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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

Monograph: Allied Works Architecture: Brad Cloepfil Occupation

With some of their best work yet to be built, the new monograph on Allied Works Architecture, takes an in-depth look at their work to date. Including some of their best known work: the offices of advertising giant Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon.

This exhaustive publication documents all of the projects to date of American architect Brad Cloepfil (*1956). The first monograph on Cloepfil and his office, Allied Works Architecture, it presents in-depth accounts of his works, many of which include photographs, architectural drawings, models, as well as project descriptions. Featured projects include the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Clyfford Still Museum, and the National Music Centre of Canada.
Architectural historians Kenneth Frampton and Sandy Isenstadt contribute texts that include detailed analyses of several of the buildings. An important element of the book is a series of extended conversations between Cloepfil and artists Doug Aitken, Ann Hamilton, and Ben Rubin, landscape designer Douglas Reed, ecologist Eric Sanderson, theologian and philosopher Mark Taylor, and engineer and manufacturer Jan Tichelaar.

Allied Works Architecture: Brad Cloepfil: Occupation, Published by Hatje Cantz, English, 2011. 440 pp., 481 color ills., 12 foldouts, 25 x 31.4cm, hardcover, ISBN: 9783775728386, Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Ivan Leonidov

Ivan Leonidov (1902 – 1959 was a constructivist architect, but also a painter, urban planner and a dreamer. He realised only one project in his lifetime: a staircase on a hillside in Kislovodsk.

“It is sad that the vast majority of sketchbook plans and competition entries reproduced in this album were never built. Ivan Leonidov was surely one of the most innovative and humanistic architects to come out of early Russian modernism. His Constructivist-inspired projects embody the same revolutionary spirit as Vladimir Tatlin’s celebrated 1919 tower. In his later buildings, medieval Russian motifs mingle with pyramids, amphitheaters, pagodas, to reflect his love of Eastern and classical cultures. Many of his visions were quixotichis United Nations headquarters, for example, or the Island of Flowers park in the Dnepr River but all are inspirational. Vilified in the 1930s, Leonidov has lately undergone a “rehabilitation” in the Soviet Union.”

In the first half of his life, Leonidov’s work quickly became widely known. Even Le Corbusier and Niemeyer had fell under the charm of the strong so-called leonidovskogo “definitive breakthrough”. Then the Soviet coined the term “leonidovschina” and the great architect of the Iron Curtain was isolated from the world of architecture. After the war, Leonidov developed with his sketches some grandiose projects of the utopian City of Sun. The conception of this ideal city began to emerge in Leodinov’s thinking during the thirties. It took shape during the war years, and was inspired by Campanella’s book of that title and the Italian socialista-utopian’s concepts.

Russian Utopias, Ivan Leonidov, via: dpr-barcelona

Leonidov, by Andrei Gozak and Andrei Leonidov, 216 Pages, Published by Rizzoli, 1988, ISBN: 084780951X
Buy the book: Amazon

Books: Fred Herzog Photographs

After immigrating to Canada in the 1950s, Fred Herzog (*1930 in Bad Friedrichshall) devoted himself to what was, at the time, an unusual medium: color photography. In this way he broke through the established perceptions and theoretical opinions, most of which accorded to black-and-white photography the status of art. As a pioneer in the field of color photography, Herzog perfected his eye for the supposedly insignificant. His motifs are the streets of Vancouver, supermarkets, gas stations, bars, urban scenery, landscapes, and, again and again, man in his environment–the heights and depths of the North American dream. He tested the potential of color photography as a medium for great objectivity and great artistry alike, and his critical viewpoint allows us to the banal, the ephemeral, and the apparently meaningless. Above all, however, color lends his photographs a unique atmosphere and power, and is ultimately what makes them seem authentic.

Fred Herzog Photographs, Edited by Felix Hoffmann, C/O Berlin, Published by Hatje Cantz, German/English, 2010. 192 pp., 98 ills., 92 in color, 19.80 x 21.60 cm, ISBN 9783775728119

Books: Allison Davies: Outerland

For more than a decade Allison Davies has been quietly making landscape photographs and ambiguous self-portraits of haunting beauty. In Outerland, her debut collaboration with Charles Lane Press, Davies portrays herself as a solitary interplanetary wanderer lost in the spectacular vistas of alien worlds. Presented without text or explanation of any kind, and with only a handful of mysterious symbols to help orient ourselves in Davies’ imagined cosmos, Outerland offers a compelling new perspective on self-portraiture within the narrative of modern landscape photography.

Outerland by Allison Davies, Edited by Richard Renaldi, Hardcover: 15.25 in. × 11.25 in., 144 pages, 65 full color plates, Bound in Tyvek with French fold jacket, Edition of 700

Buy it here: Charles Lane Press

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

Books: Piero Lissoni: Recent Architecture

“I am a humanist. To me, a chair is just as important as a tower.”
- Piero Lissoni

The products of the Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni (* 1956) are all objects of desire: He has a number of timeless, modern private villas designed, set up sophisticated hotel, designed incredibly elegant yachts and uncompromisingly clear furniture, kitchens, bathrooms and objects for business such as Alessi, Boffi, Cassina, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Kartell, Knoll, Living Divani, and Tecno Thonet developed. “In the Milanese tradition first one is an architect, then it is also an engineer or designer. You will be able to design a spoon but also a whole city,” said the great artist.

Lissoni sensual minimalism requires quality materials, perfectly crafted details and excellent feel. This is also reflected in this monograph to his architectural and design work that was put together by Lissoni.

Piero Lissoni: Recent Architecture, by Giovanni Gastel, texts by Stefano Casciani, Birte Kreft, Deyan Sudjic, Published by Hatje Cantz, 224 pp., 137 color ills., 28.70 x 28.70 cm, hardcover, ISBN 9783775724623

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

Edition29_ARCHITECTURE iPad App

“Best iPad Apps as recommended by the iPad head at Apple”, is the headlines that blared from the seminal gadget site Pocket-Lint and later flashing through Yahoo News and other assorted online blogs. Edition29 Architecture for the iPad has been winning fans among its users and now after months of user feedback, the mother ship has responded favorably, choosing it as one of handful of apps recommended by the head of iPad Marketing and co-creator of the original Apple Newton.

Edition29_ARCHITECTURE is a visually stunning collectable magazine that focuses on showcasing the new generation of modernist architects and their creations through cinematic photographic storytelling. With over 100 pages of full screen photographs, audio commentaries, video, text and pages that are in motion. A must buy for readers of Wallpaper, Dwell and any collector of Phaidon or Taschen books.

Each issue has bookmark capabilities, set soundtrack capabilities that allow you to listen to a narration, sound or music while leafing through the magazine. All the content pages will be part of the download, while connected iPads will have access to community and GPS features, with additional online supplemental materials that make this a vibrant living download to collect.

Edition29_ARCHITECTURE, Available for Download on iTunes

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