My favorite book of 2012 is a follow-up to my favorite book of 2011. Both are a collection of essays written by Tom Lubbock that appeared in his weekly column at The Independent. Whereas last year’s Great Works examined painted masterpieces of Western art, English Graphic narrows the focus to smaller works in ink, drawings, and engravings produced in England—work seldom seen in the public eye. Typically no more than four to five pages each, these essays shimmer with sparkling wit and startling observations. Lubbock possesses the supreme gift of making obscure works seem familiar and familiar works seem fresh. In these pages, towering giants of English graphic arts like William Blake, William Hogarth, and Aubrey Beardsley rub shoulders with lesser-known geniuses such as George Romney, Francis Towne, and Thomas Cartwitham. Lubbock’s prose is masterful, and his keen examinations of artistic technique reveal how these images manage to firmly take hold in our imaginations.
Based on drawings from the Le Corbusier Foundation’s archives, Steven Park’s book contains new plans, sections, and elevations for 26 houses designed by the master French architect. Iconic buildings such as the Pavillon de l’espirit nouveau, Maison de l’homme, and Villa Savoye make their appearances. Park provides a brief history of each building and its program; however, the architectural renderings are the star of the book. Each of Le Corbusier’s houses is shown in exterior perspectives, sectional perspectives, sub-divisional plans, site plans, floor plans, and elevations from every cardinal direction. In particular, the sectional perspectives excel at showing how Le Corbusier conceived each building as dynamic spaces where the interior and exterior unify to create “machines for living in.” Steven Park’s minimal draftsmanship is beautiful, and the clarity of the drawings allows Le Corbusier’s architectural genius to shine through.
I’m a sucker for books on tree houses, and TASCHEN’s Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air may be the best global survey of tree houses yet published. No longer relegated to the simple cobbled-together caprices of our youth, the tree houses of today are undergoing a revival of interest for those seeking sophisticated natural retreats, many designed by leading architects. Philip Jodidio’s introduction charts the history of these gravity-defying arboreal structures, and the playful illustrations by Patrick Hruby that accompany each tree house are a joy to behold. Finally, a coffee table book on tree houses that is worthy of your coffee table!
New Book Available for Pre-Order Now; Release Date, June 1, 2015: Spin: 360°
A portrait of Spin, one of London’s leading design studios, which has produced work in identity, print, moving image, retail, digital, and environmental graphics. Includes essays and interviews with Spin’s founders, Tony Brook and Patricia Finegan, and texts by Paula Scher, Stefan Sagmeister, Ben Bos, Wim Crouwel, Rick Poynor, Steven Heller, Patrick Burgoyne, and artist and author Edmund de Waal.
Tony Brook and Patricia Finegan; designed by Spin
Published by Unit Editions Pre-order and details. The first 1,000 copies come with a limited-edition pack of six silk-screened cards in a matching envelope, plus a set of six button badges — designed by Spin. If you pre-order you also receive an exclusive advance excerpt from the book.
New Book Release, February 9, 2015: Reproducing Scholten & Baijings
The first book on the work of the Amsterdam-based studio Scholten & Baijings, which has become renowned for its sensitive and subtle yet functional products—from ceramics and silverware to textiles and even a concept car.
New Book Release, December 5, 2014: Dream of Venice
Captures the mysterious allure of the ancient floating city with the evocative photography of Charles Christopher and the beguiling words of a diverse group of contemporary Venetophiles.
Edited by JoAnn Locktov; photography by Charles Christopher; foreword by Frances Mayes
Published by Bella Figura Publications Buy and details
New Book Release, February 10, 2015: Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can Too)
A Coca-Cola senior executive shares both the successes and failures of one of the world’s largest companies as it learns to use design to be both agile and big. In this rare and unprecedented behind-the-scenes look, David Butler and senior Fast Company editor, Linda Tischler, use plain language and easy-to-understand case studies to show how this works at Coca-Cola—and how other companies can use the same approach to grow their business.
By David Butler and Linda Tischler
Published by Simon & Schuster Buy and details