Walking in Berlin
Hessel grew up in Berlin and spent time in artistic circles, honing his writing and immersing himself in his city. Originally published in 1929, Walking in Berlin has become a staple of what is now known as ‘walking literature’ and is a wonderful publication to take with you if you fancy a wander and a bit of exploration. This beautiful hardback book gets yet another re-release this August with an extended introduction.
The New Masters' Houses in Dessau, 1925-2014
I promise the entire list won’t be German-inspired, but this is the perfect book for anyone interested in Bauhaus design. Perren’s book is all about the fascinating history of the old and new masters’ houses between their 1925 commission, built for the families of teachers Moholy-Nagy, Gropius, Klee and Kandinsky, and their later restoration and reconstruction up until 2014.
Short and sweet, this book asks: "What do public spaces mean to us?" Do we acknowledge them or care about them and if so, what would we design? Public Spaces answers these questions in many different perspectives, using examples of public spaces around Europe, as well as discussion from notable architects and designers.
Okay, I lied. This is another German entry, but it’s fascinating. Cubity is the pilot programme for a more economical, energy friendly way of living. Based in Frankfurt, Cubity is a student residence project whereby functionality and minimalism are key over form and aesthetics with each person living in a simple cube domain within the framework of a larger overall cube, much like renting a studio in a house. A sign of the times.
Diez Office is a fascinating and very comprehensive look at the career of multitalented new generation designer Stefan Diez. Focusing predominantly on what goes into a house to fulfill the building's potential, Diez has worked on industrial and exhibition design, as well as having designed tables, chairs, bags and accessories for the likes of Vibia, Japan Creative, Hay and Emu. This book captures all of this and more in beautiful minimalist packaging.
Mario bellini. italian beauty
Published to accompany a retrospective in Milan, this sumptuous book is the perfect collectable gift for any Bellini fan, or in fact anyone starting out exploring the man’s prodigious output. He has designed all types of furniture as well as some incredibly distinct and well known buildings: the Museum of the City of Bologna and the Tokyo Design Center, for example. This tome catalogues it all – anything and everything remotely to do with Bellini in the 30 years since his exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
It’s big, it’s bright, and it’s relatively basic, but Architecture: A Visual History is a wonderful book. This is a real treat for the beginner. DK have designed a book that delves into the history of architecture from the beginning of time right up to modern day. It’s easy to read and extremely comprehensive and in typical DK fashion, there are hundreds of detailed photos and illustrations. A book to be treasured.
Out there ; landscape architecture in the global terrain
Beardsley has crafted a rather deep and meditative book with this. Some distance away from the previous books on this list, Out There is the perfect book for anyone interested in landscape architecture and/or the global issues confronting it and all of us. Using specific examples from all over the world, Beardsley discusses how best we could and should use the spaces the natural world has given us.
Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Davidson takes us on an architectural, historical, and cultural tour through none other than New York City. This is the ultimate insider’s guide to really getting under the skin of the city using a mix of essays, photographs, maps and walking tours. Magnetic City is ideal for the first time tourist or the long term resident searching for new ways to explore NYC’s 470 square miles.
I kept the best until last. Architecture on the move, mobile architecture or; Mobitecture. Beautifully bound with its crazy orange and yellow cover, Phaidon have outdone themselves and designed the little gem that is Mobitecture. There are over 250 pages of pristine photography and simple text exploring the fascination of living on the move – whether it's tents on bikes, houseboats, huts with wheels, or any manner of prototype, this is one of the funniest and most creatively ingenious collections I’ve ever seen.