Entries Tagged as 'Design Library'

Design Library: Handcrafted Modern

Mar 20, 2014

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Design Library Volume 06: Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers

Year: 2010

Category: Architecture / Design, Photography

Author + Photographer: Leslie Williamson

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.



The woven fabric cover of Handcrafted Modern is a fitting choice that nods to the book’s title and theme.


Leslie Williamson is a San Francisco-based photographer whose work has appeared in prestigious design and lifestyle magazines such as Dwell, Surface and Travel + Leisure.  A fan of architectural history, particularly of Modernism, Leslie’s first book Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers (2010) is simply the result of her own curiosity.


After visiting architect Albert Frey’s home – a beautiful example of mid-century modern design in Palm Springs – Leslie went away with this question: What would an architect build for himself, without the demands of a client upon him?


She looked to architectural literature for answers, but found that the book she wanted to read didn’t exist yet. So, like most creative and curious people, Leslie decided to write and photograph the book herself.




Handcrafted Modern is a 224 page hardcover book featuring 14 mid-century modern homes belonging to some of America’s most influential architects and designers, including Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima, Russell Wright, Harry Bertoia, and Charles and Ray Eames.


In an effort to document how these designers really live (or lived) on a day-to-day basis, Leslie shot only in homes where personal possessions were left largely intact (either the designer still lived there, or a museum was preserving the home as it was when the designed lived there). She shot each home with film for two full days, leaving rooms as she found them and using only natural light. As a result, the photographs featured in the book are more intimate, detailed and reflective of daily living than the images typically found in architecture books. Leslie’s photography fills the majority of Handcrafted Modern’s pages, but she breaks up the imagery with a personal account of her time shooting each home.


















Building on the success of Handcrafted Modern, Leslie has been working on a second book: Modern Originals: At Home with Midcentury European Designers. The new publication will be out next month (April 8th), but you can catch a sneak peek of the book here!


Follow Leslie’s blog lesliewilliamsonphoto.blogspot.com to see more of her photography work.

Design Library: Pin-Up Interviews

Feb 18, 2014

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Design Library Volume 05: PIN-UP Interviews

Year: 2013

Category: Interviews, Architecture / Art / Design

Producer: PIN-UP Magazine, with text by Felix Burrichter (Editor/Creative Director)

Publisher: powerHouse Books




PIN-UP is a biannual architecture magazine that gives readers a playful and informal look at the architecture industry. Self-proclaimed as “pure architectural entertainment,” the magazine is known for their candid and conversational interviews with architects, artists and designers from around the world.


This book – PIN-UP Interviews – is a collection of 57 of those interviews. No visuals. Just text. This may sound daunting, but we assure you it’s not. The book’s forward sets a casual and cheeky tone, and the designer briefs that preface each interview are equally entertaining. And as for the interviews themselves, they are thought-provoking, without being stuffy!








We recommend checking out Shigeru Ban (Page 29), Martino Gamper (Page 131), Junya Ishigami (Page 172) and ROLU (Page 340).


Shigeru Ban, Architect, New York (Page 29 – 35)

Ban is well known for his use of cardboard and paper-tube structures, but what struck us most was how he balances high end projects with humanitarian relief efforts (Ban designs temporary structures for refugees).


Martino Gamper, Furniture Designer, London (Page 131 – 138)

Gamper has garnered much attention for his exhibition “100 Chairs in 100 Days,” where he transformed old chairs into new chairs, ones that were altogether different from their original form.


Junya Ishigami, Architect, London (Page 172 – 177)

Ishigami grew up in ‘Suberbia’ in a condominium outside of Tokyo. It’s not surprising then that his work focuses on the very thing he grew up without – a strong connection between architecture and landscape.


ROLU, Landscape + Furniture Designers, Minneapolis / New York (Page 340 – 348)

Matt Olson and Mike Brady are punk-rock musicians turned landscape architects and furniture designers (among other things) in Minneapolis! Olson blogs for ROLU (rolublog.com) and we enjoyed his commentary on the accessibility of images and ideas on the internet. Designers are often afraid to admit that they’re inspired by others work, but Olson’s excited to share his work and where it came from.



Visit the PIN-UP website to learn more about the book and the architects, artists and designers featured.

Design Library: A Visual Inventory, John Pawson

Jan 15, 2014

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Design Library Volume 04: A Visual Inventory

Year: 2012

Category: Photography, Inventory/archive

Author + Photographer: John Pawson

Co-author: Allison Morris

Publisher: Phaidon Press Limited




John Pawson is a British designer who runs his own architecture practice out of London, England. Rarely without a camera, Pawson has captured hundreds of thousands of images – over a quarter of a million at the time this book was released – since acquiring his first digital camera.


A Visual Inventory catalogues 272 of Pawson’s image files. The images are featured in pairs, and each is personally annotated to describe the scene from his intimate point of view. Known for his minimalist designs, Pawson surprises readers with great variety in the subjects captured – minimalist architecture is showcased alongside ancient ruins, palatial architecture, construction sites, and exterior landscapes.


Together, these images “add up to a perspective, to an archive of a way of looking,” says Pawson. They create an opportunity to step away from your present surroundings, and see the world through Pawson’s eyes. It’s a world where no detail goes unnoticed, where fleeting moments are captured with the snap of a lens and allowed to live on and be remembered forever.














The above shots are just a small sampling of the beautiful images you’ll find in John Pawson’s book A Visual Inventory. Pick up a copy of this book and explore Pawson’s world for yourself. Also, check out Pawson’s online journal to follow his most recent photography.

Design Library: Weekend Almanac No. 1

Nov 15, 2013

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Design Library Volume 03: Weekend Almanac No. 1

Year: 2013

Category: Periodical, almanac

Curator + Editor: Lauren Ladoceour

Curator + Creative Director: Ali Zeigler

Publisher: Independently published





Now, before the term ‘periodical’ scares you off, allow us to insert a little disclaimer here: Weekend Almanac is no ordinary periodical. This sort of genre usually brings to mind stuffy, old volumes with hard to read text about complex subject matters, but this periodical doesn’t fit any of those molds.


Instead, the first volume of Weekend Almanac is a fast and fun read (we devoured it in one sitting over the lunch hour one Friday afternoon). For a good part of a year, editor Lauren Ladoceour and creative director Ali Zeigler spent their weekends documenting all the fun and creative things people do outside of their 9 to 5 jobs. They collected stories and photographs from artists, writers, designers, and photographers and compiled them into this short, 64 page book.






Broken down into 3 sections – aptly titled FridaySaturday and Sunday – the almanac serves as a playful guide to help you make the most of every single part of your weekend…morning, day and night.


Visuals outweigh text, making it easy to flip through on the fly. Hazy photography and watercolor art have a relaxed feel that’s fitting of the almanac’s weekend theme.  There are even colouring pages for readers to get crafty with on a rainy day. Where text does appear, it’s done so artfully with large, whimsical typography and small, easy-to-digest bits. Approach Weekend Almanac with the same lightness you would a magazine, but collect and care for it like you would your favourite book series.


Read our Interview with Editor Lauren Ladoceour to learn more about the making of this publication.

















The Ladies at Weekend Almanac are currently working on volume No. 2, which is set to be released sometime in March 2014. In the meantime, get your hands on a copy of No. 1 (while you still can!).


Your weekend will thank you.

Design Library: An Eames Primer (and a giveaway)

Nov 6, 2013

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Design Library Volume 02: An Eames Primer

Year: 2002, Updated 2013

Category: Thematic Biography

Author: Eames Demetrios

Publisher: Universe


Video by EQ3.com


Our interview with Eames Demetrios was both exciting and inspiring. We could have sat with him for hours, asking question after question about his grandparents, legendary Mid-Century Modern designers Charles and Ray Eames. Of course, like all good things, the interview was a bit of a blur and ended much too soon!


So we were pretty excited to receive a couple of signed copies of Eames’ newly released and updated edition of An Eames Primer (keep reading for a chance to win one of them)! The book offers an in-depth look at Charles and Ray’s legacy. It’s easy to forget how expansive the Eameses reach was and that they crossed almost every creative industry out there. They really did do it all. And, Eames Demetrios’ book showcases this in a very personal way, writing from the perspective of both Charles and Ray’s grandson and Director of the Eames Office.


Eames originally wanted to keep the book free of pictures or imagery, but he ended up including a selection of old photographs, images and sketches that give the book an Encyclopedia (or Wikipedia) feel. We’re not sure if this was the intended effect, but it helps to illustrate the variety of projects Charles and Ray worked on and draws attention to the lesser-known of these.













We’re giving away 3 signed copies of An Eames Primer to our blog readers.

Simply sign-up below for a chance to win.


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