The design books I’m adding to my collection this summer

I always feel the urge to update my design book collection as summer approaches. I’d like to think it’s an inspirational spurt from spending more time outdoors or traveling occasionally, but maybe it’s just my inner New Yorker who hates humidity that’s reminding me that the next few months will certainly be (many) days too hot and stuffy to do anything but curl up next to the portable air conditioner in my apartment and flip through design books full of photos of objects I’d like to own and homes I’d like to own love living in it is, well, a way of passing the time.

It’s not just about longing; These might not be the books I’d take to the beach to catch up on summer reading, but even with (usually) fewer words, I almost always feel like I’m learning something. Here are a few architecture and design books released this spring and summer that I would proudly display on my bookshelves or coffee table.

Hidden Architecture by Alan Griffiths (Lannoo, May 2022)

I probably don’t have much to think of for this book for the large part of Dwell’s audience that loves green roofs and underground homes. But for the outliers, here I go. This 192-page book by journalist Alan Griffiths focuses on “buildings designed to blend into their surroundings or hide from view” – some buried underground or sunk in the sea; others are covered in greenery or clad in mirrors reflecting the landscape. Hidden Architecture highlights 50 projects around the world with this “Designed to Hide” mode operandi. Members of the aforementioned segment of Dwell’s audience may recognize some of the buildings we’ve previously featured, like this subterranean wine cellar in the Texas Hill Country and Olson Kundig’s sleek, three-story beach house soaring above the treetops in Santa Teresa. Costa Rica.

soft electronics by Jaro Gielens (design, May 2022)

Retro home appliances designed between the 60s and 80s take center stage soft electronics, a collaboration between Gestalten and Dutch collector Jaro Gielens, exploring Gielen’s 1,200 Gadget trove of vintage consumer electronics. The book begins with a helpful timeline that breaks down groundbreaking moments in product design over these three decades. (I’ll pretend I’m not the only one who thinks, “Did you know that Dutch brand Philips created the first compact cassette audio player in 1963, signaling the start of the home entertainment revolution?” is one fun fact about a dinner party.) The rest of the book focuses on specific stylish household products from the period. Think coffee grinders, fondue sets, hair dryers and even an automatic egg cooker. You know, the necessities.

Imagine buildings floating like clouds by Vladimir Belogolovsky (Images Publishing, May 2022)

In a 2016 interview, Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura told curator and critic Vladimir Belogolovsky, “When I teach, I give all my students a place, a program, a problem, and I want to see 100 solutions and 100 settings .” These words resonated with Belogolovsky and influenced the framework of this book, as he writes in the introduction.

Imagine buildings floating like clouds brings together 101 interviews Belogolovsky conducted over almost two decades with personalities such as Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Moshe Safdie, David Adjaye, Bjarke Ingels, Kengo Kuma and Richard Meier, and reduces each one to a single question and answer. On 264 pages you will find personal anecdotes from a total of 72 architects (including 18 Pritzker Prize winners), 12 artists, eight photographers, two designers, two historians, two critics, a curator, an urbanist and an engineer, as well as portraits and photos of their work.

design emergency by Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli (Phaidon, May 2022)

Design critic Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, co-founded the Design Emergency Instagram account in spring 2020 to explore design’s response to and impact on the pandemic and its aftermath. The duo’s focus eventually broadened to examining how designers, architects, engineers, artists, scientists and activists are creating new solutions to address the most pressing global issues of our time, from drone warfare to artificial intelligence to the refugee crisis. design emergency tells these stories in three essays and 25 interviews that focus on four themes: technology, society, communication and ecology.

Modern forms by Nicolas Grospierre (Prestel, June 2022)

The revised edition of photographer Nicolas Grospierre’s overview of modernist architecture (originally published in 2016) has expanded beyond Europe and North America and includes large-format photos of nearly 250 buildings in Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and South America, all arranged by their geometric shapes. The new and revised texts ask intricate questions such as: How modern is modern architecture? And what has become of the basic utopian ideals of the style? This is one of those books that you might flip through for the photos, but it will surprise you with a lesson on the history of modernist design, the origins of architectural photography, and the reasons why architectural forms are sometimes repeated in countries that otherwise appear disparate .

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