Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Design at Your Library

Book Harp by Hanspeter Steiger

"A tree becomes a book becomes a tree" by Shawn Soh

I recently stumbled across these gorgeous new design ideas for book shelves and it got me thinking about the iconic, mid-century modern pieces that we have at the Richmond Public Library, specifically at the Main Branch.

You most likely have sat on them or behind them. Some are stacked in the Gellman Room and others are tucked away in various corners of the library. Do you know the history behind some of these pieces? I'll give you a few hints of what we have:
George Nelson Bench
Eames Shell Chairs

The mid-century modern sensibility is still quite the force in the design world, so it's interesting to take a step back and discover how and why the movement of functional yet beautiful design emerged at such a distinct time in our nation's history.

And is there a better place to do so than at your own Richmond Public Library, perhaps after viewing a few of the designs above? I think not.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started - feel free to leave further ideas and suggestions in the comments!

Miller's Collecting Modern Design
Sally Hoban

ISBN: 1840004053

A complete, comprehensive design book that provides an in-depth look at 20th century design. You will find everything from ceramics to furniture to graphic design in this noteworthy tome, which also provides a history of modern architectural style and a list of iconic homes that are open to the public.

Design in the Fifties: When Everyone Went Modern
George H. Marcus

ISBN: 3791319396

Marcus explains why and how the domestic environment evolved into the "modern" home of the '50s. His writing style easy to read, he frequently refers to illustrations, and he also uses quotes and copies of popular advertisements to make his point.

Making the Modern: Industry, Art and Design in America
Terry Smith
ISBN: 0226763463

In this ambitious book, Terry Smith chronicles the modernist revolution in American art and design between the world wars--from its origins in the new industrial age of mass production, automation, and corporate culture to its powerful and transforming effects on the way Americans came to see themselves and their world.

The work of Charles and Ray Eames : a legacy of invention
Donald Albrecht

ISBN: 0810917998

Of course, no in depth investigation of "modern" design would be complete without the mention of the husband and wife team of Charles and Ray Eames. This volume was published in 1997 on the occasion of a major exhibition organized by the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, the holders of the two richest Eames collections in the world.

The book takes a multifaceted approach to the multifaceted careers of Charles and Ray Eames and is chock full of photographs of their extensive work in design. Rather than focus on separate aspects of their work, the book examines the Eameses' projects in the contexts of science, corporate patronage, and politics as well as those of modern design, architecture, and art.

Tomorrow's house : how to plan your post-war home now
George Nelson and Henry Wright

George Nelson is another modern design icon (of many), who is usually mentioned in the same breath as Charles and Ray Eames. An architect, writer and designer, he created iconic, functional designs that are still in production today. This book reflects the modernist mantra with fantastic photos and sections such as "Manufacturing Climate," "Where Shall We Eat," "Organized Storage" and "Bathrooms Are Out Of Date."

1 comment:

The Geeks said...

hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :) inspire..!!!