The Editors | Miscellaneous

Books Received: Winter 2009


New books keep piling up here at Design Observer. During this winter season, we thought we'd share some of the many recently published titles we have received over the past couple of months. Maybe you'll find a surprise or two...

Salar Abdoh & Charlotte Noruzi
Urban Iran
Mark Batty, 2008
Vince Aletti, editor
Look at me: Photographs from Mexico City by Jed Fielding
University Of Chicago Press, 2009
Nathan Troi Anderson & J. K. Putnam
Mark Batty, 2008
Helen Armstrong
Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field
Princeton Architectural Press, 2009
Bryan Bell & Katie Wakeford, editors
Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism
Metropolis Books, 2008
Alexis Bernier, Yorgo Tloupa & Adrian Shaughnessey(
H5: This is the End
JRP Ringier, 2009
Gabrielle Brainard, Rustam Mehta & Thomas Moran, editors
Perspecta 41 "Grand Tour"
MIT Press, 2008
Martha Cooper
Going Postal
Mark Batty Publisher, 2009
Timothy Donaldson
Shapes for sounds (cowhouse)
Mark Batty, 2008
Brian Dougherty
Green Graphic Design
Allworth Press, 2009
Sylvia A. Earle & Linda K. Glover
Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas
National Geographic, 2008
Michael Erlhoff & Timothy Marshall, editors
Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology
Birkhäuser Basel, 2008
Susan Greenberg Fisher
Picasso and the Allure of Language
Yale University Press, 2009
Conny Freyer, Sebastien Noel, Eva Rucki & Paola Antonelli
Digital by Design: Crafting Technology for Products and Environments
Thames & Hudson, 2009
Kay Gardiner & Ann Meador Shayne
Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures
Potter Craft, 2006
David Gibson
The Wayfinding Handbook: Information Design for Public Places
Princeton Architectural Press, 2009
Milton Glaser
Drawing is Thinking
Overlook Hardcover, 2008
Seth Godin
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Portfolio Hardcover, 2008
Michael J. Golec & Aron Vinegar, editors
Relearning from Las Vegas
University Of Minnesota Press, 2008
Sarah Greenough, editor
Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, Expanded Edition
National Gallery Of Art, 2009
Steven Heller, editor
Design Disasters: Great Designers, Fabulous Failure, and Lessons Learned
Allworth Press, 2009
Hannah B Higgins
The Grid Book
MIT Press, 2009
Ada Louise Huxtable
On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change
Walker & Company, 2008
R. Klanten & H. Hellige
Playful Type: Ephemeral Lettering and Illustrative Fonts
Die Gestalten Verlag, 2008
Robert J. Krawczyk
The Codewriting Workbook: Creating Computational Architecture in AutoLISP
Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
Daniel Libeskind & Paul Goldberger
Counterpoint: Daniel Libeskind in Conversation with Paul Goldberger
Monacelli Press, 2008
Zeina Maasri
Off the Wall: Political Posters of the Lebanese Civil War
I. B. Tauris, 2009
Maggie Macnab
Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in Visual Communication
How, 2008
Sadako Ohki
Tea Culture of Japan
YU Art Gallery, 2009
Martin Parr
Everybody Dance Now: Photographs by Martin Parr
Editions 2wice, 2009
Pentagram: Marks: 400 Symbols and Logotypes
Laurence King, 2009
Graham Pullin
Design Meets Disability
MIT Press, 2009
Ake Rudolf
Urban Guerilla Protest
Mark Batty, 2008
Gerlinde Schuller
Designing Universal Knowledge: The World as Flatland - Report 1
Lars Müller Publishers, 2008
Paul Rudolph & Robert A. M. Stern
Writings on Architecture
Yale School of Architecture, 2008
Neil Spiller
Digital Architecture Now: A Global Survey of Emerging Talent
Thames & Hudson, 2009
The Junior League of Houston
Peace Meals
The Junior League of Houston, 2008
Type Directors Club
Typography 29
Collins Design, 2009
Paul Virilio
Bunker Archaeology
Princeton Architectural Press, 2008
Emily Warn
Shadow Architect
Copper Canyon Press, 2008
Richard Saul Wurman
Understanding Children
TOP, 2002

Posted in: Media

Comments [22]

if you are short on storage space i can take some of these off your hands.
peter r

i got some of those books recently as review copies. recently, i've been thinking, who publishes this crap? i can't review these things. i don't want to pass them on to anybody because i find them worthless. i thought of sending them back to the press, but they would probably put me on their shit list. anyway, this lot is worse than the one published last time.
norman turturro

I like the idea of... hang on, no. Was thinking of something else.

for the next version of this post i'd find it helpful if there was an astérix put on the books that were actually read by one of the contributors or editors
Michael Surtees

Any reviews? anything good? any recs?

Kenya Hara's, "Designing Design"

great comment that the editors should asterisk which they have read or not...or just received and duly noted on this blog and then having done their job of "reviewing"/placed the book on public display and earned their free copy.

ingmar bergman "archives" (taschen)

national park architecture sourcebook (pa press)

james castle: a retrospective (yale)

mies and modern living (hatje cantz)

nurturing dreams by fumihiko maki (mit), good read from a horrible architect, in the same mold as isozaki

are four of the review copies of the many i received that i will not sell for a few dollars to the local bookstore.


i also concur with tomo's post that kenya hara's 'designing design' is really a superior book.


would also like to complain about phaidon's new book hitoshi abe, the spine of which highlights the editor's name and not the architect's, as if she were anything other than some hack critic a la doohey.

best regards.

ps a book is not a decorative element for the coffee table.

norman turturro

sorry for a second post, got me to looking at books that i've received recently and looked through, but never got around to review (yet). These are good books that I will keep and not junk.

Sacred Buildngs: A Design Manual (Birkhauser)

Morandi (Skira)

Constructing Landscape (Birkhauser)

norman turturro

I'm sorry if I missed this in an earlier blog post, but do you have a top recommended books from 2008?

> i'd find it helpful if there was an astérix put on the books that were actually read

Even better would be an Obelix.

Graphic Design Theory is a good comprehensive reading on the history of design thinking. It’s definitely worth taking a look. We need more books like this one.
Tony Venne

Essential Frank Lloyd Wright: Critical Writings on Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press), just came out three weeks ago. Really interesting writing compilation by a genius that makes one think about the shallow nature of contemporary architectural "thought" and the nonsensical projects created.

Not recommended (i read the entireity because it is the only biography of corbu in english): Corbusier: A Life by Nicholas Fox Weber. one of the worst pieces of pseudo-analysis on architecture and the architect. it can be summarized like this: Corbu, despite all his good intentions, did some pretty good buildings like Ronchamp, but remember he was a momma's boy til the end. Save your 45 bucks. i returned my copy to the bookstore after i finished it. the design and the reproduced color photos are nothing to write home about it.
Jonathan Shaw

On a design blog like this, why are there little to no comments regarding the release of these new books? (Granted that most of them seem uninteresting). Do people rely on snippets of information via blogs and internet etc now for their knowledge and claim that as knowing? Are books just fetish objects for the design minded to look through for a few minutes and then leave on their shelf to collect dust? Are they just there for placement on the coffee table of some so-called interior designer's prettified portrait of some gaudy home? Etc etc...

Dear Bookman,
You ask why there are "little to no comments regarding the release of these new books" and yet you have no real comment yourself, just a complaint about the fetishization of books and a snarky comment that most of "them seem uninteresting."
The fact that most of the books in the list are either scholarly or academic or at the very least quite thoughtful, makes you seem like a whiner.
Granted, most of the books are "niche" books, and not for the general public - but the public can go to huge chain bookstores for mainstream fare.
I applaud the writers and publishers who work hard (for little money I bet) to produce such books.

Join the club - my book pile is growing. But I do review them over at The Designer's Review of Books (shameless plug).
Andy Polaine

Michael and Armin, you forget Assurancetourix.
Lauren Erickson

It takes a long time to properly evaluate a new book. And that stack of books would probably take someone an entire season to properly review.
Dennis Eusebio

It doesn;t take much effort to evaluate a book. One, does it look good? No? Then, does it have an interesting enough content to keep? If yes, then keep and look through quickly. If it captures the interest and you can make it through ten pages with a keen sense of delight and stimulation, keep it. If not, donate it to charity organization or sell to bookstore for a few bucks.

An entire season? Not even close.
Eric Rambke

yea i really be interested in taking some books of your hands...
let us readers know.
maybe you should do a give away and send out like a raffle of a book once a month..
your readers can get a free book

this last comment was all wrong i havent slept in like 2 days
but some of these books are amazing

      Milton Glaser
Drawing is Thinking

      Ake Rudolf
Urban Guerilla Protest

      Maggie Macnab
Decoding Design: Understanding and Using Symbols in Visual Communication

Pentagram: Marks: 400 Symbols and Logotypes

these books seem great
if you want to sell them or donate to the cause or barter
let me know

Indeed, I'd be very interested in some of these books.
Gemma Went

Love your site. Read it daily with a cup of joe in the morning. I enjoy checking out you book lists and was wondering if you know of any place to order a book from Monsa called PACK!. I've looked online and could not find anywhere to ship to the USA or an English version of the book. I also contacted the publisher with no response. Any suggestions?
Kevin J. Furst

Jobs | July 25