Last time, I listed the first five on my top ten list of design books that continually inspire me. I have many more than ten favourites, of course—but it has been a wonderful exercise just trying to decide which ones I should include here. With this post, I’ll round out the list.
Like any design lover (and book lover too!), my favourites change over time—before long I may have an entirely new top ten to write about. But I’ll finish this post by telling you what’s on my bedside table right now, waiting to be read next.
6. Sixty Years of American Design, by Parish and Hadley. Actually, any design by Hadley I would be happy to view, and I have several books on his work. This one gives a broad perspective of his work and of the years he spent with Sister Parish. I prefer his later work, but an understanding of the progression of his development is very edifying. Parish-Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design
7. Magdalene Odundo. edited by Anthony Slayter-Ralph, 2004. For anyone captivated by form, whether it be buildings, furniture, or sculpture, you can’t help but be struck by Odundo’s pottery. If you haven’t seen her work, you are in for a treat. She is a master. Magdalene Odundo
8. A Passion for Collection: Decorating with Art and Antiques, 2004. This book is a reminder that what makes places special are the interests of those that reside in them. It’s the inner lives of these collectors and their vision that I find so beguiling. In the section on Gordon Watson, a well-known British collector, is a two-page spread showing a very simple interior with four Odundo vases! A Passion for Collecting: Decorating with Art and Antiques
9. From Bauhaus to Our House, by Tom Wolfe, 1981. Tom Wolfe is a very intelligent cynic. This short book holds a wallop full of insight. You may not be interested in reading tomes about architecture, but this is a truly refreshing and honest look, and it will entertain you to boot. From Bauhaus to Our House
10. Home, A Short History of an Idea, by Witold Rybczynski. I keep meaning to re-read this book. It is one I recommend often. Rybczynski writes about the history of the home, and his insight and knowledge is really useful if you would like to have an understanding of why we care so much about the places we call our own. Home: A Short History of an Idea
Books that are waiting to be read:
The Selby by Todd Selby. Selby’s work is almost cult-like in status, so I guess it’s time to take a closer look. I’ll keep you posted on what I think. The Selby Is in Your Place
House as a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home by Clare Cooper Marcus. This is a book “that explores the relationship between humans and our dwellings.” As a designer I feel compelled to read this. I’ll let you know…House As a Mirror of Self: Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home
Jansen, 20th Century Decorators. Maison Jansen is one of the most influential design houses of the early 20th century. If you’ve ever lived in Paris, you can’t avoid Jansen; its influence is everywhere. I love their work and have a small armoire in my own living room. I look forward to seeing this survey of their work and adding it to my library. Jansen (20th Century Decorators)