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December 28, 2014
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Books A to Z
Delving into everything from Alexander Girard to wabi-sabi, we take a look at 26 authoritative works on modern architecture, design, and technology.
Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison.

Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison (Lars Müller Publishers, 2007).

A compilation of 204 products that reminds us of the brilliance behind everyday objects. 

1 / 26
Towards a New Architecture by Le Corbusier

Towards a New Architecture by Le Corbusier (Martino Fine Books, 2014).

The famous collection of essays proclaims that a house is “a machine for living in.” 

 

2 / 26
Alexander Girard by Todd Oldham & Kiera Coffee

Alexander Girard by Todd Oldham & Kiera Coffee (Ammo Books, 2011).

The definitive book on Girard looks at his decades-long career.

3 / 26
By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan

By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan (Fairchild Books, 2004).

Engrossing examples remind us of the many ways design influences life. 

4 / 26
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” edited by Wendy Kaplan

California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” edited by Wendy Kaplan (MIT Press, 2011).

Kaplan’s book, which accompanied an exhibition at LACMA, is the first comprehensive examination of California midcentury modernism. 

5 / 26
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs.

The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (Vintage Books, 1992).

The 1961 critique of contemporary urban policies is an essential resource. 

 

6 / 26
Eames: Beautiful Details by Eames Demetrios

Eames: Beautiful Details by Eames Demetrios (Ammo Books, 2012).

A collector’s item and visual celebration of the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames.

7 / 26
The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces by Kyle Schuneman and Heather Summerville

The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces by Kyle Schuneman and Heather Summerville (Potter Style, 2012).

This book offers tips on how to make the smallest rental space feel like a home. 

8 / 26
The Green Roof Manual by Edmund C. Snodgrass and Linda McIntyre

The Green Roof Manual by Edmund C. Snodgrass and Linda McIntyre (Timber Press, 2010).

The Green Roof Manual demystifies the techniques for installing and maintaining rooftop plantings.

9 / 26
How to See: A Guide to Reading Our Manmade Environment by George Nelson

How to See: A Guide to Reading Our Manmade Environment by George Nelson (Little, Brown and Company, 1979).

Although George Nelson is best known for his modern designs, his writing was equally innovative.

10 / 26
Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann

Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann (Taschen, 2012).

Rendgen and Wiedemann’s book explores how we communicate visual information. 

11 / 26
Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis by Sam Lubell and Douglas Woods

Julius Shulman Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis by Sam Lubell and Douglas Woods (Rizzoli, 2011). 

An in-depth look at Julius Shulman, who captured the spirit of Californian architecture for over 70 years. 

12 / 26
Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings by Louis H. Sullivan

Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings by Louis H. Sullivan (Dover Publications, 2012).

Kindergarten Chats gives insight into the theories developed by the father of the skyscraper. 

 

13 / 26
Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour

Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour (MIT Press, 1977).

Controversial when it was published in 1972, this book has proven to be prophetic, tracing the shift of architectural language. 

 

14 / 26
Maharam Agenda by Michael Maharam

Maharam Agenda by Michael Maharam (Lars Müller Publishers, 2011).

If a look into the evolution of a leading textile manufacturer isn’t reason enough to pick up a copy, then the stunning cover by Hella Jongerius is. 

 

15 / 26
Nature Framed: At Home in the Landscape by Eva Hagberg

Nature Framed: At Home in the Landscape by Eva Hagberg (Monacelli Press, 2011).

A selection of projects that blur the boundaries between architecture and nature. 

16 / 26
Organic Design in Home Furnishings by Eliot F. Noyes.

Organic Design in Home Furnishings by Eliot F. Noyes (Museum of Modern Art, 1941).

A catalog supporting the famous 1942 MoMA exhibition that introduced Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames to the public. 

17 / 26
Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction by Ryan E. Smith

Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction by Ryan E. Smith (Wiley, 2010).

A variety of case studies, interviews, illustrations, and photographs that explore prefab

 

18 / 26
The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom by Laura S. Dushkes

The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom by Laura S. Dushkes (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012).

This collection of quotations offers insight into the minds of more than a hundred architects.

19 / 26
Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec: Works by Anniina Koivu

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec: Works by Anniina Koivu (Phaidon Press, 2012).

A documentation of  the Bouroullec brothers’ career that places them at the center of the design world. 

 

20 / 26
Utzon: Inspiration, Vision, Architecture by Richard Weston.

Utzon: Inspiration, Vision, Architecture by Richard Weston (Edition Bløndal, 2002).

The first comprehensive account of the famed Danish architect’s work and ideas. 

21 / 26
Vignelli from A to Z by Massimo Vignelli

Vignelli from A to Z by Massimo Vignelli (Images Publishing Group, 2007).

A reminder of the scope and influence of the recently departed Vignelli

 

22 / 26
Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren

Wabi-Sabi: For Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren (Imperfect Publishing, 2008).

The wabi-sabi aesthetic is analyzed in a classic work on the beauty of the imperfect and impermanent. 

 

23 / 26
Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen

Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (MIT Press, 1964).

From teacups to the villas of Palladio, Rasmussen analyzes what makes everyday design successful. 

 

24 / 26
Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller: Discourse by Joachim Krausse and Claude Lichtenstein

Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller: Discourse by Joachim Krausse and Claude Lichtenstein (Lars Müller Publishers, 1999).

Take a close look at one of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century. 

 

25 / 26
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (HarperTorch, 2006).

A story of a motorcycle trip that is both an autobiography and a philosophical study on austerity.

26 / 26
Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison.

Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison (Lars Müller Publishers, 2007).

A compilation of 204 products that reminds us of the brilliance behind everyday objects. 

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