This month’s selection of new design books features Defined by Design, a book that delves into the hidden biases in everyday things, and how this ineffective design can affect our self-image, and even our health. From clothes to buildings to public transport, one size does not fit all.
Robot house : instrumentation, representation, fabrication / Peter Testa ; forewords by Greg Lynn and Eric Owen Moss.
“Robotics is the fastest-growing and most exciting area of development in architecture and architectural education for a generation, offering new paradigms for design and fabrication. Schools and practices around the world are installing machines, but few have the experience to appreciate the full design potential of their application. Robot House features projects produced by the most advanced robotics design studio in the world, often interacting with a wide range of technologies from motion capture to material science–a realm far beyond the capabilities of 3D printing.” (Syndetics summary)
The botanical hand-lettering workbook : draw whimsical & decorative styles & scripts / by Bethany Robertson.
“Learn the art of hand-lettering. This step-by-step workbook teaches you how to craft pretty letters and flowers of all sorts. Use your newfound botanical lettering skills to make cards, wedding invitations, banners, tags, paper bouquets and other fun projects.” (Syndetics summary)
The red thread : Nordic design.
“From literature to food, lifestyle to fashion, cinema to architecture, Nordic influence is evident throughout contemporary culture. The Red Thread: Nordic Design celebrates this deep-rooted aesthetic, showcasing the diversity of design from Scandinavia and Finland via more than 200 objects – from everyday items to exquisitely produced decorative glassware, and from traditional handmade textiles to mass-produced products found in homes across the globe. The title is taken from a metaphor, common in the Nordic countries, of a shared and highlighted characteristic (like a long connecting thread in woven material), that runs through and connects themes, ideas, stories, and, in this case, design.” (Syndetics summary)
Defined by design : the surprising power of hidden gender, age, and body bias in everyday products and places / Kathryn H. Anthony.
“This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health. This fascinating book will teach readers to recognize the hidden biases in certain products and places and to work for more intelligent and healthy design in all areas of life.” (Syndetics summary)
Jump start responsive web design / by Chris Ward.
The Shard : the vision of Irvine Sellar / Howard Watson.
“In 2000, Irvine Sellar, a former market trader famous for helping to create the look of the Swinging Sixties on Carnaby Street, stood on a rooftop in Southwark, London, and decided to build the tallest building in western Europe. He had virtually no experience, and he wanted to build at the wrong height, in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the river and at the wrong time. Twelve years later, the Shard, a ‘vertical city’ designed by one of the world’s leading architects, Renzo Piano, changed the skyline of London. It immediately became one of the most instantly recognizable and admired contemporary buildings in the world. This is the story of one man’s vision for London and his determination to redefine an ancient but maligned part of the city despite seemingly insurmountable challenges. At every twist in the tale, Sellar refused to give up.” (Syndetics summary)
Illustration : what’s the point? / Mouni Feddag.
“Of all the graphic arts, illustration is currently the most dynamic and exciting. In every medium – advertising, book publishing, product design, houseware and home furnishings – new talents are emerging, making their mark and (in some cases) a fortune out of their illustration skills. But why? In this uniquely presented book, gifted illustrator Mouni Feddag takes on the subject and gives it the treatment it deserves.” (Syndetics summary)
Travels with Frank Lloyd Wright / Gwyn Lloyd Jones.
“By retracing Frank Lloyd Wright’s footsteps on journeys he made beyond his homeland of the USA, this book explores his global ambitions and his lasting legacy and offers an original and contemporary view of Wright and his architecture. By considering Wright beyond America, his architecture is critiqued against different cultural settings so that his architecture can be evaluated as emerging from a new globalized era of architectural production. It reflects on Frank Lloyd Wright as an early promoter of globalization – in fact, as the first international ‘starchitect’.” (Syndetics summary)