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Design

From Google reviews to YouTube tutorials, and from online service desks to real-life ‘may I speak to the manager’ requests–we are all critics of our designed environments. It seems strange, argues publisher Onomatopee, that design criticism is a practice considered to be only for ‘experts’. Design belongs to all of us and, therefore, its criticism as well.⁠ ⁠ Through an open call they collected short texts that criticises, discusses, analyses or reflects upon an everyday design object, system, environment, or construct - written by non-design professionals. The chosen essays are displayed in this book, alongside commissioned contributions by renowned critics. With this book, Onomatopee wishes to break down the often closed circuit of design criticism and establish a grounding for a ‘design criticism for all’.⁠   Buy...

For a long time, sustainable products had the reputation of being unsexy, aesthetically somewhere between a tie-dyed T-shirt and a haystack. But these times are fortunately over. Sustainability, longevity and circularity are not only in demand as properties, but also their visibility within the material.⁠ At ECAL students of product design, established materials specialists, manufacturers and researchers came together with the aim of exploring and defining the aesthetic potential of a new generation of sustainable materials. The result of this research-through-design project is a series of fourteen case studies involving the development of materials made from textile waste, recycled paper, rubber granulate or vegetable fibers such as algae, rice husks, hemp, flax and wood. The resulting new materials can be shaped, pressed, woven or welded and offer future designers a range of practical tools and applied knowledge about the methods of analyzing and processing seminal materials, utilizing their advantageous qualities and developing functional, yet aesthetically intriguing objects.⁠ Buy...

Best known for his furniture design practice side by side with his brother, not many know that Ronan Bouroullec is also a painter. His works on paper follow the idea of what he calls intuitive drawing. This technique allows him to develop new images and reach the subconscious layers of the mind. Experimenting with shapes and lines "Crayon Pinceau" is a pure black and white series, this time focusing on shades and fades instead of color. The harmony of shapes within a few simple lines is striking.Although abstract, these drawings give the impression of fabrics, folds and upholstery, showing us yet another way into the visual mind of a designer. Buy...

Eileen Gray is today one of the most celebrated designers and architects. But that was not always the case. Throughout her career, she struggled for acceptance as a woman in male-dominated professions. In Paris, she opened a gallery under the name Jean Désert that sold furniture and rugs. The gallery also served as an exhibition space for modern art, making Gray, albeit working under a male pseudonym, one of the first women gallerists.⁠ ⁠ She is best known, however, for her furniture, lighting, rugs, architecture, and especially for her signature Japanese lacquer technique, which she learned from Seizo Sugawara. ⁠ ⁠ Accompanying the exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, organized by the Centre Pompidou, this richly illustrated catalog focuses on the diversity of Gray's design practices and explores the range of her architectural projects. It is divided into three sections: "Beginnings", which focuses on Gray's early life and education; "Being a Designer", which explores her career as a designer of furniture, rugs, and interiors; and "Being an Architect", which answers the prevailing question of whether Eileen Gray was an architect with a resounding yes.⁠ Buy...

For good or bad, all design is social!⁠ This book challenges the very idea of social design. Jan Boelen argues that there is no social design, because all design is social. Social Matter, Social Design offers novel forms of critical and meaningful engagement at a time of mounting social contradictions. Unfortunately design is part of the problem, but luckily also part of the solution. Buy...

Do you know the work of Forensic Architecture? If not, then be prepared to get your mind blown! Connecting real cases of human rights and environmental violations with the tools used in architecture and design, this studio creates a Wolpertinger of art and real evidence which is then used in some of the biggest court cases and tribunals of recent years. ⁠ ⁠ From makeshift satellites constructed with a simple kite, a plastic bottle, some rubber band and a camera, documenting evidence of Bedouin inhabitation in the Negev desert where Bedouin ownership is contested; to reading the "fingerprints" of smoke clouds left behind by missile strikes; to training AI to identify teargas canisters in Hong Kong; to rebuilding whole rooms in 3D to verify the testimony of witnesses - Forensic Architecture is often challenged by voices declaring in an exhibition "This is evidence, not art!" or in a trial "This is art, not evidence!". Truth is, that exhibiting their work in art exhibitions draws international attention to cases that States or big corporations would only too gladly keep unnoticed. It helps victims be heard and get access to a public stage. It also sheds light on injustices, corruption and failures of our political systems. Which is the basis for change. But the fragments of truth are so meticulously and creatively collected, investigated and displayed that they all too often are also the missing proof in a trial. So what is it now? Art or Evidence? One of our all-time-favorite magazines mono.kultur set out to shed light on the manyfold works through an in depth interview with founder Eyal Weizman. And while you should absolutely read this heart stopping issue of mono.kultur we can already say that Forensic Architecture is the answer to the question what happens when art has real-world consequences.⁠   Buy...

Nest Magazine revolutionised the way we look at interior space and decoration. The brainchild of artist and designer Joe Holtzman, Nest magazine, published from 1997 to 2004, shunned the conventionally beautiful luxury interiors of other magazines and instead featured non-traditional, exceptional, and unusual environments. With their unique style they inspired some of our most favourite nowadays magazines like apartamento.⁠⠀ The Best of Nest includes selections from all 26 issues in a series of portfolios featuring the work of writers and photographers such as Michael Cunningham, Patti Smith, Nan Goldin, and Derry Moore. Holtzman also contributes an essay offering a look behind the scenes of each issue.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Signed copies available.   Buy...

After a visit at the artist poster exhibition Honey, I rearranged the collection from the Lempert Collection, Thierry Chancogne and Jérôme Dupeyrat kept on wondering: Why Graphic Design and art appear for most people still as apples and oranges? Art posters, artists posters, posters made by artist, posters made from artists...

Ettore Sottsass monumental yet playful furniture challenged the very way we live with objects. Expressive forms, vivid colors, playful patterns, radical shapes - his approach of intersecting design with art and concepts was visionary and is still to this day. Interested in pushing the potential of architecture and design, a lot of works of this imaginist stayed at a prototype level while he already moved on to the next idea. This catalogue gives a deep inside to the conceptual mind of the man behind the infamous Memphis movement.⁠⠀ Buy...

Look what just arrived! We are super excited to have the new book from Sam Chermayeff and Apartamento in the shop. ⁠'Creatures', edited by Moritz Küng, is a look back through nearly two decades of experimental projects undertaken by the Berlin-based architect Sam Chermayeff and his collaborators—for the most part pieces of furniture whose use, appearance, or application has been reimagined and readapted. But these ‘creatures’ are not just conceptual; they’re made to be lived with daily and all start with the idea that personal whim is probably the best guide for producing any design that’s to be lived with day in, day out.⁠ Buy...