Tag Archives: Top New Books

Architecture Books: ‘Vertical Living’ (2021)

Vertical Living is an introduction to the architecture and interior masterminds using skillful, clever design to conquer compact living wherever there is space. As we continue to expect more of our flats and houses, unexpected approaches are necessary for the future of our urban spaces.

The era of moving to the suburbs is coming to an end. Instead, a growing movement of city dwellers are looking for grand architectural solutions in the smallest of spaces. Slender, slim, and tall structures are soaring in the limited land available, offering innovative solutions to a world with ever-growing urbanization.

The book looks at ingenious architectural solutions: impossibly skinny houses wedged into narrow plots, spacious homes built into neglected infill sites and comfortable homes created in tiny spaces. By combining inspirational projects, in-depth features and engaging profiles of architects around the world, Vertical Living will offer a new way of looking at how we live in the built environment.

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Books: ‘Forbidden City – The Palace at the Heart of Chinese Culture’ (Video)

For more than six centuries, the Forbidden City has awed all those who have travelled from near and far to explore its 900 golden-roofed buildings, set amid moats, gardens, and plazas, where thousands of people lived and worked in service of the world’s largest and most sophisticated pre-modern empire. Marco Polo called it “the greatest Palace that ever was;” Simon Leys praised its architectural genius; and Franz Kafka viewed it as an impressive yet alarming symbol of power.

In this compelling addition to Assouline’s Ultimate Collection, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson guides readers through the magnificent and storied palace built by China’s Yongle Emperor to serve as the seat of the Ming dynasty. Weaving in history and events of the past six centuries and featuring more than 100 photographs, artworks, and historical artifacts, this luxury tome conjures life in this imperial sphere—a small city unto itself, in which soldiers, eunuchs, concubines, and merchants resided alongside the royalty they served. A stunning homage to the grand beauty of one of the most complex structures in all of history, Forbidden City reveals that 600 years after its construction, this royal monument endures as the physical and spiritual heart of Chinese civilization. This volume is presented in a regal, glossy red box reminiscent of traditional Chinese lacquerware, and that features a delicately carved map of the Forbidden City’s grounds.

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Books: ‘Out Of The Woods – Architecture & Interiors Built from Wood’ (2020)

This book explores the innovative and inspiring ways architects are using this universal building material. Spanning grand Alpine escapes to tropical getaways, plywood penthouses to mass timber high-rises, Out of the Woods documents their progressive and inspiring creations from the foundations up.

Humans have been building homes from wood for thousands of years, and yet, in a contemporary world of option and innovation, the most primitive resource could in fact be the most pertinent.

Stretching back to historic Japanese houses, becoming synonymous with resort accommodation, and intertwining itself in the modern trend of hygge, its tactility and warmth have influenced countless architectural design movements. Timber is fast emerging as a viable material of choice, a safe, sturdy, and sustainable alternative to concrete. Architects are rediscovering wood’s universal appeal, thanks to recent technological advances.

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Interior Design: ‘Inside Marrakesh – Enchanting Homes And Gardens’ (2020)

Contemporary design meets Marrakesh’s splendid artistic heritage in a fresh burst of color, form, and texture through a panoply of sensual houses and gardens. Noted designer Meryanne Loum-Martin provides entrée into the extraordinary residences of this fabled city’s leading tastemakers.



This exquisite book showcases the stunning properties of the world’s leading design connoisseurs, including Jasper Conran, Lynn Guinness, Vanessa Branson, and Helen and Brice Marden, who have transformed Marrakesh’s exotic style into unexpected but elegant expressions.

The story of design in Marrakesh begins with the contributions of Bill Willis, Yves Saint Laurent, and Pierre Bergé, who fearlessly fused Moroccan elements–zellige tilework, rugs, pottery, fountains, woodwork, metalwork, and tadelakt wall treatments–with a luxuriant mix of furnishings from around the world. We are invited into such lush private places as the gardens of the Villa Oasis, designed by Madison Cox, and the Bulgaris’ tranquil riad.

Full of personal insights, Loum-Martin explores how international design-savvy individuals continue to incorporate such exuberant designs in their work.

Today’s Marrakesh style appeals to a wide variety of tastes–from formal to quirky, from rustic to refined–and is suitable for diverse settings. Eco-friendly materials, including earthenware and natural fibers, contribute to these appealing interiors and gardens. Superbly photographed, Inside Marrakesh abounds with a wealth of unique design ideas.

About The Author

International tastemaker Meryanne Loum-Martin is the proprietor of the award-winning Jnane Tamsna boutique hotel in Marrakesh’s Palmeraie district. Lauded in publications such as Town & Country and Architectural Digest, she has designed porcelain dinnerware for Meissen and an outdoor furniture collection. Award-winning lifestyle and food photographer Jean Cazals‘s work has been published in numerous magazines and cookbooks.

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Top Interview Podcasts: Nobel Prize Geneticist Sir Paul Nurse – “What Is Life?”

In his new book, Paul Nurse, Nobel prize winner and director of the Francis Crick Institute, addresses a question that has long plagued both philosophers and scientists – what does it really mean to be alive?

Speaking to Madeleine Finlay, Paul delves into why it’s important to understand the underlying principles of life, the role of science in society, and what life might look like on other planets. 

Sir Paul Maxime Nurse FRS FMedSci HonFREng HonFBA MAE, is an English geneticist, former President of the Royal Society and Chief Executive and Director of the Francis Crick Institute. 

New Photography Books: “Travel By Design” (2020)

Showcasing travel photographs by more than 150 of America’s top architects and designers, Travel by Design is an inspiring guide to the power of travel to shape and expand our world.

Travel by Design reminds us of the beauty and importance of travel, with images of more than 100 locations in 60 countries, from exotic destinations and global cities to adventure travels and all-American escapes. More than 350 photographs take readers on a global journey through cityscapes, ancient civilizations, luxurious resorts, and stunning natural wonders, all seen through the discerning and artistic eyes of today’s leading creative talents. The images are sure to inspire dreams of escape, and the 40 pages of insider resources—from favorite hotels and restaurants to secret shopping sources and must-see monuments—will make planning future trips reassuring and easy.

An inspirational and informative resource, this volume highlights the preeminence of outstanding design and its importance for every civilization.

The Design Leadership Network is an organization of more than 500 principals of design and architecture firms, media companies, and makers of products across the United States and Europe, characterized by their commitment to professional growth, positive leadership, mentorship and contributions to creative communities.

Founder of the Design Leadership Network, Peter Sallick is also the CEO of Waterworks. Editor Michael Boodro is a longtime design journalist and has served as the editor in chief of Elle DecorCulture and TravelMartha Stewart Living and Garden Design.

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Top New Art Books: “The Art Book” – Over 600 Artists Profiled (Phaidon)

A brand-new revised and updated edition of Phaidon’s accessible, acclaimed A-Z guide to the most important artists of all time

Updated for only the third time in its 16-year history, this new edition of the award-winning landmark publication has been refreshed with more than 40 important new artists, including many previously overlooked and marginal practitioners. The new edition spotlights more than 600 great artists from medieval to modern times. Breaking with traditional classifications, it throws together brilliant examples from all periods, schools, visions, and techniques, presenting an unparalleled visual sourcebook and a celebration of our rich, multifaceted culture.

Artists featured for the first time in this edition include: Berenice Abbott, Hilma af Klint, El Anatsui, Romare Bearden, Mark Bradford, Cao Fei, Cecily Brown, Judy Chicago, John Currin, Guerrilla Girls, Lee Krasner, Jacob Lawrence, Kerry James Marshall, Joan Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Takashi Murakami, Louise Nevelson, Clara Peeters, Jenny Saville, Wolfgang Tillmans, and more.

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Design Books: “Handmade In Japan – The Pursuit Of Perfection” (Gestalten)

After documenting the crafts makers and traditional artisans of Japan for years, Irwin Wong assembled this wealth of unique knowledge and culture in a book. Handmade in Japan is a look into the endless pursuit of excellence, and this film represents some of the individuals featured in the book.

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Culinary Books: “Fäviken – 4015 Days, Beginning to End” By Magnus Nilsson

Fäviken: 4015 Days, Beginning to End is a vital commentary on food culture today and includes illuminating essays on subjects as wide ranging as creativity; balancing familial responsibilities while running a restaurant; the hypocrisy of sustainability in restaurants; the search for lagom; social media; imitation vs. plagiarism; haute cuisine; the art of hospitality; and the importance of craft over innovation.

In 2019, Magnus Nilsson closed Fäviken, his one-of-a-kind restaurant in remote Sweden – a difficult decision, as it was close to his heart and at the height of its success. Here is the Fäviken story: how it became a world-class destination, how the industry it was a part of has changed, and why Magnus eventually elected to pursue new projects.

The book also includes a chronological list of every dish ever served at the restaurant and highlights 100 memorable recipes. The book’s stunning photography includes a mixture of archival photographs and newly shot images of the food, the restaurant, the staff, and the surrounding setting of Northern Sweden.

A textural cover made of blue cloth and red paper with a wood-grain effect references the shape and color of the Fäviken building.

Magnus Nilsson is the author of Fäviken (2012), The Nordic Cookbook (2015), Nordic: A Photographic Essay of Landscapes (2016), and The Nordic Baking Book (2018), all published with Phaidon.

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