Design

On Letters
Prem Krishnamurthy
Domain - 22.00€ -

On Letters is an epistolary essay, structured as thirteen wide-ranging and personal letters to the late conceptual artist On Kawara. Playing with language and its limits, the letters focus first on the artist’s five decade long body of “Date Paintings” and their relationship to typography. Yet from this starting point, the writing swerves to encompass topics such as the creative process, mindfulness, numbering systems, race, narrative structures, and more. On Letters is a unique glimpse into one artist’s inner dialogue and an exploration of how the solitary practice of artmaking can spark other transformations in the world.

"No one is better placed to reflect on On Kawara’s perfect marriage of typography and ontology than Prem Krishnamurthy. An intellectual triumph and a true labour of love." —Tom McCarthy

Prem Krishnamurthy (b. 1977) is a designer, author, and educator. He directs Wkshps, a multidisciplinary design consultancy and organizes Department of Transformation, an emergent, itinerant workshop that practices collaborative tools for social change. He has directed and curated large-scale exhibitions including Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows, the 2022 edition of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art; Our Silver City, 2094 at Nottingham Contemporary; and Ministry of Graphic Design in Sharjah, UAE.

What Design Can’t Do: Essays on Design and Disillusion
Silvio Lorusso
Set Margins - 24.00€ -

Design is broken. Young and not-so-young designers are becoming increasingly aware of this. Many feel impotent: they were told they had the tools to make the world a better place, but instead the world takes its toll on them. Beyond a haze of hype and bold claims lies a barren land of self-doubt and impostor syndrome. Although these ‘feels’ might be the Millennial norm, design culture reinforces them. In conferences we learn that “with great power comes great responsibility” but, when it comes to real-life clients, all they ask is to “make the logo bigger.”

This book probes the disillusionment that permeates design. It tackles the deskilling effects provoked by digital semi-automation, the instances of ornamental politics fashioned to please the museum-educational complex, the nebulous promises of design schools. While reviving historical expressions of disenchantment, Silvio Lorusso examines present-day memes and social media rants. To depict this disheartening crisis, he crafts a new critical vocabulary for readers to build upon. What this exposé reveals is both worrying and refreshing: rather than producing a meaningful order, design might be just about inhabiting chaos.

What was once a promising field rooted in problem-solving has become a problem in itself. The skill set of designers appears shaky and insubstantial – their expertise is received with indifference, their know-how is trivialised by online services, their work is compromised by a series of unruly external factors. If you see yourself as a designer without qualities; if you feel cheated, disappointed or betrayed by design, this book is for you.

The Mollino Set
Lytle Shaw
Rollo Press & Cabinet Books - 18.00€ -

New York-based professor Lytle Shaw journeys to Italy in this adventurous exploration of the life and work of architect, designer, and photographer Carlo Mollino (1905–1973). In 1933 the young Mollino received a commission from Mussolini’s regime for his first building: an administrative centre in Piedmont. Later works include furniture and interior design, a book on photography, and an asymmetrical car that raced at Le Mans in 1955.

The book centres around Shaw’s realisation that this prolific talent’s conflicted legacy offers a unique window on the role that post-war Italian politics and culture played in the country’s reimagining of itself as a victim, rather than a proponent, of fascism.

On Crip Time
Kaiya Waerea and Michiel Teeuw (eds.)
Sticky Fingers Publishing - 13.00€ -  out of stock

This publication brings together works produced during the ‘Woke Designers Reading Club: Designing on Crip Time’ programme devised by Kaiya Waerea and Michiel Teeuw in Autumn 2022. Here we gathered to read, watch, listen and write through questions orbiting around how systems of time are enforced to prevent disabled people from accessing the future.

In this publication, you will find a range of unruly resistances. From flowcharts of lives lived and unliveable, to prayer mats, to posters, to diagrams cartographing time, to manifestos for being in a world that is built to erase us.

Designed by converger / Michiel Teeuw
Printed and finished by Sticky Fingers Studio

Featuring Celina Bermudez Vogensen, Claudia Rose Walder, emma kath cullen, Helen Stratford, India Boxall, Lindsey Allen, Michiel Teeuw, Oren Shoesmith, Rabindranath X Bhose, Ray Soller, Ren Sheikh & shreyasi pathak, with an introduction by Kaiya Waerea.

23x18cm finished size, includes an A5 24pp pamphlet, 6 A3 unbound sheets & 1 A3 wrap cover, risograph printed throughout

Seeing Making: Room for Thought
Susan Buck-Morss, Kevin McCaughey, Adam Michaels
Inventory Press - 33.00€ -  out of stock

Seeing <―> Making: Room for Thought both studies and presents the creative process of constructing ideas with images. By activating the techniques of montage, the book reveals a wide field of view and a space to engage new critical connection between a multiplicity of objects from the past and present. Realized through an intergenerational collaboration of three cultural producers committed to making theory visible, a transformative anthology of critical essays by Susan Buck-Morss anchors this kaleidoscopic project. Images and ideas sync with Buck-Morss’ perceptive texts on visual culture, history, politics, and aesthetics, fusing criticism with visual play and linking collective imagination and social action.

Building upon the methods and ways of seeing put forth by visual thinkers like Walter Benjamin and John Berger, designer Kevin McCaughey (Boot Boyz Biz), designer, editor, and publisher Adam Michaels (IN-FO.CO/Inventory Press), and renowned theorist Buck-Morss collectively assemble colliding material into new relation. What results is a (typo-) graphic articulation that thinks seriously about the stakes of ideation and reorients the space of the book in the service of a theory and philosophy that speaks the language of our image-based information age.

Viscose 05: Retail
Camila Palomino (ed.)
Bierke - 27.00€ -

Viscose is a journal for fashion criticism. The fifth issue of Viscose explores fashion’s multifaceted retail spaces and cultures. With the evolution of shopping in the 20th and 21st centuries as its focus, the issue looks at the shop as a central nexus where communities and identities are continuously produced and re-imagined through commerce. With a special attention to the role of fashion retail within urban spatial politics, we seek out histories of projects—often developed with or by artists—that have embraced the shop as a medium of both possibility and contestation. 

With contributions by:
Dennis Brzek, Anastasia Howe Bukowski, Michael Bullock, Felix Burrichter, Canal Street Research Association, Noah Dillon, Harun Farocki, Anna Franceschini, Ignacio Gatica, Christian Hincapié, Juje Hsiung, Jessica Kwok, Rhonda Lieberman, Matthew Linde, Marge Monko, Cheuk Ng, Luis Ortega, Camila Palomino, Andreas Petrossiants, Leah Pires, International Library For Fashion Research, Vésma Kontere Mcquillan (International Library For Fashion Research), Rose Salane, Alice Sarmiento, Museum Of Modern Shopping, Jeppe Ugelvig, Sean Vegezzi, Post Vsop, Evie Ward, Leah Weirer

Commons in Design
Christine Schranz (ed.)
Valiz, Amsterdam - 29.50€ -  out of stock

The scarcity of resources, climate change, and the digitalization of everyday life are fuelling the economy of swapping, sharing, and lending—all of which are in some way linked to a culture of commoning. In this context, we understand commons as community-based processes that use, collectively manage, and organize generally accessible resources—referring to both goods and knowledge.

Commons in Design explores the meaning and impact of commons—especially knowledge-based peer commons—and acts of commoning in design. It discusses networked, participatory, and open procedures based on the commons and commoning, testing models that negotiate the use of commons within design processes. In doing so, it critically engages with questions regarding designers’ positionings, everyday practices, self-understandings, ways of working, and approaches to education.

Contributors: Rachel Armstrong, Errantry Media Lab (Max Stearns & Nathalie Attallah), Yuhe Ge, Juan Gomez, Luis Guerra, Katherin Gutiérrez Herrera, Cyrus Khalatbari, Rilla Khaled, Cindy Kohtala, Torange Khonsari, Álvaro Mercado Jara, Nan O’Sullivan, Victoria Paeva, Sharon Prendeville, Zoe Romano, Gregoire Rousseau, Daniela Salgado Cofré, Christine Schranz, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, Eva Verhoeven, Jennifer Whitty

The Rainbow Book
F. Lanier Graham, Larry Wurn, Mark Burstein (eds.)
Nero Editions - 28.00€ -  out of stock

The book is a reprint of a cult text of post-1968 psychedelic culture: The Rainbow Book, published in 1975 in Berkeley, California, on the occasion of The Rainbow Show exhibition held at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The Rainbow Book is a collection of essays and illustrations devoted to the rainbow and color spectra, analyzing the significance of color (both physical and metaphysical) from antiquity to modern times.

An encyclopedia of the cultural and artistic manifestations of the rainbow: in myth, magic and paintings, as well as in prints and poems. The book includes poems by Virgil, Dante, Blake, Keats, Wordsworth, and others; paintings by Giotto, Bosch, Van der Weyden, Dürer, Rubens, Blake, Turner, Constable, and Church; and the sacred art of Tibet.

The book is printed on sheets of different colors, according to the rainbow spectrum, and reports notions of increasing complexity, accessible at first to younger readers and later to the more experienced and interested in the subject.

The reprint accompanies the exhibition Rainbow. Colors and Wonders between Myths, Arts and Science at MUDEC in Milan (February 16–July 2, 2023), and the release of the first issue of MUdec United.

Borrowing Positions. Role-Playing Design & Architecture. BOOTLEG
Ott Kagovere, Kaisa Karvinen, Tommi Vasko (eds.)
Lugemik - 17.50€ -  out of stock

A speculative book reflecting on design and architecture centred LARPs (Live Action Role-Play) organised by the Trojan Horse collective. The book is an exploration of Live Action Role-Play as a design and architecture research tool. By inviting the reader to try on different characters, switch roles and reconsider their everyday practices, the book aims to approach issues such as identity, performativity, gender, colonialism, care and fear in the context of architecture, design and urban planning.

Texts by Ana Yin Aiwen, Teo Ala-Ruona, Michael A. Fowler, Ott Kagovere, Kaisa Karvinen, Tommi Vasko.

Immutable: Designing History
Chris Lee
Onomatopee - 22.00€ -  out of stock

Immutable: Designing History explores the banal genre of the document and its entanglement with statecraft and colonial(ism/ity). This is framed as a ~5,000 year chronology, imbricating the developments of money and writing — from Mesopotamian clay tablets to distributed ledgers, like the blockchain. Immutability figures as a design imperative and hermeneutic for considering a variety of techniques (material, technological, administrative, etc.) of securitization against the entropy of a document's movement through space/time, and the political.

This project is driven by a contrast: design educators tend to teach forms like logos, books, websites, etc., but not passports, money, property deeds, etc., in spite of these being, I contend, design's most profoundly consequential forms.

As an alternative historiography, Immutable gestures both towards anthropologist Laura Nader's call to "study up" (on those in power), and the radical educator Paolo Freire's recognition of the "limit situation" as a generative condition for emancipatory praxis. The book's aim is to orient graphic design towards the vocation of imagining, naming, and remembering beyond the horizons of its role as a managerial, administrative, and colonial instrument that imposes a rationality of vision and accountability upon what is knowable, thinkable and sayable.

Chris Lee is a graphic designer and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a graduate of OCADU and the Sandberg Instituut. His research/studio practice explores graphic design's entanglement with capitalism and colonialism/ity through the banal genre of the document. He is also currently developing a typographical project that narrates the oscillating status of Asians between the "model minority" and "yellow peril" as a function of the consolidation of Euro-American settler identity. Chris is an Assistant Professor in the Undergraduate Communications Design Department at the Pratt Institute.

The Detroit Printing Co-Op: The Politics of the Joy of Printing
Danielle Aubert
Inventory Press - 30.00€ -  out of stock

Between 1970 and 1980, the Detroit Printing Co-op, spearheaded by Fredy and Lorraine Perlman, was responsible for the first English translation of Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle, printed journals like SDS' Radical America, ultra-left books by their in-house press, Black & Red, and countless posters, pamphlets, and books printed by high school students, black radicals, labor organizers, and anarchists who made use of the freely available facilities at the Co-op.

Fredy Perlman was not a printer or a designer by training, but was deeply engaged in the ideas, issues, processes, and materiality of printing. While at the Detroit Printing Co-op, he rethought the possibilities of prit by experimenting with overprinting, collage techniques, and different kinds of papers. Behind the calls to action and class consciousness written in his publications, there was an innate sense of the politics of design, experimentation, and pride of craft.

"The Detroit Printing Co-op" is a timely exploration of the history, output, and legacy of this unique enterprise, and serves as a testament to the power of printing, publishing, design, and distribution.

Press & Fold — Notes on making and doing fashion
Hanka van der Voet
Self-Published - 18.00€ -  out of stock

This Press & Fold issue on Resistance presents conversations, propositions and imaginations of fashion and resistance outside of fashion’s industrial context. For protest and resistance to become effective, it depends on community to generate, support and further it: with this issue we think further on these ideas of protest, activism and resistance in and around fashion, and not only in terms of clothing, and how it is portrayed in (fashion) imagery, but also in terms of how fashion is structured and organized: is fashion only able to thrive within a capitalist structure, or are there other possibilities as well? What ideas, initiatives and structures can be developed for fashion to become inclusive and generous to all participants? What needs to be resisted and what needs to be embraced? In that sense this issue of Press & Fold, as well as the previous issues, is a world-building exercise, and wants to show what we can do without, and what we need to move fashion towards becoming a generous to all participants involved?

— Note from the publisher

Objectophilia
Susan Finlay
Ma Bibliotheque - 14.00€ -  out of stock

Design classics, the dates of which ranged from the beginnings of the previous century to the start of the current one, were scattered throughout the room, their very definite shapes offset against the off-white, off-modern walls. I allowed my gaze to flit from one piece of furniture to the next, and as I mentally joined the dots between them I unwittingly re-wrote their history according to thematic as opposed to chronological concerns. I wondered if perhaps I were simply seeing my own flat ‘in the expanded field’, each element repositioned by some new and typically rabid curator eager to facilitate the production of their own dense texts...

Part metafiction, part design criticism, with a touch of armchair psychoanalysis, Objektophiliabegins in London in 2014, where a nameless design critic and her partner X reside in a decrepit but Grade II listed tower block. It ends some months later among the fin de siècle wonders of Vienna in an echo of the successive encounters of Schnitzler’s La Ronde. Possessed by the ruins of social housing and its accompanying ideologies, but nonetheless in possession of those ruins’ original brushed-steel light-fittings, the critic soon discovers that her craving for these and similarly ‘undemanding things’ has usurped her more conventional—or fleshly—desires.

‘Susan Finlay’s deft, subtle work examines the psychic texture of life through our relation to things... objects of all kinds, from Filet-O-Fish sandwiches to high art, Le Creuset cookware, bicycle baskets and purpose-built, modern flats. Objektophiliais witty and brisk and devastating all at the same time.’ 
–> Chris Kraus

Susan Finlay is a writer and artist.  She is the author of three poetry pamphets: Indole, 2019, The Unruly Glove, the Green Bum and the Sickly Trickle(2018), and Sex and the City 2 (2017), and two previous novels: Our Lady of Everything(Serpent’s Tail, 2019), and Arriviste (Five Lines in the Sand, 2007).  Most (but not all) of her work relates to psychoanalysis, magic, and the decorative arts.  She lives in the UK and Berlin.  

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