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)

 

A healthy crop of new books about Architecture

Open Concept Aratments book cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One size does not fit all: New Design books

This month’s selection of new design books features Defined by Design, a book that delves into the hidden biases in everyday things, and how this ineffective design can affect our self-image, and even our health. From clothes to buildings to public transport, one size does not fit all.

Syndetics book coverRobot house : instrumentation, representation, fabrication / Peter Testa ; forewords by Greg Lynn and Eric Owen Moss.
“Robotics is the fastest-growing and most exciting area of development in architecture and architectural education for a generation, offering new paradigms for design and fabrication. Schools and practices around the world are installing machines, but few have the experience to appreciate the full design potential of their application. Robot House features projects produced by the most advanced robotics design studio in the world, often interacting with a wide range of technologies from motion capture to material science–a realm far beyond the capabilities of 3D printing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe botanical hand-lettering workbook : draw whimsical & decorative styles & scripts / by Bethany Robertson.
“Learn the art of hand-lettering. This step-by-step workbook teaches you how to craft pretty letters and flowers of all sorts. Use your newfound botanical lettering skills to make cards, wedding invitations, banners, tags, paper bouquets and other fun projects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe red thread : Nordic design.
“From literature to food, lifestyle to fashion, cinema to architecture, Nordic influence is evident throughout contemporary culture. The Red Thread: Nordic Design celebrates this deep-rooted aesthetic, showcasing the diversity of design from Scandinavia and Finland via more than 200 objects – from everyday items to exquisitely produced decorative glassware, and from traditional handmade textiles to mass-produced products found in homes across the globe. The title is taken from a metaphor, common in the Nordic countries, of a shared and highlighted characteristic (like a long connecting thread in woven material), that runs through and connects themes, ideas, stories, and, in this case, design.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDefined by design : the surprising power of hidden gender, age, and body bias in everyday products and places / Kathryn H. Anthony.
“This wide-ranging overview of design in everyday life demonstrates how design shapes our lives in ways most of us would never imagine. The author, a leading expert in social and psychological issues in design, uncovers the gender, age, and body biases inherent in the designs of common products and living spaces that we all routinely use. From the schools our children attend and the buildings we work in to ill-fitting clothes and one-size-fits-all seating in public transportation, restaurants, and movie theaters, we are surrounded by an artificial environment that can affect our comfort, our self-image, and even our health. This fascinating book will teach readers to recognize the hidden biases in certain products and places and to work for more intelligent and healthy design in all areas of life.” (Syndetics summary)

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

Syndetics book coverThe Shard : the vision of Irvine Sellar / Howard Watson.
“In 2000, Irvine Sellar, a former market trader famous for helping to create the look of the Swinging Sixties on Carnaby Street, stood on a rooftop in Southwark, London, and decided to build the tallest building in western Europe. He had virtually no experience, and he wanted to build at the wrong height, in the wrong place, on the wrong side of the river and at the wrong time. Twelve years later, the Shard, a ‘vertical city’ designed by one of the world’s leading architects, Renzo Piano, changed the skyline of London. It immediately became one of the most instantly recognizable and admired contemporary buildings in the world. This is the story of one man’s vision for London and his determination to redefine an ancient but maligned part of the city despite seemingly insurmountable challenges. At every twist in the tale, Sellar refused to give up.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIllustration : what’s the point? / Mouni Feddag.
“Of all the graphic arts, illustration is currently the most dynamic and exciting. In every medium – advertising, book publishing, product design, houseware and home furnishings – new talents are emerging, making their mark and (in some cases) a fortune out of their illustration skills. But why? In this uniquely presented book, gifted illustrator Mouni Feddag takes on the subject and gives it the treatment it deserves.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTravels with Frank Lloyd Wright / Gwyn Lloyd Jones.
“By retracing Frank Lloyd Wright’s footsteps on journeys he made beyond his homeland of the USA, this book explores his global ambitions and his lasting legacy and offers an original and contemporary view of Wright and his architecture. By considering Wright beyond America, his architecture is critiqued against different cultural settings so that his architecture can be evaluated as emerging from a new globalized era of architectural production. It reflects on Frank Lloyd Wright as an early promoter of globalization – in fact, as the first international ‘starchitect’.” (Syndetics summary)

Finding home: New Design & Architecture books in June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Design details: Design & Architecture picks in March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ian Athfield talk at the Central Library

ian athfieldAs part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the Central Library building, the pricipal architect of the building, Ian Athfield will be giving a free talk on Tuesday 13th December 2011 at 6pm on the 2nd floor. Titled Why is the library more than just about books? his talk will discuss how the presence of a library can “inform” the physical structure of its neighbourhood as well as his thoughts and memories of how the building’s design came about.

Ian Athfield is the founding principal of the Wellington-based firm, Athfield Architects Limited. He has headed this practice since its inception in 1968 and has been responsible for most of the design direction through this period.

As well as his contribution to the design of a broad range of projects throughout New Zealand, in 1976 “Ath” won an international design competition for housing in Manila, the Philippines. He has been involved in a teaching fellowship with Victoria University, has been a keynote speaker at various international conferences and has judged at numerous architectural / urban design competitions. Under his directorship Athfield Architects has won over 100 design awards. In 2004 he was the recipient of the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal, and from 2006 – 2008 was President of the NZIA. In 2006 he became the first New Zealander  to be registered as an APEC Architect. More recently he has been a member of the Auckland City Property Enterprise Board, advisor to Auckland’s Aotea Square development and a member of the assessment panel for the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery master plan. He is currently serving on the Board of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and was made NZIA Architectural Ambassador to Christchurch soon after the September 2010 earthquake to provide advice and coordination during the rebuild and restoration process.

Come and enjoy this rare opportunity to hear one of New Zealand’s best known architects whose designs and influences have made a significant impact on Wellington’s urban geography.

Details:

Ian Athfield : Why is the library more than just about books?
Tuesday 13th December, 6pm, Central Library (2nd floor), 65 Victoria Street.
Free and everyone is welcome – just come along.