Books are always never ending travels through imagination. Design books are overloaded stories of imagination…
1. A Visual Inventory by John Pawson
A Visual Inventory is a set of 320 pages presenting a selection of the some 200,000 photographs John Pawson has taken over the course of his 30-year-long career. Like an inspiring international Instagram in book form, the visual diary is annotated with Pawson’s personal notes and spans different countries and time periods.
2. The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design
Phaidon’s book-in-a-box is a tactile toy for design lovers everywhere featuring 500 graphic designs including newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record covers and moving graphics from around the world. As T Magazineexplained, “The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is the commercial art cannon embodied: 500 topic sheets on everything from a 700-year-old Buddhist text to the album art of Beck’s The Information.” Extra bonus: a clever (handy) handle.
3. How to Make a Japanese House by Cathelijne Nuijsink
How to Make a Japanese House is a stunning exploration of the country’s ever-inspiring domestic design scene. Broadly divided into generations — featuring grouped works of those born in the 1950s, ’60s, etc., the book includes projects by Flavorwire favorites Atelier Bow-Wow, Sou Fujimoto, TNA, Jun Igarashi, Kazuyo Seijima, and many more.
4. Roman and Williams: Buildings and Interiors by Stephen Alesch, Robin Standefe, and Jamie Brisick
A retrospective of the epic work of the designers behind some of New York’s most fashionable scenes (The Standard, The Ace, The Dutch), this gorgeous book showcases a trademark style that’s both elegant and eccentric in the best possible way. Including photos of the homes of clients Kate Hudson, Gywneth Paltrow, and Ben Stiller, among others, this book is a must-have for any creative reference library.
5. The Architectural Model: Tool, Fetish, Small Utopia edited by Peter Cachola Schmal and Oliver Elser
Curator Oliver Elser created the book as a companion piece to an extensive exhibition by the same name at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt. Ranging from tiny utopias in mason jars to paper pop-ups, this is a great way to study — and learn from — some of the most beautiful and bizarre models ever made.
6. Concrete, edited by William Hall
This surprisingly tantalizing tome — in the words of Wallpaper reviewer Jonathan Bell — gets down and dirty with the notorious material, unashamedly singing its praises through a series of captioned photographs that run the full range of concrete’s structural, sculptural, textural, and technological applications.
7. Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air edited by Philip Jodidio
8. The Little Black Jacket by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld
This bold little book is but one component of one of the fashion event’s of the year: a traveling exhibition celebrating Chanel’s little black jacket. Featuring more than 100 celebrities photographed by Lagerfeld himself, this timely title includes fashion uberstar Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman, Kirsten Dunst, Yoko Ono, and many more.
9. Rookie Yearbook One
It’s mostly fashion, some design with helpful short articles about all-important topics like how to bitchface and how to make a zine. In short, it’s brilliant whether you’re an Urban Outfitters-wearing, Courtney Love-worshipping teenage girl or not.
10. Wendell Castle: Wandering Forms by Alastair Gordon
TIME Magazine summed his work up when they wrote, “How to describe the furniture and household objects produced by Castle, an 80 year old American designer and craftsmen? Organic would characterize some Biomorphic would work for others.. For others .. only surreal will do.”