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Books: Behind Bars: Design for Cafés & Bars

The range of bars and cafés that can be found in cities around the world is growing. These locations are used for personal enjoyment and as relaxing and inspirational escapes from our urban daily lives. But more notably, bars and cafés are increasingly serving as representative environments for key meetings as well as maintaining business and social networks. Today, discerning individuals and businesspeople are looking for exclusive and discrete ambience in combination with contemporary comforts and trends. The design and interior of bars and cafés are decisive criteria for succeeding in a highly competitive international market.

Behind Bars: Design for Cafés & Bars, Edited by Marlous Willems, 340 pages, hardcover
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Monograph: Jeff Koons

Koons For The Poor!
Jeff Koons’s entire oeuvre to date, at a decidely unKoonsian price. From kinky to kitsch via conceptual, Jeff Koons’ art is anything but conformist. Since he stunned the art world in the 1980s with basketball sculptures and stainless steel blow-ups, Koons has been contemporary art’s bad boy—a reputation he (ahem) nailed in the early 90s via works depicting him in flagrante delicto with then-wife Cicciolina, the Italian porn star-cum-politician. He followed these with Puppy, a 40-foot tall floral terrier installed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Koons’ exploitation of the banal, and aggrandizement of kitsch and pop imagery, has become his trademark. Despite his many critics, the work commands millions at auction and Koons’ position at the forefront of contemporary art is indisputable.

This exhaustive monograph includes a biographical essay by Ingrid Sischy, an Eckhard Schneider essay on Koons from a European perspective, and Katy Siegel’s detailed and scholarly analysis of his work. Arranged chronologically, with hundreds of large format images, it traces Koons’ career from 1979 to today. Not merely a sumptuous objet d’art, this is the most comprehensive study of Koons’ work yet published.

Jeff Koons, Edited by Hans Werner Holzwarth, 592 pages.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Spacecraft 2

The design community’s preoccupation with space and building beyond the limits of classical architecture is more fascinating than ever before. Like its successful predecessor, Spacecraft 2 presents projects that meet the changing spatial needs of our modern lifestyles and that are simultaneously expanding our current understanding of architecture.

This book showcases international projects by architects, artists and designers all distinguished by the unconventional use and creation of space. The dynamic range of work presented in this sumptuous volume stretches the existing concepts of temporary architecture, thus unhinging conventional definitions of spatial design.

Spacecraft 2 features modular ephemeral structures that exist only for a limited time, such as pavilions, art projects and exhibition spaces. They exemplify innovative interventions often found in public spaces and urban environments. It also presents projects that deal with the transient use of space such as studios, mobile habitats and pop-up stores that either adapt to their surrounding environments or are strikingly conspicuous.

Spacecraft 2: More Fleeting Architecture and Hideouts, Editors: R. Klanten, L. Feireiss, 280 pages, full colour, hardcover.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Alinea by Grant Achatz

The Chicago restaurant Alinea has its own molecular gastronomy wunderkind in Grant Achatz as he takes food in previously unimagined directions. This cookbook presents the exact recipes, grouped by season, from the restaurant kitchen, such as Yolk Drops with Asparagus, Lemon and Black Pepper or Bison with Beets, Blueberries and Burning Cinnamon, along with gorgeous closeup photographs of these jaw-droppingly fanciful creations. The book opens with essays by food world elder statesmen, including Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, who lavish praise on Achatz’s approach, and Michael Nagrant, who explores the Alinea philosophy through a dish called “Black Truffle Explosion.” Achatz himself eloquently explains 10 techniques he uses at the restaurant to achieve his culinary goals, from “bouncing flavors” to custom service ware and aroma manipulation.

Though readers are encouraged to make the recipes, or at least interpret them so as to “craft an experience similar to dining at the restaurant,” where every minute involves intensive engagement with the food, most people will value the book more as a beautifully produced insight into Achatz’s creativity and perhaps a spur to their own, even when they are not making spheres of beet juice or mozzarella balloons. Purchase includes access to a companion Web site with video demonstrations, interviews and an forum with Achatz and his team. (Publishers Weekly)

Alinea Book by Grant Achatz, 416pp, Hardcover

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Marcel Wanders: Behind the Ceiling

Marcel Wanders is the highly anticipated first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. Wanders’ designs are characteristically buoyant and imbued with his signature irony and quirky dry wit that evoke imagination; nevertheless all of the featured examples of furniture, lighting, interiors, textiles, tableware, decorative porcelain and ceramic vases as well as his personal art editions are unpretentiously urbane. This book showcases his body of work and stellar career through stunning photography, sketches, copious texts and quotes from the designer himself, offering a first-hand account of Wanders’ irresistible universe.

Lavishly printed, this book showcases Marcel Wanders’ work over the past decade. It features tableware for the renowned Dutch porcelain manufacturers Tichelaar Makkum and Royal Delft, as well as his personal art editions such as his acclaimed oversized ceramic bells, crochet seating and sculptures launched by his own studio. In addition, it presents textiles and furniture he has designed for an extensive client list including brands such as B&B Italia, Poliform, Moroso, Cappellini, Droog as well as Moooi, of which he is also Art Director and co-owner. An entertainer at heart, his theatrical performances and installations are also included, which prove his exceptional skill at amplifying experience with mesmerising environments.

Marcel Wanders: Behind the Ceiling, Author: Marcel Wanders, Editors: R. Klanten, S. Moreno, A. Mollard, 320 pages, full colour, hardcover

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

In this enormous, beautiful book, we hear the full story of the meteoric rise of Heston Blumenthal and The Fat Duck, birthplace of snail porridge and bacon-and-egg ice cream, and encounter the passion, perfection and weird science behind the man and the restaurant.

Heston Blumenthal is widely acknowledged to be a genius, and The Fat Duck has twice been voted the Best Restaurant in the World by a peer group of top chefs. But he is entirely self-taught, and the story of his restaurant has broken every rule in the book. His success has been borne out of his pure obsession, endless invention and a childish curiosity into how things work – whether it’s how smell affects taste, what different flavours mean to us on a biological level, or how temperature is distributed in the centre of a soufflé.

In the first section of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, we learn the history of the restaurant, from its humble beginnings to its third Michelin star (the day Heston received the news of this he had been wondering how exactly he would be able to pay his staff that month). Next we meet 50 of his signature recipes – sardine on toast sorbet, salmon poached with liquorice, hot and iced tea, chocolate wine – which, while challenging for anyone not equipped with ice baths, dehydrators, vacuum pumps and nitrogen on tap, will inspire home cooks and chefs alike. Finally, we hear from the experts whose scientific know-how has contributed to Heston’s topsy-turvy world, on subjects as diverse as synaesthesia, creaminess and flavour expectation.

With an introduction by Harold McGee, incredible colour photographs throughout, illustrations by Dave McKean, multiple ribbons, real cloth binding and a gorgeous slip case, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is not only the nearest thing to an autobiography from the world’s most fascinating chef, but also a stunning, colourful and joyous work of art.

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal Hardback, 532 pages, 340x290mm
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Books: The U.N. Building

When it was completed in 1952 along New York’s East River, The United Nations Building stood as a 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. Its magnificent public spaces and assembly halls, as well as its impressive collection of art by Chagall, Henry Moore and many others make it one of the most visited sites in New York.
On the celebration of the United Nations’ 60th anniversary, and before a long period of renovation, this book presents a portrait of this fascinating building. Specially commissioned photography and an illuminating text bring alive the the spaces which have played host to the historic aspirations, speeches, debates and gatherings that have been central to the world’s development since 1945.

“Considered and well-produced … an intelligently observed photo-essay of a working environment”
– The Architects’ Journal

“No one had ever conceived of building a mirror on this scale before, and perhaps no one could guess what an endless series of pictures that mirror would reveal.”
– Lewis Mumford

The U.N. Building, with an essay by Aaron Betsky, Photographs by Ben Murphy, Foreword by Kofi A. Annan
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Books: Design Hotels Book: Edition 2009

The Design Hotels Book: Edition 2009 is the most comprehensive encyclopedia to date featuring the most attractive international design hotels the world over. The book presents 170 luxurious, original and distinctive properties that are setting new standards in high-end hospitality.
This rich compendium contains portraits of each member hotel through stunning photographs of its architecture and interior design in addition to detailed information about its distinguished concept. The book also features extensive profiles of visionary individuals – designers and hoteliers who are the driving creative forces behind the hotels.
The Design Hotels Book is not only an inspiring reference for architects and designers, but is also an indispensable directory of impressive hotels and destinations for those who like to travel in style.

Design Hotels Book: Edition 2009, Edited by Design Hotels, 488 pages, full colour, hardcover. View the clip: Gestalten

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Bunkers: Ruins of War in a New American Landscape

Built in apprehension of the enemy that never came, Alex Fradkin has photographed the architecture of war along the coastal landscape of the San Francisco Bay area. The earliest bunkers date from the Mexican–American War all the way up to the Cold War. A personal photographic project which took Fradkin eight years to complete will be published by Chronicle Books in the Fall of 2009.

Bunkers: Ruins of War in a New American Landscape, by Alex Fradkin

Books: The Design Encyclopedia

The Design Encyclopedia aims to provide an account of the still largely unknown story of design. The book covers design throughout the world, from Japan to Finland. Manufacturers and key designers since the late 19th century are covered alphabetically, with biographical accounts of careers, listings of major works and exhibitions, and bibliographies for further reading.

The Design Encyclopedia, Edited by Mel Byars, 832 pages
Buy it here: Amazon

Editor's Picks

Konstantin B
…the compensation for all the things you simply did not do, polished to perfection. [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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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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