New and Recent Releases

 

Superlight: Rethinking How Our Homes Impact the Earth

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One of the most powerful design philosophies of recent years has been architect Glenn Murcutt’s dictum that buildings should “touch the earth lightly.” Ever since the Industrial Revolution, architects have sought to liberate our houses from their solid foundations, but now climate change, new materials and restricted land use have given fresh impetus to finding lightweight solutions for our dwellings. The projects here combine two strands of thinking: that buildings can weigh less and have minimal impact on their environments, and that this lightness–visual, material, ecological–can create beautiful, ethereal houses that offer new, natural modes of habitation and greater communion with our surroundings. Read more…

 

 

 

Szenasy, Design Advocate

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For more than 30 years, Susan S. Szenasy’s voice has resonated as an editor-in-chief, writer, teacher, moderator, filmmaker and lecturer. In all of these roles, her advocacy for ethical, sustainable, human-centered design has been her guiding light. Known for decades as the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine, one of the most influential design magazines in the world, Szenasy has led the charge on issues ranging from universal design to emerging trends of consumer excess, from design for disassembly to the recovery of Lower Manhattan’s communities after 9/11, from design education to the social and environmental impacts of the buildings and products we manufacture. This volume–the first published collection of Szenasy’s writings–brings together editorials, reviews, stories, profiles, industry event presentations, classroom lectures, commencement addresses and more. Read more…

 

Cape Cod Modern

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In the summer of 1937, Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus and a professor at Harvard’s new Graduate School of Design, rented a house on Planting Island, near the base of Cape Cod. There, he and his wife, Ise, hosted a festive reunion of Bauhaus masters and students who had recently emigrated from Europe: Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, László Moholy-Nagy, Xanti Schawinsky and others. Together they feasted, swam and planned their futures on a new continent, all sensing they were on the cusp of a momentous new phase in their lives. Yet even as they moved on, the group never lost its connection to the Cape Cod coast. Several members returned, when they had the means, to travel farther up the peninsula, rent cabins, buy land and design their ideal summer homes. Thus began a chapter in the history of modern architecture that has never been told–until now. Read more…

 

Formica Forever

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Formica® is 100 years old! To celebrate this centennial, Formica Corporation has published Formica Forever. The book takes us on a lively, information-packed walk through the life of this much-loved material: from its humble beginnings as electrical insulation; to its initial adoption by designers including Donald Deskey in the 1930s; to a golden age ushered in by the post–World War II housing boom; through global expansion in the second half of the twentieth century; to the laminate’s inventive uses by designers, artists and architects such as Jasper Morrison, Daniel Buren, Frank Gehry, Laurinda Spear and Zaha Hadid; through to the present, which finds the Formica Group working with young designers to push the limits of this pioneering material. Read more…

 

 

Never Built Los Angeles

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Never Built Los Angeles explores the “what if” Los Angeles, investigating the values and untapped potential of a city still in search of itself. A treasure trove of buildings, master plans, parks, follies and mass-transportation proposals that only saw the drawing board, the book asks: why is Los Angeles a mecca for great architects, yet so lacking in urban innovation? Read more…

 

 

 

A Country of Cities

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Today, the United States is divided, a country of countries characterized by bitter partisanship, economic decline, environmental degradation and growing social inequity. The same tired debates define our political rhetoric, but little is said about how architecture, urbanism and development–i.e., about the way in which we use land–have fueled this national malaise. Read more…

 

 

 

 

Fire Island Modernist

fireislandcoverAs the 1960s became The Sixties, architect Horace Gifford executed a remarkable series of beach houses that transformed the terrain and culture of New York’s Fire Island. Growing up on the beaches of Florida, Gifford forged a deep connection with coastal landscapes. Pairing this sensitivity with jazzy improvisations on modernist themes, he perfected a sustainable modernism in cedar and glass that was as attuned to natural landscapes as to our animal natures. Read more…

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies

 

Lafayette Park, an affordable middle-class residential area in downtown Detroit, is home to the largest collection of buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the world. Today, it is one of Detroit’s most racially integrated and economically stable neighborhoods, although it is surrounded by evidence of a city in financial distress. Read more…

 

 

 

 

Material Change

 

Material Change shows that there is something going on in design-something powerful. Design can change the world. This new way of thinking is revolutionizing the business of design and the design of business. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

Visible | Invisible: Landscape Works of Reed Hilderbrand

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Visible | Invisible presents the work of Boston-based landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand. Led by founding principals Douglas Reed and Gary Hilderbrand, the firm is widely recognized for rigorously conceived and carefully executed projects that merge the particular native qualities of a site with recognizably contemporary design expression. Read more…