January 4, 2006
News & Opinion: Dwell Magazine's Design and Architecture Books for Novices
In the Feb/Mar issue of Dwell, Mathilda from Mission Hills, KS asks:
I am new to modernism and eager to learn all I can about architecture and design. What books would you recommend a novice?
The editors went out to 13 experts and asked them what Mathilda should be reading.
There isn't much overlap in the lists, but the two books that showed up most often were By Design: Why There Are No Locks On The Bathroom Doors In The Hotel Louis XIV And Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan and Modern Architecture Since 1900 by William Curtis.
Here are my two favorite lists from the set.
Michael Bierut (Partner, Pentagram Design)
- Bauhaus by Hans M. Wingler
- Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture by Robert Venturi
- Envisioning Information by Edward Tutfe
- By Design by Ralph Caplan
- Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
Jessica Helfand (Partner, Winterhouse)
- Theory and Design in the First Machine Age by Reyner Banham (Jargon-free and penetratingly written, Banham's classic volume traces the evolution of 20th-century architecture and design.)
- The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman
- Grid System in Graphic Design by Josef Miller-Brockman
- The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
(You will find the rest of the lists in the extended entry...)
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.