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Monograph: Carlo Valsecchi Lumen

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

Books: Never Use White Type on a Black Background

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

Max Ernst Museum by SMO Architektur

Thirty years after Max Ernst’s death, his home town of Brühl opened a museum for their prodigal son. It has been set up in the former Brühl Pavilion, a neoclassical palais built in 1844, where Ernst went dancing as a schoolboy.

Max Ernst Museum, by Van Den Valentyn Architektur/SMO Architektur
Photos by: Rainer Mader

Max Ernst Museum: Van Den Valentyn Architektur/SMO Architektur, Hardcover, Pages 64, Illustration 27 colour, 38 b&w illustrations, 26cm x 24cm, ISBN 9783883759494
Buy the Book: Amazon

Ingrid Siliakus—Paper Architect

Paper Architecture is the art of creating an object out of a single piece of paper. Before the final design is finished, something like 20 to 30 (sometimes even more) prototypes are made by Ingrid Siliakus. Drawing paper architecture designs to Ingrid is as building: first one layer, with a single shape, will be drawn and than layer after layer are added. To design a pattern from scratch, the artist needs the skills of an architect to create a two-dimensional design, which, with the patience and precision of a surgeon, becomes an ingenious three-dimensional wonder of paper.

“A growing number of papercraft artists are enjoying the exquisite art of architectural origami, where a single sheet of paper is cut and folded into an intricate miniature structure. Here, three of the world’s leading proponents provide instructions and templates for recreating twenty of the world’s great buildings, from the Taj Mahal to the Rialto Bridge. There are basic principles to start you off, as well as galleries of the finest architectural origami from around the world.”

The Paper Architect, Marivi Garrido (Spain), Joyce Aysta (America) and Ingrid Siliakus (Netherlands), Hardcover, 110 pages (70pp plus 40pp templates), 23cm X 28cm,
ISBN: 9780307451477

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Books: Le Corbusier And The Maisons Jaoul

In his article published in the Architectural Review in 1955 James Stirling observed that, “frequently accused of being an ‘internationalist’ Le Corbusier was, in fact, the most regional of architects”. With the construction of the vaulted Maisons Jaoul, built for André Jaoul and his son—and their wives—made entirely of brick, concrete, stone, and timber, the house is the antithesis of everything commonly referred to as “Corbusian.”

The book is the first detailed examination of a lesser-known, yet architecturally significant house. Filled with detailed drawings, plans, rare photographs, and indeed even a glimse of the contents of the house and the type of furnishings installed. The book ends with the critical reception by the houses, mainly in the British and American press during the 1950s and ’60s.

Le Corbusier himself never explained this radical change in direction, leaving this design a mystery for future generations to decipher. The book is a welcome addition to the study of this well-known architect but will certainly pose the question: Perhaps Le Corbusier is not a modernist after all?

Le Corbusier and the Maisons Jaoul, by Caroline Maniaque Benton, 19cm x 25cm, Hardcover, 176 pages, (122 color illustrations; 100 b/w),
Published by Princeton Architectural Press ISBN 9781568988009
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Edgar Martins: Topologies

With artful composition and controlled framing—but no digital manipulation—Edgar Martins creates sublimely beautiful views of often un-beautiful sites. Minimalist nighttime beaches, forests ravaged by fires, and Iceland’s stark terrain have all served as subjects for his large-scale color photographs. He also explores the unexpected impact of modernism on the landscape, including startlingly graphic airport runways and colorful highway barriers that, at first glance, read like abstract murals.

Certain themes recur throughout Martins’s work. A sense of place and alienation from it. A sense of mystery—vividly embodied in scenes such as a woman with a bouquet of balloons on a deserted shore. And a sense that something unsettling has just happened or is about to happen—a fire, an accident, a close encounter with some unspecified danger. As John Beardsley notes, “Some images are what we habitually expect photography to be—evidence of the world as we think we know it—while others obscure their subjects through an illusionism that borders on magic.”

Edgar Martins: Topologies, Photography by Edgar Martins, Hardcover with jacket,
11″ x 9.25″, 136 pages

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Architecture Now! Houses

Some of the best houses built in the last few years, many of them featured on Daily Icon, can be found in a condensed format in the series Architecture Now!

Beyond the fundamental notion of shelter, what defines a house? What are its elements and limitations? This broad-ranging selection of extraordinary dwellings shows the concept to be infinitely malleable: one house seems to hover above the ground, another is embedded in it; some have stark minimal lines, others have tropical gardens; some are palatial, others monastic. From postmodern castles to hi-tech cabins, here is a connoisseur’s choice of the world’s most remarkable new houses, from deepest Patagonia to the Sydney suburbs, via the USA, Europe, Scandinavia and Asia.

Featured architects/firms/artists include:
3LHD Architects, Ábalos & Herreros, Ricardo Bak Gordon, Shigeru Ban, Blank Studio, Gianni Botsford, Nancy Copley, Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos, Durbach Block, Eastern Design Office, Fuhrimann & Hächler, Terunobu Fujimori, Sou Fujimoto Architects, Kotaro Ide, Carlos Jiménez, Jouin Manku, Kamayachi + Harigai, Mathias Klotz, Kengo Kuma, Leven Betts Studio, MOS, Mount Fuji Architects Studio, Plasma Studio, Antoine Predock, Laurent Savioz, Shim + Sutcliffe, Álvaro Siza Vieira, Philippe Stuebi, Zhang Lei, René van Zuuk

Architecture Now! Houses, Edited by Philip Jodidio, 20 x 25 cm, 416 pages
ISBN: 9783836503747
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Books: Case Study Houses

The Case Study House program (1945–1966) was an exceptional, innovative event in the history of American architecture and remains to this day unique. The program, which concentrated on the Los Angeles area and oversaw the design of 36 prototype homes, sought to make available plans for modern residences that could be easily and cheaply constructed during the postwar building boom. Highly experimental, the program generated houses that were designed to redefine the modern home, and thus had a pronounced influence on architecture—American and international—both during the program’s existence and even to this day. This compact guide includes all projects featured in the XL version, with over 150 photos and plans and a map of where all houses are (or were) located.

Case Study Houses, Edited by Peter Gössel, Hardcover, 96 pages ISBN: 9783836513012

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: House: Work by House Industries

House Industries is famous for their impeccable tongue-in-cheek takes on American popular culture, on comic influences such as Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and on modern design classics from Neutra to Charles Eames. Based in Delaware, its members have been producing premier league typefaces and designs for a devoted fan base since 1993.

Because their font and design work deftly meld cultural, musical and graphical elements, one becomes part of a concept and a way of life by
buying a House product. Their prize-winning font families, for example, are lovingly packaged to match the overall font theme in wallets, bowling bags, UFOs, etc. Their unique type products can be seen internationally on anything from your favourite brand of cereal to highly circulated magazines and television shows.

House by Andy Cruz, Ken Barber, Rich Roat, 24cm x 30cm, 240 pages,
ISBN: 978-3-931126-20-9

Buy it here: Amazon

Monograph: Frank Lloyd Wright: Complete Works

The Complete Frank Lloyd Wright
Part of an exhaustive three-volume monograph featuring all of Wright’s 1,100 designs, both realized and unrealized. This volume covers the postwar years and the “living architecture” period.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the fathers of modern architecture; his work helped define the modern era, had a widespread cultural influence, and remains highly influential today, half a century after his demise. The mature work of his final years is the subject of this monograph, including all his designs from that period, even those never built. Based on unlimited access to the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives in Taliesin, Arizona, this penetrating study gives an unrivalled overview of Wright’s groundbreaking work, complex personal life, and eventual ‘starchitect’ status – included are drawings he made for an unrealized house intended for Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.

Together with two forthcoming companion titles, this three-volume monograph will cover Wright’s entire oeuvre, from his early Prairie Houses, through the Usonian concept home and “living architecture” buildings, to late projects like the Guggenheim Museum and his fantastic vision of the “living city.” Author Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, who served as Wright’s apprentice during the 1950s, highlights the latest research and gives fresh insights into the work, providing new dates for many of the plans and houses. A wealth of personal photos also illustrates the working routine at Frank Lloyd Wright’s fellowship.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Complete Works, Vol. 3, Edited by Peter Gössel, Author Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Hardcover, 40cm x 31cm, 584 pages, ISBN: 9783822857700

Buy it here: Amazon

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