I figured my last post was a nice way to segue to a post about the books I’ve been reading and pouring over lately…
Living in Style Paris, edited by Caroline Sarkozy, and published by teNeues is an absolute feast for the eyes. Anyone who even remotely likes French style will love this book. So many beautiful photographs of interiors and private residences of likes of Hervé van der Straeton, Diane von Furstenberg and Lenny Kravitz, designed by the masters of the trade: Francois Catroux, Pierre Passebon, Jacques Grange, Yves Gastou, Alberto Pinto, Collett-Zarzycki, David Mlinaric, Hubert Le Gall and more. The book displays a wide range of decorating styles, all of which are stunningly beautiful. I will definitely go back to this one time and again, and cannot recommend it highly enough.
I picked up a copy of “Anti-Object” by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, published by the Architectural Association of London, at the Business of Design week late last year. Japan being the partner country of the year, Kuma was one of the headline speakers. If you couldn’t make it then don’t fret, his talk was based on this book, so pick up a copy if you can. The size and thickness of this “little” book is by no means representative of the amount of information inside. The first chapter alone is guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away as Kuma gets very philosophical and quotes Kant. If that’s not for you, but Kuma’s architecture is, then you will enjoy the subsequent chapters which give an in-depth insight into how Kuma approaches each project and his source of inspiration and concept development. I enjoyed reading this book so much I am hoping to pick up a few more in this series, particularly “Super-Critical” by Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman.
And last, but not least, is the “Geography of Nowhere” by James Howard Kunstler. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this as I’ve been on a bit of an Urban Design bent lately (perhaps its because of the city I’m living in). This book is a much needed self-critical examination of the way that 20th century cities were designed, and the way they will continue to be designed if we don’t all take a hard look at what’s wrong with them. Kunstler has written specifically about American cities (I guess because he is American and it was a subject close to his heart), however it is just as pertinent to all developed countries in the world. I won’t say anymore on this, but I think if you are interested in Urban design and planning then this will be a good read for you.
So, what have you been reading, and do you have any recommendations for me?