edited by Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 6/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
By Michael Webb
San Francisco: Chronicle Books, $13
96 pages, 72 illustrations (66 color)
Buy New: $10.36
Ingo Maurer is our most lyrical lighting designer. His luminaires—bearing such whimsical names as Hot Achille! and Birds Birds Birds—may be partly composed of notepaper, tea strainers, or feathered wings and can often perform fantastic acts of hanging, swinging, twirling, or sliding.
This attractively designed and priced little monograph is a lively introduction to Maurer. It's also one of the Compact Design Portfolios series, edited by Marisa Bartolucci and Raul Cabra. (Earlier subjects include Eileen Gray, George Nelson, Gaetano Pesce, Jean Prouvé, and Eva Zeisel.) Long may it continue.
By Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky
New York: Princeton Architectural Press, $40
192 pages, 650 illustrations (200 color)
Since 1993, the work of New York design studio Architecture Research Office has been frequently published, here and elsewhere, and principals Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky were named as Emerging Voices of 2001 by the Architectural League of New York. Their shared voice, as authors of this book, is one of eminent rationality. Furthermore, their designs arise less from allegiances to styles or forms—impossible to avoid altogether—than from what the duo describes as the "specific economic and social and material context of each project in the real world." ARO's Modular Wall partition system, for example, is said to have been "driven by a primal curiosity about what plywood could do." The New York Times Square Recruiting Station responds to bureaucratic requirements in a way that's straightforward but never banal.
Part of the New Voices in Architecture series, the book was designed with appropriate clarity by Alexa Mulvihill. Text includes contributions not only by Cassell and Yarinsky but also by Stan Allen, Sarah Whiting, and Philip Nobel. Interspersed among them are thorough presentations of seven ARO projects; 33 others appear briefly in back.
Reflections on Glass: 20th-Century Stained Glass in American Art and Architecture
By Virginia Chieffo Raguin
New York: American Bible Society, $35
175 pages, 112 color illustrations
The handsomely illustrated catalog of a recent exhibition at the American Bible Society's gallery in New York, this book offers a concise history of stylistic developments in 20th-century stained glass, plus a chapter on fabrication. Of most interest to designers considering the incorporation of glass art in their own work are two sections on particular glass artists. The first section highlights 17 artists from the late 20th century: Albinas Elskus, James Carpenter, Robert Sowers, et al. The second focuses on seven "artists at the heart of the exhibition," including Ellen Mandelbaum, Stephen Knapp, and architect Steven Holl.
By Ellen Lupton, Donald Albrecht, Susan Yelavich, and Mitchell Owens
New York: Princeton Architectural Press, $50 hardcover, $30 paperbound
208 pages, 400 color illustrations
Buy New: $35.00
If you can't make it over to New York's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, by January 25, when "Inside Design Now" closes) or you'd like a memento of your visit) the book of the same name catalogs this second exhibition in the museum's series of National Design Triennials. Though the curatorial strategy isn't explicitly stated here, each of the exhibition's four curators was asked to select the work of 20 designers. Ellen Lupton chose a group she calls the producers, Donald Albrecht chose "show people," Susan Yelavich chose "new iconoclasts," and Mitchell Owens focused on "design to desire." As you'd expect, distinctions among these four categories are rather vague. Considered together, the exhibition and its catalog are wondrously multifarious, including an artificial heart by Abiomed, a ruffled silk organza hat by As Four, the A3 workstation by Asymptote for Knoll, Mark Pollack's layered-looking Flapper fabric of polyester and cotton, chromosome-mapping typography by Benjamin Fry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, ads for Target, silk-screened snowboards by Geoff McFetridge of Champion Graphics, and jolly if rather retro fabric and wallpaper for Maharam. The total message seems to be that design's character—and even definition—is now wide open.
What They're Reading...
A founding principal at Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates and a member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame
Dead Lagoon ,By Michael DibdinNew York: Vintage Books, $12;297 pages
When Holzman isn't designing, teaching, experimenting with prefabricated components, or finding innovative uses for stone—his favorite material—he's reading a suspense novel. This one follows detective Aurelio Zen, who returns to his native Venice to track down an American millionaire and the ghostly figures tormenting an eccentric contessa. "Of anything that I've ever seen in print," Holzman says, "Michael Dibdin conveys the best sense of Venice as a present-day place."