In Deventer, the Netherlands, a routine real estate deal and demolition became the site of innovation and new intelligence in urban design.
A Love Letter to the City
In 1999, Stephen Powers stopped writing graffiti and dedicated himself to being a full-time artist.
Designed by: Lella Vignelli
To celebrate 50 years of their partnership, Massimo Vignelli published a book of the work of his partner and wife, Lella.
These Collages Blur the Lines of Reality
Daniel Gordon is an artist and author living and working in Brooklyn. His collage work is the subject of three books Still Lifes, Portraits, and Parts
(Mörel, 2013), Flowers and Shadows
(Onestar Press, 2011) and Flying Pictures
(powerHouse Books, 2009) and a profile this week on Wired
3D Book Cover
Helen Yentus, the art director of Riverhead Books, designed a 3D book jacket for Chang-rae Lee’s new novel, On Such a Full Sea.
Recent Books Received: 01.03.14
Collaborative Media: Production, Consumption, and Design Interventions
by Jonas Löwgren and Bo Reimer; The Petropolis of Tomorrow
by Neeraj Bhatia and Mary Casper; Oitoemponto: Architecture & Intérieurs
by Marie Vendittelli; After You Left / They Took it Apart: Demolished Paul Rudolph Homes
by Chris Mottalini; Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation
edited by Alexander Eisenschmidt with Jonathan Mekinda
50 Books/50 Covers: Call For Entries
Enter a book for consideration into 50 Books/50 Covers.
Recent Books Received: 12.17.13
Why Photography Matters
by Jerry L. Thompson; The Houses of Louis Kahn
by George H. Marcus and William Whitaker; Common Pavilions: The National Pavilions in the Giardini of the Venice Biennale in Essays and Photographs
edited by Diener & Diener Architects and Gabriele Basilico; Archidoodle: The Architect’s Activity Book
by Steve Bowkett; Sustainable Urban Metabolism
by Paulo Ferrão and John E. Fernández
New Items in the Design Observer Store
New products listed in the Design Observer store.
Recent Books Received: 11.07.13
Five Conversations on Graphic Design and Creative Writing
, Maura Frana, Leigh Mignogna, Liz Seibert; A Logo for London
, David Lawrence; Logo Creed: The Mystery, Magic, and Method Behind Designing Great Logos
, Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel; ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color
, Jude Stewart; The Purpose Economy: Lessons from the Front Lines of the New Economy
, Aaron Hurst
Recent Books Received: 10.24.13
Design for Information
by Isabel Meirelles; A Life In Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley
by Warren Lehrer; A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
by Chris West; The Generosity Network: New Transformational Tools for Successful Fund-Raising
by Jeff Walker and Jennifer McCrea; Postage Stamps by AIGA Medalists
by Michael Russem
Recent Books Received: 09.26.13
Murals of New York City: The Best of New York's Public Paintings from Bemelmans to Parrish
by Glenn Palmer-Smith, Joshua McHugh and Graydon Carter; EP Volume 1/ The Italian Avant-Garde 1968-1976
Edited by Alex Coles, Catharine Rossi; Shiro Kuramata
by Deyan Sudjic; Space & Psyche
by Elizabeth Danze, Stephen Sonnenberg, Editors; Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert
Recent Books Received: 08.29.13
The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas; The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide
by Leah Buley; Build Your Own Brand: Strategies, Prompts and Exercises for Marketing Yourself
by Robin Landa; Rotman on Design: The Best on Design Thinking from Rotman Magazine
by Roger Martin and Karen Christensen; Why We Fail: Learning from Experience Design Failures
by Victor Lombardi
A Nearly Perfect Book
The poetry critic, the publisher, and the art of bookmaking in a digital era.
Recent Books Received: 08.22.13
Still: American Silent Motion Picture Photography
by David S. Shields; Multiple Signatures: On Designers, Authors, Readers and Users
by Michael Rock; Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation
by Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver; Recalculating
by Charles Bernstein; Memory Place
by Hari Kunzru
Recent Books Received: 08.08.13
Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna 1897-1907
by Christian Witt-Dorring; Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia
by Anthony Townsend; Design: The Groundbreaking Moments
by Nina Kozel; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
by Norman Foster and Edward R. Bosley; Willis Faber & Dumas
by Norman Foster and Kenneth Powell
Recent Books Received: 07.24.13
Architects from A to Z
by Paul Cattermole and Simon Forty; Peter Kluska: Landscape Architecture
by Peter Kluska; The Designer as: Author, Producer, Activist, Entrepeneur, Curator, and Collaborator: New Models for Communicating
by Steven Mccarthy; American Architecture and Urbanism
by Vincent Scully; The Shape of. Things. that. Work: The Fourth Architect
by Curtis B. Waybe
A Book for Two
A new design for a shared reading experience from designer Soofiya Chaudry.
Special Summer Series of Design Matters with Debbie Millman
The special series will include interviews with Michael Rock, Jean-Louis Cohen, Brenda Danilowitz and Phillip Tiongson, Harmut Essinger and Leon Krier.
50 Books/50 Covers 2012 Winners Announced
Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1922, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Fifty Books/Fifty Covers show.
A little-known but remarkable collection of treasures from The Garden Club of America illustrates the activities of the premier American gardening association over the course of a century.
The Mighty Shirt Kings
Back in the 1980s, a group of artists calling themselves The Mighty Shirt Kings set up shop at the Jamaica Coliseum, in Queens, offering “custom air-brushed and original artwork,” which could be had on canvas, but also pants, jackets, and of course T-shirts. They are the subject of a new book: The Shirt Kings
Recent Books Received: 05.30.13
Punk: Chaos to Couture
by Andrew Bolton and Richard Hell; Alone in the Forest
, by Gita Wolf and Andrea Anastasio; Illustrated by Bhajju Shyam; Facts are Sacred
by Simon Rogers; The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery
by Sandra Markle; The Artful Recluse: Painting, Poetry, and Politics in 17th-Century China
edited by Peter C. Sturman and Susan S. Tai
The Olympic City, Documenting The Remains
Jon Pack and Gary Hustwit visted former Olympic host cities all over the world, documenting what remains and how Olympic development has affected these cities and their citizens.
Recent Books Received: 05.23.13
Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs
by Larry Keeley and Helen Walters; Close-Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics
by Laura Kurgan; Interviewing Users
by Steve Portigal; Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living
by Todd McLellan; The Essential Robert Indiana
by Martin Krause and John Wilmerding
Recent Books Received: 05.09.13
Vernier: Fashion, Femininity and Form
by Robin Muir and Becky Conekin; Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums
by Mabel O. Wilson; Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream
, Jennifer A. Watts, Editor; Meme Wars
by Kalle Lasn and Adbusters; Designing the Creative Child
: Playthings and Places in Midcentury Americaby Amy F. Ogata
Recent Books Received: 05.02.13
by William L. Bird Jr., Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects
by Jeanne Gang and Zoë Ryan, Editors, The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science
by Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, Matt Lamothe, John Heartfield and the Agitated Image
by Andrés Mario Zervigón, The Address Book
by Sophie Calle
Book Trade Labels
Book trade labels are advertising artifacts from booksellers, binders, printers, publishers, importers, and distributors of books.
Recent Books Received: 04.25.13
Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine
; Norman Bel Geddes Designs America
by Donald Albrecht: The Complete Engraver: Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and The Etiquette of Social Stationary
by Nancy Sharon Collins; Sky High
by Germano Zullo; Brooklyn Makers: Food, Design, Craft and Other Scenes from the Tactile Life
by Jennifer Causey
Awful Library Books
Awful Library Books is a collection of amusing and/or questionable library holdings found in real libraries and curated by librarians Mary Kelly and Holly Hibner.
Recent Books Received: 04.18.13
Between Page and Screen
by Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse; Design for Emotion
by Trevor van Gorp and Edie Adams; Material Manifestations
by Rensselaer Architecture, Shaker Museum Mt. Lebanon; A Topology of Everyday Constellatons
by Georges Teyssot; An Intellectual's Visual Miscellany
by Daniel P. Murphy, PhD
Recent Books Received: 04.11.13
Various writer's Eye On A Century
; I Used To Be A Design Student
by Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou; Work For Money, Design For Love
by David Airey; See What I Mean : How to Use Comics to Communicate Ideas
by Kevin Cheng; Content Everywhere
by Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Czech Book Covers of the 1920's and 30's
The Smithsonian has an engaging collection of Czech avant-garde book cover designs from the 1920s and 30s.
Flickr Collection of the Week: The Library
is a curated Flickr gallery of antique books.
Classic Albums Reimagined as Books
Christophe Gowans re-imagines well-known album covers as book jackets.
Recent Books Received: 03.26.13
"Dialog" : What Makes a Great Partnership, Philosophy of Design, The Cinema of Me, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli's Field and Ken Garland: Structure and Substance
Irving Harper, Paper Wizard
Irving Harper's paper sculptures are the subject of a new book out next week from Skira Rizzoli, Irving Harper Works in Paper
12.17.12: Pamela Hovland
Happy Holidays from Robert Frost
A brief history of the collaboration between Robert Frost and Joseph Blumenthal as well as many top woodcut and engraving artists of the day.
Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun
from Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen features 350 pages of projects, games, and information for kids aged 8-13, and their parents.
09.11.12: Rob Walker
Rob Walker recommends Kenneth Goldsmith's "Uncreative Writing".
08.15.12: Rob Walker
Leanne Shapton is known for her work as a writer and illustrator, but it turns out that her new book, Swimming Studies
, is animated by her abilities as an athlete.
Merce Cunningham: The App
Launched in conjunction with Aperture Foundation’s sixtieth anniversary and the centennial of John Cage’s birth, Merce Cunningham: 65 Years
is a monograph in the form of a dynamic and interactive iPad app.
50 Books/50 Covers Competition: Enter Today
Since 1924, the 50 Books/50 Covers book design competition has been a yearly mainstay of the AIGA. We are pleased to announce that this important design competition is now being hosted by Design Observer. Enter today.
06.14.12: Anne Mikoleit and Moritz Purckhauer
100 Lessons for Understanding the City
We were struck by the Table of Contents of this new title, Urban Code: 100 Lessons for Understanding the City
It reads like a staccato narrative of citylife.
06.14.12: Rob Walker
Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy
Rob Walker recommendeds Dave Hickey's "Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy".
A Pattern Language
Alexandra Lange reviews A Pattern Language
by Christopher Alexander.