edited by Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 9/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
Schindler by MAK
edited by Peter Noever
New York: Prestel, $15 paperbound
200 pages, 400 illustrations (300 color)
Rudolph M. Schindler's own Los Angeles house was radical in concept: an indoor-outdoor live-work space for two families. Its architecture was equally experimental, with walls of raw concrete and sliding doors made of canvas. Built in 1922, the building has been home to the MAK Center, a satellite of Vienna's Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst/Gegenwartskunst, since 1994. This exemplary catalog shows the interior and documents the programs now held there, notably one for artists and architects in residence. There's also a biography on Schindler and a guide to 71 other examples of his work.
American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow
by David A. Hanks and Anne Hoy
Paris: Editions Flammarion, distributed by Rizzoli
International Publications, $75
280 pages, 404 illustrations
This book accompanies an exhibition currently traveling through Europe before touring Canada and the U.S. through 2009. Both focus on the American fascination, from the 1920's through the '50's, with machines that look built for speed. Architectural examples include a 1935 Edward Durell Stone house in Bedford Hills, New York, that's now owned by Eric Brill—whose collection of "streamlined" furniture and objects forms the basis for the show and catalog.
In the hands of industrial designers such as Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Walter Dorwin Teague, this fascination led to the development of the 20th Century Limited express train, the Goodyear blimp, the Airstream Clipper trailer, and the Chrysler Airflow automobile. Interiors are represented by Donald Deskey, Lurelle Guild, Buckminster Fuller, and Frank Lloyd Wright (especially his Johnson Wax complex). And furniture with a hint of motion comes all the way down to the present day, starting with Kem Weber's Airline armchair and Gilbert Rohde's Semi chair and proceeding to Archizoom Associates's Dream bed and Ross Lovegrove's Go chair. In addition, we see that streamlining has been applied to everything from harmonicas to underwear.
Besides levity, the book offers solid resources—biographies of 100 designers, a bibliography, and an index—as well as serious thought on design for recreation, the office and workroom, the kitchen and bath, and other residential spaces. Sections on those topics are supported with essays by authors David A. Hanks, a curator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Anne Hoy, who teaches at New York University. They conclude that certain contemporary designs also "attest to the enduring popular appeal and romanticism of the idiom. . . . Streamlining—in its still fantastic yet somehow friendly pneumatic forms—now conveys both nostalgia for yesteryear and optimism about tomorrow."
Felder's Comprehensive, 2005 Edition
by L. Nick Felder
New York: Princeton Architectural Press, $125 paperbound
820 pages, 3 color plates
The first in a planned annual series, this desk reference for architects, interior designers, engineers, and contractors lists 149 competitions, 50 design centers, 440 educational institutions, 250 events, 1,190 media groups, 222 trade shows, 708 organizations, 155 museums, and 16,248 manufacturers. If the price seems steep, consider this: It turns out to be only about half a cent per listing.
What They're Reading...
Principal of Cécile and Boyd's Interior Design
Estrid Ericson: Founder of Svenskt Tenn
by Monica Boman
Stockholm: Carlsson Bokförlag, $52
152 pages, 135 illustrations (35 color)
Estrid Ericson founded the avant-garde furnishings studio and shop Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm in 1924. After a recent visit, Ferguson says he "rediscovered the joy and celebration that color and bold pattern can bring to an interior"—especially in Ericson's highly intelligent work from the 1960's. "This book," Ferguson adds, "has inspired me to not be beige."