The romance of the banal has become something of a cliché in contemporary photography, but Alexander Gronsky manages to bring a fresh eye to what could have been a familiar subject. Moscow's outskirts are liminal spaces that pair the vast, impersonal slab-sided blocks of Communist-era social housing with areas of apparently untouched countryside. What appear at first to be sylvan havens or secluded beaches are always interrupted by distant walls of concrete or overhead power lines, the sand bearing the imprint of bulldozer tracks and punctured by waste pipes. Yet in every picture, people play and relax, seemingly oblivious to the contradictions. Scattered litter often gives way to proper shanty towns, while tower cranes herald the coming of vast, slab-sided blocks of 'modern' apartments for sale, the architectural differences between ideologies confined to tiny changes of detail.
From the book: 'Novye Mytishchi I', by Alexander Gronsky, 2010. Courtesy of Alexander Gronsky/Institute
'Dzerzhinskiy VI', by Alexander Gronsky, 2011. Courtesy of Alexander Gronsky/Institute
'Mar'ino V', by Alexander Gronsky, 2010. Courtesy of Alexander Gronsky/Institute
Eat, Drink, Nap
By Soho House
Since the first Soho House opened its doors 17 years ago, founder Nick Jones has been perfecting its signature 'House' hospitality. If you've ever wondered what makes its members club experience so sought after, some of the group's secrets have been revealed in a new lifestyle manual entitled 'Eat, Drink, Nap'. After years of advising guests on hosting parties, to serving cocktails and making comfortable beds, Jones decided to compile the 300-page compendium with help from leading food and interiors photographers Mark Seelen and Jean Cazals. From house recipes to decorating insights, the book offers tips and tidings on how to bring the House home.
A spread from the book shows the recipe for Soho House's signature burger and chips
In one chapter, Soho House design director Vicky Charles offers up her guide to doing the great outdoors in style
Some of the club's top furniture finds include the grand salvaged chandelier in its Berlin lobby (left) and vintage 1940s leather club chairs in its Miami bedrooms (right)
Show Time: The 50 Most Influential Exhibitions of Contemporary Art
By Jens Hoffmann
Modern art has always loved spectacle, from the scandalous reception afforded the first exhibitions of Impressionist and Abstract work at the start of the modernist period through to more recent controversies over presentation, content and artistic intent. Show Time looks at the last two decades of art on show, focusing not just on the controversies but also on the art market's steady global creep, as it stakes out new territories through fairs, emerging collectors and producers.
From the book: 'Y', by Carsten Höller, 2003. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Archivio Storico dell Arti Contemporanee and Air de Paris. Photography: Giorgio Zucchiatti
'The Casual Passer-by I Met at 3.59 pm, Paris', by Braco Dimitrijević, 1989 (below left) and 'Globe', by Neil Dawson, 1989 (above right), installation view from Magiciens de la Terre, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, 1989. Courtesy of Centre Pompidou and the artist
'Forlorn' and 'Another Try for a Room for "Western"', both by Hans Schabus, 2002, installation view from Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, Germany. Courtesy Manifesta, the artist and the Kerstin Engholm Gallery, Vienna. Photography: Bernd Bodtländer
Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming
By Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby are designers on the fringes of artistic practice. The duo work and teach - most notably at the RCA's pioneering Design Interactions course - and this new book explores the use of design as an idea-making process, rather than a means of just creating new products and new desires. As a result, many of the illustrated projects, including many of their own, meander between irony and satire, optimistic vision and dystopic warning.
From the book: 'Train', by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, from 'United Micro Kingdoms', 2013. Rendering: Tommaso Lanza
'Huggable Atomic Mushrooms: Priscilla (37 Kilotons, Nevada 1957)', by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby and Michael Anastassiades, 2007-2008. Photography: Francis Ware
'Needy Robot', by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, 2007, from 'Technological Dreams No. 1: Robots'. Photography: Per Tingleff
'Digicars with Rock', by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, from 'United Micro Kingdoms', 2013. Rendering: Tommaso Lanza
By Anders Petersen
For over 30 years, Swedish photographer Anders Petersen has chronicled the after-dark culture of various cities, focusing on the most marginalised members of society - be they incarcerated or have simply fallen through the cracks. Working in stark black and white, this new monograph from Max Ström presents a galling selection of his best work.
David Chipperfield Architects
Introduction by David Chipperfield, text by Fulvio Irace
Chipperfield's star continues to ascend, even though his home country can be mysteriously antagonistic to the architect's approach. Regardless of these setbacks (largely usurped by the success of his two recent major cultural projects: The Hepworth Wakefield and Margate's Turner Contemporary), it's continental Europe and the US that has become the main stomping ground of this sophisticated talent. Chipperfield helms one of the few firms that can juggle the demands of a large commercial practice with a densely layered approach to history, context, texture and environment and this new monograph rounds up his latest work.
A spread from the book shows the exterior and interior of one of David Chipperfield's recent major cultural projects, The Hepworth Wakefield, which won a Wallpaper* Design Award for Best New Public Building in 2012. Photography: Ed Park
Working models of the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. Photography: Ed Park
Kao House, Boston Massachusetts, USA, 1993 (left) and a private house in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA, 1997 (right). Photography: Ed Park
Conversations on the Hudson
By Nick Hand
This Selby-esque travelogue manages to bring together several contemporary tropes - cycling, craft, crisp macro photography - to offer up a new perspective on the recent emergence of artists and makers in the very vogueish surroundings of the Hudson Valley. The subtitle offers up a tantalising taste of a Jerome K Jerome-style journey - An Englishman bicycles five hundred miles through the Hudson Valley, meeting artists and craftspeople along the way - but in practice author Nick Hand doesn't offer much in the way of a traveller's tale, preferring to let the cast of creatives do their own talking and offer themselves and their work up to his lens.
From the book: Author Nick Hand snakes his way up the Hudson Valley on his bicycle
A portrait of Nick Zachos, a boat restorer from Hudson in Columbia County, who is leading the restoration of historic yacht, 'Eleanor' (right), as a not-for-profit venture and community project. Photography: Nick Hand
By David Bailey and Tim Marlow
A man in need of no introduction, David Bailey's contribution to photography - be it fashion, reportage or portrait - has been monumental. In Spring 2014 the photographers gets a major retrospective at London's National Portrait Gallery, sponsored by Hugo Boss, and this hefty publication chronicles not just the images but the stories behind the shoots.
Tony Fretton Architects: Buildings and their Territories
By Tony Fretton
Birkhäuser's handsome new monograph of the work of Tony Fretton Architects, 'Buildings and their Territories', is stark and sober but ultimately rewarding, much like the studio's architecture. Covering a career that runs all the way from offices for Mute Records through to major galleries, museums and the British Embassy in Warsaw, Fretton has always taken a slightly left field approach, making him the architect of choice for many major artists. Like his contemporary David Chipperfield - also in the frame with a new monograph - his studio has developed a form of minimalism that revels in material qualities and the inevitable idiosyncrasies of everyday life, rather than an impossible asceticism.
From the book: Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Lolland, Denmark, by Tony Fretton Architects, 2005-2008
Warsaw Embassy II, Warsaw, Poland, by Tony Fretton Architects, 2006-2009
Ground floor foyer of the Warsaw Embassy II, Warsaw, Poland, by Tony Fretton Architects, 2006-2009
The Design of Everyday Things: revised and expanded edition
By Donald A Norman
Speak to many product designers of a certain generation and at some point they'll cite this influential 1988 work. The Design of Everyday Things introduced such concepts as human-centred design, and looked long and hard at how our interaction with the world around us could be guided by common sense and a spot of psychology. Donald A Norman's book has now been revised and updated for an era that's more likely to swipe a finger than to flick a switch. Nevertheless, the basic principles of intuitive design remain in place - perhaps even more so. Norman will guide you to a more functional and pleasing place.
From the book: The revised edition of The Design of Everyday Things has been expanded to include new technology, such as smartphones
A lockout forcing function for a fire exit. The gate, placed at the ground floor of the stairways, prevents people who might be rushing down the stairs to escape a fire from continuing into the basement areas, where they might get trapped