January is an excellent time of year to catch up on reading, including those design and architecture books you accumulated during the year but didn’t have time to read, or those you were given for Christmas. Here’s my list.
At 288 pages, this is a book that can be read straight through like a novel, or dipped into as you like. With chapters like “What is design?” and “Why design is not – and should never be confused with – art”, the book addresses the basics of design in a style that is both straightforward and instantly engaging, but Rawsthorn’s examples are its true strength. Her journalism background means she draws from every element of life, describing, for example, how the pirate flag was an example of early communication design (page 29-30). Thought-provoking reading. Also don’t forget, her new book Design as an Attitude is out this year. Read more →
I recently discovered a great website called Designers & Books which includes listings, reviews and original content relating to books on design including architecture, graphic design, interior design, furniture design and plenty more. There are themed book lists, new book releases and contributions by well known designers, such as this book list by Stefan Sagmeister and this interview with Jasper Morrison.
Each book also has a basic synopsis which is really handy. One of my favourite recent books is Iconic Designs: 50 Stories about 50 Things which was released a couple of months ago by British design scholar Grace Lees-Maffei, which has a wonderful examination of the word “iconic” – really questioning what the term means, along with related terms like “genius”.
Another great book that launched last night at Coco Republic is The Tailored Interior, a book on the work of Melbourne-based interior designer Greg Natale with text by Jonathan Adler. Congrats Greg!