Stanley Abercrombie

Critic; Curator; Writer; Editor; Lecturer / Architecture; Interior Design / United States / Books Editor, Interior Design magazine

Books Every Interior Designer Should Read

As for so many other things, I blame my parents: they planted the seed of my hunger for books—especially art and design books—with a Christmas present. When I was eight or nine, growing up in a small town in Georgia, a big box under the tree held nothing but a small card welcoming me as a member of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In those days MoMA assumed that members who lived more than a couple of hundred miles from Manhattan would seldom get to the museum, so in compensation those remote members were sent a clothbound catalogue of each exhibition. I read each one over and over, thinking all of them wonderful. . . . View the complete text
4 books
Gaston Bachelard

Four years before his death, French philosopher Bachelard wrote of the character of such spaces as cellars, attics, forests, nests, shells, huts, and drawers and considered what roles they play in our imaginations. He asked designers to envision the experiences their designs will generate, not to work with abstractions that may not affect their inhabitants. He opposed Cartesian logic and celebrated poetry, play, and daydreams. He was against the square and for the round. A dense book, best to be read slowly, glancing up occasionally for a daydream.

Mario Praz

An art historian’s autobiography written in the form of a tour through his own house on Rome’s Via Giulia, seeing its furnishings, art, and objects, remembering their sources and significance for him. As a result we review his whole life. Of more importance, we are poignantly reminded of how meaningful and communicative are the inanimate objects we choose to live with.

Gyorgy Kepes

Part of the six-volume Vision + Value series edited by Kepes, Professor of Visual Design at MIT, this volume never specifically mentions interior design, but its 13 essays (by artists, architects, a geneticist, and a mathematician) are repeatedly relevant to it. One example, the essay by art psychologist Rudolf Arnheim, begins: “One of the basic visual experiences is that of right or wrong. . . . The shape of a house, a shelf, or a picture frame may repose contentedly or show a need to improve by stretching or shrinking.”

Bernard Rudofsky

This may seem a strange choice, but this catalogue for an exhibition of the same name at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, shows us dramatically and humorously how design decisions based on fashion can affect us in ways that are awkward, painful, and even disfiguring.

comments powered by Disqus