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Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


This holiday season the Wert&Co. team is planning on catching up on its reading. Our blog will count down to the New Year with bookshelf posts that revolve around the themes that are occupying our minds this December.

We are kicking off the series by highlighting a few stimulating and beautiful books on data visualization. First, Edward Tufte’s classic Envisioning Information presents delightfully illustrated diagrams, interfaces, maps, and charts that span a multitude of topics. Offering guidance on how to visually represent perplexing material, the colorful and award-winning book is a must-have for designers, educators, architects, and artists. David McCandless’ stunning books Information is Beautiful and The Visual Miscellaneum have been revised and reimagined. The author’s use of minimal text places his gorgeous graphics at the fore. Interpreting information on postmodernism to horoscopes to health findings, his books enrapture the reader with every turn of the page. Perhaps the most exciting monograph on visual storytelling of recent, The Best American Infographics 2013 edited by Gareth Cook with a foreword by David Byrne, chronicles the most influential visualizations of the year. The book speaks to our era of information overload, presenting a glimpse of imaginative and lively infographics that allow us to engage with and digest data in brand-new ways.

[Image via Designboom by Felix Lochner]

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


An exquisite new book Pascal Fellonneau: Urban Landscapes of Iceland showcases the French photographer’s images of the stark snow-covered island in scenes that are wistful and poetic. Frame’s monograph Keisuke Fujiwara: Interior Elements for Space and Product Design documents 15 years of Fujiwara designs. Detailing a breadth of work and offering insight into his ideas and processes, the book contains lavish illustrations of elegantly designed objects, architecture, and environments. Finally, Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is yet another international creative with a self-titled book now on shelves. Featuring his outlandish designs and alien forms, critic Cristina Carrillo de Albornoz explores the inspiration behind his avant garde structures.

(Image via

Fantastical Art at The Groninger


Contemporary artist Jaime Hayan’s first major solo exhibit, Funtastico, opens at The Groninger Museum in The Netherlands. A multimedia virtuoso, Spanish-born Hayon employs ceramics, wood, glass, and textiles in his 3-dimensional art objects. The exhibit documents the trajectory of his career– from experimental glasswork made in collaboration with French crystal manufacturer Baccarat, to clown-inspired lamps and vases, to oversized ceramic chess pieces in his installation ‘The Tournament.’ In concert, Hayon’s pieces creates a whimsical and humorous play land inciting contemplation and laughter (at objects like the absurd ‘rockin’ hot dog’ chair) and captivating the minds of young and old alike.

Immaterial Blooms


Flowers that don’t necessitate water or sunlight? Digital artist and interaction designer, Daniel Brown, grows flowers from bundles of code. His roses, orchids, and immaterial blooms are computer-crafted creations generated by the manipulation of digital plant genomes. These fantastical flowers grow on screen in real-time, documented by a camera run via matrix manipulation. Brown’s visionary designs have been commissioned by Art Fund’s RENEW program at the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum and the BBC Climate Change website.

Urban Installations


In Stockholm, Sweden citizens and visitors don’t need to enter a museum for artistic inspiration, they can glean it everyday when navigating the subway. Often referred to as the world’s largest art museum, the Stockholm subway system immerses riders in expansive works of art dating from the 1950s-2000s all for the cost of a Metro ticket. 90 of the system’s 100 stations possess captivating and colorful murals and sculptures from 150 different artists. Here at home, MoMA PS12014 Young Architects Program  recently selected five finalists to design an innovative outdoor installation that includes seating, shade, and water for the PS1 courtyard in Long Island City, New York. The proposal’s guidelines include addressing environmental and sustainability issues. One project will be selected and the winner’s design will debut summer 2014.

Olfactory Ingenuity


The newest add-on for your smart phone, Japan’s Scentee, moves beyond the visual and taps into users’ olfactory sense. Plugging into a phone’s earphone jack, the orb-shaped device can be programmed to disperse different scents throughout the day. Replaceable cartridges allow the user to choose from a multitude of scents to suit their mood or environment:  coffee as you wake, lavender in a crowded subway, or mint as a mid-day refresher. The latest scent in the pipeline? Bacon. In other fragrance news, the Ophone, a small cylindrical gadget designed by Le Laboratoire receives encoded recipes through a server that determines what custom scent it emanates. The current prototype generates up to 320 different smells.


Bookshelf: What We’re Reading


A few magazines to curl up with this autumn. Fall 2013 issue of Uppercase Magazine explores all things office-related. From alphabets made with office supplies to an examination of the cubicle, this month’s issue is devoted to creativity in the work place. For those passionate about craft and beauty, Hole & Corner Issue 2, available for pre-order, is dedicated to talented individuals who inspire. Frame #95 embraces the digital age with a visit to an “open source” space in Japan before turning their attention to a new wave of mobile architecture.

(Image by Caroga via Anagrama)

London Design Legends


This month sees the exhibition and monograph launch of Anthony Burrill’s at the KK Outlet. Burrill’s simple yet playful letterpress posters has become synonymous with the British design scene and beyond – even adorning the walls of 40 Wooster Street. Also in London, the Design Museum celebrates it’s 25th anniversary. Founded by Sir Terence Conran, the museum hopes to encourage everyone, regardless of their background, to appreciate and understand the value of design.

Innovative Objects


Technology is increasingly changing the way artists and designers fabricate objects. Experimental Chilean design studio, Great Things to People, have developed the Catenary Pottery Printer (CPP) an apparatus that creates artful porcelain objects from a catenary mould made of fabric. Combining traditional materials and artisanal methods with parametric design, the studio seamlessly combines innovation and craft. Mad Museum’s current show Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital explores similar advanced methods of production and 3D printing. The exhibit seeks to expose the evolving role of digital design in our daily lives and presents a broad range of inventive objects including jewelry, lighting, sculpture, gowns, and prosthetics all created with advanced technology.

Sustainable Practices


The Economist Intelligence Unit has launched a new competition that asks a wide array of citizens– students, business executives, and energy experts to develop ideas and solutions to the world’s energy challenges. Focusing on three primary topics: skills for innovation, diversifying our energy mix, and ensuring access to energy in developing countries the initiative hopes to create awareness and a productive dialog on environmental efficiency. Participants will submit a written essay, video, or infographic. The winner will participate in a webinar on March 25, 2014 and debate with four energy experts on how to best address climate change and the future of alternative energy.

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