Reading list

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Design Brooklyn: Renovation, Restoration, Innovation tracks the trajectory of Brooklyn’s urban development – from ramshackle and rough around the edges to a posh and leafy enclave for NYC creative types. Of special note, is the spread on Beastie Boy Mike D.’s Cobble Hill townhouse, which features an array of designed in Brooklyn pieces including wallpaper, curtains, lighting, and furniture. A new mammoth volume, Powerhouse 4 highlights 124 awe-inspiring retail interiors. Showcasing the latest trends in environmental design, the book includes bakeries, boutiques, sneaker shops, and supermarkets that captivate the imagination of the consumer and elevate shopping to a whole new level. Franco Maria Ricci’s Labyrinths: The Art of the Maze documents labyrinths in a myriad of mediums including stamped on coins, traced in manuscripts, cultivated in gardens, and even its history in literary quotations.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Released this week, Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up chronicles twenty-five years of iconic designs from the visionary Dutch designer. Published in conjunction with an extensive exhibit of his work at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the book goes beyond beautiful images with interviews, analysis, and essays. A new online magazine, theTwentySIX, has former interior designer Brandon A. Smith at the helm. Smith describes the publication’s content as “Vogue meets Dwell” and will feature interviews and insights from creatives across the design spectrum.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Martí Guixé unites his design background and devotion to food in his new book Transition Menu – Reviewing Creative Gastronomy. His most recent work delves into the development of food design incorporating his personal thoughts on pleasurable vs. functional cuisine, regional food culture, and plate choices. His transition menu consists of 23 elements that “define the borders of gastronomy and food design.” Disregarding taste, smell, and texture, Guixé’s focus is squarely on the ritual of consumption.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Unit Edition’s new monograph FHK Henrion: The Complete Designer seeks to elevate the identity of the often overlooked but prolific German designer who was contemporaries of Paul Rand, Saul Bass, and Otl Aicher. Relocating to Britain at the onset of World War II, Henrion was briefly detained by English forces as an ‘enemy alien’ before making a name for himself designing propaganda posters for the British and American forces. He went on to become “the founding father of modern corporate identity in Europe” producing celebrated identities for KLM Airlines and retailer C&A. A notable thinker and speaker, he taught design around the world. This new 500+ page publication will ensure that Henrion’s colorful and remarkably modern work will educate and enlighten a new era of design talent.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Taschen’s recently published 100 Illustrators culls a select list of the most significant contemporary artists from their Illustration Now! series. Including work from Istvan Banyai, Gary Baseman, and Anita Kunz, the compilation displays the diverse and showstopping work of the most compelling illustrators of current times. Visual Editions’ Where You Are assembles a variety of writing and visuals from thinkers, writers, and artists to challenge and expand upon conventional notions of what a map is. A lovely children’s book, Aventures d’un Village, replaces traditional pages with origami-like paper forms. The choose-your-own-adventure centers around an evolving village that morphs as the painterly images are unfolded.

Image via Bristol City Council

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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To begin the New Year on an ambitious note, we thought to share some inspiring literature on leadership. Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us explores how the internet age is changing the way we come together and connect as a group. Social media, blogs, and other products of the technological age make it easier than ever for diverse tribes to gather around a political cause or environmental initiative. The book poses the question “Who is going to lead all these tribes?” and encourages everyone to take a stand and seize the opportunity to lead. Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life offers 12 practices for infusing creativity into all human endeavors. The authors, a psychotherapist and a philharmonic conductor, interweave their unique perspectives and professional experiences into stories that draw out the inspired person in all of us. A critical success, Thinking, Fast and Slow written by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in economic science, leads the reader on a tour through the mind explaining the two systems that drive the way we think. The hope being that if we understand the origins of our intuition and impulses, we can avoid the pitfalls and “mental glitches” that lead us astray.

Image via Designboom

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Interiors have been an area of focus in the Wert offices this December. And what better way to spend the holidays than browsing beautiful coffee table books by a cozy fire. Rizzoli has recently released a trio of enchanting monographs that showcase magical interiors. Photographer Francois Halard’s self-titled volume includes images from one of his first assignments, photographing a 20-something Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisian abode. With an old-world eye and a bohemian spirit, Halard captured images of the homes of revered tastemakers including Coco Chanel, Richard Avedon, and Schiaparelli. An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Luce showcases interior designer Timothy Corrigan’s lovely decorated and restored chateau in France’s Loire Valley. Offering both advice and insight into the art of French living, Corrigan reveals the secret to dwelling in a historic residence with modern flair. Lastly, Stephen Sills: Decoration documents Sills’s visionary old-meets-new interior style. Karl Lagerfeld once claimed the decorator’s country home in Bedford, NY to be “the chicest house in America.”

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Next up in our Bookshelf’s holiday series, are books for graphic design enthusiasts. Beginning with the fundamentals, pick up Paul Rand’s Design, Form, and Chaos and learn the trade from a graphic design icon. Musing on his craft, Rand explains how to develop process, intuition, and an aesthetic sense demonstrating the core of great design– the synthesis of beauty and utility. Another essential design text, Bruno Manari’s Design as Art, communicates a zen-like mindset and passion for merging art and life. His advice to “subtract instead of add” resonates as much today as it did forty years ago. And for eye candy, Marian Bantjes’s new monograph Marian Bantjes Pretty Pictures is an explosion of graphic work from the last decade. Bantjes’s visuals have been aptly described as “maximalist” calling to mind the Art Nouveau dreamscapes of Alfons Mucha.

Looking for more gift ideas? Designers & Books have put together a stellar book list for their Holiday Gift Guide.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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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 Spacesavers.com)

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Patricia Urquiola, one of the best-known women in design, is finally being honored with a monograph from Rizzoli – Time to Make a Book, a comprehensive collection of her product and architectural designs. And Home: 25 Amazing Projects for Your Home is a lovely offering of DIY projects from author Beci Orpin. And Graphic Thought Facility have designed a new book on textile manufacturer Kvadrat – Interwoven: Kvadrat Textile and Design, its cover made of bespoke wool book cloth.

(Image of Reinier de Jong’s extendable bookcase)

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