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Phaidon Design Classics iPad Edition

This authoritative and meticulously researched collection charts the story of product design over the past 200 years. It was years in the making and was compiled via rigorous selection process by an international panel of design-world insiders, including architects, critics, curators, product designers, auctioneers, and historians.

The application offers, at the touch of a finger, access to an encyclopedic, illustrated history of 1,000 timeless design classics by not only renowned designers, such as Marcel Breuer, Achille Castiglioni, Le Corbusier, Jasper Morrison, Dieter Rams, Eero Saarinen, and Philippe Starck but also anonymously designed pieces, such as the clothes peg, the corkscrew, and the chopstick, that have stood the test of time.

Phaidon Design Classics, Available to download on the App Store

Phaidon Design Classic (3 Volume Set)
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

Heavily influenced by the German Bauhaus and Ulm School of Art, Dieter Rams pioneered a design spirit which embraced modernity and placed function above all, resulting in products that were free of decoration, simple in function and its purpose self-evident. Through his more than 40 years of work at Braun, Dieter Rams designed anything from hair dryers, cigarette lighters, loudspeakers, radios and radio-phonographs to clocks and watches. Each item holds a special place in the history of industrial design and has established Dieter Rams as one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century. With the logically-placed and spatial definition of their controls, simple forms and philosophy of functionalism, Braun products remain influential to product designers today.

Less and More elucidates the design philosophy of Dieter Rams. The book contains images of hundreds of Rams’s products as well as his sketches and models – from Braun stereo systems and electric shavers to the chairs and shelving systems that he created for Vitsoe and sold by sdr+. In addition to the rich visual presentation of his designs, the book contains new texts by international design experts that explain how the work was created, describe its timeless quality, and put it into current context. In this way, the work of Dieter Rams is given a contemporary reevaluation that is especially useful in light of the rediscovery of functionalism and rationalism in today’s design. Less and More shows us the possibilities that design opens for both the manufacturer and the consumer as a means of making our lives better through attractive, functional solutions that also save resources.

Read more: Ten principles of “good design”

Less and More is edited by Professor Klaus Klemp and Keiko Ueki-Polet. One of the world’s leading experts in the field of product design, Klemp has been acquainted with Dieter Rams for many years and is an authority on his work. Ueki-Polet is one of Japan’s most renowned design curators. She is well acquainted with design developments in both Asia and the Western world and works at the Suntory Museum in Osaka.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, Editors: Klaus Klemp, Keiko Ueki-Polet, German/English, 19 × 23 cm, 808 pages, full color, PVC cover, in slipcase
ISBN: 978-3-89955-277-5

Buy it here: Amazon or Gestalten

Books: Bird by Andrew Zuckerman

Photography © Andrew Zuckerman

Turning his camera to the world of birds, Andrew Zuckerman has a created a new body of work showcasing more than 200 stunning photographs of nearly 75 different species. These winged creatures from exotic parrots to everyday sparrows, and endangered penguins to woody owls are captured with Zuckerman’s painstaking perspective against a stark white background to reveal the vivid colors, textures, and personalities of each subject in extraordinary and exquisite detail. The ultimate art book for ornithologists and nature enthusiasts alike, Bird is a volume of sublime beauty.

Bird, by Andrew Zuckerman
Buy it here: Amazon

+ more: Andrew Zuckerman: Creature

Books: The Iconic House: Architectural Masterworks Since 1900

Presenting the most architecturally significant houses since 1900, The Iconic House is a comprehensive record of the most important works to date. With specially commissioned photographs by Richard Powers, and written by Dominic Bradbury, the book not only looks at the architects and their designs but also the close communion between the architect and client–a relationship, sometimes harmonious, but often conflicted.
The houses are experimental and innovative, their influence has spread throughout the world and many have established new architectural paradigms that affect the way we perceive a beautiful home. Each featured house includes floorplans, a short biography of the architect with key buildings, and are sorted chronologically with a giant date to anchor the description.
Not to be overlooked is a bibliography at the back of the book, as well as a gazetteer and list of houses by type which offer further information including which homes are open to the public.

Some of the architects whose work appears in The Iconic House include Tadao Ando, Shigeru Ban, Marcel Breuer, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Charles & Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Greene & Greene, Walter Gropius, Herzog & de Meuron, Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn, Pierre Koenig, Rem Koolhaas, John Lautner, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, Oscar Niemeyer, Eero Saarinen, UN Studio, and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Iconic House: Architectural Masterworks Since 1900, by Dominic Bradbury, Photographs by Richard Powers, Publisher: Thames & Hudson, Hardcover, 351 Pages, ISBN: 9780500342558

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Vision in Motion by László Moholy-Nagy

“As a painter, typographer, photographer, stage designer, and architect, Moholy was one of the most creative intelligences of our time.”
Herbert Read

One of the great innovators of the European avant-garde, László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946) is best known for his affiliation with the famous Bauhaus school in Germany, where he taught from 1923-28. In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field.
Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year and it closed in 1938. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design, located in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s, Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

“Design has many connotations. It is the organization of materials and processes in the most productive, economic way, in a harmonious balance of all elements necessary for a certain function. It is not a matter of façade, of mere external appearance; rather it is the essence of products and institutions, penetrating and comprehensive. Designing is a complex and intricate task. It is integration of technological, social and economic requirements, biological necessities, and the psychophysical effects of materials, shape, color, volume, and space: thinking in relationships. The designer must see the periphery as well as the core, the immediate and the ultimate, at least in the biological sense. He must anchor his special job in the complex whole. The designer must be trained not only in the use of materials and various skills, but also in appreciation of organic functions and planning. He must know that design is indivisible, that the internal and external characteristics of a dish, a chair, a table, a machine, painting, sculpture are not to be separated. The idea of design and the profession of the designer has to be transformed from the notion of a specialist function into a generally valid attitude of resourcefulness and inventiveness which allows projects to be seen not in isolation but in relationship with the need of the individual and the community. One cannot simply lift out any subject matter from the complexity of life and try to handle it as an independent unit.”
(Moholy-Nagy, Vision in Motion, 1947)

“There is design in organization of emotional experiences, in family life, in labor relations, in city planning, in working together as civilized human beings. Ultimately all problems of design merge into one great problem: ‘design for life’. In a healthy society this design for life will encourage every profession and vocation to play its part since the degree of relatedness in all their work gives to any civilization its quality. This implies that it is desirable that everyone should solve his special task with the wide scope of a true “designer” with the new urge to integrated relationships. It further implies that there is no hierarchy of the arts, painting photography, music, poetry, sculpture, architecture, nor of any other fields such as industrial design. They are equally valid departures toward the fusion of function and content in design.”
(Moholy-NagyVision in Motion, 1947)

An exhaustive visual compendium of the modern movement, circa 1947. Includes many examples of Bauhaus and the New Bauhaus (Institute of Design). Designers, photographers, architects and artists represented in this volume are a cross-section of the 20th-century modern movement: Alvar Aalto, Berenice Abbot, Jean Arp, Willie Baumeister, Herbert Bayer, Max Bill, Marcel Breuer, Robert Brownjohn, Le Corbusier, Theo van Doesburg, Henry Dreyfuss, Naum Gabo, Morton Goldsholl, Juan Gris, Walter Gropius, Raoul Hausmann, Kasimir Malevich, Herbert Matter, Mies van der Rohe, Piet Mondrian, Richard Neutra, Ben Nicholson, Paul Rand, Bernard Rodofsky, Ladislav Sutnar, Angelo Testa, James Prestini, Frank Lloyd Wright and many others.

Vision in Motion: László Moholy-Nagy, Hardcover, 9″ x 11″, 376 pages, 440 illustrations (11 in color). Book Design and Typography by the Author. Rare and Out of Print.

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Chairs by Judith Miller

One of world’s most respected authorities on design and antiques, Judith Miller, presents a carefully curated selection of chairs and places them in their historical context. Nearly 400 years of chair designs are featured in chronological order, ranging from early antiques such as the 1680 Wainscot Chair and the 1740 Louis XV Chaise Longue, to modern day collectables such as Marc Newson’s 1988’s Embryo and Tom Dixon’s 2007 Wingback.
Beautifully Photographed in situ by Nick Pope, the chairs assume their iconic status; an occasional two-page spread shows incredible detail, revealing the craftsmanship and creative energy of the designer. The accompanying text for each chair gives a real insight into the thinking of the designer, historical facts, technical details, and places it in context to the manufacturing capabilities of its time, as well as identifying the period style to which the chair belongs.

“Sometimes I think you are unlikely to be a successful architect or designer unless you have designed a classic chair; and this is not just a contemporary phenomenon”.
- Terence Conran

Chairs: Judith Miller, Published by Conran Octopus, Hardback, Size: 28 x 25 cm, Pages: 336, ISBN: 9781840915235
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Guido Mocafico: Movement

Time is naturally marked by repeating astronomical phenomena, by the daily cycle and the seasons, as nights and months come and go. To slice it into finer fractions, our forbears invented sundials, which track the movement of the shadows projected by the sun, or clepsydra, hourglass-like devices that count time based on a consistent rate of water flow. But ever since 1657, when the first watch was created, we have used the oscillatory movements of a mechanical system to do that job. The photographer Guido Mocafico, whose previous books include Venenum, Medusa and Serpens, sets out in this new project, Movement, to observe these systems. He chose complex and rare mechanisms–physically mechanical rather than electronic–which led him into a world of traditional knowledge controlled by master watchmakers. To remove the back from one of their tiny creations is to plunge into an unknown world: these images of the tiny springs, levers, screws and gears that drive the hands of time forward, etched with the slightest texture possible and engraved in the smallest type possible, present an abiding mystery of the everyday, representative of all of the technologies we have come to take for granted. Mocafico was born in Switzerland in 1962. A specialist in still life, he works for international magazines such as Vogue, French Vogue, The Face and Wallpaper. Based in Paris, he has also undertaken numerous advertising campaigns for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Shiseido and Hermès.

Guido Mocafico: Movement, Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by François-Paul Journe, Stephen Forsey, Antoine Simonin. ISBN: 9783865214553
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Fifty Chairs That Changed the World

Fifty Chairs That Changed The World lists the top 50 chairs that have made a substantial impact in the world of design today. It includes design classics from Thonet’s 1870 Side Chair to Konstantin Grcic’s Chair_One. It is possible to trace a remarkable complete history of design in the last 150 years through a sequence of chairs. The Design Museum values its collection of contemporary chairs, and this book provides an introduction into 50 of the key chairs that have shaped the story of design.

Fifty Chairs That Changed the World – The Design Museum, Hardback, 202 x 152 mm,
112 Pages, Published by Conran Octopus Ltd,
ISBN: 9781840915402

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War

The Cold War is over, yet its traces are still visible. Dutch documentary photographer Martin Roemers decided to track down the remains of this period. For over ten years he repeatedly traveled through formerly hostile countries on both sides of the line. He descended into underground tunnels; photographed abandoned control centers, old barracks, wrecked tanks, and ruined statues. In his images the era of enmity, the politics of deterrence, and the arms race appear ongoing and vivid, serving as a reminder for a future of peace.

Exhibition: Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War, Willy-Brandt-Haus, Berlin, November 11, 2009 – January 15, 2010

Martin Roemers. Relics of the Cold War, Published by Hatje Cantz, Edited by Nadine Barth, texts by Nadine Barth, H.J.A. Hofland, Martin Roemers, 144 pp., 73 color illustrations, 25.7 x 28.6 cm, hardcover, ISBN 9783775725347

Books: Every Thing Design

This unusual “book as object” designed by Dutch book designer Irma Boom is a hefty brick of a book, which features 700 prints, posters and other objects from the collection of Zurich’s Gestaltung Museum. Founded in 1875, the museum is renowned worldwide for its unsurpassed holdings of design masterpieces including, Ettore Sottsass’s design classic, Valentine Typewriter for Olivetti, Paul Rand’s 1950 poster for the film No Way Out, works by El Lissitzky and Harry Bertoia, as well as works by important designers, textile artists and sculptors. The book is organized according to various criteria, and almost every page is a full sized image, that gives the impression of experiencing the entire collection in a manageable format.

Every Thing Design, The Collections of the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Edited by Christian Brändle, Verena Formanek. Text by Christian Brändle, Glenn Adamson, Published by Hatje Cantz, Hardcover, 864 pp., 700 Color Illustrations, 12.8 x 15.7 cm,
ISBN 9783775723312
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...]

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The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
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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...]
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Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

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Diz Armchair by Sergio Rodrigues
Handcrafted from solid eucalyptus this Brazilian classic is designed with soothing smooth edges, making it one of the most comfortable and laid-back lounge chairs around. [more...]

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Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
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How to Wrap Five Eggs
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