The design, photography, architecture and cookery books of the year


Lucy Styles, Home Sweet Home, YAP Rome at MAXXI 2020. Credit: Valentina Vannicola, Courtesy of MAXXI. Buone Nuove exhibition, on show until 11th September 2022

What do we at the Salone del Mobile.Milano read? A selection of reviews published over the last few months in one of our best-loved columns: BOOK CLUB 


Vertical Living. Compact Architecture for Urban Spaces
Architects conquer the urban space in the book Vertical Living. The housing crisis in increasingly densely populated cities has led to some surprising solutions, generating new volumes despite the limitations. With an eye to sustainability, what’s more. 


Sim Plex Design Studio, Photo by Patrick Lam, Vertical Living, gestalten 2021


Silicon Valley. No_Code Life.
Silicon Valley, a region narrated through the words and images of the photographer Ramak Fazel. One hundred and twenty eight images trace the inside story of one of the most secret places in the world. The latest step in Tod’s No Code project, assigned to an anthropologist with a camera slung round his neck.



Poliform: Time, Light, Space
Poliform and Paolo Roversi, beating new paths together. Starting from this book. Looking through the eyes of others. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the legendary Brianza-based company gifts itself a photographic book by one of the masters of fashion.


Frame da video di Federico Floriani


Mid-Century Modernism and the American Body. Race, Gender and the Politics of Power in Design
The Illusion of the perfect life. This book investigates what lies behind American Mid-Century Modernism’s aesthetic seduction.


Hilda Longinotti of the George Nelson Office, posing on a Marshmallow Sofa, c. 1956. Courtesy of Herman Miller Archives.


 + - 160 Let Years. The origin and expansion of bentwood furniture from Bystřice pod Hostýnem
Like a family album: 160 years of TON and bentwood furniture. In a book that is as atypical as it is enjoyable, the theorist and design curator Adam Štěch tells the story of TON, the Czech company that has been making its mark on the sector for six generations.


Courtesy Thonet


Dig it! Building Bound to the Ground
Bjarne Mastenbroek and Iwan Baan explore the foundations of architecture. Dig it! Can buildings and the ground be reconciled? In these surprising 1,400 pages, the SeARCH Studio and the famous architectural photographer attempt to demonstrate that they can, by “digging” into history.

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p. 244 Biete Ghiorgis, Lalibela, Ethiopia, 1100–1200. Copyright: © Iwan Baan


Nendo 2016-2020
Nendo from 2002 to 2020, in a thousand pages and two volumes. Phaidon has added a second volume to its anthology of products by the Japanese designer Oki Sato and his team, documenting its extensive output over the last 13 years



Carlo Scarpa. Oltre alla materia
Face to face with Carlo Scarpa through Lorenzo Pennati’s unpublished images. Ten buildings that seem suspended in time and history. Imaginative and exciting – and terribly contemporary. Brought back to us in this masterful new book from Rizzoli International


Olivetti store, Venice, The store’s ground floor and its Aurisina marble staircase


Woman Made: Great Women Designers
Women of Design in Jane Hall's new book, Woman Made. Turner Prize architect Jane Hall tells us about her new book, Woman Made, a planet-wide excursus into the history of female design, feeding our eyes and opening our minds.

132-3 Jongerius header

Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra. Ph. Credits Marc Eggimmann. Image © Vitra


The Kitchen Studio: Culinary Creations by Artists and Home Farm Cooking
Close encounters with designer dishes. Artists and architects surprise! Dinner is served, Art is on the menu. Two cookbooks, one kaleidoscopic and the other more laid back, reveal the secrets of famous artists and the architect John Pawson’s culinary passions.

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Cheese Head, Courtesy Nikolai Haas

27 December 2021