Books

Polish your design knowledge with these stunning coffee-table books

This trio of design volumes demonstrate the wisdom that can be gained from looking back at the work of pioneers such as Gio Ponti, Ray Eames and Patricia Urquiola

06 October 2021 - 08:43 By Julia Freemantle
The 'Paper House' designed by architect Shigeru Ban in 1995 and built in Yamanashi, Japan, is one of the projects featured in the book, 'Atlas of Interior Design'.
The 'Paper House' designed by architect Shigeru Ban in 1995 and built in Yamanashi, Japan, is one of the projects featured in the book, 'Atlas of Interior Design'.
Image: Hiroyuki Hirai

ATLAS OF INTERIOR DESIGN

By Dominic Bradbury, published by Phaidon

Celebrating standout spaces from the post-war period to the present, Atlas of Interior Design is an homage to the poetry of interior design, paying tribute to it as an art form rather than a profession.

It’s also intended as an overview of the range of design in the modern age, and the originality, fresh perspectives and innovation coming from contemporary design.

'Atlas of Interior Design' by Dominic Bradbury (Phaidon).
'Atlas of Interior Design' by Dominic Bradbury (Phaidon).
Image: Phaidon

Organised along geographical lines, this volume spans the globe, showing residential spaces by continent that are selected on the criteria of originality, character and personality.

The broad spectrum of homes illustrated uncovers recurring themes over the decades as lifestyles evolve, as well as the overlap of design disciplines so prevalent in the interior world — set designers, fashion designers and furniture designers have all explored residential milieux.

In its pages you’ll find spaces by anyone from Charles and Ray Eames, Oscar Niemeyer, Gio Ponti and Kelly Wearstler to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Giorgio Armani, Tony Duquette, David Hicks and John Lautner — a who’s who of design across the world.

GIO PONTI. ART EDITION

Edited by Karl Kolbitz, published by Taschen

One of the original multi-hyphenates, Gio Ponti was a man of myriad talents — as this doorstopper of a coffee-table book attests.

The living room of Villa Planchart, Caracas, shows the design genius of Gio Ponti.
The living room of Villa Planchart, Caracas, shows the design genius of Gio Ponti.
Image: Taschen
'Gio Ponti. Art Edition' (Taschen).
'Gio Ponti. Art Edition' (Taschen).
Image: Taschen

It delves into his work and vision as one of the greatest architects, designers and art directors of the 20th century, with his remarkable body of work barely contained in the appropriately oversized format.

Created in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives and founder Salvatore Licitra, Gio Ponti is an incredibly detailed account of his monumental career, featuring text by Lisa Licitra Ponti and an extensive biographical essay by Stefano Casciani.

The richness of the text and visual journey offers an unparalleled deep dive into this design icon’s legacy.

The 'Capelli Stool' designed in 1999 by Carol Catalano is one of the iconic pieces featured in the book 'Woman Made: Great Women Designers'.
The 'Capelli Stool' designed in 1999 by Carol Catalano is one of the iconic pieces featured in the book 'Woman Made: Great Women Designers'.
Image: Herman Miller

WOMAN MADE: GREAT WOMEN DESIGNERS

By Jane Hall, published by Phaidon

Showcasing a wide range of women designers over time — some of whom were the first of their gender to be able to embark on such a career — this beautiful edition is the “most comprehensive, fully illustrated book on women designers ever published”.

'Woman Made: Great Women Designers' by Jane Hall (Phaidon).
'Woman Made: Great Women Designers' by Jane Hall (Phaidon).
Image: Phaidon

Featuring more than 200 female product designers from 50 countries, from the early 20th century to the current day, it celebrates excellence across product genres.

Presenting famous trailblazers such as Ray Eames and Florence Knoll and contemporary icons such as Faye Toogood, Patricia Urquiola and India Mahdavi, it collates and illuminates the fascinating and overlooked history of women in the field. South African designers Mpho Vackier and Mia Senekal also feature.

The format (with a key product illustrating a short text on each) demonstrates the volume and variety of the objects produced by women over the decades and exposes, more than ever, the fallacy that men have been more prolific in the design world.

 This article was originally published in The Edit Living, an upmarket décor magazine sent to select Sunday Times print subscribers. Click here to subscribe.

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