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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide ’15

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

1. Playtype Notepad, $9; 2. Playsam Mefistofel Racer, $60; 3. Rok Manual Espresso Maker, $200; 4. Strange Invisible Perfumes Musc Botanique, $285; 5. The School of Life Memento Mori Glass Paperweight, $40

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

6. Far North Gustaf Navy Strength Gin, $50; 7. Magnus Nilsson: The Nordic Cookbook, $32; 8. Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons, vinyl, $24; 9. Bella Freud 1970 Candle, $70; 10. Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencils, 12 pack, $22

Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures

Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures

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Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures

Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures is a hybrid manifesto/monograph from New York City-based firm Weiss/Manfredi; this collection of essays, roundtable discussions, and selected projects by the firm helps to identify new terms and models for architecture’s evolution in the field of landscape and urban territory. The functionally designed urban life is thoughtfully organized in the book, which features case studies such as the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, as well as contributions by academics and theorists such as Kenneth Frampton, Preston Scott Cohen, Felipe Correa, Keller Easterling, Paul Lewis, Hashim Sarkis, and Nader Tehrani; with a foreword by Barry Bergdoll.

Public Natures was designed in collaboration with studio Project Projects, and the format was developed to balance photographs and drawings alongside reader-friendly text and detail points. A beautifully offset-printed bookcloth cover is enlivened by a bold green book block, and inside, contrasting paper stocks articulate the shift between the theoretical and case study sections.

More at: Princeton Architectural Press
Photos: Project Projects

Down the Long Driveway, You’ll See It

Down the long driveway, you'll see

“Down the long driveway, you’ll see it” isn’t the shortest title, but it does perfectly fit the content of this beautiful new book from photographer Mary Gaudin (with text by Matthew Arnold).

There are plenty of books dedicated to modern and mid-century architecture, but few approach the subject with such a human format.

Across New Zealand exist many modernist gems, and Mary focuses not necessarily on the lines or design influence, but the actual life of these homes. The architecture serves as a frame for real places where people spend their days and lives, perhaps not always with the polish of a Dwell editorial, but embracing a style of architecture that represents a new and better way of home life.

These houses also reflect their environment, and it is fascinating to see how, often seamlessly, they are incorporated into New Zealand’s natural landscape. One great example is the Einhorn House, which backs onto the Karori Bird Sanctuary, leaving the owners with glimpses of the rare Hihi bird feeding in their garden.

As for the title, it comes from an e-mail that homeowner Bruce Martin sent giving directions to his home, a reminder that an important house isn’t always a monument, but a place someone lives.

Down the long driveway, you'll see it

Down the long driveway, you'll see it

Down the long driveway, you'll see it

Down the long driveway, you'll see it

Down the long driveway, you'll see it

Photography: Mary Gaudin
More at/purchase: downthelongdriveway.com

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

2015 Valentine Gift Guide

Sure, Valentine’s Day is a consumerism-based spectacle that we should all forfeit, but in lieu of disposable, heart-shaped drugstore purchases, a thoughtful gift: be it a lavish candle or a simple home-cooked dinner, should be met with welcome by any lover (or your loveless self).

Here are some ideas that will not disappoint; and if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, head over to Saveur for a great guide to Valentine’s Day cooking, from breakfast in bed to romantic cocktails.

As for flowers, we’ll talk about that tomorrow . . . 

1. Eating with the Chefs, $60; 2. Nikka Whisky, $40; 3. Fred’s Peppered Peanuts, $38;
4. Japanese Folding Knife, $28; 5. Balmain Silk Hair Perfume, $40; 6. Rodin Lip Balm, $34;
7. Byredo Loveless Candle, $80

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide

1. Hide and Seek: The Architecture of Cabins and Hide-Outs, $42; 2. Tom Dixon Spice Grinder, $125
3. Snow Peak Titanium Coffee Press, $60; 4. PLANT Face Oil, $30; 5. Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2 Speaker, $399

Holiday Gift Guide

6. Umbra Shift/Paul Loebach Cup Lamp, $180; 7. RS Barcelona Mon Oncle Grill, $375; 8. Mad et Len Graphite Candle, $90; 9. 11+ World Desk Clock, $49; 10. Midori Brass Pencil Case, $68

Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World

Inspired by Le Corbusier, a young student named Kenzō Tange studied architecture at University of Tokyo in the 1930s; he proceeded to become one of the preeminent architects of the twentieth-century, designing major buildings on five continents. Tange’s unique approach to interpreting traditional Japanese styles through modernism resulted in him being considered the first non-Western architect whose works would be embraced as universal in their value.

Assembled and edited by Seng Kuan and Yukio Lippit, in cooperation with Harvard University Graduate School of Design, this book, Kenzō Tange: Architecture for the World, is a comprehensive study of Tange’s philosophy and contributions to the history of architecture. Archival drawings, period photographs, essays, and case studies explore the diversity and influence of Tange’s work. The book chronicles his most celebrated projects, as well as his collaborations that extended to allied fields such as engineering, furniture design, and photography. In addition to illustrating the great diversity of Tange’s career, the book paints a picture of the progression of architecture and urbanism that took place in postwar Japan.

There is no question that Tange, who continued to work into his later years, and died in 2005, helped define Japan’s post-WWII emergence into modernism. The architect gained international attention as an urban planner in 1949 when his design for the Hiroshima Peace Center and Memorial Park was selected as part of the country’s plan to rebuild Hiroshima. Throughout the 1950s, Tange worked in the field of urban planning, his Plan for Tokyo 1960 reconsidered urban structures as Japan knew them, and was hugely influential to the Metabolist movement. For the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Tange designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, for which he won a Pritzker Prize; the citation describing the gymnasium as “among the most beautiful buildings of the twentieth century.”

Available at: Lars Müller

Encyclopedia of Flowers

Makoto Azuma is an artist that works in the medium of plant life and flowers. His installations, where plant form is experimented, have been very well received in the art community. Additionally, his Tokyo shop, Jardin des Fleurs, where he stands as “haute couturier” of flowers, produces arrangements of variable scale and function. With Shunsuke Shiinoki behind the lens, Azuma has produced an extraordinary book, Encyclopedia of Flowers.

Don’t let the name fool you, this is no standard reference book with stock images, rather, a stunning visual guide to over two thousand species, indexed scientifically, and ordered into five sections: Whole, Flock, Coexistence, Hybrid, and Appearance. The composition and photography is outstanding, and in many cases, the richness of colour on the page is striking. Use of unexpected (or unknown) plants, with parts of the plant you don’t typically see integrated into the arrangement, make for fascinating visuals.

This remarkable “encyclopedia” is equally at home with a lover of nature, art, flowers, or photography; but by opening it up, you’ll certainly appreciate the combination of all of these aspects.

$85, available at Lars Müller Publishers

Oak by Stephen Taylor

Oak is artist Stephen Taylor’s three year study of a single, 250-year-old oak tree that stands in Essex, England. Shortly after the deaths of his mother and close friend, Taylor focused on producing multiple paintings of this oak tree over a three year period, in as many conditions as nature provided, changing seasons, and changing light. Not only is this an elegant project in observation and contemplation, but Taylor’s words and images leave the reader with a sense of appreciation for nature and its strength, as well as the artist’s process.

It’s also worth noting that Oak includes a forward by the brilliant Alain de Botton, with whom Taylor worked on The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.

Woodcut by Bryan Nash Gill

Bryan Nash Gill is a Connecticut-based artist who creates relief prints from cross sections of fallen or damaged wood, as well as tree’s burls, knots, and branches. In his book Woodcut, Gill’s large-scale prints are reproduced in a more humble format, on handsome matte-finish paper. The detailed prints are not only mesmerizing, but serve as a recorded history of each tree’s life. As children, we often find trees fascinating, from their grandeur to the science of their rings; in this book, the poignancy of a tree’s story is revisited and honored through the artist’s craft.

In addition to an eloquent introduction by Verlyn Klinkenborg, the book also allows Gill to describe the labor-intensive, often difficult printmaking process he employs.

More at: Bryan Nash Gill

Wilder Quarterly

Wilder Quarterly is a new print publication that explores the modern world of gardening, amateur to expert, it is a celebration of plants, soil, food, and everything surrounding the horticulturally inclined community. From renegade growers (think rooftop gardening), to Norway’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the magazine’s features are as varied as they are niche. Printed seasonally, this journal is not a throwaway; beautifully composed, Wilder Quarterly also stands for the value of print, and the authenticity of tactile word and image.

A one-year subscription is available for $60 (a portion of which is donated to the Fresh Air Fund), newsstand price is $19.

Current issue, subscriptions, and a lovely blog at: Wilder Quarterly









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