Comfortable and eco-friendly homes

Build or style your home using ideas, tips and information from these new books. Read about trends in residential design (including modular and environmentally minded housing), smart homes, styling thrifty chic interiors, building with recycled materials and more. Have a browse and enjoy!

Movable architecture
“Recycling materials to build with is becoming increasingly acceptable and encouraged as the world moves towards greener architecture. This book features creative container architecture and also focuses on its advantages from a green perspective. Inspiration for architects and designers alike, this book promotes sustainable housing in an informative and accessible format.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Thrifty chic : interior style on a shoestring / Bauwens, Liz
“Learn how to reuse, recycle, restyle, restore, and revamp your old furnishings to create a stylish and unique home, without spending a fortune! Whether you are on a tight budget, or simply want to give your existing home a new look, Thrifty Chic provides a treasure trove of ideas at your fingertips.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Prefab housing and the future of building : product to process / Aitchison, Mathew
“As we stand on the cusp of a fundamental restructuring of the housing and building industries, this book provides a timely overview of prefabricated and modular housing. The current international housing shortages and affordability crises have given a new urgency to the need to transform building construction in the 21st century. Richly illustrated and drawing on historical examples and contemporary design studies, the book takes the reader through the history, theory and design of the prefab, leading up to a discussion of contemporary problems and opportunities.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

New eco homes / Gutiérrez, Manel Couto
“Discover the latest in eco-friendly home architecture and design. New Eco Homes features twenty-two sustainable homes from around the globe that showcase the newest innovations in environmentally minded home design.   Inside you’ll find the latest design strategies such as various ways to use natural light and ventilation to reduce energy consumption, new methods to integrate home construction into the surrounding landscape, and the numerous recycled and green construction materials that are available today.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Going green with vertical landscapes
“In the 21st century the architects and designers of urban spaces face great challenges to integrate nature in order to transform cement forests into forest cities . Perhaps the best solution is to go green with vertical landscapes. More than just a decorative trend, this is a means of bringing life and greenery into metropolitan areas by using different framing systems to create compositions of plant life and adapt them to diverse settings, including offices, factories, parking lots, hotels, and installations within larger parks. ” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Creating the vintage look : 35 ways to upcycle for a stylish home / Laycock, Ellie
“Upcycling is about taking something old, vintage, treasured or possibly even broken, and giving it a new lease on life by turning it into something new. Its a thrifty way of decorating and enhancing your home that avoids waste, but is also stylish.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

 

Album art and animal tracking: New design books

Truly Nordic book cover

We’ve had an excellent selection of new design books hitting our shelves recently, on topics such as graphic design, typography, information design, advertising, publication design and much more. Some highlights from our latest picks include infographic collections on pop music and the movements of animal wildlife, and a volume on the art of your favourite musical albums – we recommend checking out our vinyl collection to see some of these beauties in their full-sized glory. Enjoy!

Pop charts : 100 iconic songs lyrics visualized / McHugh, Katrina
“Test your musical knowledge with this fun compilation, filled with 100 beautifully designed infographics, that pays homage to the songs we can’t get out of our heads — inspired by lyrics from artists such as Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, TLC, Bob Dylan, Weezer, and more. Featuring a minimalist and artful design, Pop Charts reinterprets lines from songs that have become part of the zeitgeist. Classics, earworms, and cult hits are reimagined with cool, playful infographic designs — from David Bowie’s Space Oddity to the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage and Beyoncé’s Run the World.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Album art : new music graphics / Foster, John
“We are in the middle of one of the greatest periods in music packaging. Collectible packaging is back at the cultural vanguard: physical records are coveted by millennials, and hip clothing outlets devote massive amounts of space to record players and racks of LPs. Album Art profiles thirty-three designers at the forefront of this movement, among them Braulio Amado, Chris Bigg, Brian Roettinger and Jonathan Barnbrook. They reveal and analyse the creative process behind each design, offering exclusive insights into how they are able to elevate the simple record cover into something more, something special, something unique, something memorable.” (Catalogue)

The story of The Face : the magazine that changed culture / Gorman, Paul
“Launched by NME editor and Smash Hits creator Nick Logan in 1980, The Face became an icon of “style culture,” the benchmark for the latest trends in art, design, fashion, photography, film, and music being defined by a thriving youth culture. The Story of The Face tracks the exciting highs and calamitous lows of the life of the magazine. The Story of The Face is an engaging behind-the-scenes look at the rise and fall of one of the 80s and 90s’ most influential music and style publications.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Truly Nordic : Nordic craftsmanship, branding campaigns and design.
“Nordic design exhibits a philosophy that’s characterised by efficiency, clean lines and a simple and cheerful palette. History and culture have been the fundamental premise of their aesthetic approach, imbued with a respectful attitude towards nature visible in their material choices and graphic expressions. Truly Nordic explores contemporary design emerging from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Characters : cultural stories revealed through typography / Banham, Stephen
“Type and signage surround us. They are part of our daily lives and the history of whichever city we happen to live in. Whether old or new, each sign has a story to tell. In Characters, Stephen Banham has meticulously researched the signage and typography of a city to present an exuberant collection of quirky, poignant and often funny stories. From architecture and advertising to cultural history and much more, Characters is a book that will appeal to historians, designers and typophiles alike.” (Syndetics summary)

The history of graphic design
“This book offers a comprehensive history of graphic design from the end of the 19th century to the remains of World War II. It traces the evolution of this creative field from its beginning as poster design to its further development into advertising, corporate identity, packaging, and editorial design. Organized chronologically, the volume features over 2,500 seminal designs from all over the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Where the animals go : tracking wildlife with technology in 50 maps and graphics / Cheshire, James
“For thousands of years, tracking animals meant following footprints. Now satellites, drones, camera traps, cellphone networks, and accelerometers reveal the natural world as never before. Where the Animals Go is the first book to offer a comprehensive, data-driven portrait of how creatures like ants, otters, owls, turtles, and sharks navigate the world. Based on pioneering research by scientists at the forefront of the animal-tracking revolution, James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti’s stunning, four-color charts and maps tell fascinating stories of animal behavior.” (Catalogue)

Postmodern design complete / Gura, Judith
“Originating as a rebellious movement in philosophy and literature, Postmodernism proclaimed the death of modernism and promoted a new, nonlinear way of approaching architecture and design, spearheaded by Michael Graves, Robert Venturi, Ettore Sottsass, and Alessandro Mendini. It became a style in itself and the defining look of the 1980s. Postmodern Design Complete is the comprehensive reference to this period of vibrant design, as it profiles key creators including Graves, Mendini, Sottsass, Venturi, Charles Jencks, and Denise Scott Brown and covers the fields of architecture, furniture, graphic design, textiles, and product and industrial design.” (Catalogue)

A healthy crop of new books about Architecture

Open Concept Aratments book cover

A wide range of architectural subjects are covered in this collection of new books, from café interiors to art nouveau and beyond. Those looking to downsize may be interested in our books on apartment living and container housing. If you want to take downsizing to the extreme, we even have a book on architecture for your pets!

British + Irish modern : new houses and old houses made new
“House design in Britain and Ireland is guided by climate, landscape and local resources just as much as the centuries-old traditions that have influenced architectural shape and form. Today’s best-known and emerging architects interpret their briefs with imaginative flair: they are transforming houses for the next generation of families by blending their renewed vigor for a local aesthetic with new materials and trends. British & Irish Modern reveals a rich array of works that showcase how architecture in Britain and Ireland today has much to teach the world about creative, high-caliber design, innovative application of materials, and cautious but clever reliance on resources.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Café Plus : Reinventing Interior Design for the Modern Café Space / Zornoza, Manuel N./ Koehne, Helen (EDT)/ Kois, Stelios (FRW)
Café Plus is a chic book-of-the-moment that collects coffee shop interiors by excellent designers from around the world. The projects featured in this book serve more than coffee; they are multi-functional venues that interpret the global concept of a ‘café’ to suit their needs. Interspersed with illustrations and detailed descriptions of design concepts, the featured projects are all from the past three years, showcasing the latest trends in interior café design.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Movable Architecture : A Design Guide to Container Reuse / Gilbert, Ross (EDT)
“Focusing on the requirement for energy-efficient sustainable architecture with a small carbon footprint, this book explores the many ways in which containers can be renovated to create housing and more. With environmentally friendly design, low associated costs and ease of mobility, containers could be a great future contributor to the development of low-carbon architecture. This book features a detailed analysis of over 40 container projects, each with their own prominent features. These are presented alongside landscape plans, technical drawings and text explanations.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Open concept apartments / Zamora Mola, Francesc
“With the explosion in popularity of urban living, more people are trading houses for high-rises. But these sophisticated urbanites don’t want to sacrifice the expansive feel that a house affords. The answer is open concept apartments. By eliminating doorways and walls, open concept design blends separate areas for cooking, eating, and entertaining into one breezy, bright, large, unconstructed space. Special touches–from furniture to lighting to accessories–can be used to subtly define each area, creating a sense of expansiveness and intimacy. Open Concept Apartments brings together a number of examples from all over the world–from New York to Sydney, Chicago to Rio de Janeiro, Santa Monica to Tel Aviv–that magnificently illustrate this popular design trend.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Pet-tecture: Design for Pets [hardback] / Wainwright, Tom
“The perfect book for design-conscious pet owners and animal lovers alike, Pet-tecture presents an irresistible assortment of hundreds of houses and objects by the world’s leading designers, created with our furred and feathered friends in mind – from cats and dogs to birds, rabbits, horses, fish, mice, guinea pigs – even kangaroos and turtles. Whether it’s playful cat trees, concrete dog homes, luxury chicken coops, 3D-printed fish tanks, or a dog-shaped cat scratcher, Pet-tecture has the incredible range of design for animals covered.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Victor Horta : the architect of art nouveau / Dernie, David
“In the decade following the success of his design for the Hôtel Tassel in Brussels in 1893, Victor Horta, the creator of Art Nouveau architecture, produced more than forty buildings–and a movement. Prepared in close collaboration with the Horta Museum, Brussels, Victor Horta: The Architect of Art Nouveau discusses the many influences on Horta’s designs and his legacy.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Architecture Today: Interior Design [hardback] / Asensio, Oscar
“This book presents exciting contemporary design projects by thirty professional interior designers from around the world, illustrated with 470 colour photoraphs and 50 b+w drawings. The result is an inspiring reference for unique ideas and an invaluable resource for interior designers, architects and design students alike.” (Catalogue)

Composing Architecture and Interior Design / Vamvakidis, Simos
Composing Architecture and Interior Design introduces different ways of creating architectural space. It explains how to compose architectural and interior design spaces step by step – starting in the first years of architecture and interior design studies. The book starts with introducing different spatial configurations using basic elements such as walls, floors and ceilings in order to create spaces with different architectural characteristics, such as collective or transition spaces. Photos of physical models are graphically edited to ensure a comprehensive visual explanation. Physical models are the main tool for all architecture and interior architecture students, allowing readers to understand, relate to and copy the modelling techniques shown in each example.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

One size does not fit all: New Design books

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.

Syndetics book coverRobot 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverDefined 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)

Syndetics book coverJump start responsive web design / by Chris Ward.
“It used to be so simple. You made a website or application to work on a 15” monitor and, incompatibilities between browsers aside, you were done. Then along came mobile phones with web browsers and they ruined all our easy lives. Worse than that, people loved browsing the web on them! Fortunately, by using responsive web design techniques, you can use one set of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and display appropriate elements in an appropriate way to suit each platform. In Jump Start Responsive Web Design, you’l learn responsive techniques to make your designs look magnificent on any device, future-proof them, and reduce development time and budget.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverIllustration : 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)

Syndetics book coverTravels 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)

Finding home: New Design & Architecture books in June

This month we have books on various forms and styles of housing – industrial conversions, mobile homes, historical residences, apartment complexes and more – and explore what the idea of home means in these contexts. We also have Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin, to give you some ideas for personalising your living space. For graphic artists and designers we have some fantastic entry points for beginners, focusing on design basics, and highlighting significant design solutions. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverUrban pioneer : interiors inspired by industrial design / Sara Emslie ; photographs by Benjamin Edwards.
“The conversion of such buildings into residential spaces first emerged in the 1960s and ‘70s. A decline in manufacturing in city centres meant that many warehouses and factories became vacant, attracting the first wave of urban pioneers—artists and creatives seeking cheap rents and large interiors to use as studio spaces. In Urban Pioneer, Sara Emslie investigates the practice for transforming non-residential spaces into homes, the key elements of the look—from exposed brickwork to copper piping and metal roof trusses—and the related rise in the popularity of industrial design. She then explores 12 inspiring and varied real-life homes that showcase the very best of the Urban Pioneer look.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMobitecture : architecture on the move / Rebecca Roke.
“An inspiring, surprising and fun collection of mobile, portable and moveable architecture including houseboats, caravans, tents and huts for deserts, oceans, beaches, mountains and cities that demonstrate the exciting possibilities for life on the move. Mobitecture includes structures powered by motorbike, bicycle, mobility scooter, ski, car, tractor, donkey, shopping trolley, sled as well as human hands and feet.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverCreating home : design for living / Keith Summerour ; written with Marc Kristal ; photography by Andrew and Gemma Ingalls
“In this alluring new book, Keith Summerour shares nine houses, exploring their architecture, interiors, and grounds, to illustrate a new idea of home. Reinterpreting and making new his own Southern legacy that speaks both of aristocratic charm and homespun appeal, these homes range from rustic retreats that draw their power from the land to elegant manor houses, but all share extraordinary character and charm that nod to history while reflecting the way people wish to live in the world today.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe new old house : historic & modern architecture combined / Marc Kristal ; foreword by Gil Schafer III.
The New Old House presents 18 private historic homes, from North America to Europe, and traces the ingenious ways architects have revitalized and refreshed them for a new generation. Most of the renovations occurred in the last decade, but all of the homes have origins reaching back into the past, in some cases hundreds of years. These projects address such timely factors as sustainability, multiculturalism, preservation, and style, and demonstrate the unique beauty and elegance that comes from the interweaving of modernity and history.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverOld home love / Andy and Candis Meredith.
“Andy and Candis Meredith believe there’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Their passion for saving and renovating old homes, which caught the attention of HGTV, sparked the creation of their new reality series, Old Home Love. Their stunning debut book features never before seen images of more than 15 homes, (including their own, renovated by the couple themselves), do-it-yourself renovation tips and guidance, and their family’s story. Old Home Love will inspire readers to discover the history and beauty behind their own homes, regardless of location or style.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBuilding community : new apartment architecture / Michael Webb.
“This is the first survey in many years to explore contemporary apartments not as raw canvases for interior decoration but as a building type of growing significance. An introduction presents the history of multiple-occupancy housing through its most innovative 20th-century exemplars, from the urbane blocks of Auguste Perret and Henri Sauvage in Paris, to the landscaped housing estates of Weimar Germany and the visionary schemes of Le Corbusier. Buildings range from social housing and micro apartments to “vertical villages”, megastructures and luxury high-rises.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverSunshine spaces / Beci Orpin.
“In Sunshine Spaces, designer Beci Orpin shows us how to make and create a range of fun homewares and other fabulous ideas for your outdoor space, including outdoor entertaining as well as how to bring a little of the outdoors inside your home! Inspired by the color and beauty of nature, projects include planter pots and hanging pots, picnic blanket and outdoor cushions, hammock and swing, sun umbrella and many more. Using a range of easily accessible materials including wood, flowers and plants, fabric, rope and string, concrete and some recycled products, Beci shows you everything you need to know about bringing the sunshine into your life and home.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverDesign Basics Made Easy
“Graphic design is as important today, as it was before the computer, the ipad and the internet. Understanding colour, spatial relationships, how to work with images and fonts are critical to any form of successful design: a poster, a newsletter, a book cover, an advert, a website. It’s so easy now to create something, using all the powerful software tools but this clear and accessible new book shows you how to make careful judgements, how to work with printers, how to source materials, and how to brief others. Perfect for those exploring design, at any level, and in every form.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverGraphic : 500 designs that matter.
“The process of visual communication and problem-solving through the use of typography, space, image, and colour informs the way we connect across languages and cultures. Compiled and written by a global team of experts, this book is international in its scope, celebrating the long, rich history of graphic design, from the first sample of movable type and the Nuremberg Chronicle of the fifteenth century to the cutting-edge magazines, posters, and ephemera of today.” (Library catalogue)

Design details: Design & Architecture picks in March

Several exciting new titles have been added to our design & architecture sections recently, so take a look below for books on the past, present, and future of design, and examples of architects designing their own abodes for living and leisure. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverDesigner Maker User : An Introduction to Design
“Designers, makers and users are the three essential participants in the creation of any kind of design. Exploring these relationships enables us to understand how we shape the world and how it, in turn, shapes us. Designer Maker User traces the evolution of design, from its roots in the Industrial Revolution to its transformation by the digital explosion. Designer Maker User provides readers with an appreciation for the significance of design and its far-reaching impact on the world in which we live.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new web typography : create a visual hierarchy with responsive web design / Stephen Boss, Jason Cranford Teague.
“With a vast selection of typefaces now available, there is no excuse for using boring typography in web design. The New Web Typography shows you how to implement web-safe fonts to create visually appealing and multi-browser-friendly websites while encouraging you to develop designs that express your own unique typographic voice. This book discusses general principles for choosing typefaces for on-screen display and tips for creating a visual hierarchy that works on monitors, tablets, and smartphones.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhere architects stay : lodgings for design enthusiasts / Sibylle Kramer.
“The combination of architecture and vacations is highly inspiring. It promises relaxation and pleasure, beauty and style, all in one. From the archaic forest hut in the mountain, the luxuriously decorated loft in a major metropolis, or the romantic idyllic house by the lake – these part-time dream houses allow visitors to forget the hustle and bustle of everyday life and they are the perfect place for a short escape or a longer time out.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrint & pattern : nature / Bowie Style.
“The latest book based on the popular Print & Pattern blog, Print & Pattern: Nature celebrates beautiful surface designs, patterns, and motifs of leaves, insects, grasses, butterflies, and trees. Product areas covered include stationery, cards and giftwrap, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, homewares, gadget skins, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat’s So Great About the Eiffel Tower? : 70 Questions That Will Change the Way You Think About Architecture
“Why do we find the idea of a multi-colored Parthenon so shocking today? Why was the Eiffel Tower such a target for hatred when it was first built? Is the Sagrada Familia a work of genius or kitsch? Why has Le Corbusier, one of the greatest of all architects, been treated as a villain? This book examines the critical legacy of both well known and either forgotten or underappreciated highpoints in the history of world architecture. You may never look at architecture in the same way again!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects’ homes / edited by Bethany Patch.
“This stunning book takes a rare glimpse into the intriguing and unique homes of some of the world’s best-known architects. How do these architects design their own private domains? How do their furnishing styles impact on the structural integrity of the space? How do these individuals express their interior design flair in their own haven? Combining rich photography and spectacular imagery with the personal stories of these industry professionals, this book provides a rich source for those keen to delve into the design aesthetics, concepts and innovations of leaders in their very own field.” (Syndetics summary)

Architectural studies: New Design books

The latest design and architecture books range in topics, from Bauhaus to Breuer, patterns to prefabs, all the way to the design history of India. Have a browse, and take inspiration from these exciting new selections.

Syndetics book coverPrefabulous small houses / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford.
“Prefab home construction has arrived. The benefits of buildings a prefab home (they are better built, use resources more efficiently, and are healthier to live in) apply just as well to vacation homes as they do to primary residences. Prefabulous Small Houses explores the beauty, variety, design, and environmentally positive benefits of prefab construction through the wide variety of prefabrication methods in use today. All the houses featured are highly energy efficient and sustainable.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverLiving with pattern : color, texture, and print at home / Rebecca Atwood ; photographs by Emily Johnston.
“In Living with Pattern, Rebecca Atwood travels room by room throughout the house–the expected main rooms as well as smaller, not-to-be-forgotten spaces like reading nooks and foyers–showing how to use pattern to shape interiors. She includes information on how to create different levels of pattern, how color works, how prints can mix and match, how to enliven elements already in the home, how to craft custom patterned pieces, and more. Above all, Atwood makes clear that pattern can be practical and completely usable.” (Publisher)

Syndetics book coverSār : the essence of Indian design / curated by Swapnaa Tamhane and Rashmi Varma.
“The Indian subcontinent is an amalgamation of peoples, cultures, languages and philosophies. Throughout history Indian culture has been subject to myriad different influences, from the Mughal empire to the British Raj to the now globalized nation in transition. This book will trace continuity through the history of Indian design from antiquity to the present day. The book explores the elements that make Indian design so special, including the varied manufacturing and decorating techniques of the country’s incredibly skilled craftsmen, highly specialized object designs that have been refined over centuries, and ongoing responses to nature, technology, and necessity. ” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverLinocut for artists & designers / Nick Morley.
“Linocut is used to stunning effect by artists, illustrators, and designers because of its strong graphic qualities, accessibility, and versatility. Whether you are printing by hand on your kitchen table or on a press in a print studio, this book gets you started and goes on to explore the myriad creative applications of linocut. It encourages you to experiment with different approaches to image making and explores new ways of thinking about how linocut can be used. Nick Morley shares his experience and specialist knowledge to make this practical guide an essential companion for everyone interested in this addictive and absorbing medium.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverGraphic storytelling and visual narrative : principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist / Will Eisner.
“Learn how to control a story effectively using a broad array of techniques. With examples from Will Eisner’s own catalog and other masters, this book distills the art of graphic storytelling into principles that every comic artist, writer, and filmmaker should know.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBauhaus / Boris Friedewald ; translated [by] Christine Shuttleworth.
“This accessible introduction to the Bauhaus tells the story of a radical concept of artistic expression that would transcend the traditional boundaries of the arts. Written in an engaging journalistic style and featuring an innovative layout, the book sheds light on the unconventional lives of the people involved in the Bauhaus, examines the experimental teachings of the movement, and profiles its major figures. A fascinating introduction for anyone interested in learning about this renowned movement, here is a book that is as readable as it is informative.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverBreuer / Robert McCarter.
“This excellent architectural study by McCarter provides a thorough account of what it’s actually like to be in Marcel Breuer’s buildings. The book focuses on the importance of interior and exterior design questions to Breuer’s work, to emphasize “the capacity of reinforced concrete to simultaneously shape both building structure and inhabited space.” McCarter uses remarkable precision and meticulous details in his descriptions of many Breuer homes and larger structures. McCarter successfully demonstrates that in Breuer’s body of work, “a balance between embodied space and sculptural form” is achieved in ways seldom seen anywhere.” (Adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book cover50 architects, 50 buildings : the buildings that inspire architects / edited by Pamela Buxton ; photographs by Gareth Gardner and Edward Tyler.
“A beautifully produced book featuring buildings from around the world, each selected by well-known contemporary architects on the grounds that it has inspired them and made a big impact on their work. Pamela Buxton has interviewed each of the architects including Chris Williamson, Takero Shimazaki, Peter Smithson and more, to create an outstanding portrait of the buildings that have influenced modern architecture. A wide range of building is featured, from housing estates to castles, coalmines to cathedrals.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Contemporary classic – New Design & Architecture books in September

This month’s selections feature an exciting overview of Penguin Classics book covers, a stylish coffee crawl of the USA, a peek at long-gone art deco airports from the early days of commercial air travel and much more! Dive in and discover something new today.

Syndetics book coverClassic Penguin : cover to cover : a visual celebration of Penguin Classics / edited with an introduction by Paul Buckley ; book design by Matt Vee.
“In Classic Penguin: Cover to Cover, Paul Buckley showcases more than ten years of stunning cover designs from Penguin Classics. This curated tour begins with the now-iconic redesign of the signature Penguin Classics black-spine series in 2003 and moves through award-winning series like the Penguin Classics Graphic Deluxe Editions, Penguin Drop Caps, and Penguin Horror. Exhibiting a mesmerizing array of front covers and full cover layouts, Paul Buckley illuminates the unique and inventive approaches to typography, image, and design that grace Penguin’s covers of the best works in literature.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion packaging now / edited by Chris Huang.
“The highly competitive world of retail branding and brand packaging is evident in the increasing demand for creating unique, eye-catching and recognizable clothing packaging designs. This superbly designed book showcases innovative, custom-packaging designs across a range of products, including footwear, clothing and apparel, fashion products, and more. Fashion Packaging Design presents in highly illustrated, full-colour detail how the brand connects with the item with the packaging itself, and offers unique insight on individual project design production strategies.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStand out : design a personal brand, build a killer portfolio, find a great design job / Denise Anderson.
“The design marketplace has never been more competitive, or demanded more from emerging talent. To succeed, you must navigate the transition from learner to professional with purpose and precision. In this superbly organized and beautifully designed book, Anderson distills 20+ years of experience as a graphic designer, entrepreneur, instructor, and mentor, offering you powerful insights and easy-to-use tools for successfully launching your career. Whether you’re in graphic design, advertising design, interactive or web design, fashion, or any other design field, Anderson will help you identify what makes you unique, and use it powerfully differentiate yourself from everyone else.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLandscape and garden design sketchbooks / Tim Richardson.
“For this unique publication, Tim Richardson has selected thirty-seven talented landscape designers who are notable for the immense energy and creativity of their preparatory work. The best samples from their personal sketchbooks are presented alphabetically, along with concise profiles on their training, inspirations, and process. From clear perspective drawings to more abstract, experimental compositions, and quick freehand squiggles on napkins to measured topographical mapping, Landscape and Garden Design Sketchbooks is an insightful, practical guide that allows a peek into the world of leading landscape designers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Thai style / photography Michael Freeman ; texts Kim Inglis.
“Thai Style is renowned throughout the world for its grace, form and colours, reflecting wider national culture. Contemporary Thai Style — one that merges ancient practices with modern fashions, graphics and technologies is what this book seeks to showcase. Forward-looking designs — be they in architecture, furniture design, art, interiors or landscaping are featured in this exciting new publication.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCoffee culture : hot coffee + cool spaces / Robert Schneider.
Coffee Culture: Hot Coffee + Cool Spaces is a full-color presentation of 33 coffee shops located in cities across the United States crafting great coffee in interesting spaces with good design aesthetics. The concept of space is often extended from the shop interior to the neighborhood – interweaving coffee, art, architecture, design, and historic preservation. The common thread is an appreciation for great coffee in spaces that invite human interaction and create memories through good design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArt deco airports : dream designs of the 1920s & 1930s / Terry Moyle ; illustrated by Rosie Louise and Terry Moyle.
“These airport buildings were subject to enormous change as air transport became more popular and as aircraft technology meant entirely upgraded facilities. Many of these buildings were only in existence for sometimes 12 months before being either demolished or refurbished. Some of these fascinating buildings are also still in existence, albeit in a dilapidated state. The combination of these exotic and iconic buildings, fashion and associated aircrafts has never been captured in art before and will present an exciting and appealing aesthetic reminiscent of the art deco posters of that era.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to read New York : a crash course in Big Apple architecture / Will Jones.
“Essential reading for both native New Yorkers and tourists alike, How to Read New York unveils the boundless diversity of Gotham’s architectural wonders. Covering every era of New York architecture–from what remains of the colonial days to the latest postmodern skyscraper–this unique guidebook illuminates the fascinating architectural and urban history of New York.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving under the sun : tropical interiors and architecture / edited by Michelle Galindo, Robert Klanten and Sven Ehmann ; text and preface by Shonquis Moreno.
“Tropical regions around the globe have always offered an extraordinarily diverse range of impressions and inspirations. Yet only recently have countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, and Australia begun to gain international recognition as go-to sources for contemporary design ideas. Today, the tropics offer style aficionados at least as many, if not more, new things to discover than classic design destinations such as Italy or Scandinavia. Living Under the Sun is the first comprehensive showcase of modern tropical living styles and their designers. Perhaps readers will even be inspired to create their own paradise at home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThis brutal world / Peter Chadwick.
“A curated collection of some of the most powerful and awe-inspiring Brutalist architecture ever built. This Brutal World is a global survey of this compelling and much-admired style of architecture. It brings to light virtually unknown Brutalist architectural treasures from across the former eastern bloc and other far flung parts of the world. It includes works by some of the best contemporary architects including Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield as well as by some of the master architects of the 20th century including Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolph and Marcel Breuer.” (Syndetics summary)

New Design & Architecture books in June

This month’s picks include culturally unique interiors, furniture design, imagery from Broadway, and tiny architecture. You’ll also find the first season of the New Zealand edition of Grand Designs on DVD in our collection now. Something for everyone!

Syndetics book coverMin: The New Simplicity in Graphic Design [paperback]
“Minimalism has informed some of the greatest graphic design in the history of the art form. Today’s resurgence in minimalist graphic design — as creators move away from the ornate, decorative patterns that have saturated our visual culture for the past decade — calls for a closer look at the movement in its new, contemporary context. Min showcases 150 outstanding minimalist designers working across a wide range of formats and media — from independent magazines and album cover designs to corporate identity and branding. Essays tracing the evolution of minimalism in graphic design allow for a useful comparison of the first wave of minimalism in the 1960s to its renascent form today.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrazil modern : the rediscovery of twentieth-century Brazilian furniture / Aric Chen ; foreword by Zueler R.M. de A. Lima ; introduction by Zesty Meyers.
“Twentieth-century Brazilian furniture design is perhaps the last great largely unknown tradition of modernism, characterized by rich and sensually textured hardwoods and an ingenuity, grace, and simplicity that exemplify the national character of brasiliadade . With well over 400 historic images and new photography, Brazil Modern surveys the history and legacy of this innovative design tradition. Brazil Modern is the first comprehensive guide to this untapped vein of modernist design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn Broadway : from Rent to Revolution / Drew Hodges ; edited by Garth Wingfield ; introduction by David Sedaris ; foreword by Chip Kidd.
On Broadway pulls back the curtain to reveal the creative process involved in bringing a Broadway show to the stage and into the public consciousness through the words of Broadway’s most famous personalities and the art of SpotCo. This collection of hundreds of behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, and posters, as well as personal anecdotes by and with some of Broadway’s most beloved stars, including John Leguizamo, Alison Bechdel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patrick Stewart, and more serves as the document of record of the shows and performers that have graced New York stages for the past two decades.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScript fonts / collected and designed by Geum-Hee Hong with assistance from Lydia Stockert and Julia Kromer.
“Fonts based on handwritten scripts are some of the bestselling typefaces of the font foundries. They bring personality and authenticity to graphic design – whether on business cards and flyers, or in packaging and advertising. Script Fonts is a visual encyclopedia of over 300 fonts that includes complete alphabets and numerals for each font and a piece of sample text that shows how each typeface works in the context of a paragraph. It is richly illustrated with over 100 examples of the typefaces as used in manuscripts, on posters, in advertising and other graphic design. The accompanying CD includes 122 free fonts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover Lighthouses, by Victoria Charles (eBook)
“The lighthouse, an indefatigable watchman, ceaselessly guides boats to their ports.This beacon of maritime signalisation has guided sailors since antiquity. The first known lighthouse appeared on the island of Pharos, and was the remarkable Lighthouse of Alexandria. Faced with the increasing development of modern navigational aids, these lone sentinels do not hold the same functional importance today. However, this work emphasises not only their role as a major architectural development, but also the place that they hold in the cultural heritage of the world.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Korea Style, by Marcia Iwatate (eBook)
“With over 500 stunning photographs, this design book reveals the relatively unknown but unique aesthetics of Korea. Korea Style reveals the intrinsic elements of Korean design; simplicity, moderation, constraint, and a deep respect for all things natural. Korea Style is the first book devoted to the country’s architecture and interior design-featuring twenty-two exceptional homes, studios and public and heritage buildings. Ranging from vernacular to cutting-edge creations, all are a celebration of the country’s natural landscape, arts and crafts and architectural heritage juxtaposed with a drive towards invention, experimentation and individuality.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Design the Life You Love, by Ayse Birsel (eBook)
“A joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always dreamed of, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints-time, money, age, location, and circumstances. You can’t have everything, so you have to be creative to make what you want and what you need co-exist. Design the Life You Love is a joyful, inspirational guide to building the life you’ve always wanted, using the principles and creative process of an award-winning product designer. Through four steps that reveal hidden skills and wisdom, anyone can design a life they love!” (Overdrive description)

Syndetics book coverNanotecture / Rebecca Roke.
“The most wide-ranging, comprehensive and inclusive book on small-scale architecture ever published. An inspiring, surprising and fun collection of 300 works of small-scale architecture including demountable, portable, transportable and inflatable structures as well as pavilions, installations, sheds, cabins, pods, capsules and tree houses.” (Syndetics summary)

Image from Aro VideoGrand designs New Zealand. Series 1 (DVD)
Grand Designs NZ is a series about New Zealanders taking on the challenge of building their own unique and inspirational homes. From architectural designer mansions to DIY homes using archaic or new school building techniques and material. From the beach, to the mountains and the hills in between. Grand Designs charts the in-depth process of creating these unique homes, and the personal journeys of those building them.” (Syndetics summary)

Design & Architecture picks in May

An interesting and insightful collection of new design & architecture books this month focus on using design to get the biggest bang for your buck. Read about all these ideas in the books selected below!

Syndetics book coverAre We There Yet?: Insights on How to Lead by Design [paperback]
“We face high costs, global competition, low productivity, and technology disruptions. We have relied on massive technology investments as our source of competitive advantage, but our growth is declining. If we want to maintain our standard of living, we need firms to grow. Firms therefore need a new approach to innovation, one that focuses on customer engagement in its business model. The concept of design thinking is often described as the mindset for firms to make this transition. But with so much being written on design thinking, why do so many firms struggle to adopt this mindset and make this transition?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Graphic Design Idea Book: Inspiration from 50 Masters [paperback]
“This book serves as an introduction to the key elements of good design. Broken into sections covering the fundamental elements of design, key works by acclaimed designers serve to illustrate technical points and encourage readers to try out new ideas. Themes covered include narrative, colour, illusion, ornament, simplicity, and wit and humour. The result is an instantly accessible and easy to understand guide to graphic design using professional techniques.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPattern: & the secrets of lasting design [hardback]
“Emma Bridgewater’s patterns are as quintessentially British as marmalade on toast – and they have made her distinctive homewares best sellers across the world. Her inspiration is often deeply personal – a plate of her mother’s, a favourite children’s book – and as she tells the stories of each pattern’s creation, she reveals the intricate processes of research and collaboration behind the familiar designs she has stamped on our kitchenware – and our hearts – for the past thirty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEco living Japan : sustainable ideas for living green / Deanna MacDonald ; foreword by Edward Suzuki ; preface by Geeta Mehta.
“Japan is equally as well known for its ecologically-sensitive traditional homes as it is for cutting-edge, green technology. Eco Living Japan presents 19 contemporary Japanese houses which exemplify the most recent trends in sustainable design in Japan. This is wabi-sabi for the 21st century! This book provides inspiration and practical ideas for those creating homes in North America and other 4 season climates. Anyone with an interest in Japanese design and trends in sustainable living will find fresh ideas for their own home projects.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPartners in design : Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson / edited by David A. Hanks.
“The 1920s and 1930s saw the birth of modernism in the United States, a new aesthetic, based on the principles of the Bauhaus in Germany. Alfred H. Barr Jr., the then 27-year-old founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, and 23-year-old Philip Johnson, director of its architecture department, were the visionary young proponents of the modern approach. In the depths of the Depression, Barr and Johnson experimented with new ideas in museum ideology, extending the scope beyond painting and sculpture; with ordinary, machine-made objects elevated to art by their elegant design. Partners in Design chronicles their collaboration, placing it in the larger context of the avant-garde in New York.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlease make this look nice : the graphic design process / Peter Ahlberg.
“Equal parts design inspiration and manual, Please Make This Look Nice combines interviews, writings, case studies, and personal ephemera from celebrated designers into a solid primer for designers and design enthusiasts alike. Please Make This Look Nice is a behind-the-scenes look at the graphic design process of more than fifty graphic designers, typographers, and studios from around the world. Celebrated graphic design contributors including Maira Kalman, Milton Glaser, Michael Bierut, Experimental Jetset, Carin Goldberg, Ivan Chermayeff & Tom Geismar, Paul Sahre, and Stefan Sagmeister, as well as emerging design stars share their far-ranging insights and personal means of finding inspiration.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to read modern buildings : a crash course in the architecture of the modern era / Will Jones.
How to Read Modern Buildings is an indispensable pocket-sized guide to understanding the architecture of the modern era.It takes the reader on a guided tour of modern architecture through its most iconic and significant buildings, showing how to read the hallmarks of each architectural style and how to recognize them in the buildings all around. From Art Deco and Arts and Crafts, through the International Style and Modernism to today’s environmental architecture and the rise and fall of the icon, all the major architectural movements from the 1900s to the present day are traced through their classic buildings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSprint : how to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days / Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz.
“Entrepreneurs and leaders face big questions every day: What will your idea look like in real life? How many meetings and discussions does it take before you can be sure you have the right solution? Designer Jake Knapp created the five-day sprint process at Google, where he joined Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky at Google Ventures, and together they have completed more than one hundred sprints with companies in mobile, e-commerce, healthcare, finance, and more. A practical guide to answering critical business questions, Sprint is a book for teams of any size, from small startups to Fortune 100s, from teachers to nonprofits.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesigning products people love : how great designers create successful products / Scott Hurff.
“How can you create products that successfully find customers? With this practical book, you’ll learn from some of the best product designers in the field, from companies like Facebook and LinkedIn to up-and-coming contenders. You’ll understand how to discover and interpret customer pain, and learn how to use this research to guide your team through each step of product creation. Written for designers, product managers, and others who want to communicate better with designers, this book is essential reading for anyone who contributes to the product creation process.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)