Best Sellers

Best-Selling Design Books, North America: August 2013

September 13, 2013

This list of best-selling design books is compiled from the individual best-seller lists provided for August 2013 by our North American featured booksellers:

Arcana: Books on the ArtsCCA Bookstore, Collected Works, Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Peter Miller Books, Powell’s Books, Rizzoli Bookstore, William Stout Architectural Books, Swipe Design | Books + Objects, and Van Alen Books.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes Jean-Louis Cohen
Barry Bergdoll

From the Publisher. In June 2013, The Museum of Modern Art will present the largest exhibition ever produced on Le Corbusier, encompassing his work as architect, interior designer, artist, city planner, writer, and photographer. Over a six- decade career, this towering figure of modern culture constantly observed and imagined landscapes using all the artistic techniques at his command, including water- color, drawing, painting, photography, and model making.

Reflecting the geographic extension of Le Corbusier’s designs and built works as well as his indefatigable wanderlust, the publication is structured as an atlas, with topographical entries allowing for the discovery of the major sites and cities in which the architect worked. Appearing 25 years after the Centre Pompidou’s landmark catalogue Le Corbusier, une encyclopédie, it is a new sourcebook, giving an account of research developed worldwide in recent decades. Featuring essays by a range of international curators, scholars, and critics, and a trove of archival images and materials from the Fondation Le Corbusier in Paris, this lavishly illustrated volume presents a wholly unique way to explore the life and work of one of the most important visionaries of our time.

CLOG: Sci-Fi Kyle May et al., Editors

# 1 Design Best Seller at McNally Jackson, New York (January 2014 and December 2013).

From the Publisher. Rod Serling, creator of the 1950s television series The Twilight Zone, defined science fiction as "the improbable made possible." The same might be said for the practice of architecture. After all, architects by trade conceive of spaces, places, and worlds that do not (yet) exist. Furthermore, the ability to make the improbable possible is held in especially high regard today and is oftentimes what defines an architectural practice as “innovative” in the first place.

It is therefore not surprising that a two-way artistic influence between architecture and science fiction has long existed. Fritz Lang's 1927 film Metropolis depicted a future world in 2026 that drew heavily on contemporary art deco and Modernist building precedents. On the other hand, avant-garde 1960s design practices such as Archigram openly adopted concepts and representation techniques from postwar pulp science fiction. Most recently, a number of designs from significant international offices have exhibited a striking resemblance to science fiction icons, such as the Death Star, demonstrating the impact this genre has had on the creative imagination of a generation.

The feedback loop between fiction and reality remains strong today, with kilometer-high towers rising in the Middle East, new building materials emerging on a seemingly daily basis, and unconventional—if not outright bizarre—shapes blanketing our cities and countrysides. As science fiction continues to both draw upon historic and contemporary architecture while simultaneously influencing future design, it is time to critically examine the improbable made possible: SCI-FI.

A Country of Cities Vishaan Chakrabarti

From the Publisher. In A Country of Cities, author Vishaan Chakrabarti argues that well-designed cities are the key to solving America's great national challenges: environmental degradation, unsustainable consumption, economic stagnation, rising public health costs and decreased social mobility. If we develop them wisely in the future, our cities can be the force leading us into a new era of progressive and prosperous stewardship of our nation. In compelling chapters, Chakrabarti brings us a wealth of information about cities, suburbs and exurbs, looking at how they developed across the 50 states and their roles in prosperity and globalization, sustainability and resilience, and heath and joy. Counter to what you might think, American cities today are growing faster than their suburban counterparts for the first time since the 1920s. If we can intelligently increase the density of our cities as they grow and build the transit systems, schools, parks and other infrastructure to support them, Chakrabarti shows us how both job opportunities and an improved, sustainable environment are truly within our means. In this call for an urban America, he illustrates his argument with numerous infographics illustrating provocative statistics on issues as disparate as rising childhood obesity rates, ever-lengthening automobile commutes and government subsidies that favor highways over mass transit. The book closes with an eloquent manifesto that rallies us to build "a Country of Cities," to turn a country of highways, houses and hedges into a country of trains, towers and trees.

El Croquis #167: Smiljan Radic Smiljan Radic

From the Publisher. Chilean architect Smiljan Radic is the focus of this issue, which reports on the last ten years of his work and includes a special interview by Enrique Walker, plus an analysis by Alejandro G. Crispiani. A diverse selection of more than 20 notable projects is covered in detail, among them the Copper House, Mestizo Restaurant, Chilean House 1 & 2, and The Boy Hidden in a Fish, a sculpture presented at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale.

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School Matthew Frederick

From the Publisher. This is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the studio and in their backpacks. It is also a book they may want to keep out of view of their professors, for it expresses in clear and simple language things that tend to be murky and abstruse in the classroom. These 101 concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation--from the basics of 'How to Draw a Line' to the complexities of color theory--provide a much-needed primer in architectural literacy, making concrete what too often is left nebulous or open-ended in the architecture curriculum. Each lesson utilizes a two-page format, with a brief explanation and an illustration that can range from diagrammatic to whimsical. The lesson on 'How to Draw a Line' is illustrated by examples of good and bad lines; a lesson on the dangers of awkward floor level changes shows the television actor Dick Van Dyke in the midst of a pratfall; a discussion of the proportional differences between traditional and modern buildings features a drawing of a building split neatly in half between the two. Written by an architect and instructor who remembers well the fog of his own student days, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School provides valuable guideposts for navigating the design studio and other classes in the architecture curriculum. Architecture graduates--from young designers to experienced practitioners—will turn to the book as well, for inspiration and a guide back to basics when solving a complex design problem.

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