Jonathan Olivares

Product/Industrial Designer / United States / Jonathan Olivares Design Research

Jonathan Olivares’s Book List

Each of these five books have altered my position on design and design research—they are staples in my library. In an interview, the filmmaker Harmony Korine once stated that two people can see the same movie, and one will walk out thinking about popcorn while the other walks out thinking about fascism. I have no idea what these books might prompt from another reader, but I’ve given my popcorn here.

1 book
Charles Eames
Ray Eames
Glen Fleck Editor

I could speak for days about the significance and beauty of this book, which tells the history of the computer from 1890 to 1950. The book is based on the exhibition of the same title that the Eames Office designed for IBM, which was on display from 1971 until 1975 in IBM’s Corporate Exhibit Center in New York City. Its format is made up of sequences of images that occupy the central portion of each spread, with captions above and below. This creates a dynamic reading experience, and prefigures the basic format of the scrolling blog, or twitter feed, where a stream of text and images are in constant referral to each other. Mixing scientific, mathematical, mechanical, and cultural information, the book portrays its subject through a broader lens than is typically used in books about history. The juxtapositions of images, which include photographs of inventors, scaled reproductions of important documents, news clippings, cut-out photographs of tools and machines, and stills from popular films, are as beautiful as they are enlightening. While the content is interesting to me, the real fascination for me lies in the format, which offers a finely conceived lens for viewing history, and could be applied to any number of subjects.

comments powered by Disqus