2011 | 50 Books Selections

2011-2017 Winners
2017 Books
2017 Covers
2016 Books
2016 Covers
2015 Books
2015 Covers
2014 Books
2014 Covers
2013 Books
2013 Covers
2012 Books
2012 Covers
2011 Books
2011 Covers

AIGA Archives
344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment
Stefan G. Bucher
(Peachpit / New Riders)

A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping
Robert & Hannah Litt
(Ten Speed Press)

A Meditation in Rome
Paul Gehl
(Swan & Hoop / Russell Maret)

Allora & Calzadilla: Gloria
Lisa Freiman
(Prestel)

American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans
The Vilcek Foundation, editor
(The Vilcek Foundation Press)

Ashley Bickerton
Kara Vander Weg
(Other Criteria, London)

Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention
Zoë Ryan
(The Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press)

CODE(X) + 1: Monograph Series 1-6
Robert Bringurst, Peter Koch, Alan Loney, Ulrike Stoltz & Uta Schneider, Russel Maret, and Diidier Mutel
(The Codex Foundation)

Columbia Abstract 2010/2011
Scott Marble
(Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning)

Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, President's Edition
Church of England
(Church of England)

Dot
Patricia Intriago
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)/Margaret Ferguson Books)

Drawing Restraint Vol. VI
Matthew Barney
(Schaulager)

Explorations in Typography
Carolina de Bartolo with Erik Spiekermann
(101 Editions)

From Uncertain to Blue
Keith Carter
(UT Press)

Gordon Monahan - Seeing Sound: Sound Art, Performance and Music 1978-2011
Edited by Linda Jansma and Carsten Seiffarth
(Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario Canada)

Graphic Design: Now In Production
Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton, editors
(Walker Art Center)

Hokusai Manga
Kazuya Takaoka
(PIE International)

Jac Leirner in Conversation with Adele Nelson
Adele Nelson, Jac Leirner
(Fundación Cisneros/Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros)

Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010
Earl Martin (Editor), Angela Volker (Contributor), Paul Makovsky (Contributor), Susan Ward (Contributor), Bobbye Tigerman (Contributor)
(Yale University Press)

Landform Building – Architecture's New Terrain
Stan Allen, Marc McQuade, School of Architecture, Princeton University
(Lars Müller Publishers)

Let's Make Some Great Art
Marion Deuchars
(Laurence King Publishing)

Mutants and Mystics
Jeffrey J. Kripal
(The University of Chicago Press)

Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color
Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker
(Chronicle Books)

Paula Scher: MAPS
Paula Scher
(Princeton Architectural Press)

Photographic Memory: The Album in the Age of Photography
Verna Curtis
(Aperture and Library of Congress)

Portrait of Murdock Pemberton: The New Yorker's First Art Critic
Sally Pemberton (Author), Douglas Brenner (Editor)
(Picture Book Press)

Power
Platon with Introduction by David Remnick
(Chronicle Books)

Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective
Edited by Gary Garrels, Bernice Rose, and Michelle White. With contributions by Lizzie Borden, Magdalena Dabrowski, Gary Garrels, Bernice Rose, Richard Serra, Richard Shiff, and Michelle White
(The Menil Collection, Houston)

Sanja Ivekovic: Sweet Violence
Roxana Marcoci
(The Museum of Modern Art)

Seeing Is Believing: Rebecca Campbell + Angela Ellsworth
Sara Cochran, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Phoenix Art Museum
(Phoenix Art Museum)

SVA Undergraduate Catalog 2012/2013
School of Visual Arts
(Visual Arts Press, Ltd.)

Swarm
Lukas Felzmann
(Lars Müller Publishers)

Tartine: The Boxed Set
Elisabeth Pruiett and Chad Robertson
(Chronicle Books)

The Atlas of Economic Complexity
Ricardo Hausmann, Cesar Hidalgo et all
(Center for International Development at Harvard University, Harvard Kennedy School + MIT Media Labs, MIT MacroConnections)

The Buell Hypothesis
Reinhold Martin, Anna Kenoff, Leah Meisterlin
(The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture)

The Doogwood Theives
John Currin
(Acadia Summer Arts Program)

The Language of Less (Then and Now)
Michael Darling
(Museum of Contermporary Art Chicago)

The MAD Fold-In Collection
Al Jaffee
(Chronicle Books)

The Story of Paper-cut
Zhao Xigang
(People's Fine Arts Publising House)

The Toaster Project
Thomas Thwaites
(Princeton Architectural Press)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Le Carre
(Hatchette)

Twenty-Six Characters, An Alphabetical Book about Nokia Pure
Aapo Bovellan, Chris Merrick
(Gestalten)

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1980
PAUL SCHIMMEL (EDITOR), LISA GABRIELLE MARK (EDITOR)
(DelMonico Books - Prestel - MOCA)

Utilité
Ellen Korth
(Ellen Korth, Deventer, 2011)

Victor Halfwit: A Winter's Tale
Thomas Bernhard
(Seagull Books)

Visual Complexity
Manuel Lima
(Princeton Architectural Press)

Waterlife
Rambharos Jha
(Tara Books)

Whole Beast Butchery
Ryan Farr with Brigit Binns
(Chronicle Books)

Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad 1941–1945
Peter Kort Zegers and Douglas Druick
(The Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press)

Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick
(Scholastic Press)




Observed | February 20

The Sunset Strip occupies a short stretch of Sunset Boulevard, but its reputation as a stomping ground of gangsters, glamour girls, rock stars and hell-raisers has held an oversized fascination for decades. Curbed LA dives deep. Part One. Part Two. [BV]

Should historic logos be protected in the same way as historic buildings? (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | February 19

My new favourite part of Twitter is Josh Lipnik’s tours of the modern architecture of the US midwest. Here he looks at the modern architecture of Columbus, Ohio—houses, schools, churches, banks, and even a cool Space Age horse racing track. [MB]

The authoritative, totally not subjective, incontrovertibly definitive and 100% correct L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings. [BV]


Observed | February 14

Welcome to 2019. If you value your privacy, don’t get your Valentine an internet-connected sex toy. [BV]


Observed | February 13

Places Journal’s ongoing series “Future Archive” republishes significant 20th-century texts introduced by a prominent scholar. This installment features J.B. Jackson’s 1976 essay on the American garage from Landscape. [BV]

Can multigenerational home-sharing solve LA’s affordability crisis? Alissa Walker explores what it might mean to age in place in LA. [BV]


Observed | February 12

Cubicles are back, and we have open plan offices to thank. [BV]

As emoji become more detailed in their design, they become less useful for communication. (via James I. Bowie) [BV]


Observed | February 11

#Longread: The Five Families of Feces—the porta-potty business is as dirty as you’d think. [BV]

The world’s watersheds, mapped in gorgeous detail by Hungarian cartographer Robert Szucs. [BV]

Photography writes with light, but not everything wants to be seen. [JH]


Observed | February 07

Are we heading towards extreme overpopulation or a decline in humans? Questioning the UN population model. [BV]


Observed | February 06

What if everything you knew about the history of pizza in America was false? [BV]

A special class of vivid, textural words defy linguistic theory: could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances? [BV]

Social media has spawned a generation of un-Strunk-and-White-ified people who appear to believe that punctuation is optional, that grammar is for the elderly, and that ending a sentence with a period is a deliberate act of aggression. The guardian of grammar, Benjamin Dreyer, wants that to change. [BV]


Observed | February 05

Innovative interaction design helps Chinese families stay emotionally connected through the Chinese New Year while being geographically scattered. [BV]


Observed | February 04

Was architecture better under socialism? [BV]

Ganbreeder is an experiment using breeding and sharing to explore complex visual spaces. Or, Ganbreeder is a crazy app where you can merge things like a parakeet with a bubble. 17024009+ images and counting. [BV]


Observed | January 31

Saturday Night Live’s cue cards are still created by hand. And they pay attention to whitespace to make sure the cards are readable from a distance! [BV]

In 2014, microbiologists began a 500-year-long science experiment assuming that science—or some version of it—will still exist in 2514. [BV]


Observed | January 30

The World’s Writing Systems allows you to interact with the 292 currently-known writing systems as they are encoded in the Unicode standard. [BV]

A growing crowd-sourced gallery of crazy mass transit fabric patterns. [BV]


Observed | January 29

For six amazing years—from 2006 to 2012—I led the design advisory group on the Citizen‘s Stamp Advisory Committee, with a terrific group of people from all across the country. What a delight to talk about it! [JH]

The 52-year history of the Yale Building project: pushing architecture students out of their studios and into communities they can positively affect. (Support The Yale Herald‘s Kickstarter!) [BV]

Emily Gosling on the magical, imperfect grids of Anni Albers. [MB]


Observed | January 28

The Letterform Archive opened it’s doors in 2015. In 2019 they are opening their virtual doors to a curated collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning thousands of years of history. [BV]

How does one judge the historic 50 Books | 50 Covers competition? Our jury chair, and Design Observer co-founder, Jessica Helfand talks to The Monocle Weekly. [BV]


Observed | January 24

A talk with Olivier Kugler about his most recent book, “Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters With Syrian Refugees”: a first hand record of the tragic souls who have been forced to leave their homeland and the disappointments, frustrations, and deprivations they’ve experienced as they attempt to make new lives. [BV]

Who owns collusion? In a case that’s a “Russian nesting doll of stupidity,” EFF’s Daniel Nazer defends against an unlikely trademark claim. [MB]



Jobs | February 20