Best Sellers

Best-Selling Design Books, United States: December 2013

January 9, 2014

This list of best-selling design books indicates the #1 seller for the month for a given store and is compiled from the individual best-seller lists for December 2013 provided by our U.S. featured booksellers, which appear immediately below. (Clicking on a link takes you to a bookseller’s complete best-seller list.)

Arcana: Books on the Arts, Book SoupCollected Works, Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Labyrinth Books (Princeton, NJ), McNally JacksonModernism 101Peter Miller Books, Powell’s Books, Rizzoli Bookstore, Skylight Books, William Stout Architectural Books, Strand Bookstore, and Van Alen Books.

Axel Vervoordt: Living with Light Axel Vervoordt
Michael Gardner

# 1 Design Best Seller at Book Soup, Los Angeles (December 2013).

From the Publisher. Following the best seller Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors, this volume of twenty new interiors expands on the Vervoordt vision for creating exceptional homes that combine natural elements, antiques, and fine art. The art of harmonious living is extolled in this volume through twenty bespoke interiors designed by the Axel Vervoordt company. Each room incorporates natural elements—light, water, metal, wood—blended with a modern aesthetic and punctuated with fine art. The Vervoordt concept of the home is revealed through a refined balance between art and nature to create timeless living spaces. The range of featured properties includes homes by the sea as well as in urban and rural locations, demonstrating a breadth of styles possible within the essential Vervoordt design principles. Photography by Laziz Hamani brings into focus both the unique design details and the carefully constructed interiors that fuse to create each striking setting. These exceptional residences are rich with inspirational ideas to incorporate into your own home so that you can celebrate your living space in the singular Vervoordt style.

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.

CLOG: Unpublished Clog editors

# 1 Design Best Seller at Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Los Angeles (November and December 2013). From the Publisher. Publications—both physical and digital—receive a constant stream of press releases, project updates, and photographs from architects yearning for the validation of having their work published. But still, the vast majority of buildings go unexamined by the critical press. How many times have we seen the same signature project reviewed? How many worthy unknown projects must, by extension, never receive an appraisal?

There are any number of factors to account for this. It seems undeniable, for example, that certain building typologies and regions remain underrep- resented in the mainstream architectural press, and it is perhaps too easy to imagine that this stems from a widespread editorial bias. It would be a mistake to discount the impact of logistics, however. The constraints of time, staff sizes, travel costs, image rights, formatting and layout requirements, and access to information simply cannot be ignored by publishers, editors, and writers. Equally important is the imperative to sell, or at least pay heed to the perceived interests of the readership. Sometimes a building falls by the wayside due to mere coincidence-another project was just published with the same exterior material, the press release came in on the day an editor was out sick, the photographer only took landscape-oriented images, the PDF was corrupted.

At a moment when new forms of publication are emerging and disrupting traditional models—and the definition of what it even means for a building to "be published" is an open question—it is time to analyze what is being published, why it's being published, and to examine what is being left out of the conversation.

Codex Seraphinianus Luigi Serafini

# 1 Design Best Seller at Rizzoli Bookstore, New York (December 2013).

From the Publisher. An extraordinary and surreal art book, this edition has been redesigned by the author and includes new illustrations. Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in 1981, the book has been recognized as one of the strangest and most beautiful art books ever made. This visual encyclopedia of an unknown world written in an unknown language has fueled much debate over its meaning. Written for the information age and addressing the import of coding and decoding in genetics, literary criticism, and computer science, the Codex confused, fascinated, and enchanted a generation.

While its message may be unclear, its appeal is obvious: it is a most exquisite artifact. Blurring the distinction between art book and art object, this anniversary edition-redesigned by the author and featuring new illustrations-presents this unique work in a new, unparalleled light. With the advent of new media and forms of communication and continuous streams of information, the Codex is now more relevant and timely than ever. A special limited and numbered deluxe edition that includes a signed print is also available.

Design as Art Bruno Munari

# 1 Design Best Seller at Strand Bookstore, New York (December 2013).

From the Publisher. One of the last members of the Futurist generation, born in 1907 in Milan (d. 1998), Bruno Munari was among the most inspirational designers of all time, described by Picasso as the new “Leonardo.” Munari insisted that design be beautiful, functional, and accessible, and this enlightening and highly entertaining book sets out his ideas about visual, graphic and industrial design and the role it plays in the objects we use and encounter everyday, including lamps, road signs, typography, posters, children’s books, advertising, cars, and chairs.

A Field Guide to American Houses Virginia McAlester
Lee McAlester

# 1 Design Best Seller at Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Los Angeles (January 2014).

# 1 Design Best Seller at Powell’s, Portland, OR (December 2013).

From the Publisher. For the house lover and the curious tourist, for the house buyer and the weekend stroller, for neighborhood preservation groups and for all who want to know more about their community—here, at last, is a book that makes it both easy and pleasurable to identify the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture.

Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States—houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background—the book provides you with the facts (and frame of reference) that will enable you to look in a fresh way at the houses you constantly see around you. It tells you -- and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations—what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance. What does that cornice mean? Or that porch? That door? When was this house built? What does its style say about the people who built it? You'll find the answers to such questions here.

This is how the book works: Each of thirty-nine chapters focuses on a particular style (and its variants). Each begins with a large schematic drawing that highlights the style's most important identifying features. Additional drawings and photographs depict the most common shapes and the principal subtypes, allowing you to see at a glance a wide range of examples of each style. Still more drawings offer close-up views of typical small details—windows, doors, cornices, etc. -- that might be difficult to see in full-house pictures. The accompanying text is rich in information about each style— describing in detail its identifying features, telling you where (and in what quantity) you're likely to find examples of it, discussing all of its notable variants, and revealing its origin and tracing its history.

In the book's introductory chapters you'll find invaluable general discussions of house-building materials and techniques ("Structure"), house shapes ("Form"), and the many traditions of architectural fashion ("Style") that have influenced American house design through the past three centuries. A pictorial key and glossary help lead you from simple, easily recognized architectural features—the presence of a tile roof, for example—to the styles in which that feature is likely to be found.

Field of Vision Lou Dorfsman

# 1 Most Popular Design Seller at Modernism 101, Shreveport, LA (December 2013).

From Modernism 101. Lou Dorfsman designed this 1962 CBS Sports promotion to help secure the network's exclusive contract to cover NFL games for the following year. The book achieved that goal, and has come to be regarded as the greatest football photobook ever published.

Julius Shulman: Modernism Rediscovered Pierluigi Serraino

#1 Design Seller from Skylight Books, Los Angeles (December 2013).

From the Publisher. The buildings burned in our memories, which to us represent the spirit of fifties and sixties architectural design, were those whose pictures were widely published in magazines and books; but what about those that got lost in the process, hardly or never appearing in publication?

The exchange of visual information is crucial to the development, evolution, and promotion of architectural movements. If a building is not widely seen, its photograph rarely or never published, it simply does not enter into architectural discourse. Many buildings photographed by Julius Shulman suffered this fate, their images falling into oblivion. With this book, TASCHEN brings them to light, paying homage to California Modernism in all its forms.

The abandoned files of Julius Shulman show us another side of Modernism that has stayed quiet for so many years. Bringing together nearly 250 forgotten masterpieces, Modernism Rediscovered pays tribute to these lesser known yet outstanding contributions to the modern architectural movement. It's like sneaking into a private history, into homes that have rarely been seen and hardly appreciated as of yet.

Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype Lebbeus Woods

#1 Design Seller from William Stout Architectural Books in Berkeley/San Francisco, CA (December 2013).

From the Publisher. Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype documents the exhibition with the same name hosted at SCI-Arc from October 11-December 1, 2013, as well as a public art installation in the Los Angeles Arts District, both aiming to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. It includes essays by the exhibition team including Eric Owen Moss, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Christoph A. Kumpusch, Dwayne Oyler, Alexis Rochas and Aleksandra Wagner.

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling Ross King

#1 Design Best Seller at Collected Works, Santa Fe, NM (December 2013).

From the Publisher. In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work—from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther—and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color Leatrice Eiseman
Keith Recker

# 1 Design Best Seller at Labyrinth Books, Princeton, NJ (December 2013).

From the Publisher. Pantone, the worldwide color authority, invites you on a rich visual tour of 100 transformative years. From the Pale Gold (15-0927 TPX) and Almost Mauve (12-2103 TPX) of the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris to the Rust (18-1248 TPX) and Midnight Navy (19-4110 TPX) of the countdown to the Millennium, the 20th century brimmed with color. Longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker identify more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, d cor, and fashion, and carefully match them with 80 different official PANTONE color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues. This vibrant volume takes the social temperature of our recent history with the panache that is uniquely Pantone.

PIN-UP Interviews PIN-UP
Text by Felix Burrichter

#1 Design Best Seller at Van Alen Books, New York (December 2013).

From powerHouse Books. PIN-UP Interviews is a compilation of over 50 of the most fascinating interviews from PIN-UP magazine since its first issue was published in October 2006. Serious, yet accessible, featuring the elegant and modern aesthetic PIN-UP’s readers have come to expect, there is no comparable source available for such a stunning array of contemporary design talent collected in one place. It is indispensable to all lovers of today’s brightest architectural and design ideas.

PIN-UP Interviews is the first book produced by PIN-UP, the award-winning, New York-based, biannual architecture and design magazine. Cheekily dubbing itself the “Magazine for Architectural Entertainment,” PIN-UP features interviews with architects, designers, and artists, and presents their work informally—as a fun assembly of ideas, stories, and conversations, all paired with cutting-edge photography and artwork. Both raw and glossy, this “cult design zine” (The New York Times) is a nimble mix of genres and themes, finding inspiration in the high and the low by casting a refreshingly playful eye on rare architectural gems, amazing interiors, smart design, and that fascinating area where those spheres connect with contemporary art.

Included in PIN-UP Interviews are the architects David Adjaye, Shigeru Ban, Ricardo Bofill, David Chipperfield, Zaha Hadid, Junya Ishigami, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Marino, Richard Meier, and Ettore Sottsass; artists Daniel Arsham, Cyprien Gaillard, Simon Fujiwara, Oscar Tuazon, Francesco Vezzoli, Boris Rebetez, Retna, Robert Wilson, and Andro Wekua; and designers Rafael de Cárdenas, Martino Gamper, Rick Owens, Hedi Slimane, Bethan Laura Wood, and Clémence Seilles.

Read the Notable Book of 2013 review.

Interview with Rem Koolhaas by Francesco Vezzoli. From PIN-UP Interviews (2013, powerHouse Books) 


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