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
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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.
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.
For more than two decades, Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen has created a series of exquisite buildings and residences, from the Low Countries to New York, with profoundly elemental spaces enriched by a refined palette of materials. The results are sublime, rich, minimal yet tactile.
This is the complete monograph of Van Duysen’s work, including his domestic architecture, office and commercial spaces, as well as furniture and decorative objects for such leading international manufacturers as Tribù, B&B Italia, Poliform and Swarovski. Van Duysen celebrates the essence of form, the elegance of proportion and the refinement of hidden details. His is an architecture for connoisseurs, and this comprehensive publication reveals why he has become such a celebrated figure. Over thirty projects are presented in detail, each with a project profile, many accompanied by specially commissioned photographs, along with a complete project chronology.
Collected together in a large-scale format, the book includes an introduction by noted architecture critic Marc Dubois and tributes by architects David Adjaye, Alberto Campo Baeza and Michael Gabellini, fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester and furniture designer Patricia Urquiola, all of whom provide fascinating insights into Van Duysen’s inspirational output.
Vincent Van Duysen: Complete Works, Foreword by Ilse Crawford, Introduction by Marc Dubois, 29.50 x 23.20 cm, Hardback, 288pp, 382 Illustrations, 252 in colour,
ISBN 9780500342619, Published by Thames & Hudson
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With a comprehensive overview of more than 100 projects built or designed in Japan over the past 10 years, New Architecture in Japan is an informative and beautifully illustrated book. Photographer Edmund Sumner manages to capture not only the power of architectural space, but he always allows a glimpse of the surrounding urban landscape by including neon signs, pylons, high voltage power lines and pedestrians into the images. Critical essays by Yuki Sumner and Naomi Pollock contextualize the work, and each project is described in detail with the required drawings.
Included in the book are museums, private houses, schools, shops, hospitals, airports and chapels. Both cutting-edge, emerging young practices – such as Sou Fijimoto and Junya Ishigami – and established, internationally known architects – among them Toyo Ito, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma and SANAA. This illuminating survey is essential not just for architects and designers but also for anyone fascinated by Japan’s unique – and increasing – influence on architecture worldwide.
New Architecture in Japan, by Yuki Sumner and Naomi Pollock with David Littlefield, Photography by Edmund Sumner, Published by Merrell, Hardback, 272 pages, 400 colour illustrations, 237 plans, 25 x 25 cm (9.75 x 9.75 in), ISBN: 9781858944500
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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.
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
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.
+ more: Andrew Zuckerman: Creature
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
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“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-Nagy, Vision 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.
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