You probably once sat through a presentation in your high school auditorium or gym where that day's speaker asked you to think about all the choices you'd already made that day. Did you get up when your alarm went off or did you hit the snooze button? Did you hit it again? Did you put on your slippers first or grab your housecoat? What color socks did you put on? And so on.
One Day of Design presents a similar question, only instead of asking you to ponder your daily decisions, it tasks to you recognize all of the designed items around you. Under the art direction of Emil Kozak, the book presents photographs of products you come across in the course of your waking hours, from the bathroom in which you brushed your teeth to the clothes you put on to the table at which you eat your dinner. It's a beautiful book filled with simple yet stunning everyday objects. It'll make you give a second thought to the things you surround yourself with and use on a daily basis.
Stuffz: Design on Material follows a similar thought process and explores the limitless reach of design and the objects to which it's applied. The book is organized into nearly 60 sections, each of which focuses on a designer, studio group, or product and examines the context of the designer's work and his or her solution to the design problem presented. Especially interesting is the focus on the use of materials for unexpected purposes, such as the Campana brother's Banquete Chair made of stuffed animals.
Super Identity takes these ideas one step further by examining the branding of a product, company, or idea. It combines the concepts in One Day of Design (design is all around you) and Stuffz (anything can be and everything is designed) to show cross-product and -medium design in support of an idea. Examples range from successful commercial companies such as American Apparel to events like Chinaplas, the largest plastics and rubber trade fair in Asia, to airline companies like Starflyer.
Each of these books is a pleasant surprise and full of enough eye candy to keep you satisfied for days. For a glimpse of the goods, watch our slideshow of images from each of the books.
When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.
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