Book List of the Week

To Be Continued: Jürgen Mayer H.’s Book List

By Steve Kroeter September 4, 2012

Jürgen Mayer H.

Architect Jürgen Mayer H.: J. MAYER H. (Berlin)

Profile     Book List

Architect Jürgen Mayer H.—the speaker this Thursday, September 6, in the Fall 2012 lecture series of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)—is the first designer in a new collaboration between the GSD and Designers & Books that will feature book lists from a variety of GSD guest lecturers.

Wirrwarr by Jürgen Mayer H., cover, 2011 (Hatje Cantz)

We are especially pleased to launch this collaboration with the book list of Jürgen Mayer H., whose interests in reading and also in professional practice are wide, diverse, and multidisciplinary. His studio focuses on work that is defined by the intersection of architecture, communication, and new technology, resulting in projects that vary in scale from housing to interiors to infrastructure projects to urban planning schemes, and incorporate graphic and product design as well as installation projects. In this work, according to Mayer H., “the relationship between the human body, technology and nature form the background for a new production of space.”

A committed reader (and re-reader), Jürgen Mayer H. says in the introduction to his book list for Designers & Books: “Over the years there are some books that seem to continually resurface on my pile of things to read. Each is part of a chapter of my past, inspires me in the present, and will certainly guide me in the future—to be continued.”

What the books on the list all share, in various forms, is exploration of insight, adventure, and reinvention—new ways of looking and seeing. Jürgen Mayer H. recommends Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain as “a great insight into the evolution of our mind.” About Dieter Bogner’s book Friedrich Kiesler: Architekt, Maler, Bildhauer [Architect, Painter, Sculptor], 1890–1965, he says, “Kiesler´s work bridges disciplines and understands designing as an adventure into the unknown.” Also on his list is the novel Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne—which Mayer H. describes as “breaking conventions, providing surprise, and playing with disorder.”

Images from Wirrwarr, 2011

Jürgen Mayer H. is the author of some 12 books that are similarly experimental. His most recent book, published last June by Hatje Cantz and a Designers & Books Notable Book of 2011 is Wirrwarr—whose title translates from the German roughly as chaos, confusion, or jumble. The book features 100 images Mayer H. has collected from the printed patterns used by banks to encrypt passcodes and PIN numbers in letters to customers. He then uses these preprints as the basis for buildings, drawings, sculptures and design objects.

Note: Designers & Books will include links to the video of Jürgen Mayer H.’s lecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design and of GSD lectures by other Designers & Books contributors as they become available for viewing.

View Jürgen Mayer H.’s Profile     View Jürgen Mayer H.’s Book List

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