The design books I’m adding to my collection this summer
I always feel the need to update my collection of design books when summer rolls around. I’d like to think it’s a whiff of inspiration to spend more time outdoors or travel occasionally, but maybe it’s just my New Yorker who hates indoor humidity reminding me that the next few months will surely bring (lots) of days that are too hot and sticky to do anything other than hole up next to the portable air conditioner in my apartment, and leaf through design books filled with photos of things I wish I owned and houses I I would like to like living is, well, a way to pass the time.
It’s not just a matter of desire; these might not be the books I’d take to the beach to catch up on my summer reading, but even with (usually) fewer words, I still almost always feel like I’m learning something. Here are some architecture and design books released this spring and summer that I would proudly display on my bookshelves or my coffee table.
Hidden architecture by Alan Griffiths (Lannoo, May 2022)
I probably don’t have to make the case for this book to the bulk of the Dwell audience who love green roofs and underground houses. But for outliers, here I go. This 192-page book by journalist Alan Griffiths focuses on “buildings designed to disappear into their surroundings or hide in plain sight” – some are buried underground or submerged in the ocean; others are covered in greenery or dressed in mirrors that reflect the landscape. Hidden Architecture spotlights 50 projects around the world with this “designed to hide” modus operandi. Members of the aforementioned portion of the Dwell audience might recognize a few buildings we’ve featured before, such as this underground wine cellar in the Texas Hill Country and this slender three-story beach house by Olson Kundig that stands out. rises above the treetops in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
Sweet electronics by Jaro Gielens (gestalten, May 2022)
Retro home appliances designed between the 60s and 80s take center stage in Sweet electronics, a collaboration between gestalten and Dutch collector Jaro Gielens that explores Gielens’ treasure trove of 1,200 consumer electronic gadgets. Near the start of the book, a helpful timeline breaks down the groundbreaking moments in product design during those three decades. (I’ll pretend like I’m not the only one thinking, “Did you know that the Dutch brand Philips created the first compact audio cassette player in 1963, marking the start of the home entertainment revolution?” is a fun fact to bring to a dinner party.) The rest of the book focuses on specific stylish household products from that era. Think coffee grinders, fondue sets, hair dryers and even an automatic egg cooker. You know, the necessities.
Imagine buildings floating like clouds by Vladimir Belogolovsky (Images Publishing, May 2022)
In a 2016 interview, Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura told curator and critic Vladimir Belogolovsky: “When I teach, I give all my students a site, a program, a problem, and I want to see 100 solutions , 100 poses.” These words resonated with Belogolovsky and influenced the setting of this book, as he writes in the introduction.
Imagine buildings floating like clouds collects 101 interviews conducted by Belogolovsky over nearly two decades with figures such as Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Moshe Safdie, David Adjaye, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma and Richard Meier, and boils them down to a single question and answer. Its 264 pages include personal anecdotes from a total of 72 architects (including 18 Pritzker Prize winners), 12 artists, eight photographers, two designers, two historians, two critics, a curator, an urban planner and an engineer, as well as portraits and photos of their work.
emergency design by Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli (Phaidon, May 2022)
Design critic Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at MoMA, co-founded the Create an emergency Instagram account in spring 2020 to explore the reaction and impact of design to the pandemic and its aftermath. The duo’s focus eventually expanded to examine how designers, architects, engineers, artists, scientists and activists are developing new solutions to address the most pressing global issues of our time. , from drone warfare to artificial intelligence and the refugee crisis. emergency design tells these stories through three essays and 25 interviews centered on four themes: technology, society, communication and ecology.
Modern forms by Nicolas Grospierre (Prestel, June 2022)
The revised edition of photographer Nicolas Grospierre’s survey of modernist architecture (originally published in 2016) has been expanded beyond Europe and North America to include nearly 250 large format photos buildings across Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and South America, all arranged by their geometric shapes. New and revised texts ask complicated questions, such as: How modern is modernist architecture? And what happened to the style’s founding utopian ideals? This is one of those books that you might flip through for photos, but will surprise you with a lesson in the history of modernist design, the origins of architectural photography, and why architectural forms sometimes repeat themselves in countries that seem otherwise different.