Designers & Books Blog

 

847 blog entries
Book List of the Week
By Stephanie Salomon October 11, 2011

Graphic designer Maira Kalman: M&Co (New York)
book list
Maira Kalman—graphic designer, illustrator, author of more than a dozen books for adults and children, and dedicated reader—sent us a book list that she introduces with, “Walk to a garden. Take a book with you, maybe a cup of coffee or tea. Just sit under a tree and read. That is the only answer to everything.” So Designers & Books decided to ask her not about “everything” but about a few things: books (on her book list and off), reading, and writing. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter October 4, 2011

Architect Sou Fujimoto: Sou Fujimoto Architects (Tokyo)
book list
Designers & Books is likely to take immediate notice of architects who have particular ties to books—for example, those who have designed libraries, as Sou Fujimoto has. About the Musashino Art University Museum and Library (Tokyo), designed by Fujimoto and completed in 2010, Architectural Record remarked: “Sou Fujimoto’s library champions books—an especially noble achievement at a time when the printed word is facing an uncertain future.” The architect himself is quoted in that article as saying: “Enjoying, concentrating, and relaxing in a library surrounded by books is a special experience.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 27, 2011

Interior designer Penny Drue Baird: Dessins LLC (New York and Paris)
book list
“I made my first trip to Paris when I was 18,” says Penny Drue Baird. “Unlike what all my friends and clients believe, it most certainly did not result in a coup de foudre. It was when I was there about three years later, when I was crazily ‘in love,’ that I became unquestionably addicted to Paris—and, truth be told, especially to those sauces! That was the true beginning of how the City of Light got to be an ongoing part of who I am and what I value.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 20, 2011

Product designer and architect Jean-Marie Massaud: Studio Massaud (Paris)
book list
Describing himself as “first of all a man with a vision,” Jean-Marie Massaud dreamed of becoming an inventor when he was growing up. His design vision extends from unconventional furniture and bathroom fixtures for major international brands such as Poltrona Frau, Axor Hansgrohe, and Viccarbe, to interiors and architecture. His work includes chairs with names like “Holy Day”; a triangular-topped table for seating seven; a cascade-like bathtub; and a mirror that is both reflective and transparent, in addition to a volcano-shaped sports stadium for Guadalajara, Mexico, and utopian architectural projects such as “Manned Cloud”—a flying hotel/dirigible that has had input from ONERA, the French aerospace agency. He sees design as a process, an “evolution” More...

Architecture
By Steve Kroeter September 13, 2011

Architect Deborah Berke: Deborah Berke & Partners Architects (New York)
book list
In an essay called “Here and Now,” written for a monograph on her work published by Yale University Press, Deborah Berke discusses the evolution in her thinking about architects and architecture over the course of her more than 25-year career. Focused in the late 1990s on what she at the time called “the everyday in architecture”—for which she earned renown—her approach to building was about “embracing and learning from that which is not expressly constructed through high culture or self-conscious design.” Looking back on that time, she feels that “what I was trying to do through my buildings was see if it were possible to make an architecture of exceptional everydayness.” More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter September 6, 2011

Landscape architect and urban designer Diana Balmori: Balmori Associates (New York)
book list
Diana Balmori sees landscape architecture as an art that balances formal precision with what she calls the “unfixity” of nature, saying that “there is an element of wildness that needs to enter into our lives.” In her recent book A Landscape Manifesto, she lays out her ideas—which include the philosophical and the poetic—in 25 precisely numbered points. (Three of our favorites, by the way, are #1, “Nostalgia for the past and utopian dreams for the future prevent us from looking at our present”; #23, “The edge between architecture and landscape can be porous”; and #24, “Landscape can be like poetry, highly suggestive and open to multiple interpretations.”) More...

Architecture
By Steve Kroeter August 23, 2011

Architecture and design curator Zoë Ryan: Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago)
book list
When Zoë Ryan—as of this July, the John H. Bryan Curator of Architecture and Design and Chair of the Department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago—gave us her list of books for product designers, she emphasized that she found it hard to be limited by disciplines or categories and that her view of design was an expansive one. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter August 16, 2011

Graphic designer Wim Crouwel (Amsterdam)
book list
When Wim Crouwel was interviewed a few years ago by AIGA/NY using the Proust Questionnaire, his reply to the question “What is your most treasured possession?” was “My library.” That answer caught our attention. More...

Book List of the Week
By Steve Kroeter August 9, 2011

Architect Philip Freelon: The Freelon Group (Durham, NC)
book list
One look at Philip Freelon's varied portfolio of architectural work—his most recent high-profile commission is the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture (with David Adjaye and Davis Brody Bond Aedas), planned for the Mall in Washington, D.C.—and it becomes clear that this decidedly public work is as much about stimulating insights and constructing cultural bridges as it is about the skillful interweaving of artful forms and technology.  More...

Architecture
By Steve Kroeter August 2, 2011

Architect Winka Dubbeldam: Archi-Tectonics (New York)
book list
In an interview earlier this year, Winka Dubbeldam recalled that her parents enjoyed buying and building new homes—an obsession that resulted in her moving 15 times in the 17 years she lived with them. It isn’t really a surprise, then, that she ended up as an architect with a particular interest in progressive residential work. Her worldwide reputation now also extends to office tower, commercial, hospitality, and interior design work. More...