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)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part Two

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning. (Part One is here)

Syndetics book cover150 best tiny home ideas / Manel Gutiérrez Couto.
“In recent years, tiny homes have not only become hugely popular because of their creative use of space but also necessary to deal with increasingly crowded living conditions. In this lush volume, you’ll discover the most current and effective trends in tiny home design that work to enhance the comfort and practicality of the home without sacrificing the design. Featuring 150 homes designed by world-renowned architects and designers, 150 Best Tiny Home Ideas is the must-have resource for those interested in the construction and design of small-space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny house designing, building, & living / by Gabriella and Andrew Morrison.
“Do you have what it takes to live tiny? Take the first step to achieving the dream of designing, building, and living in a tiny house (typically between 100-400 square feet). Idiot’s Guides: Tiny House Designing, Building, and Living is the one-stop guide into this innovative concept of minimalist living. Dozens of helpful images and a full-color insert displaying different types of tiny houses help you visualize your dream. The book explores what it mentally takes to become a tiny house dweller and covers the best approach to designing and building a house that ideally fits your needs. The book includes an in-depth discussion on foundation types, financing and insurance, and legal standards, as well as building techniques, must-have utilities, and going off the grid, and home placement. Functional suggestions for décor, storage, and more are also featured. Bonus: three tiny house floor plans to illustrate what these homes entail.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding small : sustainable designs for tiny houses & backyard buildings / David & Jeanie Stiles ; illustrations by David Stiles.
“Building Small is your key to joining the tiny house revolution with designs for homes as well as a range of backyard buildings including workspaces and sheds. There’s tons of practical how-to construction advice including best practices, common pitfalls and tips for the do-it-yourself carpenter. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses built with recycled materials : inspiration for constructing tiny homes using salvaged and reclaimed supplies / Ryan Mitchell.
“The tiny house movement is a big trend with a very small footprint. Extremely small house, with less than 1,000 square feet of space, are environmentally friendly, less expensive than typical homes, and often movable. Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is full of ideas for using reclaimed materials and upcycled goods to construct a tiny house that is good for the earth and truly unique. Ryan Mitchell, author of The Tiny Life blog, shows you how to repurpose everyday items to create your new home, including shipping containers, salvaged barn wood, and reclaimed shingles. Featuring profiles on tiny house owners with photographs and floor plans of the homes, ideas on where to find materials, and what to look for and avoid when selecting reclaimed materials, Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is a unique book perfect for your biggest DIY project yet!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover25 houses under 2500 square feet / edited by James Grayson Trulove.
“25 Houses Under 2,500 Square Feet discusses carefully defined spaces and how space can be used most effectively. The 25 recently-constructed homes featured are 2,500 feet and under with some as small as 640 square feet. An exciting collection — a charming one square foot in size — presents dream houses any person can relate to, as well as innovative and exciting designs sure to inspire and amaze.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover Tiny House Basics, Joshua Engberg (eBook)#1 Amazon Bestseller! Tiny House Basics ─ The joy of tiny house living Tiny house livfing is sustainable living: Tiny House Basics is an adventure in off grid living! In their debut book, tiny house living experts Shelley and Joshua Engberg show you how you can join the revolution to downsize to small space living without giving up everything you hold dear. This is not about downsizing drastically, or giving up a lot of your necessities. They show you how your life still can be comfortable and entertaining in a tiny house living environment. This is about redefining what a house is and mastering organization, location and happiness. You can still keep your closet full and pantry stocked. Tiny house living tips and tricks: As avid campers and off roaders, Shelley and Joshua present the best tips and tricks to help you enter the world of small space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCabin porn / collected by Beaver Brook ; edited by Zach Klein ; feature stories by Steven Leckart ; feature photography by Noah Kalina.
“Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn.
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. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience. 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 coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“From weekend homes to get-away cabins in the mountains, by the sea, or in the woods, this architecture embodies our longing for lounging in nature. For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the Shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world–from basic to luxury. The book features a compelling range of sparingly to intricately furnished cabins, cottages, second homes, tree houses, transformations, shelters, and cocoons. The look of the included structures from the outside is just as important as the view from inside. What these diverse projects have in common is an exceptional spirit that melds the uniqueness of a geographic location with the individual character of the building’s owner and architect.” (Syndetics summary)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part One

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning.

Syndetics book coverTiny house living : ideas for building & living well in less than 400 square feet / Ryan Mitchell.
“Tiny House, Large Lifestyle! Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum among those who thirst for a simpler, “greener,” more meaningful life in the face of society’s “more is better” mindset. This book explores the philosophies behind the tiny house lifestyle, helps you determine whether it’s a good fit for you, and guides you through the transition to a smaller space. For inspiration, you’ll meet tiny house pioneers and hear how they built their dwellings (and their lives) in unconventional, creative and purposeful ways. They’ll invite you in, show you around their cozy abodes, and share lessons they learned along the way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses / Mimi Zeiger.
“With “McMansions” increasingly giving way to “tiny” houses, the desire to downsize and be more ecologically and economically prudent is a concept many are beginning to embrace. Focusing on dwelling spaces all under 1,000 square feet, TINY HOUSES (Rizzoli, April 2009) by Mimi Zeiger aims to challenge readers to take a look at their own homes and consider how much space they actively use. Ranging from tree houses to floating houses, TINY HOUSES features an international collection of over thirty modular and prefab homes, each one embodying “microgreen living”, defined as the creation of tiny homes where people challenge themselves to live “greener” lives. By using a thoughtful application of green living principles, renewable resources for construction, and clever ingenuity, these homes exemplify sustainable living at its best.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTurning tiny : the small-living paradigm that’s reshaping the way we think, live and dream / compiled and presented by Darin Zaruba.
“Have you ever wondered what makes the tiny house movement an actual movement? Have you longed to hear the stories behind some of your favorite non-traditional homes? Do you wonder if the movement is more of a shift in thought rather than a blip on the architectural screen? Turning tiny is your direct-access pass into the minds and lives of tiny housers in various arenas including desgin, building, community planning, and the emerging business around it all. It is a collection of what and why 60+ contributing authors have turned tiny and continue to look in that direction.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe life-changing magic of tidying / Marie Kondo, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano.
“Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with the incredible KonMari Method. Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her inspirational step-by-step method. The key to successful tidying is to tackle your home in the correct order, to keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once – and quickly. After that for the rest of your life you only need to choose what to keep and what to discard.[…] Marie Kondo’s method is based on a ‘once-cleaned, never-messy-again’ approach. If you think that such a thing is impossible then you should definitely read this compelling book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny homes on the move : wheels and water / Lloyd Kahn.
“Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads — people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats, and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With over 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these moveable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir / Dee Williams.The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir
“Dee Williams’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored–but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury– time– that would come with downsizing. Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house–on her own, from the ground up–was just the beginning of building a new life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle house on a small planet : simple homes, cozy retreats, and energy efficient possibilities / by Shay Salomon ; photographys by Nigel Valdez ; [foreword by Frances Moore Lappé].
“Living small frees up the mind, the wallet, and the soul. As economic uncertainties loom large, and the evidence mounts that humans are responsible for much of global warming, the “new” trend is beginning to seem old: new subdivisions filled with McMansions, the friend of a friend’s childless brother who just added on a third bedroom. Many of us have suffered the consequences of an inflated mortgage, an unmanageable construction project, or a house simply too large to keep clean. […] Pockets of people all over America are realizing the benefits of scaling down. They are designing a new dream, one that reunites extended families, makes space for friends, and emphasizes home life over home maintenance. Little House on a Small Planetis a guidebook to this movement, and an invitation to join.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrefabulous small houses / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford.Prefabulous Small Houses
“Prefab home construction has come into its own. Prefabricated homes used to be considered inferior to houses built on site, but not anymore. In Prefabulous Small Houses, best-selling author Sheri Koones presents 32 stunning prefabricated homes from around North America. 250 beautiful photographs and floorplans show the amazing breadth of styles available to today’s homeowners. […] All of the houses in Prefabulous Small Houses range from 325 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. and showcase construction methods perfect for any climate. Building better, building greener. All of the houses featured here are highly energy efficient and are built with sustainability in mind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautifully small : clever ideas for compact spaces / Sara Emslie ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“In Chapter 1: Inspiration, Sara draws inspiration from truly tiny spaces such as boats and caravans as well as her own home–a diminutive workman’s cottage in a London suburb. In Chapter 2: Elements of Design, she discusses how even the most straightforward planning decisions can be complicated by the constraints of small spaces and suggests clever design solutions. The third chapter, Elements of Style, explores ideas for making compact interiors work through the use of creative styling and decoration. In Chapter 4, a series of case studies takes a closer look at imaginative treatments for pocket-size interiors, showcasing a variety of tiny spaces including a terraced ‘two-up, two-down’ worker’s cottage, a tiny studio apartment with a clever mezzanine that incorporates a bathroom, and a pint-sized coastal hideaway.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall spaces for modern living : making the most of your indoor space.
“An increase in small, urban-style living and the evolution of new storage devices and space saving solutions makes this a valuable guide to creating and maintaining a stylish, contemporary home within a small or compact space. illusion of space. Explore fresh ideas for space saving, from cupboard hideaways and new loft spaces to display storage and clutter management. Whether you have a tiny suburban space, a city studio or a compact house, you should find all the advice and inspiration you need.” (Syndetics summary)

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)