Book List of the Week

The Books That Inspire Four Knoll Designers

David Adjaye, Maya Lin, Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, Michael Rock

November 10, 2014

Among the many prominent architects and designers who have collaborated on products with the American design firm Knoll are four who have sent us the books that have had an impact on their lives and careers. This week we spotlight the book lists of architects David Adjaye and Maya Lin, architect and industrial designer Emanuela Frattini Magnusson, and graphic design studio 2x4 and one of its founders, Michael Rock. In addition, see the book lists of graphic designers Abbott Miller of Pentagram and Massimo Vignelli.

Washington Skeleton Aluminum™ Side Chair, designed for Knoll by architect David Adjaye, 2013. Photo: Courtesy Knoll Inc.
David Adjaye's Book List

Aldo Rossi, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki, Robin Evans.

Maya Lin's Book List

John Ashbery, Jorge Luis Borges, Steen Eiler Rasmussen.

Emanuela Frattini Magnusson's Book List

My list is extremely eclectic, but also very “loyal.” Favorites have remained as such throughout the years, and have never been replaced—they just have become part of an ever-growing list. They are selected both for content and for the love of paper and typography.

Michael Rock's Book List

My list is comprised of books I admire for diverse reasons: the structure of the sentences, narrative complexity, the relationship to other books, the use of genre, the singular voice of the author. I draw from them differently. Some I use as models for argument, others I read to refresh my ear when I have been stuck on something, still others remind me to be more daring or fearless. My list is heavily weighted toward novels as they are the most important to me.

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