Stanley Abercrombie

Critic; Curator; Writer; Editor; Lecturer / Architecture; Interior Design / United States / Books Editor, Interior Design magazine

Books Every Interior Designer Should Read

As for so many other things, I blame my parents: they planted the seed of my hunger for books—especially art and design books—with a Christmas present. When I was eight or nine, growing up in a small town in Georgia, a big box under the tree held nothing but a small card welcoming me as a member of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In those days MoMA assumed that members who lived more than a couple of hundred miles from Manhattan would seldom get to the museum, so in compensation those remote members were sent a clothbound catalogue of each exhibition. I read each one over and over, thinking all of them wonderful. . . . View the complete text
5 books
Francis de N. Schroeder

Compiled by a former editor-in-chief of Interiors, this book offers data that can be a key tool in making interior elements fit the people who use them. We may be a bit taller and a lot wider than we were in 1948, but this is still a useful reference.

Bernard Rudofsky

An entertaining and sometimes withering critique of the mid-century American house, with keen observations on our habits of dining, sleeping, and bathing.

Mario Praz

An art historian’s autobiography written in the form of a tour through his own house on Rome’s Via Giulia, seeing its furnishings, art, and objects, remembering their sources and significance for him. As a result we review his whole life. Of more importance, we are poignantly reminded of how meaningful and communicative are the inanimate objects we choose to live with.

Penny Sparke

Taking a cue from Walter Benjamin’s observation that “The advent of modernity coincided with the emergence of the private individual,” this is a scholarly but sprightly history of interior design from the Victorian era to today.

Gaston Bachelard

Four years before his death, French philosopher Bachelard wrote of the character of such spaces as cellars, attics, forests, nests, shells, huts, and drawers and considered what roles they play in our imaginations. He asked designers to envision the experiences their designs will generate, not to work with abstractions that may not affect their inhabitants. He opposed Cartesian logic and celebrated poetry, play, and daydreams. He was against the square and for the round. A dense book, best to be read slowly, glancing up occasionally for a daydream.

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