Book List of the Week

The Books That Inspire Five Product Designers and Makers

Jasper Morrison, Wendell Castle, Eva Zeisel, Jeffrey Bernett, and Richard Sachs

August 11, 2014

From sculptor and designer Wendell Castle’s stack-laminated wood tables to the ceramics that are household names created by the late Eva Zeisel, the evidence of the designer’s signature style in creating is showcased in the work of five product/industrial designers and builders. Along with Wendell Castle and Eva Zeisel, here are British product designer Jasper Morrison (Basel chair, Glo-ball lamp), custom bicycle builder Richard Sachs, and Jeffrey Bernett (Flight Recliner, Tulip armchair) and the books that inspire them.

Wendell Castle (left) with Richard Scott Newman, his first full-time assistant, c. 1967. Pieces shown include Settee, oak, 1967; Lamp, hand-carved stack-laminated walnut with glass globe, 1967; Butterfly Seat, oak, 1967; and Bookcase, oak, 1967. From Wendell Castle, Wandering Forms: Works from 1959–1979, 2012 (The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, in association with Gregory R. Miller & Co.).
Wendell Castle's Book List

I have over 1,500 design and architecture books in my studio library and another 1,500 art books at home. Books are very important in my life. My daughter, Alison, is an art book editor.

Jasper Morrison's Book List

Haruki Murakami, Georges Perec, Primo Levi.

Richard Sachs's Book List

These are my books. I’ve had some for a very long time; others are recent acquisitions. Quite a few were gifted to me by their authors. I don’t really have any particular favorites from the pile, but the books about D’Aquisto and Nakashima are the ones I've turned to more often, and over a longer time, than any of the others.

Jeffrey Bernett's Book List

School only teaches you so much, so the two other things I’ve held to are: surround yourself and work with the brightest people you can, and read broadly. Reading, isn’t only a quest to gain knowledge, but it’s actually a very thought-provoking journey in its own right, and it’s surprising, when provoked provocatively, where the mind goes off to along the way.

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