WA: The Essence of Japanese Design
By Rossella Menegazzo, Stefania Piotti and Kenya Hara
Just what is it that makes Japanese product design so appealing? Gone are the days when the West looked East with envy and something approaching disbelief; the tenets of craft, minimalism and simplicity have long since filtered into the mainstream. Nevertheless, there's still a definable quality to the country's design output, a quality that continues to intrigue and invite imitation. WA offers up 250 examples of contemporary Japanese design from every discipline, treating every object with fetishistic reverence in order to provide a snapshot of the country's material culture.
Wooden combs, by Boxwood. Courtesy of Iwamiya Takeji
Religious Symbols/London Garden Birds/Political Symbols/Sexual Predators/Numbers
By Jonathan Ellery
The English artist and designer Jonathan Ellery has an innate knack for creating curious and oft-frictional visual relationships – ones that reward the viewer the more they scratch beneath their deceptively simple surfaces. His latest project tackles five themes, ranging from the contentious (the Church’s sexual deviancy, political and religious motifs) to the abstract (numbers one through thirteen get an ominous outing) and the personal (Ellery devotes a section to the Hitchcockian birds that frequent his garden). Presented as a quintet of individual volumes, each encased with bold, screen-printed colour gels, the books are threaded together by a provocative narrative. The publication will be officially launched at the New York Art Book Fair in September.
Cape Cod Modern: Midcentury Architecture and Community on the Outer Cape
By Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani
A perfectly considered piece of architectural publishing, Cape Cod Modern tells the story of when Modernism met the rugged American East Coast. Dotted along the shores of the Outer Cape are a remarkable number of vacation houses and glorified beach huts, all designed with exquisite attention to detail by some of the biggest names in twentieth century architecture, including Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and Serge Chermayeff, as well as countless local stars. The houses they built - photographed beautifully by Raimund Koch - are shown here alongside a history of the community that grew up around them, bolstered by the proximity to the key intellectual centres of post-war American life.
From the book: Hatch House, Cape Cod, by Jack Hall, 1962. This house is situated on a gentle slope overlooking Cape Cod Bay
Built in the 1930s, Hayden Walling's own home combines traditional Cape Cod features with more contemporary interiors
By Polly Brown
London-based photographer Polly Brown admits that she has 'hidden in lifts, skulked around carpeted corners and, on more than one occasion, outrun security guards' while shooting her rather peculiar pot plants series in the offices of iconic companies around the world. From the tangled pots of orchids at Burberry and Vogue to the cheerful Gerberas at i-D and poinsettia at Dr Martens, Brown's subjects range from the overgrown and ostentatious to the humorously humble. Now compiled in a monograph called 'Plants', and published by Pau Wau Publications, Brown's stark flash photography provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at office life as well as an indirect commentary on brand identity.
From the book: photographer Polly Brown ventures inside the headquarters of renowned brands, lensing their office plants and offering commentary on brand identities. Swedish fashion label Acne is represented by a small potted succulent
Vivienne Westwood's large splayed palm
Saint George's sword at American Express
Chris Dyson Architects: Practise & Projects
By Robert Maxwell and James Pallister
This modest volume contains the life's work of a modestly brilliant architect. Chris Dyson and his studio set up shop in London's Spitalfields in the early 1990s, at a time when the historic London district was still the neglected haunt of artists, writers and bohemians. Gentrification was barely understood and much of the masterful Georgian architecture had only survived wholesale redevelopment by the slimmest of margins. Dyson eventually carved a name for himself as someone who could restore, update and enhance the area's rich heritage, bringing his calm modern aesthetic into the densely crammed streets and backyards. Along the way his work has won admiration (and commissions) from the likes of Mona Hatoum and Oliver Chanarin and this book includes his studio's many schemes as well as musings on the life and history of East London.
From the book: a modern extension added to the rear of a house built in 1720. Courtesy of Artifice books on architecture and Chris Dyson Architects
A photograph of a staircase leading to a roof terrace in a family home. Courtesy of Artifice books on architecture and Chris Dyson Architects
Concept sketches of a project involving the restoration of a gasworks. Courtesy of Artifice books on architecture and Chris Dyson Architects
By Val Willams
Martin Parr's photography has emerged as one of the most vital visual chroniclers of what it is to be British in the late twentieth century and beyond. Since the early 1980s, the Magnum photographer's task has been to get up close to popular culture, laying bare our obsessions with class, status, consumerism, travel and self-image. Phaidon first published a comprehensive Parr monograph in 2002, and this revised and updated second edition includes new projects and photographs as well as a renewed focus on the photographer's own collections and curations.
Designing Here/Now: A global selection of objects, concepts and spaces for the future
Edited by Allan Chochinov and Eric Ludlum
Another book born of a website, this time the eye-candy driven design fest that is Core77.com. Assembled by the site's founders, Designing Here/Now snatches the fleeting glimpses of the future from the transient online realm and places them firmly and permanently within hard covers. In the process, what seems improbable and fanciful is given room to breathe, and we're given more time to connect with the ideas and marvel at their creativity. Technology marches on, but sometimes it's good to give ideas more space to help them make the leap from virtual to physical.
From the book: 'Artificial Topography', by Ryumei Fujiki. Functioning as both art and furniture this cavity has been designed to give people the freedom to sit where best fit their bodies. Photography: Masahiro Hoshida and Ryumei Fujiki. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
'Vertebral Chair', by Erika Cross, a tessellated eco-friendly cork chair that weighs less than five pounds. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
'Lapka Personal Environment Monitor', by Lapka Design Team, a personal environment monitor that links to your phone and analyses your environment. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
The Good Life: Perceptions of the Ordinary
By Jasper Morrison
Designer Jasper Morrison displays his keen eye for the unusual and everyday in this short visual essay. All product designers value the pragmatic aspects of problem solving, and Morrison is no exception, camera always at hand. The Good Life gathers together a series of images gathered on Morrison's travels, each of which tells a story about the arrangement of objects or the telling of stories, far from professional eyes, but with a logic, clarity and beauty that can't be taught.
A spread from the book shows the window display of a Parisian junkshop, where Morrison finds an agreeable composition amongst random objects. Courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers
A photograph of a sign encountered on Hackney Road, made by an agitated shop owner who was often asked if he sold hardboard. Courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers
In Auroville, India, the designer comes across an unconventional bus stop. Courtesy of Lars Müller Publishers
Stephen Shore: From Galilee to the Negev
By Stephen Shore
We're more used to seeing Stephen Shore's travelogues through dusty Americana, his pioneering aesthetic cementing the idea of 'no place' photography and finding a quiet beauty in the banal and overlooked. Over the past two decades Shore has made several trips to Israel and the West Bank, turning his camera on the people, the places, the landscape and the prosaic moments, finding the contradictions between complexity and normality that continue to define the region. His images showcase a fragmented landscape, scarred by division, scattered with deeply layered history and of course riven with a seemingly intractable conflict that is never far from the surface.
Umberto Angeloni, president and CEO of flourishing Italian menswear brand Caruso, boldly proposes that Italian manufacturing has moved into a renaissance of its own. And rightly so – today, the ‘Made in Italy’ tag carries with it a sense of quality and luxury matched by few. Turning the notion of a traditional corporate book on its head, Angeloni shows his brand in particular has lots to celebrate. The book, produced by a local artist in Soragna (where the company was founded by Raffaele Caruso in 1958) and illustrated by lively pop-ups, tells the story of the brand from its humble but ambitious beginnings in bespoke tailoring through to the label as it exists today.
Published by Caruso
Writer: Jessica Klingelfuss
The popup book traces the history of Italian menswear brand Caruso, which was founded in Sarogana in 1958, after Raffaele Caruso moved there from Naples to pursue tailoring
Umberto Angeloni, president and CEO of Caruso, explains, ‘Under the guise of a so-called corporate book, I want to explore just one of these stories of entrepreneurship and excellence: the history and aims of the Fabbrica Sartoriale Italiana’
The book was launched to coincide with opening of the brand’s new factory, the Fabbrica Sartoriale Italiana