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Max Fraser illustration by Riccardo Vecchio

Men About Town

Whilst in London, we met three talents who are making their marks on the local design scene. Soon you’ll be uttering their names along side Morrison, Dixon, and Adjaye.
December 11, 2011
de stijl arcade

The Story of De Stijl

The threads of turn-of-the-20th century radicalism in the arts and design have by now pretty much been woven into one broad yarn: capital-M Modernism. But the new book The Story of De Stijl: Mondrian to Van Doesburg by Jans Janssen and Michael White offers a studied look at one of those threads, and ultimately argues that the Dutch art, design, and furniture of De Stijl—like Dadism in Switzerland, Futurism in Italy, the Viennese Secession, other national modern movements—is more strange, and thorny than the going narrative suggests. In a compelling trek through the key figures, manifestos, and designs, The Story of De Stijl offers a richly illustrated vision of what animated a coterie of thinkers, makers, and artists in the teens, 20s, and 30s in Holland. The book is out from Abrams in early December for $45, but have a look at our sneak peek at an excellent present for the design lover on your list.
November 22, 2011
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Friday Finds 11.04.11

Another week has rolled on by—tempus fugit, as they say. To celebrate the moments of days past and to get a good start to the weekend ahead, we bring you our favorite finds from the interweb.
November 4, 2011
SOY CUBA COVER

Movie Posters of Soy Cuba

If movie posters are essentially advertisements to get you into the theater, the Hollywood versions splashed with matinee-idol close-ups and 100-point typefaces, then the moody, highly graphic design on display in the new book Soy Cuba: Cuban Cinema Posters from After the Revolution is a queer kind of commercial indeed. The posters reprinted here seem less interested in packing the house than functioning as small, playfully abstracted works of art in and of themselves. They hail from the late 1950s through the 1970s and taken as a whole they seems to suggest a parallel universe of movie posters untethered from a commercial drive, floating somewhere closer to book jacket design or museum-worthy art posters. Have a look at our slideshow for an excellent preview of what's inside Soy Cuba. The book is out at the end of the month from Trilce Ediciones.
October 6, 2011
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Friday Finds 9.30.11

In this installment of Friday Finds from the staff of Dwell, a hodgepodge of events, fonts, fashion, and photographs to end the week—and start the weekend—on a good note.
September 30, 2011
Japanese Book Binding

Japanese Book Binding

I quite liked the video my colleague Miyoko Ohtake posted earlier this week on Japanese joinery and thought I'd do my bit to shed a bit of light on Japanese style handcrafts as well. Here's a great look at Japanese book binding. The consideration paid to everyday Japanese objects continues to astound—check out this post I did in 2008 ago about parcel wrapping—and this video further cements the tradition of doing common things right. We could use a bit more of that here in the West.
August 25, 2011
Knoll Textile Cover

Knoll Textiles

The roster of furniture designers who have graced the factories of Knoll is startling: Saarinen, Platner, Bertoia, Breuer. But the textile designers like Marianne Strengell, Evelyn Hill Anselevicius, and Eszter Haraszty so responsible for the warp and weft of mid-century modernism get shorter shrift. Knoll Textiles: 1945-2010, due out August 31st from Yale University Press in association with the Bard Graduate Center, hopes to rectify this. At over 400 pages, this volume accompanies the exhibit of the same name that ran at Bard this summer. Knoll Textiles is edited by Earl Martin with essays from design curators and critics like Paul Makovsky of Metropolis and Bobbye Tigerman of LACMA. My colleague Miyoko Ohtake did a great slideshow and interview with Makovsky in May. Now fans of the exhibit from which the book was taken can get the whole story. 
August 22, 2011
Kickstarter Baltimore

Kickstart Some Design II

Around this time last year I cruised through the fundraising site Kickstarter in search of a few design-related projects that seemed interesting. I found a furniture company, a photo project, and a poster that I really liked and wanted to share. This time around it's a play, some more photos, and a book about green design that could use a bit of support. Interesting projects all, and a great way to be involved in design, even if you're not a designer yourself. And as a donor you're also entitled to some element of the project. Heck, this might just be the most charitable way to get an historic photo of Baltimore for the living room. Here's what caught my eye.
August 11, 2011
City Notes Cover

City Notes: San Francisco

A very unusual guide book came across my desk last week. And though City Notes: San Francisco by Jesse Coburn from Terry Warner Press is certainly a beautiful object (dig the clean design by Martin Schapiro, the photos by Constance Smith, and the engraved wooden cover by Dave Marcoullier) it's a puzzling little artifact of Coburn's love of San Francisco. You see, there are no addresses listed, the spots chosen are lovely but obscure and strange, and the histories provided of each location defy any guide book convention. If a Frommer's guide is a city's greatest hits, City Notes is a mixtape of deep cuts wilfully free of liner notes.
August 9, 2011
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