 pages,
Multilingual Edition: English, French, German
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The greatest challenge in designing homes is negotiating the delicate balance between aesthetics and the personal desires of the occupants. While it’s important for the structure to reflect the vision and style of the architect, the client must ultimately feel at home beneath the roof. It is particularly interesting, therefore, to examine the homes that architects create for themselves. If houses reflect their owners’ personalities, then architects’ own homes are like autobiographies. Location, layout, style, lighting, artwork, furnishings-every detail adds color to the story. Each of these dwellings, presented A-Z by architect, speaks more about its designer than any other building possibly could.
The Architect’s Home, by Gennaro Postiglione, Hardcover, 20.8 x 27.4 cm, 480 pages, published by Taschen, Buy it here: Amazon
Something between artwork, poster and illustration, this series of Cut-out prints documents some of the mid-century coffee and low tables designed by Gio Ponti, Gabriella Crespi, George Nakashima, Paul Kjaerholm and many others in very simple 2D shapes. It is our graphic homage to the formal mastery of the modernist design in a fresh contemporary graphic way.
Cut-out Prints, by Matěj Činčera, Jaroslav Moravec and Ondřej Přibyl, for OKOLO
Rock the Shack takes us to the places we long for. For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again.
Rock the Shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world–from basic to luxury. The book features a compelling range of sparingly to intricately furnished cabins, cottages, second homes, tree houses, transformations, shelters, and cocoons. The look of the included structures from the outside is just as important as the view from inside. What these diverse projects have in common is an exceptional spirit that melds the uniqueness of a geographic location with the individual character of the building’s owner and architect.
Rock the Shack: The Architecture of Cabins, Cocoons and Hide-Outs, Editors: S. Ehmann, S. Borges, 24 x 30 cm, 240 pages, full color, hardcover, English, ISBN: 978-3-89955-466-3, Published by gestalten
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After Ray’s death, the Eames family shared and cared for the Eames House and grounds, always mindful to safeguard their authenticity for the future. Now, the Eames Foundation is ready to preserve the house as it existed when Charles and Ray lived and worked in it for the last, most prolific half of their lives. This includes not only conserving the house for the future but also celebrating and transmiting the legacy and philosophy of Charles and Ray.
Help preserve the Eames House and own a piece of the Eames legacy. Each print is hand numbered. These prints are 100% original works inspired by the elegant geometry and understated simplicity of Eames designs. All proceeds will support the projects of the Eames Foundation.
Eames House Prints, Limited Edition of 500, from the Eames House
“Mandatory reading for every graphic designer and architect, as well as those that aspire to these two professions, and most importantly for all who are concerned with the humanizing possibilities inherent in the visual arts.”
- James Stewart Polshek, FAIA
For centuries, the intimate relationship between graphic design and architecture has shaped not only cities and their structures but also the lives of their inhabitants. Graphic Design and Architecture: A 20th-Century History is the first historical overview which examines this unique marriage of graphic design and architecture in the context of artistic, social, and cultural movements and influences of the twentieth century.
Graphic Design and Architecture, A 20th-Century History: A Guide to Type, Image, Symbol, and Visual Storytelling in the Modern World, by Richard Poulin, 8.5 x 10 inches, 272 pages, 300 illustrations, ISBN: 9781592537792
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An essential reference for architecture buffs, historians, and everyone who lives on or visits Long Island today, this unique resource–the first illustrated history of Long Island’s modern architecture–is based on a survey conducted for the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities (SPLIA). It highlights the work within Suffolk and Nassau counties of a roster of twenty-five internationally renowned architects–among them Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Edward Durell Stone, Richard Neutra, William Lescaze, Gordon Chadwick for George Nelson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Paul Rudolph, and Richard Meier.
Caroline Rob Zaleski’s research on the work of key figures in twentieth-century architecture; the relatively unknown aspects of their production; and their associations with clients, artists, and politicians is complemented by more than three hundred striking archival photographs, specially commissioned new photography, and plans. Zaleski documents the development of exurbia and the rise of visionary structures: residences for commuters and weekenders, public housing, houses of worship, universities, shopping centers, and office complexes. In this part architectural, part social history, she explains why modernism was embraced by Long Island’s civic, cultural, and business leaders–as well as by those who wanted to settle away from the city–during an epoch when open space was prime for development. An inventory of important architects, with their Long Island commissions by date and location, complements the main text.
Long Island Modernism 1930 – 1980, by Caroline Rob Zaleski (Author), Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9.4 × 12.3 in / 336 pages, ISBN 9780393733150
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Charles and Ray Eames created important, experimental and beautiful work in furniture, architecture, exhibit design, textile design, product design, graphic design, film and photography. This unique and sumptuous monograph is a visual celebration of their work and life and is destined to become a collector’s item.The packaging design of the slipcase is a pattern inspired by the triangles and colours of one of their designs for children, simply called “the toy”. Published with the co-operation and approval of the Eames family, this massive book includes essays and an introduction by Eames Demetrios — Charles’s grandson and the director of the Eames Office.
Eames: Beautiful Details, by Steve Crist and Gloria Fowler (editors), Published by Ammo Books, 320 pages, ISBN: 9781934429747
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