Design & Architecture Recent Picks for November

This month features books on using design to sell, explain and inspire, the history of spots and stripes, and inspirational interiors of UK ex-council homes, plus more unique topics.

howtoHow to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world / Michael Bierut.
“Protégé of design legend Massimo Vignelli and partner in the New York office of the international design firm Pentagram, Michael Bierut has had one of the most varied careers of any living graphic designer. He provides insights into the creative process, his working life, his relationship with clients, and the struggles that any design professional faces in bringing innovative ideas to the world. Inspiring, informative and authoritative, How to… is set to be the bible of graphic design ideas.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMural XXL / Claudia Walde.
“In its early days, illegal graffiti and street art were of necessity modest in scale, hastily created in hours or even minutes, and destroyed just as quickly by authorities, vandals or the elements. Now, however, graffiti writers and street artists are able to take their work to an entirely new level, creating carefully planned, permanent works that cover entire buildings and add a new visual dimension to the worlds cities. Working in dangerous conditions, often hundreds of metres above the ground, yet always keenly aware of the view from street level, these new street muralists are as fearless and technically skilled as they are creatively brilliant.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPatternalia : an unconventional history of polka dots, stripes, plaid, camouflage, & other graphic patterns / Jude Stewart.
“We wake up in the morning and put on our striped socks and our plaid shirts, sit down to breakfast at a gingham tablecloth, perhaps eyeing the wallpaper with its fleur-de-lis. Patterns are everywhere–yet they can go unnoticed. In fact, every pattern is a story, a surprisingly deep trove of historical information and cultural associations. From camouflage to keffiyeh, plaid to paisley, Patternalia plumbs the backstories of individual patterns, the surprising kinks in how each developed, the parallels between patterns natural and invented, and the curious personalities these patterns accrue over time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll about mags / [edit & publish, SendPoints Publishing Co. Ltd.]
“Magazines are an important visual communication media in the world today. All About Mags aims to introduce excellent magazines around the world. This book features four parts, namely, life, art & design, fashion and photography. Each magazine introduced in the book stands out for its eye-catching, design, layout, font system as well as its distinctive publishing philosophy. This book is a window into a kaleidoscope of the magazine world, offering a glimpse into the format and ideas of each magazine featured.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTile makes the room : good design from Heath Ceramics / Catherine Bailey & Robin Petravic.
Tile Makes the Room, by Heath’s owners Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, winners of the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, is about exceptional spaces and places–the kind you want to step into and examine each and every detail of–where tile is the main ingredient, though not the only star. From the dwellings of notable designers to everyday homeowners, grand installations and subtle designs all showcase tile’s role in the form and function of architecture and interiors.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Nordic design / Dorothea Gundtoft.
“Contemporary Nordic designers are known for their serene, minimal aesthetic and innovative approach to creating pieces of simplistic elegance, from austere lighting designs meant to reflect the quality of light in the northern hemisphere to clean, modern furniture decorating the homes of the region’s most stylish residents. New Nordic Design is not only a comprehensive guide to Nordic designers practicing today but also a source of minimalist inspiration. Profiles of ten influential Nordic designers complement illustrated profiles of fifty contemporary interior and product designers alongside interviews conducted by Dorothea Gundtoft.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWaterside modern / Dominic Bradbury ; photographs by Richard Powers.
“The most luxurious homes in the world incorporate elements of the surrounding environment into their design, and waterside homes bespeak a particular kind of luxury. Waterside Modern is a dream tour through some of the most beautiful modern homes in the world, all set against spectacular views of lakes, rivers, and oceans. From California to Long Island, Sydney to Singapore, South America to Europe and the Mediterranean-some of the most beautiful countries in the world provide the backdrop for twenty-five architect-designed single-family houses that make the most of their desirable settings.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York in fifty design icons / Julie Iovine.
“Covering everything from buildings and monuments to a graffiti mural or an item of clothing, we are able to build up an intricate portrait of a city, layer by layer. From the infamous Chysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge to the New York Yankees logo or CBGB’s, the beating heart of the 1970s punk movement, New York is a tapestry of design masterpieces. Join Julie Iovine, architectural writer at the Wall Street Journal and formerly of the New York Times , as she unravels the visual history of one of our most famous and fascinating cities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShelter : how Australians live / photographs & words by Kara Rosenlund.
“Driving down a dirt track one day photographer, stylist and adventurer Kara Rosenlund came across a beautiful but dilapidated farmhouse. Its lonely, worn loveliness kindled a passion in Kara to photograph and celebrate Australia’s authentic, intriguing rural homes and the people who live in them. As she travelled the country, documenting raw and real interiors and landscapes, she found shelter – under the roofs of beach shacks, grand homesteads, sheep stations and shipping containers, and in the welcome of strangers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding art : the life and work of Frank Gehry / Paul Goldberger.
“From Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger: an engaging, nuanced exploration of the life and work of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. This first full-fledged critical biography presents and evaluates the work of a man who has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture in his innovative use of materials, design, and form, and who is among the very few architects in history to be both respected by critics as a creative, cutting-edge force and embraced by the general public as a popular figure.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStyle council : inspirational interiors in ex-council homes / Sarah Thompson ; foreword by Wayne Hemingway, MBE.
Style Council brings together an inspirational and eclectic selection of interiors from a generation of homeowners who are redefining the status of local-authority architecture. From covetable apartments in hip Brutalist high-rises to rural cottages with roses around the door, Style Council peeks behind the curtains of the often unappreciated former council home, into the lives of the creative and resourceful people who live there. Style Council is an essential sourcebook and a goody-bag of ideas for anyone wanting to do up their home – ex-council or not – in style.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Design & Architecture recent picks for October

This month we have a great selection of both physical books and eBooks on offer on the subjects of design and architecture. Covering topics from pattern and typography to small house living and stylish cabin getaways, there’s something for all kinds of interests here!

Syndetics book coverPatternity : a new way of seeing : the inspirational power of pattern / Anna Murray & Grace Winteringham ; contributing editor, Dal Chodha.
“Pattern is everywhere we go and in everything we do. We wear patterns, we walk over them, we even eat, drink and think them, but it’s unlikely they demand too much of our attention… Innovative creative and cultural organization Patternity exists to join the dots. From fashion and design to the natural world, look beyond the mundane forms that we see every day to find the hidden beauty in the underlying patterns that normally pass us by. A source of endless inspiration and innovation, this uniquely curated book will open your eyes anew.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGraphique de la rue : the signs of Paris / Louise Fili.
“Paris is a city of pure enchantment, and everyone who loves the City of Light has a Parisian muse, from the Tour Eiffel to crème caramel. For celebrated graphic designer Louise Fili, it’s the city’s dazzling signage. For more than four decades, Fili has strolled picturesque Parisian rues and boulevards with map and camera, cataloging the work of generations of sign craftsmen. Graphique de la Rue is Fili’s photographic diary of hundreds of Paris’s most inventive restaurant, shop, hotel, street, and advertising signs. Classic neon café signs are juxtaposed with the dramatic facades of the Moulin Rouge and the Folies Bergère. Colorful mosaics cheerfully announce hotel entrances, department stores, fishmongers, even public toilets. A major influence on Fili’s own work, many of these masterpieces of vernacular design, now destroyed, live on solely in this book, a typographic love letter to Paris sure to inspire designers and armchair travelers alike.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover The Education of a Graphic Designer, by Steven Heller (eBook)
“Revised and updated, this compelling collection of essays, interviews, and course syllabi is the ideal tool to help teachers and students keep up in the rapidly changing field of graphic design. Top designers and educators talk theory, offer proposals, discuss a wide range of educational concerns—such as theory versus practice, art versus commerce, and classicism versus postmodernism—and consider topics such as emerging markets, shifts in conventions, global impact, and social innovation. Building on the foundation of the original book, the new essays address how graphic design has changed into an information-presenting, data-visualization, and storytelling field rooted in art and technology.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Playing with Graphic Style, by Steven Heller (eBook)
Playing with Graphic Style is a lively and playful approach to discovering different design styles. This engaging guide begins with an introduction to the philosophy of learning through the process of play. This series of experimental design projects will cover the distinctions between a personal and universal style, historical and contemporary style, one-of-a kind styles and how lettering, type and typography often define style. Don’t be afraid to try something different! Playing with Graphic Style offers 50 experiments that apply the fundamental principles of graphic design in a way that is creative, fun and interactive.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Syndetics book coverHistoric churches : a guide to over 60 early New Zealand churches / Linda Burgess ; photography, Robert Burgess.
“An affectionate, entertaining and informative guide to New Zealand’s early churches, from quaint country churches and small school chapels, to grand cathedrals and curious synagogues.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRooted : creating a sense of place : contemporary studio furniture / The Furniture Society ; Steffanie Dotson & Douglas Congdon-Martin, editors.
“The movement to buy locally, which has gained momentum in the areas of produce and food, is now spreading to arts and crafts. Whether in terms of materials, inspiration, or the interaction with customers, these artists are rooted in their surroundings. What springs from these roots is usually unique, often edgy, and always beautiful furniture and accessories. Over 150 examples of their work are shown in full color, with ample detail photographs so the reader gets an intimate look at the skill and artistic instincts of these makers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall house living / Catherine Foster.
“Smart, space-efficient houses are becoming the way of the future. Small House Living showcases an inspiring collection of homes measuring less than 90m2 from around New Zealand. Family homes, baches and apartments are included in the line-up; all of them demonstrating ingenious ways to reduce space and cut costs within a design-enriched environment. Small House Living is a book in tune with the current preoccupation with creating affordable housing solutions. Anyone interested in living well with less will find inspiration in the compact yet highly considered homes featured.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCabin porn / collected by Beaver Brook ; edited by Zach Klein ; feature stories by Steven Leckart ; feature photography by Noah Kalina.
“Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere. With their idyllic settings, unique architecture and cozy interiors, the Cabin Porn photographs, are an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the beauty and serenity that nature and simple construction can create.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGuerilla furniture design : how to build lean, modern furniture with salvaged materials / Will Holman ; photography by Kip Dawkins.
“This innovative collection features 35 simple, inexpensive projects that you can make from salvaged and upcycled materials — cardboard, metal, plastic, and wood. The projects include tables, shelving units, chairs, lamps, and more, in a variety of styles. Many are stackable and easily portable, most can be made in a weekend, and all include instructions for disassembly and disposal when you’re ready to repurpose the materials. If you’d rather make than buy, these low-budget, high-style designs are just what you’re looking for.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover Amazing Spaces, by George Clark
“George Clarke shows how amazingly unexpected small spaces can be adapted into really practical living areas. Combining the eccentric and the inspirational with down-to-earth guidelines and information, the book will appeal not only to those dreaming of a get-away but to everyone who wants to make the most of their space at home.” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Architects’ Houses, by Stephen Crafti (eBook)
Architects’ Houses offers an insight into how contemporary architects live in the homes they have designed specifically for themselves and their family: from warehouses to apartments, from an entirely new build to a substantial renovation. In the absence of a ‘client’ and a formal brief, architects can be truly adventurous, exploring groundbreaking, unconventional ideas and materials in designing their own houses. Architects’ Houses also explores the things that didn’t quite go to plan. Their insights and journeys will appeal to those looking for fresh ideas that go beyond the traditional offerings by architects.” (Overdrive description)

Design and Architecture picks in September

This month’s new books are quite experimental with topics ranging from how to make the design process more playful, to unconventional libraries, and the very unconventional cardboard cathedral in Christchurch. Try something new from this month’s picks!

Syndetics book coverTiny house floor plans : over 200 interior designs for tiny houses / by Michael Janzen.
“Inside Tiny House Floor Plans you’ll find over 200 interior designs for tiny houses – 230 to be exact. A tiny house is exactly what it sounds like, a house with many of the amenities you’d expect in a home tucked neatly into a super small space. Often these homes are built on trailers giving them the added benefit of mobility. But these designs could also be built on your choice of foundation. Each chapter focuses on one size footprint to show what can be done inside each size space. If you’re considering simplifying your life, extreme downsizing, arranging your tiny apartment more efficiently, building a cabin or inlaw unit, and/or building your own mortgage-free tiny home, this book can help give you a head start on making your goals a reality.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe form of design : deciphering the language of mass-produced objects / Josiah Kahane.
“This is the first all-encompassing book about the visual language of man-made products, explaining how mass-produced objects evolve over time and what made them change. Form evolution behaves in a similar way to language evolution and, to some extent, even to natural evolution. In the book the author materializes the governing rules of form evolution by means of fourteen case studies.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEttore Sottsass and the poetry of things / Deyan Sudjic.
“Sottsass (1917-2007), originally trained as an architect and worked as a design consultant for Olivetti, where he developed the iconic Valentine typewriter, before going on to found the Memphis Group in the 1980s, ushering in an era of influential designs in furniture, ceramics and lighting. Though a native son of Italy, Sottsass cast a shadow of influence on the entire world, traveling extensively over the course of his life and interacting with some of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, including Picasso, Hemingway and Allen Ginsberg. …a unique and comprehensive portrait not only Sottsass but of the last 100 years of design in Italy and around the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover100 great children’s picturebooks / Martin Salisbury.
“This unashamed visual feast celebrates the best designed and illustrated picturebooks from around the world over the past one hundred years. Each book is a creation of genius and inventiveness, and their design and illustration represent such diverse trends as the Russian Constructivists, Italian Futurists, and Postwar Neo-romantics. They are also mirrors of their times reflecting social concerns from a child’s and family’s perspectives throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Fearlessly confronting the frontiers between a child’s picturebook and art, this is a collection of books that anyone with an interest in design, illustration, or simply children’s literature should know about.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverExperimental design : visual methods and systematic play / [edited by] Armin Lindauer, Betina Müller ; texts: Armin Lindauer.
“How can experimentation and methodology be used in design processes? In this area of specialization in particular the term “experimental” is often used rather randomly. Contrary to this approach, this book shows that even in art and design methodical experiments can result in concepts and ideas, i.e. creativity in the widest sense. The varied and often surprising results are due not least to the many different applied methods. The works were found in very diverse sectors such as advertising, product design, poster design, art, and sciences. With its more than 3000 images, Experimental Design is a visual reference book for anyone interested in methodical approaches to ideas and concepts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe dream café : lessons in the art of radical innovation / Duncan D. Bruce and Dr. Geoff Crook.
“To keep your brand innovative you need to feed your creative spirit and the office is not the place to do that. So get out, disrupt and reimagine the status quo, get into a café and dream. Recreating the convivial, collaborative, creative world of the avant-garde the guys at The Dream Café have developed a fresh, new approach which is being used by major brands and businesses to great success. They create actual Dream Café locations settings which encourage freedom of thought and collaboration. Now, for the first time, the innovation consultants at The Dream Café have made their model and methods available to us all in this exciting new book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverImprobable libraries : a visual journey to the world’s most unusual libraries / Alex Johnson.
“Public libraries are a cornerstone of modern civilization, yet like the books in them, libraries face an uncertain future in an increasingly digital world. Improbable Libraries showcases a wide range of unforgettable, never-before-seen images and interviews with librarians who are overcoming geographic, economic, and political difficulties to bring the written word to an eager audience. Alex Johnson charts the changing face of library architecture, as temporary pop-ups rub shoulders with monumental brick-and-mortar structures, and many libraries expand their mission to function as true community centers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShigeru Ban : cardboard cathedral / Andrew Barrie ; photographs by Bridgit Anderson & Stephen Goodenough.
“In Christchurch’s inner city an innovative and symbolic structure has just taken shape: a cardboard cathedral to stand in for the historic building devastated by the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011. Signaling the beginnings of renewal in the central business district, the cathedral is the first new civic building completed since the quakes. Shigeru Ban, its designer, is a world-class architect and expert in disaster-zone building; and the new transitional cathedral is his largest postdisaster structure to date. In essays, building plans, and specially commissioned photography, Shigeru Ban: Cardboard Cathedral tells the story of this remarkable feat. Originally conceived as a temporary building, its construction involved design challenges, structural innovations, and community involvement. This is vital reading for anyone interested in contemporary architecture and for all those looking to what the future might hold for cities after disaster.” (Syndetics summary)

Hand-lettering and houseboats – August Design & Architecture picks

This month’s picks feature a variety of graphic design best-of compilations, plus Drawing Type, a great guide to getting started with drawing your own lettering. On the architecture side, Open Source Architecture reconsiders architecture as a collaborative process. We also explore alternative architecture, from opera houses to the Parthenon, and there’s even a resource on houseboats!

Syndetics book coverCollector’s edition : innovative packaging and graphics / Stuart Tolley ; photography by Ivan Jones.
“This global survey of graphic design innovation brings together over 170 examples from the worlds of music, book publishing, and magazines that have been released as collector’s, limited, or deluxe editions. It includes a broad spectrum of work, formats, and genres, ranging from editions of albums by international recording artists including Coldplay and Radiohead, to ultra-rare and expensive publications such as ‘The Vatican Secret Archives’, handbound in the Vatican studio and produced in an edition of just thirty-three copies (three of which were reserved for the Pope). Each section also includes interviews with designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and Stanley Donwood to gain their views and insights on why the materiality and tactility of printed packaging are more important than ever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLogo design / ed. Julius Widedmann.
“A good logo can glamorize just about anything. This sweeping compendium gathers diverse brand markers from around the world to explore the irrepressible power of graphic representation. The catalog explores how text, image, and ideas distil into a logo across events, fashion, media, music, and retailers. Featuring work from both star names and lesser-known mavericks, this is an excellent reference for students and professionals in design and marketing, as well as for anyone interested in the visuals and philosophy behind brand identity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDrawing type : an introduction to illustrating letterforms / Alex Fowkes.
“Part inspiration and part workbook, these hand-drawn type of images will inspire and excite any designer to draw and explore type. Drawing Type features real-world projects and sketchbooks of well-known type designers, including interviews about their processes. Playful, hand-drawn type can easily be used in a range of disciplines within design and illustration such; the hand-made aesthetic is more prevalent now than ever. Alex Fowkes will help you to create custom lettering and typographic layouts. Drawing Type is perfect for learning and developing your skills at home or in a classroom–an invaluable resource that you can refer to again and again!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe pattern base : over 550 contemporary textile and surface designs / Kristi O’ Meara ; edited by Audrey Victoria Keiffer.
“With new technology allowing for more precise manipulation and larger variation of materials and patterns, textile designers have found new ways to create ambitiously, experiment, and be inspired. At the same time, the rise of digital processes has led to a renewed appreciation of traditional craftsmanship and the handmade. In The Pattern Base, Kristi O’Meara and Audrey Victoria Keiffer showcase more than 550 textile, surface, fashion, and print designs from over 150 designers working around the world. Part One is a sourcebook of these designs, while Part Two presents profiles of fifteen artists, constituting the hottest up-and-comers in the field.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCommune : designed in California / Roman Alonso [et. al]. ; [edited by Andrea Danese]
“Commune was established in Los Angeles in 2004 by four like-minded souls–Roman Alonso, Steven Johanknecht, Pamela Shamshiri, and Ramin Shamshiri– with a common mission: to enhance life through design and to blur the lines between disciplines, eras, and styles. California is for those who refuse to conform and who live for freedom of expression, indoor/outdoor living, and that golden sunshine glinting off the waves of the Pacific. Commune perfectly captures this spirit and embodies a new California style that freely mixes old and new in its layered, highly personal interiors that embrace color, pattern, and texture.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy cool houseboat : an inspirational guide to stylish houseboats / Jane Field-Lewis ; photography by Richard Maxted.
“People fall in love with boats and own them for a variety of reasons: out of affordability and necessity; a love of the water; closeness to nature and the environment; or just because they yearn for a different and more relaxed style of living/working space. Repurposed and rescued boats covered here range from ones on dry land to a mariner’s restaurant; urban boats include city canal living and “village” life, from Paris to London and Amsterdam; and lastly, there is a chapter on get-away-from-it-all boats and retreats.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOpen source architecture / Carlo Rotti with Matthew Claudel.
Open Source Architecture is a visionary manifesto for the architecture of tomorrow that argues for a paradigm shift from architecture as a means of supporting the ego-fueled grand visions of “starchitects” to a collaborative, inclusive, network-driven process inspired by twenty-first-century trends such as crowd-sourcing, open access, and mass customization. The question is how collaborative design can avoid becoming design-by-committee. Authors Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel navigate this topic nimbly, considering the applications of open-source architecture not only conceptually but also in practice. Open Source Architecture is an important new work on the frontlines of architectural thought and practice.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDavid Leventi : opera / foreword by Plácido Domingo ; texts by Marvin Heiferman and Thomas Mellins.
“In his series “Opera,” photographer David Leventi (born 1978)–whose work has been widely published in “Time,” “The New York Times Magazine,” “Condé Nast Traveler” and “American Photography”–captures the interiors of more than 40 opera houses spanning four centuries and four continents. Shot meticulously over five years, Opera presents… these temples of music in their wealth of architectural detail and acoustic design. With its unique concept–the opera house as a lens for cultural survey, a unifying force and tradition across continents–the collection serves as a beautiful tribute to opera.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Parthenon enigma / Joan Breton Connelly.
“Since the Enlightenment, the Parthenon–the greatest example of Athenian architecture–has been venerated as the definitive symbol of Western democratic values. Here, Joan Breton Connelly challenges this conventional wisdom, drawing on previously undiscovered sources to present a revolutionary new view of this peerless building. Reaching back across time to trace the Parthenon’s story from the laying of its foundation, Connelly finds its true meaning not in the rationalist ideals we typically associate with Athens but in a vast web of ceaseless cultic observances and a unique mythic identity, in which democracy in our sense of the word would have been inconceivable.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

srilankanhouseThe new Sri Lankan house / Robert Powell ; photography by Sebastian Posingis ; essays by David Robson.
The New Sri Lankan House charts the development of private houses in the 21st century in a variety of locations around the island. Most are the work of ‘home-grown’ architects, many of whom are indebted to the influence of the island’s most famous son, Geoffrey Bawa. Through the inclusion of plans, sections and elevations, full-colour photographs and interviews with owners and architects, Powell traces the evolution of residence styles in both urban and rural areas. Of paramount importance are sustainability and suitability to site and climate, topics that Powell investigates in depth.” (Adapted from

Design & Architecture picks in July

Some exciting new design picks this month, with some great new volumes on improving your design craft. This month’s design picks focus on developing your skills, as well as taking new skills into consideration, such as incorporation of humour and green design. On the architecture side there are interviews with some of the greatest living artists, as well as visual explorations of the work of successful interior designers. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverThis is not a photo opportunity : the street art of Banksy / Martin Bull.
This Is Not a Photo Opportunity is a street-level, full-color showcase of some of Banksy’s most innovative pieces ever. Banksy, Britain’s now-legendary “guerilla” street artist, has painted the walls, streets, and bridges of towns and cities throughout the world. Once viewed as vandalism, Banksy’s work is now venerated, collected, and preserved. Over the course of a decade, Martin Bull has documented dozens of the most important and impressive works by the legendary political artist, most of which are no longer in existence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLives of the artists, lives of the architects / Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
“Hans Ulrich Obrist has been having ongoing conversations with the world’s greatest living artists since the first interview he conducted in Switzerland, aged seventeen, with Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Here he chooses nineteen of the most influential contemporary artists and architects and presents the conversations they’ve had over the years, in cafes and studios, on aeroplanes and trains, walking or sitting at home. Inspired by Vasari’s Renaissance work, Lives of the Artists, Lives of the Architects offers the reader a rare insight into the creative process as well as a unique exploration of the meaning of art today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe graphic design exercise book : creative briefs to enhance your skills and develop your portfolio / Jessica Glaser.
“Whatever their age or experience, graphic designers like to be creatively challenged, and may also want to broaden their skill-base in order to break into new and lucrative areas of the design industry. A range of industry insiders share their specialist knowledge by way of briefs that stretch the imagination and encourage the development of new skills across a range of genres, including logos, packaging, branding, identity, promotion, publication design, music graphics, and web design. Organized much like a recipe book, each brief lists the required materials and equipment so that designers can pick and choose.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big book of green design / introduction by Eric Benson ; edited by Suzanna M.W. Stephens, Anthony B. Stephens.
The Big Book of Green Design explores the specific techniques and methods that graphic designers are employing worldwide to make their business a more earth-friendly one. Mainly focusing on printed materials, but also showcasing examples of trade show environments, repurposed designs, and the new “anti-packaging” trend, the book showcases over 450 examples of marketing and collateral materials produced using environmentally favorable methods. With a foreword by Eric Benson, The Big Book of Green Design is an idea-sharing, inspiration-generating compilation for agencies, freelance designers, printers, and other creative professionals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterior spaces / by PH Collection.
“Belgian design company PH Collection specializes in the creation, manufacture and distribution of home furniture. In this new book, they show their recent interior creations in Belgium, Switzerland and on the island of Ibiza. The spirit of PH Collection is to create space and atmosphere in search of essence and timeless emotion. Text in English, Dutch and French.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesign funny : a graphic designer’s guide to humor / written and illustrated by Heather Bradley.
“It’s time to stop taking graphic design so seriously! Design Funny: A Graphic Designer’s Guide to Humor is an entertaining yet practical guide to the lighter side of the design profession. Inside you’ll find inspiration, advice and visual gags from comedy juggernauts The Onion, Comedy Central, Funny Or Die, MAD magazine, JibJab, Cheezburger , as well as dozens of top creative agencies, talented freelance designers and professional comedians. Whether you’re an aspiring designer, design expert or just like funny pictures, you’ll get a kick out of seeing the method behind the madness of designing funny.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDreamhouse / Penny Drue Baird.
“Architectural Digest Top 100 interior designer Penny Drue Baird’s rooms are universally admired for their seamless weaving of past and present. Baird’s work is the result of deep client relationships that have lasted for decades. Baird incorporates bold architectural gestures–tufted niches, gold-leaf and turquoise coffered ceilings, classical moldings and other made-from-scratch details–with fabrics from taffeta to practical corduroy, and unexpected finishes like mother of pearl and strié painted walls, trompe l’oeil limestone, classic bead board, or end-grain wood wallpaper. Au courant but never trendy, with elements both classical and contemporary, each Dreamhouse is infused with Penny Drue Baird’s irresistible sense of romance, charm, and joie de vivre.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnimation sketchbooks / Laura Heit.
Animation Sketchbooks presents the private notebooks, sketches and doodles of over 50 of the worlds most inventive contemporary animators. From left-field satire to hit childrens TV series, from short animations to internationally distributed films, a wide array of creative work is represented in depth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe best American infographics 2014 / with an introduction by Nate Silver ; Gareth Cook, series editor.
“The rise of infographics across virtually all print and electronic media reveals patterns in our lives and worlds in fresh and surprising ways. As we find ourselves in the era of big data, where information moves faster than ever, infographics provide us with quick, often influential bursts of art and knowledge — to digest, tweet, share, go viral. Best American Infographics 2014 captures the finest examples, from the past year, of this mesmerizing new way of seeing and understanding our world. Guest introducer Nate Silver brings his unparalleled expertise and lively analysis to this visually compelling new volume.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent Design & Architecture picks for June

This month’s picks feature pattern, colour and detail, starting with two books on geometry and pattern with content derived from the Print & Pattern blog. We also take a glimpse into the details that make Swedish homes and interiors so unique, as well as taking a trip down the long driveways of modernist Kiwi homes. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverPrint & pattern : geometric / Bowie Style.
Print & Pattern: Geometric celebrates beautiful surface designs, patterns, and motifs made from geometric shapes such as circles, triangles, hexagons, etc. The patterns included reflect current trends for tribal, Aztec, and Native American designs, along with Scandinavian influences, and more mathematical and scientific looks. Product areas covered will include stationery, cards, and giftwrap, fabrics, wallpaper, rugs, ceramics, homewares, gadget skins, and more. Documenting the work of the best designers in the field, the book will be an invaluable source of reference and inspiration for surface designers, designer makers and craftspeople, graphic designers, illustrators, and textile designers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrint & pattern kids / Bowie Style.
Print & Pattern: Kids celebrates beautiful surface design created with little people in mind. This book documents the work of the best designers in the field, featuring both successful commercial designs and previously unseen work. Children’s design is an exciting marketplace, full of cute and colorful patterns, wallpaper, fabrics, clothing, ceramics, greetings cards, and in fact just about anything aimed at kids (much of which will also appeal to adults!)Includes work from Ecojot, Marc Boutavant, Ed Emberley, Paapii, and Dan Stiles, among other top international designers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSwedish details / Annika Huett och Ulf Huett Nilsson.
“A home isnt merely the rooms and its furniture its also a number of larger or smaller details. Annika Huett and Ulf Huett Nilsson went on a journey from the north to the south of Sweden, finding an inspiring myriad of all the personal details that make a home really feel like home. They dont just wish to shine a light on the smaller things, but also explore what it is that gives a home the right feeling.” (Syndetics summary)

Book cover from by design / Lawrence Zeegen.
Ladybird By Design is a fascinating look at the social and design history of the well-known publisher Ladybird Books, released to celebrate 100 years since the familiar ladybird was first registered as a logo in 1915. Ladybird by Design charts the rise of the company that was initially known as Wills & Hepworth, from its origin as a small Loughborough printer to its growth into a global publisher beloved by millions of children, teachers and parents. In addition to a range of classic covers and images from books, Ladybird By Design also contains a selection of rare photographs and artwork.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWeb development and design foundations with HTML5 / Terry Ann Felke-Morris.
Web Development and Design Foundations with HTML5 is intended for use in a beginning web development course. A well-rounded balance of hard skills (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript) and soft skills (Web Design, e-commerce, Web site promotion strategies) presents everything beginning Web developers need to know to build and promote successful Web sites. Resources are available to expand on the topics presented in the text.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Hermitage XXI : the new art museum in the general staff building / Oleg Yawein ; [et al.].
“Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the State Hermitage Museum is one of the world’s great museums. The decision to convert the eastern wing of the General Staff Building into a museum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the institution’s founding led to an international architectural competition. St. Petersburg-based Studio 44 won the commission over a field of globally renowned firms. The scale and dramatic outcome of the new building–the most important new cultural museum in Russia for a generation–is captured in this extensively illustrated publication that will inspire architects, museum visitors, curators, and anyone interested in the next chapter of Russia’s rich cultural heritage.” (Syndetics summary)

Cover from the long driveway, you’ll see it / Mary Gaudin, Matthew Arnold.
“This is a book of pictures of modernist New Zealand homes. These houses aren’t new, they’re old and lived in. They can be a little dusty, slightly worn around the edges and all have what antique dealers like to call “patina”. But they’re perfect in the minds of the people who live in them because of what they represent, which when designed, was a better way of living.” (

Syndetics book coverIan Schrager : works.
“Long awaited, this volume spans almost forty years of contemporary high design as masterminded by Ian Schrager. Known for being the originator of the mythical Studio 54, as well as a creator of the boutique hotel, Ian Schrager has done much more than create, design, and manage hotels, restaurants, clubs, residential buildings, and various real estate developments throughout the world–he has challenged and redefined the idea of luxury and glamour. These spaces are renowned destinations for evening social spaces and fabulous, memorable parties as well as restful, urban oases. This volume will have an enduring impact on entrepreneurs, interior designers, industrial designers, and cultural communities alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent Design & Architecture picks for May

This month’s selection has a focus on architecture, with loads of new and inspiring books hitting our shelves. Content varies from sustainable housing to an historical perspective of architecture as a part of human civilisation. There is also an interesting book on furniture which takes on architectural aspects. Finally, we also feature a “for dummies” book on Android app development. We hope you find something new to enjoy this month!

Syndetics book coverSustainable : houses with small footprints / Avi Friedman.
“A presentation of contemporary houses that demonstrates how domesticity can be beautiful and still help the planet. What is known as living off the grid is possible, and Sustainable presents forty-five houses that demonstrate how architects have implemented sustainable design concepts around the world. These projects show us what time-tested vernacular design principles–including local materials, natural ventilation strategies, and earth shelter construction–can teach us, as well as how the latest cutting-edge technologies–such as indoor farming and “living walls”–can make truly sustainable design possible.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPalm Springs modern : houses in the California desert / by Adèle Cygelman ; foreword by Joseph Rosa ; photographs by David Glomb.
“Palm Springs is famous as a mecca for the international jet set. But the city has also attracted its share of eccentrics and mavericks who have left an architectural legacy that remains unsurpassed for its originality and international influence. This book examines the impact that architects and designers have had on the desert oasis, primarily from the 1940s to the 1960s to capture the distinctly modern allure of America’s famed desert playground.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitecture : a historical perspective / Pavlos Lefas.
“This history-by-theory and theory-by-history book helps its reader make sense of the chaotic multitude of world architecture through time. In contrast to other history books this book is brief but to the point, perceiving architecture as part of human civilisation. Its’ focus on issues such as: “is concept and form or matter the most important ‘component’ of architecture?”, “how close is architecture to spectacle?”, “is less really more?” makes it a good reading for both freshmen students of architecture and the reader who wants to get a grasp of what architecture is-and has been-really about.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFurnitecture : furniture that transforms space / Anna Yudina.
Furnitecture is a sourcebook exploring the furnishings, interior environments, and solutions for small spaces at the meeting point between design and architecture. Surveyed here are hundreds of examples of these objects, including bookshelves that can dynamically divide and reshape a room, chairs that create intimate room-like enclosures, and self-contained, expandable kitchen cubes. From Chicago-based firm Bureau Spectacular’s “Briefcase house,” to Dutch designers Makkink & Bey’s conversational Ear Chairs, Furnitecture opens the door to a world of design invention and innovation. Presented in a compact, beautifully illustrated format, this volume will be an essential resource for designers and hip consumers everywhere.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverICONZ : an iconic look at New Zealand identity / created by Belinda Ellis.
“ICONZ is an encyclopaedic collection of 64 illustrated graphic icons cataloguing New Zealand’s popular culture and identity. The book takes an affectionate look at what New Zealanders hold dear, and is intended for the local market, nostalgic expats abroad and visiting tourists alike. An abundance of existing material brandishing ‘kiwiana’ in various guises – not all, but much of it kitsch – led Belinda Ellis, one of the country’s leading graphic designers, to create this iconic look at New Zealand identity. Concurrently with the book’s publication, and under the same trademark, the icons have been applied to a range of retail merchandise: art-quality prints and stationery; clothing and accessories; household items; even chocolates.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of creative thinking / Rod Judkins.
The Art of Creative Thinking reveals how we can transform our businesses, our society and ourselves through a deeper understanding of human creativity. Rod Judkins, a lecturer in creativity at the world-famous St Martin’s College of Art, will examine the behaviour of successful creative thinkers and explain how all of us can learn from them to improve our lives. Along the way he shares the story of most successful class in educational history (in which every single student won a Nobel prize); shows why graphic nudity during public speaking can be both a curse and surprisingly persuasive; and reveals why, in the twenty-first century, it’s technically illegal to be as good as good as Michelangelo.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUnbrandable: how to succeed in the new brand space
“The worlds of branding and consumption are changing. Helping to set the agenda are what Adam N. Stone designates the Unbrandables, consumers who are sensitive to inauthenticity, hostile to relentless materialism, and suspicious of products they do not want or that are bad for the environment. Then there are the Unbranded brands, such as Nudie Jeans of Sweden and In-N-Out Burger in California, showing that honesty, transparency and a genuine concern for the planet and their customers needs are essential when it comes to connecting with a more sceptical audience. Unbrandable provides advertising and marketing professionals with an invaluable guide to this new landscape.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAndroid application development for dummies / by Michael Burton.
“If you have ambitions to build an Android app, this hands-on guide gives you everything you need to dig into the development process and turn your great idea into a reality! In this new edition of Android App Development For Dummies, you′ll find easy-to-follow access to the latest programming techniques that take advantage of the new features of the Android operating system. Plus, two programs are provided: a simple program to get you started and an intermediate program that uses more advanced aspects of the Android platform. Whether you′re a new or veteran programmer, Android App Development For Dummies will have you up and running with the ins and outs of the Android platform in no time.” (Syndetics summary)

September Architecture Books

This selection of recent architecture books ranges from the first book ever published on new Auckland urban spaces, to an A – Z overview of architects; there are also themes from history to sustainability.

Syndetics book coverAuckland, new city spaces / design and production by Diana Curtis. “The first book ever published on new Auckland Urban Spaces,  featuring descriptions, plans and photographs of 16 major urban spaces in Auckland City -all which have made a positive contribution to the development of a new urban fabric for the City. Projects include; Queen Street, Aotea Square, Lorne Street, Auckland Art Gallery, Elliott & Darby Streets, St Patrick’s Square, Fort Street area, Britomart Precinct, Taurarua Judges Bay, Queen’s Wharf, Te Wero, Karanga Plaza, North Wharf, Jellicoe St, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter Playspace, Victoria Skatepark & Victoria park Tunnel. Practices responsible for these areas include; Boffa Miskell, Architectus, Isthmus, Reset Urban Design, Ted Smythe & Associates, Cooper/Cheshire Architects, Taylor Cullity Lethlean/Wraight + Associates and Archimedia. This is an important book which all those interested in Auckland, urban spaces and urban planning should include in their collection.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitects from A to Z / Paul Cattermole, Simon Forty.
“From Alvar Aalto to Peter Zumthor, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, this comprehensive overview introduces readers to the major names, schools and structures in the field of architecture. Each entry focuses on a seminal architect and one of their career-defining works. Arranged alphabetically, the book is easy to use, and the large superbly reproduced full-colour photographs allow one to examine the details of the buildings it celebrates.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding beauty : the alchemy of design / Michael S. Smith, with Christine Pittel ; foreword by Margaret Russell. “Richly informative, this is a visually stunning, indispensable guide to designing an unforgettable house, one decision at a time. Smith provides a complete, invaluable up-to-date design vocabulary that every homeowner and design aficionado is keen to know, from the initial renovation plans to the finishing details, indoors and out. Richly informative, this is a visually stunning, indispensable guide to designing an unforgettable house, one decision at a time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe solar house : pioneering sustainbale design / Anthony Denzer
“The Solar House explores the development of solar residential architecture over the course of the twentieth century and up to the latest designs today. The solar house is often understood as a product of the 1970s, and few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard Neutra, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Pietro Belluschi, Edward Durell Stone, and Harwell Hamilton Harris, and continuing with more recent innovations.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWilliam Burges and the high Victorian dream / J. Mordaunt Crook.
“William Burges (1827-81) was arguably the greatest of all Victorian architects. But he was more than just the creator of a modest number of fabulous, and fabulously expensive, buildings. He dreamed of hundreds more, designed dozens, and in addition created some of the most remarkable furniture and jewellery of all time. He was an art-architect. Rich, clever, well connected and short lived, he was uncompromising, profoundly learned, skilled in every process of design and explosively inventive. A brilliant talker, pungent critic and hilarious companion, he was one of Victorian London’s great eccentrics and networkers, though he was bewitched by the Middle Ages. . His furniture, fabric and jewellery designs and his unrealised projects were also hugely influential, and the former are now enthusiastically collected. This book was a landmark in Victorian studies when first published in 1981 and is now completely revised and re-illustrated substantially in colour.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1000 tips by 100 eco architects : guidelines on sustainable architecture from the world’s leading eco-architecture firms / Marta Serrats.
1000 Tips by 100 Eco Architects shows how forward-thinking design and environmentally sound construction practices can create outstanding results. Coming from the world’s leading eco-architecture firms, these real-life projects demonstrate the pinnacle of progressive design and eco restraint. Working from the essential objectives of economy, sustainability, beauty and function, the 1000 ideas display a wide array of outcomes. Design plans illlustrate the concepts and captioned photographs display the results. Fully illustrated and featuring the highest standards of world eco architecture, This is a practical, inspiring and provocative reference ideal for anyone practicing or interested in architecture, environmental conservation and design.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)Syndetics book cover
Designing with black : architecture & interiors / Stephen Crafti.“A collection of designs showcasing black houses – this book is daring, dramatic and full of inspirational ideas. Stephen Crafti has always been drawn to black houses, irrespective of the materials they are constructed in. Unlike most houses, which scream for attention, black houses sit quietly, accentuating the often-verdant landscape. There is also a sense of calm and tranquillity with a black home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitecture on the carpet : the curious tale of construction toys and the genesis of modern buildings / Brenda and Robert Vale ; with 111 illustrations, 97 in colour.This entertaining and intriguing book explores the host of connections linking the model-building toys of the modern period with architectural movements, social history, and national identities and myths. Brenda and Robert Vale investigate not only how model sets have reflected different building styles, both historic and contemporary, but also whether the toys themselves influenced the subsequent careers of the children who grew up playing with them. A wealth of illustrations support their case. The authors show how the famous prefabricated engineered aesthetic of Meccano does seem to have influenced some notable architects, though they question whether an early experience of Arkitex necessarily engendered a love of high-rise offices. They draw out novel connections between model-railway buildings and modernism; model sets such as Castos and reinforced concrete housing; and even between the creative but slightly surreal Playplax and postmodern deconstructivist architecture. Informative, opinionated and ranging across more than a century of toys and architectural trends, this book imparts an infectious nostalgia for these wonderful toys, many of them vintage classics.” (Syndetics summary)


Photography has the ability to take many forms and is often mistaken for the subject it depicts. Le Corbusier knew that very well and made the most of what at the beginning of his career was a new medium. Architecture, being such a visually striking field, was destined to have an strong relashionship with the medium. Another such match made in heaven is that of fashion and photography. The latest anthology on fashion photography featured this month is a testament to this marvellous interaction, fashion designers almost creating to court the camera and the camera in turn, revelling in the curves, folds, textures and shapes at play.  We  review works of master photographers such as Helmut Newton and Bill Brandt but also the first monograph dedicated to the young Ryan McGinley, a new comer set to become one of the greats of his generation. Two books revealing some of the prowesses made possible with todays’ technologies completes this month’s “picture”.

 syndetics-lc Le Corbusier and the power of photography
“Le Corbusier’s development was inextricably connected to the rise of the centurys most popular visual medium: photography. Marking the 125th anniversary of the architects birth in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, this remarkable book traces the many ways in which he used photography to define and disseminate his work and ideas around the world. This unique portrait presents the architect and his work in six chapters, each by an expert in a particular facet of Le Corbusiers work: a photographic biography; his secret travel photographs; the ways in which the architect used photography for promotion; an examination of his approach to the printed page; an overview of his use of large-scale imagery in his buildings and exhibitions; and contemporary photographic interpretations of his work. Because Le Corbusiers buildings are usually shown in a documentary manner, the candid, personal, artistic and often unexpected images that appear in this volume offer new insights and ways to appreciate the facets of the man behind his works.” (From

syndetics-lc New Fashion Photography
“The 21st century has brought about seismic changes in photography, technology, fashion, and art. At the nexus of these exciting movements is a group of fashion photographers who are breaking ground in a variety of ways, including cultural referencing, digital imaging, photo manipulation, and the use of new media. This stunningly illustrated book profiles more than 30 artists from around the world through exclusive interviews, commentary, and beautiful images. From Nick Knight’s paint-soaked portraits of Lady Gaga and Sean+Seng’s dangerous reworkings of Lana de Rey to the body-image subversions of Alice Hawkins’s and neo-surrealist fantasies of Miles Aldridge, new fashion portraiture is challenging conventional ideas of beauty by confronting us with the unexpected. Throughout the book, these artists explore new avenues previously off-limits to fashion photography, opening it up to thrilling possibilities. Including: Ruven Afanador, Miles Aldridge, Aram Bedrossian, Daniele + Iango, Bruno Dayan, Pierre Debusschere, Sean Ellis, Rene Habermacher, Alice Hawkins, Daniel Jackson, Yasunari Kikuma, Nick Knight, Paola Kudacki, LaRoache Brothers, Serge Leblon, Markus + Indrani, Takahiro Ogawa, Paco Peregrín, Rankin, Eugenio Recuenco, Tim Richardson, Kourtney Roy, Sanchez And Mongiello, Daniel Sannwald, Sean And Seng, Wing Shya, Chadwick Tyler, Yelena Yemchuk.” (From

syndetics-lcWhistle for the Wind
“In 2002, two years after Ryan McGinley, then a student, staged his first exhibition of photographs in a SoHo gallery, he created inexpensive handmade books of a sampling of his work titled The Kids Are Alright. Those books eventually found their way to Sylvia Wolf, then curator of photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, who gave him a solo show a year later, making him the youngest artist to have a one-person exhibition at the museum.
What critics, curators, and collectors would quickly discover was an artist who understood and chronicled his own generation as no other had. Compared early on to masters of photography and film, such as Nan Goldin and Larry Clark, McGinley’s early work documents the lives of his friends—the hedonistic exploits of youth culture but without the dark undertone of earlier artists who mined similar themes. As he evolved, he began to create scenarios where he could explore different ideas (aesthetic and otherwise), and this led to his infamous summer-long road trips, which he conducted for five years, capturing a myriad of twentysomethings enjoying each other and their surroundings. In addition to these seminal works, McGinley is known for his chronicling of the singer Morrissey’s sold-out tours around the world. This is the first major volume on this important and prolific artist, featuring the most comprehensive selection of his work.”(From publisher)

syndetics-lcHelmut Newton – World without men
“Taken between the mid 1960s and early 1980s, this selection of Newton fashion editorials—one of the first books he ever published—is accompanied by journal entry-style texts by Newton providing anecdotes and describing the circumstances of each shoot. On every page is evidence of Newton‘s groundbreaking vision that transformed fashion photography—an influence that can still be seen today in the pages of the greatest fashion magazines.” (From publisher)

syndetics-lcBrandt Nudes
“Few photographers have spanned the genres from photojournalism to true artistic endeavor as completely as Bill Brandt. Yet Brandt’s journalism was never strictly reportage; all his work reflected a clear artistic purpose. His qualities as an artist were never better expressed than in his series of nudes, photographed in the studio and on location over a period of thirty-five years. He published that work in two justly famous books: Perspective of Nudes (1961) and Bill Brandt Nudes (1980). Now the oeuvre has been brought together in a single volume in Brandt Nudes: A New Perspective, previously published only in a limited edition. This book reflects Brandt’s original selection and organization of the images. Each of the sections is introduced with a succinct and revealing essay on the work by Mark Haworth-Booth.”(From publisher)

syndetics-lc Adobe Master Class Photoshop
“This beautiful art showcase book from Adobe Press features 30 established and emerging Photoshop artists, their masterful work, and tutorials demonstrating their techniques for using Adobe Photoshop. Curated by renowned photographer and educator Ibarionex Perello, this book features an inspiring collection of innovative Photoshop artists and their amazing artwork. The images represent a mix of techniques and styles and are field-defining works that demonstrate technical excellence and awe-inspiring aesthetics. Readers will also appreciate the artists’ commentary about their inspiration and philosophy about their art. In addition to the art showcase, this book includes several tutorial projects that teach techniques for working in Photoshop. The how-to content, comprising 25 to 30 percent of the book, is based on general Photoshop features, so this book can be useful for users of recent and future versions of the Photoshop software.” (From

syndetics-lc Digital Infrared Photography
“This compact guide to infrared photography shows the beauty of infrared imagery, but also teaches how to capture these images with your digital camera. The book provides the basic theoretical background, information on cameras, filters and equipment, and lots of guidance on how to do infrared photography.” “This beautifully designed and illustrated book is the perfect companion for the aspiring photographer wanting to explore new photographic territories.” Book jacket.

New architecture books – treasures hiding in plain sight

We have a diverse range of books on offer this month –  from the quirky “Architecture Electric” a photographic record of wellington electric substations, Architectural cartoons  to Origami architecture.

Syndetics book coverThe architecture electric / Jared Kennard, Tyson Schmidt, Nathan Horne. 
“The Architecture Electric records central Wellington electrical substations photographically to highlight and showcase these overlooked utilitarian buildings. Hiding at the end of the street, under office towers, in carparking blocks, or next to your garage at home, these vital links in the electrical infrastructure are often camouflaged and ignored as there is no human occupancy. Architectural styles reflect the era they were built and the attitude of the day with proudly displayed pediments, ornate trimmings or brutalist precast concrete form, yet all tend to be painted green to blend into the background.” – (adapted from Unity Books summary)

Syndetics book coverDid you mean to do that? : Malcolm Walker architectural cartoons / edited by John Walsh ; foreword by Louis Hellman ; afterword by Gerald Melling. 
“This long-awaited book covers twenty-five years of cartoons from New Zealand’s leading architectural cartoonist – Malcolm Walker: a chronicle of styles, ambitions and happy collaborations. Follow the career development of those perennial architectural contenders, Turbo Floss and Dollop, watch the Crass Corporation shape a city, and enjoy the vicarious pleasure of dealing with Council planning consent officers. Learn the secrets of design and the truth about clients and builders. See architects at work and play and in the psychiatrist’s chair. Observe the untiring quest for jobs, fame and a refill at the annual awards dinner. Discover what inspires architects, and find out what they’d like for Christmas. All this, and more, in a book for anyone who has ever wanted to ask; ‘Did you mean to do that?’.” – (adapted from Fishpond summary)

Syndetics book coverA history of design from the Victorian era to the present : a survey of the modern style in architecture, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, and photography / Ann Ferebee with Jeff Byles.
“The first edition of this compact (8.25×9″) book for design students was published in 1970; it covered design up to 1958. This second edition extends coverage to 2008, with special emphasis on the influence of digital technology and sustainable design. This edition expands coverage from the traditional design epicenters such as London and New York to explore developments in many cities around the world, including the Middle East and Africa. Illustrated with color photos and illustrations on every page, the book surveys design traditions and movements of the last 160 years, looking at how technological achievements spurred design innovations in architecture, photography, and interior, industrial, and graphic design during four periods: the Victorian period, art nouveau, and early modern and late modern design.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverArchitectural theory : from the Renaissance to the present : 89 essays on 117 treatises / with a preface by Bernd Evers and an introduction by Christof Thoenes ; in cooperation with the Kunstbibliothek der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin ; [English translation, Gregory Fauria, Jeremy Gaines, Michael Shuttleworth].
“This book brings together all of the most important and influential essays about architecture written since the Renaissance, copiously illustrated and neatly organized chronologically by country. 848 pp.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOrigami architecture : papercraft models of the world’s most famous buildings / Yee.
“The incredible splendors of some of the worlds’ most recognized architectural feats are brought to life within the pages of Origami Architecture. With this book, some card stock paper, and a hobby knife, anyone can build spectacular re-creations of the most famous buildings in the world. It gives instructions and templates for 16 buildings, including the Parthenon, the White House, the Eiffel Tower, the Chrysler building, and the Forbidden City. There are over 900 photographs detailing the cutting and assembling of the pieces, most without using glue or tape. Once the structure is attached to the base not only will does it look amazing, but it can be folded up and taken anywhere.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside prefab : the ready-made interior / Deborah Schneiderman.
“As an inherently sustainable and affordable building method, prefabrication has enjoyed a revival in recent years, attracting clients and architects alike.  Off-site production for interior design elements has been the norm for centuries, from the first Asian paper screens to the packaged kitchens of the mid-twentieth century, but it has rarely been the topic of serious discussion. The richly illustrated examples in this book range from interior walls, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, and offices to complete prefabricated house interiors.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Material strategies : innovative applications in architecture / Blaine Brownell.
“This colorful volume on materials in modern architecture examines the properties of specific building materials and explores the ways in which they are used today as well as historical progressions of material choices. Divided into sections covering minerals, concrete, wood, metal, glass, and plastic, each chapter provides an overview of the history and use of the material, examples of its use in modern architecture, and a relevant case studies demonstrating key principles in design and construction related to the specific material. The volume includes full-color photographs throughout and a detailed project index with information on locations and architects is provided. Brownell is an architect teaching at the University of Minnesota.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverReading architecture : a visual lexicon / Owen Hopkins.
“This innovative and unique book is a visual guide to the buildings that surround us, naming all the visible architectural features. Unlike other architectural dictionaries, the reader doesn’t have to know the name before looking it up. An original and accessible take on the architectural dictionary, this book takes you on a visual tour of the buildings and structures around us.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)