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Design

We love minimalism, really we do - but sometimes, just sometimes, we find ourselves wanting a little bit more. ⁠Enter Cabana - the interiors magazine for the maximalist in all of us! Every page is a feast of colour, texture, pattern and shape. In the newest issue, Cabana invites us into some of the most original and beautiful interiors in the world, from Paris to London to Beirut to LA, Miguel Flores-Vianna takes us on a photographic tour of the Denizli mosques in all their lovely imperfection, and Guido Taroni profiles the baroque visions of architect-designer Piero Portaluppi.⁠ Buy...

Vertical lines bound by razor-sharp rims, meet gently rolling bodies of symmetric beauty, round vessels with asymmetric collars and irregular appearing spikes that seem to be sometimes thorns, sometimes nipples, glowing in burnished graphite black or soft terra cotta.⁠ Magdalene Odundo's work is inspired by the human body, by traditional vessels, ethnological objects, and sculptures. "Study whatever has gone before, not with a view to becoming a copyist, but with the object of gaining knowledge." Fascinated by these words of British industrial designer Christopher Dresser she absorbed the British museums and pieced what she saw together into a language truly of her own.⁠ "Making is a journey of collecting, piecing together the collected or recorded memories." This publication translates Odundo's quote into print and shows her work next to all the objects that inspired her, insightful essays about her method and practice round it off.⁠ We are so happy that with the second edition we have this jewel back in our shop.⁠ Buy ...

Cambio is a small layer between the bark and the wood of a tree, which helps the tree to adapt to shifts within its biotope. But Cambio also means change in Italian. The visionary design practice Formafantasma created a critical exhibition of the same name for Serpentine Galleries, which deals with trees, forestry practices and wood production. Wood is such an old and renewable material that it is not the first we think of when we talk about the exploitation of the planet. We want to see it as a sustainable material without questioning whether our use of it is sustainable. We forget that trees are living beings we should seek a thoughtful coexistence with. The exhibition questions the role that the discipline of design can play in translating emerging environmental awareness into informed, collaborative responses.⁠ ⁠ Unfortunately, the exhibition is closed, as are so many places at the moment. But fortunately we have the accompanying book that will allow you to dive deep into the research and design process of Formafantasma. Essays and interviews by experts in the fields of science, conservation, technology, policy-making and philosophy are designed to give the reader different points of view, while a series of interviews with Formafantasma themselves, over the course of the research period, illustrate the enriching interplay that resulted from these conversations.⁠ ⁠ And if you want to see the whole video, you can find it on the Instagram account of Serpentine Galleries alongside Antenna Fantasma - a weekly series of discussions around ecology and design by Formafantasma.⁠ Buy...

When Swiss-Dutch landscape architect Anouk Vogel got invited to take part of the Architecture Monogram series she decided to do this – yet, not without her alter ego. Vogel is used to hear both sides of the story, when she starts to think about new projects – sometimes solely within her head, sometimes as soft whisper, while one adopts the analytical tasks, the other one stays intuitive. How this on-going dialogue ‘sounds’ like can be seen and ‘listened to’ in this thoughtfully composed artist book. Thereby her inner Q&A never stands alone. Architectural designs, photographs, and material collections accompany her thoughts and probably represents best, what both sides of her brain hemispheres certainly can agree on: “I wish design could be simply the possibility of something.” - “Rather than an end product?” - “Yes”. Buy...

Exceptional situations require exceptional books! Well, at least they can help us to endure these times. As we are thrown back on the minimum of what our lives are made of right now, John Maeda’s book 'The Laws of Simplicity' is such a book. Whether for business, technology, or life in general the graphic designer and professor in MIT’s Media Lab succeeds to break down the principles of simplicity into 10 essential components. By following the doctrine that good design should be equated with sanity, he outlines different methods (even here, he keeps it mesmerising simple by summarising them in acronyms) to offer a framework on how to keep it as simple as possible without lacking complexity, and hence functionality or even meaning. While Law 9 'Failure' is described as „Some things can never be made simple” luckily the 2nd Law 'Organize' comes into play as “The home is usually the first battleground that comes to mind when facing the daily challenge of managing complexity.” Buy...

There are plenty of ways to design a better future. So many, actually, that it took the elves behind do you read me?! a few night shifts to finally present you a collection which will let your christmas tree shine sustainably this year. ⁠Spanning from The Touch by Kinfolk and their friends from Norm Architects, Jeroen Junte's 'Do it Ourselves' spotlighting the latest verve in Dutch Design, the impressive compendium Atlas of Furniture Design by Vitra, the unlimited paperback edition of the marvelous work of Herzog & de Meuron, Magdalene Odundo's 'Journey of Things' as well as Materialisation in Art & Design (MAD) which gives a glimpse behind the scenes of a temporary master at Sandberg Instituut.⁠ ⁠ Oh, and did we mention the fantastic book 'Architektur für die Katz'? It will definitely change the seven lives of your cat for the better - or at the least the current one. ⁠ For more last minutes Christmas Gifts click here. ...

When Antti Tuomola wanted to open a restaurant in Helsinki back in 2011, he found himself caught up in bureaucracy that did not leave any space for innovation. So he gathered some friends to find a solution to enrich Helsinki's culinary scene without the troubles to open a permanent restaurant and may it be just for one day. As a result 40 people turned their private homes into temporary restaurants for "Restaurant Day", inviting strangers into their kitchen. By 2016 "Restaurant Day" turned into a worldwide cultural event.⁠ But this book is not about "Restaurant Day". "Restaurant Day" is solely exemplary for most of the 18 social design practices and tools explained in this book such as bottom-up, social-city, and smart-citizens. And like in any good cookbook author Attila Bujdoso does not only explain the ingredients and seeks to inspire you, but also gives you the recipes on hand to successfully create your own social projects.⁠ Buy...

In a world in which facts are handled as a matter of interpretation, it’s kind of ironic, that Sindroms, a magazine dedicated to colours proves that our highly subjective, emotional response to light refraction is by far less arbitrarily than one might think. In fact, our associative apparatus triggered by different qualities and intensities of the colour palette evokes a multitude of versatile and contrasting ‚monochrome states of minds‘. Without lapsing into banality, Sindroms unveils, issue after issue, all the complex and not seldom hidden layers of colours. So far it has been red, yellow, white before the pink issue hit our shelves. We e-met founder and Creative Director of Sindroms, Miruna Sorescu, to talk about her "obsessive-compulsive tendency of colour coding“ and how to translate this passion into print.

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Design curators, -critics, and -academics often cry over themselves and lament that design has not managed to establish an independent field like architecture or art. Of course everybody sees design as essential nowadays, but its vague characteristics make it difficult to place. Meandering between functional, artistic, engineering, styling, problem solving, experimentation, research, trend, and expression it is neither art nor science. It is heavily abused by marketing but it is far from being just styling.⁠⁣ ⁣Alexandra Midal wants to set things straight by shaping a history for this young discipline, that was thought by some to be just a fade in architecture. She links and compares theories, manifestoes, and essays to gather a critical study that hopefully will lead to clarification and a long needed emancipation of design.⁠⁣ Buy...

Since 1995 the group around sculptor Joep van Lieshout is famously known for transforming abstract concepts into the material world. The outcome this time is a book about their own working methods. Let’s say, they hit the nail on the head! Holding Dirty Hands for the first time in your hands, you cannot but sense its physical dimensions. This compact, unpretentious pictorial manual gives hitherto unseen perspectives into the rough and multidisciplinary world of the Dutch artist collective behind Studio Atelier Van Lieshout. Not only it is a story about faith in human strength, the transformative power of bare hands, combined with raw materials, but also, as the words written on the back of the book already set the pace, ‘Mess foam knife foam stick saw paper hammer grinder welder grinder…’ Dirty Hands is a story about endlessly intervening within the given, advocating a work which will always be in progress. Buy...