Gracing our living space this season is an assortment of fabulous tomes to entice any creative explorer. Whether you require a booze fix or tile inspiration from the experts, we have it all here for you to leaf through at your leisure...
Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
The Life Negroni
By Leigh and Nargess Banks
Mixing up a monograph about a single cocktail seems like a tall order, but the Banks’ celebration of all things Italian, bitter and sweet offers a life history of a famous drink. Exploring not just the best way of mixing gin, vermouth and bitters, it’s also the history behind its alleged creation, as well as the makers and marks behind the principal ingredients that go into shaking it up. That means traversing the globe, seeking out London gins, Piedmont's Vermouth di Torino and of course Campari, 'the king of bitters'. The latter company has a long history of patronage, offering up a world of archive imagery, anecdote and exploration, from the sage advice of Ernest Hemingway – always an expert in all things alcoholic – to the ins and out of the Playboy Club, and top tips from contemporary experts.
Published by Spinach Publishing, £20Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
From the book: the Negroni is said to be a metaphor for a refined and glamorous life. 'I've always loved helter skelters, the perfect embodiment of magical realism. And what better way than a bar that specialises in Negronis at the top of one?' says Leigh Banks, of an unexpected installation
Ernest Hemmingway offers his insight into the importance of living for the moment, 'the Negroni way'. Courtesy Archivo Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty, Venice, 1948
Audrey Hepburn beautifully epitomises the Negroni philosophy. Photography: Terry O'Neill for Getty Images, 1966
James Turrell: Extraordinary Ideas – Realized
Austrian light manufacturer Zumtobel has spent two decades transforming the annual report from a dry accountancy fest into a platform for creative expression, with a keen eye on the public perception of their products and how they might be used to creatively shape the world. Past collaborators include architects, designers and artists, ranging from Neville Brody to Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor and SANAA. This year's annual report has been overseen by none other than James Turrell, a partnership that dates back to his work on Peter Zumthor's Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria at the end of the 1990s. Of course, Turrell's work is all about shaping light, often on a geological scale, and Extraordinary Ideas functions as both monograph and sketchbook, mapping out the genesis of the artist's installations, small, large and still to come.
Published by Zumtobel GroupWriter: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
From the book: looking skywards for inspiration, Turrell is an avid pilot who has logged over 12,000 flying hours – he considers the sky his studio, material and canvas
Turrell's Skyspace work Amarna is a high-altitude, isolated gazebo-like structure. With an aperture in the ceiling open to the sky, the installation plays with natural light. Pictured: Skyspace Amarna, 2015, Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia
A neon playground at Turrell's permanent Las Vegas exhibition, Akhob, which was opened by Louis Vuitton in 2013
Promised You a Miracle: UK80–82
By Andy Beckett
Antagonism is often a creative balm. That’s the received wisdom on the direction taken by British culture after the darker days of Thatcherism. Andy Beckett’s new social history paints a rather more nuanced picture, replaying the key events of the time against a backdrop of pop culture, urban change, industrial decline, political turmoil and, perhaps most importantly of all, the Falklands War. Buoyed by that victory, and shielded from the long-term effects of factory closures and union routs, the country sallied forth into the 1980s, looking forward to the gleaming glass and steel of the proposed redevelopment of the London Docklands with apparently little understanding of just how unbalanced the British isles would become. Promised you a Miracle lays bare the decade.
Published by Allen Lane, £20Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
Studio Craft & Technique for Architects
By Miriam Delaney and Anne Gorman
The little red book of architectural knowledge, Studio Craft & Technique evokes the spirit of the classic educational primer, offering up wisdom and tips on every aspect of the aspiring architect’s world. The layperson might be forgiven for thinking that the ability to accurately render a perspective, survey a house, or hand-letter a drawing are long-lost arts with little relevance to the modern world, but all the software in the world can’t improve upon the connection between hand, eye and brain that such skills engender. Delaney and Gorman bring time-honoured methods to life and update, along with others for the digital age.
Published by Laurence King, £19.95Writer: Jonathan Bell
From the book: in the 'Opening & Junctions' section of the book, the pivotal areas between walls and floors are detailed. Pictured left: the 'Eaves Junction', where an external wall meets a roof. Right: the 'Parapet Junction' is the waterproof membrane that is applied to a flat roof, to prevent a continuous airflow
The 'Hatching & Lettering' section teaches architects how to accurately and quickly annotate their sketches and diagrams, in long and short hand
The guide often goes back to basics. Pictured: a list of commonly used equipment for a new architect
Tile Makes the Room: Good Design from Heath Ceramics
By Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey
There’s a lot to be said for a fine piece of ceramic design. One of the oldest of all domestic finishes, tiles continue to offer a limitless palette for architectural expression. Tile Makes the Room focuses on the work of West Coast studio Heath Ceramics, set up by Edith and Brian Heath in 1948 at the crest of the midcentury movement. Now run by designers Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, the craft-centric company still specialises in dinnerware, accessories and tiling, with a vast array of glazes and finishes on offer. The monograph focuses on interior projects, exploring full-scale installations from design to completion.
Published by Ten Speed Press, $40Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
From the book: Llama Restaurant, Copenhagen, displaying Mexican cement tiles by Original Mission. Photography: Thomas Anderson, 2014
Blue and white is the colour palette in the Gio Ponti-designed Parco dei Principi Hotel, Sorrento, Italy. The tiles were designed by both Ponti and Italian figurative sculptor Fausto Melotti. Photography: Janos Grapow and Cesare Naldi, 1962
The Butterfly House, a private home in San Francisco, California, has a fresh modern palette with handcrafted tiles in different shapes and neutral colours. Photography: Mariko Reed, 2013
The Muse in the Wheels: Pirelli – A Century of Art at the Service of its Products
In the news again, this time for its rather more progressive approach to nude photography, Pirelli is a company that sees no contradiction between the forced marriage of art and commerce. But before the company became better known for its ‘artistic nudes’, there were decades of outstanding commercial art dedicated to promoting its rubber wear around the world. Pirelli’s new monograph, A Muse in the Wheels, sifts through a century of advertising, a fascinating combination of social and technological history that captures the ascent of the automobile, including through its own Pirelli magazine, a publication that ran from 1948 to 1972 and encapsulated Italy’s preeminence in pop culture.
Published by Corraini Edizioni, €50Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
From the book: sketches for Pirelli motorcycle campaigns. Pictured left: a Pavel Michael Engelmann poster in his signature style. Right: Raymond Savignac's advertising for the Pirelli Stelvio tyre, a window sign from 1953
'Stella Bianca' Sketch by Mario Bertoglio for a Pirelli Superflex Stella Bianca tyre advertising campaign, 1931–1935. Courtesy Archivo Storico Pirelli
Pictured left: poster advertisement for Pirelli tyres, 1912, by Leopoldo Metlicovitz. Courtesy Civica Raccolta Stampe A Bertarelli. Right: sketch for the Rolle Pirelli tyres advertising campaign, 1958. Originally printed in Pirelli. Rivista d'informatzione e di tecnica, no 6
Concorde: The Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Airliner
By Jonathan Glancey
Jonathan Glancey is an architectural journalist with one eye on the sky. His previous books include a biography of the Spitfire, so it seems natural that he should turn his attention to one of the most swift, symbolic and significant aircraft ever to grace the skies. The Concorde was a technical marvel – the dust jacket is just a litany of stats – but it was arguably too advanced for the world it was born into. Concorde was meant to pioneer an age of supersonic travel, yet it ended up being a lonely champion for a future that never came to pass, beloved by businessmen and broadcasters, cursed by city dwellers for its ear-splitting roar and lamented by airline accountants who could never make the figures stack up. Glancey skillfully tells the tale of a plane forged from a great trans-national alliance, and how it eventually fell from sky, taking with it – perhaps temporarily – the dream of a world shrunk small by the sheer force of technology.
Published by Atlantic Books, £20Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic
Edited by Jurgen Hostein
Taschen’s latest treasure trove of bold, vibrant imagery comes from a time famous as a last flourish of a lost civilization. The Weimar Republic was swept away by National Socialism, but not before it had cemented an image of Germany’s avant-garde art scene as a liberal and creative paradise. The Jürgen Holstein collection of book art is reproduced here in its 1000-piece entirety. Unburdened by taste or history, the designers of the era were able to transform the book into a vessel for new design directions, a blossoming of innovation made all the more precious given our knowledge of how it all ended.
Published by Taschen, $69.99Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Tsvetelina Ivanova and Charlotte Crowston
From the book: Erich Kastner and Walter Trier's's Das verhexte Telefon. Published by Berlin's Williams & Co, it was chosen as one of the 50 most beautiful books of 1931
Einbahnstasse, by Walter Benjamin, published by Ernst Rowohlt, 1928. Pictured is the book's hardcover, with a jacket photomontage by Sasha Stone featuring a line of repeating one-way street signs
Left: a special edition of UFA Magazine, on Metropolis, published in 1927. Right: Berliner Wohnbauten der letzen Jahre, by Jakob Schallenberger and Erwin Gutkind, published in Berlin by W&S Loewenthan, 1931
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