Category Archives: architecture

Design Life Now: National Design Triennial

By Barbara Bloemink, Brooke Hodge, Ellen Lupton and Matilda McQuaid (2006)
The exhibition catalog inaugurates Cooper-Hewitt’s new self-publishing venture. The publication includes a foreword by director Paul Warwick Thompson; original essays by co-curators Barbara Bloemink, Brooke Hodge, Ellen Lupton, and Matilda McQuaid; a designer profile of each of the 87 designers featured in the exhibition; and more than 300 images, most in full color. The book is designed by COMA (Cornelia Blatter and Marcel Hermans), who are also featured in the exhibition.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography

Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, Interviews

Critical Vehicles: Writings, Projects, InterviewsBy Krzysztof Wodiczko (1999)
Krzysztof Wodiczko, one of the most original avant-garde artists of our time, is perhaps best known for the politically charged images he has projected onto buildings and monuments from New York to Warsaw–images of rockets projected onto triumphal arches, the image of handcuffed wrists projected onto a courthouse facade, images of homeless people in bandages and wheelchairs projected onto statues in a park from which they had been evicted. Critical Vehicles is the first book in English to collect Wodiczko’s own writings on his projects. Wodiczko has stated that his principal artistic concern is the displacement of traditional notions of community and identity in the face of rapidly expanding technologies and cultural miscommunication. In these writings he addresses such issues as urbanism, homelessness, immigration, alienation, and the plight of refugees. Fusing wit and sophisticated political insight, he offers the artistic means to help heal the damages of uprootedness and other contemporary troubles.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, interview, media, philosophy, politics, technology

Inside Design Now: The National Design Triennial

Inside Design Now: The National Design TriennialBy Donald Albrecht, Ellen Lupton, Mitchell Owens, and Susan Yelavich (2003)
Inside Design Now takes the pulse of American design in the new millennium, providing a fascinating tour of cutting-edge trends in architecture, interiors, landscape, fashion, graphics, and new media.
Featuring eighty emerging and established designers – including 2 x 4, Mike Mills, Peter Eisenman, Fuse Project, Tod Machover, Paula Scher, Jennifer Siegal, and Isaac Mizrahi – Inside Design Now illustrates the most innovative and provocative thinking in design today. Each designer’s work is presented with a double-page spread and a series of full-color images. Essays explore the role of the designer in today’s culture, contemporary ideas of beauty and functionality, and what the future holds in the realm of design. Sensuous materials, lush patterns, and exquisite details come together with new technologies, pop imagery, and fresh approaches to scale, color, and construction in the works reproduced in this volume.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography

Saarinen House and Garden: A Total Work of Art

Saarinen House and Garden: A Total Work of ArtEdited by Gregory Wittkopp and Diana Balmori (1995)
Certainly one of the most overlooked works of modern architecture, the Saarinen house, which this book documents in splendid detail, is perhaps the crowning work of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen during his years at Cranbrook. Thanks to the recent restoration of the house and garden, we can now see his vision of TOTAL design; from the flatware to the tapestries to the furniture to the door handle to the landscape.

Posted in architecture, art, Cranbrook, design, history

Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision, 1925-1950

Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision, 1925-1950Edited by Robert Clark and Andrea Belloli (1984)
As Neil Harris explains in one of the book’s most interesting essays, Cranbrook derived from the arts and crafts movement that started in mid- 19th-century England as a reaction against shoddy industrial output and that, spreading speedily through northern Europe, resulted in the foundation of several schools aimed at reforming design by relating it more to art and life.

The Cranbrook complex, consisting of a church, schools for children, residences, studios and workshops, took about nine years to complete, by which time it had become – not an art school, but, in the words of the architect Eliel Saarinen, ”a working place for creative arts.” The emphasis, says Robert Judson Clark in his essay, was more on ”place, people and experience than on curriculum and methods.” Still, during World War II, this shifted to more orthodox concerns – credits, degrees and specific courses in, for instance, industrial design.

The influence of the Saarinens diminishes as the first generation of Cranbrook students comes of age, in the 1940s. The students include Ray and Charles Eames, represented by architecture and furniture; Florence Knoll, with interiors, and Harry Bertoia, with welded-metal sculptures.

Posted in architecture, art, Cranbrook, design, education, history

The Poetics of Space

The Poetics of SpaceBy Gaston Bachelard (1964)
The classic book on how we experience intimate spaces. A magical book. A prism through which all worlds from literary creation to housework to aesthetics to carpentry take on enhanced—and enchanted-significances. Every reader of it will never see ordinary spaces in ordinary ways. Instead the reader will see with the soul of the eye, the glint of Gaston Bachelard.

Posted in architecture, art, consciousness, language, phenomenology, philosophy

Bauhaus, 1919-28

Bauhaus, 1919-28Edited by Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, and Ise Gropius (1938)
Over seventy years after its foundation in Weimar, the Bauhaus has become a concept all over the world. The respect which it commands is associated above all with the design it pioneered, one which we now describe as “Bauhaus style”. The teachers at the Bauhaus included the leading artists of the times, among them Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee, and Oscar Schlemmer. The teaching strategies developed were adopted internationally into the curriculum of art and design institutes.

Posted in architecture, art, design, education, exhibition, history

Design Culture Now

Design Culture Now: The National Design TriennialBy Ellen Lupton and Donald Albrecht (2000)
This is the first-ever survey of American design that cuts across the four disciplines of architecture, product design, graphic design, and new media. Put together by the National Design Museum surveys the up-to-the-minute trends in American design from architecture to product and graphic design to new media. This comprehensive survey catalogs the best in architecture, interiors, environments, landscapes, products, furniture, fashion, objects, typefaces, posters, publications, film and TV graphics, and interactive media from the last three years.

Posted in architecture, art, culture, design, exhibition, media, technology, typography

The Paul Virilio Reader

The Paul Virilio Reader (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism)Edited by Steve Redhead (2004)
The Paul Virilio Reader collects for the first time English extracts reflecting the entire range of Virilio’s diverse career. The book’s introduction demonstrates that Virilio has produced an important — if controversial — “theory at the speed of light” that uncannily illuminates the impact of new information and communications technologies in a world that collapses time and distance as never before. The inventor of “dromology,” which views speed as a defining concept for contemporary civilization, Virilio is noted for his proclamation that the logic of ever-increasing acceleration lies at the heart of the organization and transformation of the contemporary world.

Posted in architecture, culture, philosophy, technology, theory