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.
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
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,
Buy it here: Amazon
We are experiencing a renaissance in furniture design with new forms, new directions, a focus on social responsibility and a blurring of the boundaries between art and design; strangely this movement resembles the values of the Bauhaus school, founded over 90 years ago. Once Upon a Chair is a survey of contemporary trends in design that are influenced by craft, folklore, nature, and technology, especially as it relates to new ways of designing and manufacturing. The book is full of examples and illustrations by well-known and up-and-coming designers, many of which are featured on Daily Icon and many that will surprise and delight you.
Once Upon a Chair examines several key trends indicating a recognisable shift towards progressive design that makes a social impact – designers are collaborating with artisans to revive the tradition of craft, elevating it to new levels of luxury. A conscious effort to produce sustainable and ethical design is also evident where designers are not only working with environmentally friendly material and production methods but also creating furnishings that are made to be durable and retain their value over a long period of time.
The book further explores how designers are focusing more on process-driven and storytelling concepts to create furniture systems that are flexible, crafted in a collage-like manner or even decorative objects that serve as interior installations. A continuing flirtation with organic forms can also be seen with pioneering examples of material and technological experimentation, many of which are characterised by an unrestrained, playful attitude with an ironic exuberance.
Once Upon a Chair: Design Beyond the Icon Published by Gestalten, Foreword by Andrej Kupetz, Managing Director of the German Design Council, Edited by, R. Klanten,
S. Ehmann, A. Kupetz, S. Moreno, Hardback: 22.7 x 28.1 cm, 272 pages, Full Colour,
Buy it here: Amazon
This year the Bauhaus School celebrates 90 years since its founding, and Berlin is hosting an exhibition of around 1,000 artifacts, objects and artworks, the exhibition takes place in the Martin Gropius-Bau building before traveling to MoMA in New York.
Founded in Weimar in 1919, located in Dessau beginning in 1925, and closed in Berlin in 1933 the Bauhaus continues to be the most effective and successful export article of twentieth-century German culture. Even more than seventy years after it was closed, this interdisciplinary school for art, architecture, design, and theater has not lost any of its currentness.
A book will accompany the exhibition, documenting some of the most important works, including the newly re-discovered Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl’s early Bauhaus African Chair and Laszlo Moholy Nagy’s Light Space modulator – a kinetic sculpture from the 1930′s; paintings and sculpture by Kandinksy, Albers and Klee as wells as works by Walter Gropius, Hannes Mayer and Mies van der Rohe.
This profusely illustrated, comprehensive publication with around four hundred color illustrations re-examines and re-evaluates the art school’s history and influence. In this collaborative project by the three leading institutes at the former sites of the Bauhaus’s activities–the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, and the Bauhaus-Museum der Klassik Stiftung Weimar–the historic Bauhaus and the trail of its reception are closely examined and analyzed based on sixty-eight selected highlights, including the hitherto neglected aspects of the Bauhaus during the period of National Socialism as well as its international propagation and commercialization.
Exhibition schedule: Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, July 22–October 4, 2009 – Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 3, 2009–January 18, 2010
Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model, Edited by Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, introduction by Annemarie Jaeggi, texts by Barry Bergdoll, Klaus von Beyme, Regina Bittner, Gerda Breuer, Magdalena Droste, Peter Hahn, Christine Hopfengart, Christoph Ingenhoven, Michael Siebenbrodt, Klaus Weber u.a.,
English, 376 pages, 302 Illustrations, 236 in color, 29.9 x 26.6 cm, Hardcover, ISBN 9783775724159, Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Buy it here: Amazon
Papercraft is an extensive and timely survey of innovative art and design work crafted from paper. It explores the astounding possibilities of paper craft in all shapes and sizes – some are playful, whimsical and quick to produce while others are far more intricate and created in painstaking detail. From the most basic techniques including cutting, folding, gluing and collage to the use of cutting-edge technology like embossing and laser cutting, paper and cardboard-crafted works are reaching new artistic heights.
The book gathers the most extraordinary creations from small objects and figures to large-scale art installations and urban interventions as well as three-dimensional graphic sculptures from a vast spectrum of artistic disciplines ranging from character design, urban art, fine art, graphic design, illustration, fashion, animation and film. Adding even more value, this illustrated book also includes a DVD with printable templates for creating your own paper characters and toys as well as a curated selection of the best stop-motion animations.
Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper, Editors: R. Klanten, S. Ehmann, B. Meyer,
24cm x 30cm, 256 pages, full colour, hardcover, including DVD, ISBN: 9783899552515
Buy it here: Amazon
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, TASCHEN has paired Norman Mailer’s seminal text with spectacular photography–from the archives of NASA and LIFE magazine and many other sources-to create a unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our era.
It has been called the single most historic event of the 20th century: On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins met John F. Kennedy’s call for a manned Moon landing by the end of the 1960s. A decade of tests and training, a staff of 400,000 engineers and scientists, and a $24 billion budget climaxed with the launch of the most powerful rocket ever built, and an unprecedented event watched by millions the world over. And nobody captured the men, the mood, and the machinery like Norman Mailer.
MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11 by Norman Mailer, Colum McCann,
Published by TASCHEN, Limited Edition of 1957 copies, No. 1–1957, Hardcover in a box + framed print, 36.5 x 44 cm, 350 pages ISBN: 9783836511797
Update: Now available as a standard hardcover edition.
Concrete, as the Romans knew it, was in effect a new and revolutionary material. but it wasn’t until after its re-invention in the 18th century that the material combined with reinforced steel transformed the world as we know it. While concrete fell out of favor in the 70s after unpopular modernist architectural movements like Brutalism and large-scale government sponsored urban renewal projects, it is now enjoying a period of revival and innovation.
Concrete has overcome its once tarnished image – thanks to recent advances in technology, the once dull substance has been transformed into an impressive material. Thanks to its especially moldable character, concrete’s flexibility knows no rival. In liquid state, it can fill any form making its application practically boundless.
Big-name architects and newcomers alike have discovered this trend long ago, and the book presents a selection of 60 of the most memorable projects recently completed. With high-quality images, detailed plans and informative project descriptions.
Highlights include private homes by Wingårdh Arkitektkontor, Akira Sakamoto and Thomas Bendel as well as projects by Moshe Safdie, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid and Fernando Romero.
Concrete Creations: Contemporary Buildings and Interiors, Selected by Dirk Meyhöfer, Hardcover, 23.5 x 23.5 cm, 256 pages, 410 colored illustrations, Publisher: Verlagshaus Braun ISBN 9783938780329
Buy it here: Amazon
When Ray and Charles Eames arrived in Los Angeles in 1941, they turned a spare room in their apartment into a workshop to experiment with molded plywood forms with the goal of mass producing furniture. During the war, they began making molded plywood splints for the U.S. Navy. This combination of experience and experimentation led to the design many well-known chairs, including the DCM Chair and the LCW Chair (Low Chair Wood). Sometime in the early 1950s Charles and Ray decided to go ahead with developing an upholstered super-comfortable lounge chair, like those found in men’s clubs. Charles Eames says that “the motivation behind most of the things we’ve done was either that we wanted them ourselves, or we wanted to give them to someone else, and the way to make that practical is to have that gift manufactured… the lounge chair for example, was really done as a present for a friend, Billy Wilder, and has since been reproduced.”
The Lounge Chair has since been in continuous production by Herman Miller and Vitra. Its rosewood veneer and black leather upholstery became a status symbol ”…and during the last decade or so, newspapers and magazine stories have depicted the Eames Chair as the throne of choice for movie moguls and other powerful businessmen who seek to project and air of informal, but total control.” The chair evolved to become the height of luxury and comfort and one of the most important design icons of the 20th century.
The book examines the designs of Ray and Charles Eames and with lavish photographs and illustrations, documents the evolution of the Lounge Chair and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. It also includes insightful interviews of people involved in making the Lounge Chair and observations on its transformation into a Modernist icon.
Charles Eames was often asked to “explain” the Chair. One of his most quoted lines was that he wanted it to have “the warm receptive look of a well-worn first baseman’s mitt. Anyone who has owned the Lounge Chair will tell you — it gets better with age.
The Eames Lounge Chair: An Icon of Modern Design, by Pat Kirkham, Thomas Hine, David Hanks, Martin Eidelberg, Hardcover, Dimensions: 25 x 25 cm, Pages: 192
Published by, BIS Publishers
Buy it here: Amazon
Industrial architecture, agro-industrial farmland, airports and urban landscapes are all subjects of the Italian photographer Carlo Valsecchi. He works with a extremely soft palette and nuanced chromatic scale, the images are painterly in its sensibility. By shooting long, slightly overexposed images Valsecchi manages to capture natural light bathing a subject not known for its intrinsic beauty. The compositions are considered and carefully composed, his goal is to make visible the dynamic process linking architecture, machinery and product.
Much of his work is clearly within the strong tradition of the industrial landscape developed by the German school, Bernd & Hilla Becher and Andreas Gursky, while others have noted similarities withe the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. The book follows an exhibition of his large-format photographs at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Carlo Valsecchi: Lumen, Edited by Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, William A. Ewing, Nathalie Herschdorfer, Publisher: Hatje Cantz English, French, Pages 192, 134 color, hardcover, 29.7 x 27.6 cm, ISBN: 9783775724104
Buy it here: Amazon
In design school you will encounter people who revel in ridiculous design rules, like the graphic design professor I had, who I still quote today: “When in doubt, use a drop shadow.” Anneloes van Gaalen has gathered some of the better known rules as they relate to the design discipline, including fashion, typography, art and advertising. The illustrated book is peppered with quotes from the famous and not-so-famous; like a condensed version of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, but for design professionals.
Design has many rules that claim to be big truths and full of wisdom. Designers all go by rules that work for them. However, their rules may not work for someone else, or for a particular piece of design work. As Tibor Kalman once said, “Rules are good. Break them.”
Here are some quotes from the book, by some of our favorite people:
“The client may be king, but he’s not the art director.”
- Von R. Glitschka
Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.”
- Charles Mingus
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
- Oscar Wilde
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
- Samuel Beckett
Never Use White Type on a Black Background: And 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules, Edited by Anneloes van Gaalen, BIS Publishers, Hardcover, Dimensions: 12 x 17 cm, Pages: 160 ISBN: 9789063692070
Buy it here: Amazon