Books for design lovers
Make room on the coffee table for these books
Lovers of all things Japanese will relish this beautiful book which showcases pieces ranging from exquisite geometric stone carvings and architecturally elegant shoji screens to humble objects such as combs, sandals, rakes, and teapots. Twenty years in the making, photographer Takeji Iwamiya’s masterwork is a lovingly rendered tribute to these objects and the culture they sprang from.
AKRIS 1922 – 2012
by Valerie Steele
Swiss fashion house Akris has released a luxe coffee table tome to help celebrate its 90th birthday. The brand, with a following as diverse as Condoleezza Rice, Angelina Jolie, and the Princess of Monaco, has included runway images, behind-the-scenes footage including sketches of the looks and photographs of artworks that have inspired the brand’s collections. It also focuses on current creative director Albert Kriemler’s 30-year tenure at the brand, and how he has spearheaded its evolution.
Poltrona Frau, Italy’s leading furniture brand, has released a book on the eve of its 100th anniversary. This prestigious illustrated monograph highlights the entire corpus of design work by this iconic brand, including all types of seating, interior furnishings, and public spaces as well as interiors for cars, yachts, and airplanes. Iconic pieces featured include the Vanity Fair armchair and the Chester couch, and projects by architects Renzo Piano, Frank O. Gehry, Norman Foster, Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvel, Richard Meier, and Jean-Marie Massaud.
THE INNOCENCE OF OBJECTS
by Orhan Pamuk
Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk takes us on a tour of local artifacts and grants us access to recollections of his youth. The museum was conceived in tandem with his novel of the same name, and every item in its collection, assembled over more than 10 years, figures in a memory Pamuk invented for the characters he imagined. The book’s imagery is equally evocative, ranging from the ephemera of everyday life to the superb photographs of Turkish photographer Ara Güler.
THE MEANING OF FLOWERS
by Fu Ji Tsang
Chinese artist Fu Ji Tsang beautifully combines watercolours and poetry to celebrate the symbolism of flowers. Painting with an unconventional mixture of watercolour, Chinese ink, and calligraphy, the artist unites the traditions of East and West incorporating influences of masters including Matisse and Monet. Organised by season, the flowers (there are bamboo, lotus flowers, irises, orchids, plum trees, cypress trees, and other plants) burst with colour and are accompanied by inspirational poems, historical references, and myths.