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)