Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Design: Intelligence Made Visible

From Publishers Weekly
Design experts Bayley (Imagination, General Knowledge) and Conran (Ultimate House Book, Designers on Design, etc) offer readers a crash course in design in this impressive, coffee-table-ready resource. After a brief narrative history of design from the 18th century to the present (the rise of consumerism and mass production, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Bauhaus ethic, etc.), the design and pop culture heavyweights delve into an alphabetical listing of design figures, themes and products. The artful confluence of the societal, artistic and architectural is what sets the book apart: rather than relying on key figures, Conran and Bayley's wide net enables the reader to see both the forest and the trees, no small achievement. Though the sheer number of subjects restricts most entries to a paragraph or two, this is no staid or simplistic survey; Conran and Bayley inject plenty of colorful editorial comments, characterizing fashion icon Pierre Cardin, for example, by his "monomania," which can "infuriate or bore." The book assumes a familiarity with most styles and designers, though movements such as surrealism and modernism are well-explained. Bayley and Conran's experience with and enthusiasm for the material, coupled with up-to-the-minute coverage (the iPhone is included), make this a thoughtful contemporary look at an often mercurial subject. Color photos and illus. throughout.
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Conran and Bayley ... have seamlessly orchestrated a history of design that is as eclectic as it is evocative. (Jon Alain Guzik Miami Modern Living 20071231)

This is a brilliant book. (Bill Robertson Star Phoenix (Saskatoon) 20071214)

Fantastic photographs and lively, Conran-esque text.... If you found the 1985 volume useful, you'll want this useful update. (Azure Magazine 200712)

Smartly written and gorgeously illustrated.... It's the kind of book you'll dip into repeatedly just for fun. (The Week 200711)

Hundreds of large gorgeous photos make this a useful resource and a fun browse. (Metropolis 20071124)

This essential read for designers, or anyone who wants to know more, includes more than 300 colour photographs. (Globe and Mail 200712)

Richly illustrated and elegantly packaged, the book is beautiful enough for the coffee table and encyclopedic in its scope. (Kimberley Brown House and Home 200712)

This hefty tome is a swell start to building your arsenal of cool facts. Conran and Bayley know their stuff. (The Globe and Mail 20071013)

By carefully limiting the number of entries ...the authors [have] lots of room left over for pictures. (Michael Lassell Metropolitan Home 20081001)

Provides an encyclopedic portfolio of iconic modern design, from Johan Vaaler's paper clip to Jonathan Ive's iPod. (Elle Design 20071209)

An opinionated, comprehensive history of industrial design ... an encyclopedic survey of the best 19th and 20th century industrial designers. (Zahid Sardar San Francisco Chronicle 20071001)

A comprehensive directory of just about everything related to design and those who create it.... A lovely and valuable book. (Linda Turk Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay) 20071007)

Trace[s] the history of various artistic movements, bringing order to what might seem like an avalanche of design concepts (Grand Magazine 20080531)

This is an eclectic, stylish guidebook of design through the ages. (Martin Cash The Winnipeg Free Press 200803-1)

[Bayley and Conran] offer readers a crash course in design.... This is no staid or simplistic survey. ( 200804)

A lively and opinionated history. The bygone age of enlightened corporate sponsorship gets loving treatment. (Piladas Viladas The New York Times - City Edition 20080401)

[A] delightful survey of designers. Nothing about design escapes the critical gaze of Bayley and Conran. (Reno & Dhc)cor )

A thought-provoking read for design aficionados, techies, and pragmatic consumers alike. (Charleston Magazine )

Nothing about design escapes the critical gaze of Bayley and Conran. (Patrick Tivy Reno and Dhc)cor )

Best feature: A stage-setting series of Conran and Bayley probing the evolution of design since the 19th century. (Jennifer David House & Home )

This is a solid purchase, especially for its reasonable price and international scope. Summing Up: Recommended. (R. T. Clement, Northwestern University Choice )