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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

Books: The Geometry of Pasta

If you like design and you like to cook, then The Geometry of Pasta will help in pairing the right pasta shape with the perfect sauce. There are said to be over 300 shapes of pasta, each of which has a history, a story to tell, and an affinity with particular foods. These shapes have evolved alongside the flavours of local ingredients, and the perfect combination can turn an ordinary dish into something sublime.

Published by Boxtree, The Geometry of Pasta pairs over 100 authentic recipes from leading chef, Jacob Kenedy (co-founder of Soho restaurant Bocca di Lupo), with graphic designer Caz Hildebrand’s striking black-and-white designs to reveal the science, history and philosophy behind spectacular pasta dishes from all over Italy.

The Geometry of Pasta, by Jacob Kenedy and Caz Hildebrand, Publisher: Pan Macmillan, Hardback 288 pages, ISBN: 9780752227375
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Creative Characters: The MyFonts Interviews vol.1

If you enjoy the long-running Creative Characters series of interviews from the MyFonts newsletter, look forward to a new release of Creative Characters: The MyFonts Interviews vol.1, A collection of in-depth interviews with the most influential type designers in the business as well as up-and-coming young guns about the motives and methods behind the typefaces. The list of designers include Jim Parkinson, Underware, David Berlow, Alejandro Paul, Veronika Burian, Rian Hughes, Cristian Schwartz and many more. Focusing more on people and personalities, the book approaches the arcane world of the type designer through a series of interviews that reveal their passion and gives a real insight into the business. The book is fully illustrated with type samples and showings of graphic designs, sketches and sources.

Creative Characters: The MyFonts Interviews vol.1, Edited by Jan Middendor, Paperback, 28 x 21.5 cm, Pages: 192, ISBN: 9789063692247, Published by BIS Publishers,
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of…

In this first-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America, The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum examines the history, design, and construction of Wright’s masterwork. Fully illustrated with preliminary drawings, models, and photographs, the book includes three major essays that consider the building in three important contexts: Hillary Ballon discusses the obstacles Wright faced in getting the Guggenheim built and how his complex relationship with New York City was reflected in his design; Neil Levine explores why Wright’s Guggenheim had a much greater impact on museum architecture than museums designed by Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; and Joseph Siry writes about the museum’s novel construction and how it impacted the work of a later generation of architects including Frank Gehry, Louis Kahn, and I.M. Pei. Through archival letters and a richly illustrated timeline, the book also traces the relationship between the architect and his clients during the sixteen-year construction process. This book is published on the occasion of museum’s fiftieth anniversary and in association with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. With contributions by Hilary Ballon, Luis Carranza, Pat Kirkham, Neil Levine, Scott Perkins, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Nancy Spector, Angela Starita, and Gillermo Zuaznabar.

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum, 8.25 x 12 inches, 248 pages, Book Design by Pentagram for the Guggenheim Museum
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

Modernist Cuisine is a five-volume, set that is destined to reinvent cooking. The lavishly illustrated books use thousands of original images to make the science and technology clear and engaging.

A revolution is underway in the art of cooking. Just as French Impressionists upended centuries of tradition, Modernist cuisine has in recent years blown through the boundaries of the culinary arts. Borrowing techniques from the laboratory, pioneering chefs at world-renowned restaurants such as elBulli, The Fat Duck, Alinea, and wd~50 have incorporated a deeper understanding of science and advances in cooking technology into their culinary art.

In Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet—scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right—have created a massive, five-volume 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime. The authors—and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab—have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking.

“This book will change the way we understand the kitchen.”
Ferran Adrià

“A fascinating overview of the techniques of modern gastronomy.”
Heston Blumenthal

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet, Hardcover, 2,400 Pages, Published by The Cooking Lab,
ISBN 9780982761007

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Berliner Luft by Benjamin Tafel & Dennis Orel

A slightly different kind of traveler’s guide to the German capital.
Cult-style images of Berlin icons and objects worthy of becoming icons. Including Cavalry captain and riding games, Coziness Colony, Mariendorf trotting professionals, Zehlendorf glazes, boarding in Eden House, Erich Mielke’s house plant, hurdy-gurdy man and curry sausages on Alex, Neverland in Plänterwald, prêt-à-porter in Wedding, Dad’s old basement party room, Clärchen’s Knallhaus, massages with happy end, Kreuzberg bunker beans, Leydicke’s bitter orange schnaps, fetish in Spandau, Paradox Ball at Cafe Keese, Kreuzberg nights, KaDeWe and caviar. All of these new and unusual motifs–and more–in the idiosyncratic language of photographers Benjamin Tafel and Dennis Orel, with authentic commentary and observations on location all around the capital of Germany.

Berliner Luft By Benjamin Tafel, Dennis Orel, Published by Hatje Cantz, German, English, 256 pp., 168 color ills., 21 x 14 cm, softcover, ISBN 9783775726160
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Michael Reisch: New Landscapes

At first glance, the photographs of landscapes by Michael Reisch look very real. Upon closer inspection, however, the viewer senses that something is not quite right. On the one hand, we are fascinated by unspoiled nature, which suggests wilderness, or perhaps even paradise. On the other hand, the images seem artificial, too immaculate to be true. The landscapes appear strangely frozen, as if they have been permeated by an invisible geometric structure. The pictures create a sense of uncertainty, because they are based on real, existing landscapes that Reisch has photographed with a digital camera but later processed. This combination of realism and manipulation gives rise to some questions: how do we put together our contemporary concept of landscape and nature? And are our ideas of landscape and nature at all salvageable now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century?

Michael Reisch: New Landscapes, Texts by Duncan Forbes, Rolf Hengesbach, 100 pp., 35 color ills., 34,70 x 28,60 cm, Hardcover,
Published by by Designer, for Hatje Cantz, ISBN 9783775726351
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: John Margolies, Roadside America

Before the advent of corporate communications and architectural uniformity, America’s built environment was a free-form landscape of individual expression. Signs, artifacts, and even buildings ranged from playful to eccentric, from deliciously cartoonish to quasipsychedelic. Photographer John Margolies spent over three decades and drove more than 100,000 miles documenting these fascinating and endearingly artisanal examples of roadside advertising and fantasy structures, a fast-fading aspect of Americana.

This book brings together approximately 400 color photographs of Main Street signs, movie theaters, gas stations, fast food restaurants, motels, roadside attractions, miniature golf courses, dinosaurs, giant figures and animals, and fantasy coastal resorts. In an age when online shopping and mega-malls have reconfigured American consumerism, stripping away idiosyncracy in favor of a bland homogeneity, Margolies’s elegiac 30-year survey reminds us of a more innocent unpredictable and colorful past.

John Margolies, Roadside America, Edited by Jim Heimann,
Hardcover, 31 x 25.7 cm (12.2 x 10.1 in.), 256 pages, Published by Taschen,
ISBN: 9783836511735
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Ando. Complete Works, Updated Version 2010

Tadao Ando is considered one of the greatest living architects, but until now it has been nearly impossible to find a good comprehensive monograph on his work, thankfully Taschen has just published an enormous coffee table book on this world-renowned Japanese Architect. Tadao Ando always works within the constraints of landscape, and is known for his use of concrete and its interaction with natural light. The book is lavishly illustrated with brilliant color and black & white photography, as well as large drawings, sketches and scale models of his buildings. Each project is examined and presented in a way that clearly shows Ando’s unique genius.

Philippe Starck describes him as a “mystic in a country which is no longer mystic.” Philip Drew calls his buildings “land art” that “struggle to emerge from the earth.” He is the only architect to have won the discipline’s four most prestigious prizes: the Pritzker, Carlsberg, Praemium Imperiale, and Kyoto Prize. Combining influences from Japanese tradition with the best of Modernism, Ando has developed a completely unique building aesthetic that makes use of concrete, wood, water, light, space, and nature in a way that has never been witnessed in architecture. His designs include award-winning private homes, churches, museums, apartment complexes, and cultural spaces throughout Japan, as well as in France, Italy, Spain, and the USA. This book, created at the height of Ando’s illustrious career, and thoroughly updated for this new 2010 edition, presents his complete works to date.

Ando. Complete Works, Updated Version 2010, Jodidio, Philip, Hardcover, 30.8 x 39 cm (12.1 x 15.4 in.), 600 pages, Published by Taschen, ISBN: 9783836509497
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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