Photographer Frédéric Chaubin reveals 90 buildings sited in fourteen former Soviet Republics which express what he considers to be the fourth age of Soviet architecture. His poetic pictures reveal an unexpected rebirth of imagination, an unknown burgeoning that took place from 1970 until 1990. Contrary to the 1920s and 1950s, no “school” or main trend emerges here. These buildings represent a chaotic impulse brought about by a decaying system. Their diversity announced the end of the Soviet Union.
Taking advantage of the collapsing monolithic structure, the holes in the widening net, architects went far beyond modernism, going back to the roots or freely innovating. Some of the daring ones completed projects that the Constructivists would have dreamt of (Druzhba Sanatorium, Yalta), others expressed their imagination in an expressionist way (Palace of Weddings, Tbilisi). A summer camp, inspired by sketches of a prototype lunar base, lays claim to Suprematist influence (Prometheus youth camp, Bogatyr). Then comes the “speaking architecture” widespread in the last years of the USSR: a crematorium adorned with concrete flames (Crematorium, Kiev), a technological institute with a flying saucer crashed on the roof (Institute of Scientific Research, Kiev), a political center watching you like Big Brother (House of Soviets, Kaliningrad). This puzzle of styles testifies to all the ideological dreams of the period, from the obsession with the cosmos to the rebirth of identity. It also outlines the geography of the USSR, showing how local influences made their exotic twists before the country was brought to its end.
Frédéric Chaubin Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, by Frédéric Chaubin, Hardcover, 26 x 34 cm (10.2 x 13.4 in.), 312 pages, ISBN: 9783836525190, Multilingual Edition: English, French, German, Published by: Taschen
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With 110 illustrations and detailed commentary by the architects, the book chronicles the design and execution of a five-story, off-site fabricated home assembled on-site in just sixteen days as part of the Museum of Modern Art exhibition, Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. Through a series of questions, the book explores several of KieranTimberlake’s ongoing research agendas including speed of on-site assembly, design for disassembly, a holistic approach to the life cycle of materials, and the development of a lightweight, high-performance, energy gathering building envelope.
Cellophane House™ takes a holistic approach to factory fabrication, reinventing the way a building is assembled, its materials, and spatial experience. An innovative aluminum frame enables mass-customization of the home in multiple configurations, rapid assembly, and adaptability to different sites and climates. Disassembly, rather than demolition, is inherent as an end-of-life option to successfully preserve the embodied energy in the recyclable house materials. More than a building experiment, it suggests a new way forward in an approach to mass housing.
A comprehensive overview of the most influential photographers of the last century and their finest monographs: Arranged alphabetically, this biographical encyclopedia features every major photographer of the 20th century, from the earliest representatives of classical Modernism right up to the present day.
Richly illustrated with facsimiles from books and magazines, this book includes all the major photographers of the last one hundred years–especially those who have distinguished themselves with important publications or exhibitions, or who have made a significant contribution to the culture of the photographic image. The 400 entries include photographers from North America and Europe as well as from Japan, Latin America, Africa, and China.
Photographers A-Z focuses on photographic images and culture, but also features photographers working in “applied” areas, whose work goes beyond the merely illustrative, and is regarded as photographic art and is conserved by major museums, such as Julius Shulman, Terry Richardson, Cindy Sherman, and David LaChapelle, et al.
Photographers A-Z, by Hans-Michael Koetzle, Published, by Taschen, Hardcover, 25 x 31.7 cm (9.8 x 12.5 in.), 444 pages, ISBN: 9783836511094
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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.
The Antwerp-based photographer Jan Kempenaers undertook a laborious trek through the Balkans in order to photograph a series of these mysterious objects. He captures the Spomeniks in the misty mountain landscape at sundown. Looking at the photographs one must admit to a certain embarrassment. We see the powerful beauty of the monumental sculptures and we catch ourselves forgetting the victims in whose name they were built. This is in no way a reproach to the photographer, but rather attests to the strength of the images. After all, Kempenaers did not set out as a documentary photographer, but first and foremost as an artist seeking to create a new image. An image so powerful that it engulfs the viewer. He allows the viewer to enjoy the melancholy beauty of the Spomeniks, but in so doing, forces us to take a position on a social issue.
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
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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.
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
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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
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