Our June 2016 Design Book List rounds up an interesting selection of design books specifically covering architecture, landscape, designers and more. Enjoy these brand new book releases throughout the month of June.

“Blue Dunes: Resiliency by Design”

Blue Dunes: Resiliency by Design

“Blue Dunes” chronicles a proposal for the development of barrier islands designed to protect the New York metropolitan region in the face of storm surges and rising tides. It is a narration of the complex research agenda of an unlikely team of scientists, actuarists, engineers, ecologists, and designers addressing climate change within the practical limitations of politics and economics.

Led by the firms WXY Studio and West 8, “Blue Dunes” challenges the existing convention of small-scale, piecemeal interventions by promoting more regional concepts, in this case developing a series of barrier islands stretching from Long Island to New Jersey. The project challenges the complacency of overlooking and avoiding "big ideas" in favor of more localized interventions, setting forth an engaging process for future educators and researchers in advancing interdisciplinary work in urban and landscape design, ecology, finance, and risk management.

BASIC FACTS: “Blue Dunes: Resiliency by Design” is written by Jesse Keenan and Weisz. Published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City. Release Date: June 7, 2016. Hardcover; 212 pages; $20.00.

“The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study”

The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study

The story of midcentury architecture in America is dominated by outsized figures—Richard Neutra, George Nelson, Louis Kahn—who were universally acknowledged as creative geniuses. Yet virtually unheard of is the intensive 1958–59 study, conducted at the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research at the University of California, Berkeley, that scrutinized these and dozens of other famous architects in an effort to map their minds. Subjects included Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Philip Johnson, and 37 other major architects. Deploying an array of tests reflecting current psychological theories, the investigation sought to answer questions that still apply to creative practice today: What makes a person creative? What are the biographical conditions and personality traits necessary to actualize that potential?

The study’s findings have been gathered through numerous original sources, including questionnaires, aptitude tests, and interview transcripts, revealing how these great architects evaluated their own creativity and that of their peers. In “The Creative Architect,” Pierluigi Serraino charts the development, implementation, and findings of this historic study, producing the first look at a fascinating and forgotten moment in architecture, psychology, and American history.

BASIC FACTS: “The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study” is written by Pierluigi Serraino. Published by The Monacelli Press. Release Date: June 14, 2016. Hardcover; 248 pages; $45.00.

“NY Skyscrapers”

NY Skyscrapers

A vertical celebration of New York, this book offers views of the city's tallest buildings as well as city streets, lush parks, and penthouse gardens. Managing to obtain access, often exclusive, to over 60 rooftops throughout Manhattan, Dirk Stichweh and Jörg Machirus photographed the views afforded them from these heights.

This book presents 200 full-color illustrations of New York City's vistas from the top in a vertically oversized format. From Wall Street to uptown, these photographs capture unique views: a biplane on the roof of 77 Water Street; dawn over the Upper Bay of Governors Island; sunset reflected off the windows of the Freedom Tower; the top of the Pershing Viaduct; cabs lined up on Seventh Avenue; and the billboards that illuminate Times Square—all from an angle few ever see. In addition, significant buildings and landmarks are featured in double-page spreads accompanied by short texts and commentaries while an introductory essay gives an overview of New York City architecture.

BASIC FACTS: “NY Skyscrapers” is written by Dirk Stichweh and Jörg Machirus. Published by Prestel. Release Date: June 15, 2016. Hardcover; 192 pages; $39.95.

“Learning From LongHouse”

Learning From LongHouse

Jack Lenor Larsen, the internationally known textile designer, author, and collector, founded LongHouse Reserve. Larsen's home, LongHouse, located on 16 acres in East Hampton, NY, was built as a case study to exemplify a creative approach to contemporary life. He believes visitors experiencing art in living spaces have a unique learning experience—more meaningful than the best media.

Inspired by the famous Japanese shrine at Ise, LongHouse contains 13,000 square feet, 18 spaces on four levels. The gardens present the designed landscape as an art form and offer a diversity of sites for the sculpture installations. This book covers its collections, gardens, sculptures, and programs that all reflect world cultures and inspire a creative approach to contemporary life

BASIC FACTS: “Learning From LongHouse” is written by Jack Lenor Larsen. Published by Pointed Leaf Press. Release Date: June 22, 2016. Hardcover; 120 pages; $30.00.

“The User Perspective on Twenty-First-Century Art Museums”

“The User Perspective on Twenty-First-Century Art Museums

“The User Perspective on Twenty-First Century Art Museums” explains contemporary museums from the whole gamut of user experiences, whether users are preserving art, creating an exhibit, visiting, or part of institutions that use the architecture for branding. Fourteen museums from the United States, Europe, China, and Australia represent new construction, repurposed buildings, and additions offering examples for most museum design situations. Each is examined using interviews with key stakeholders, photographs, and analyses of press coverage to identify lessons from the main user groups.

The book concludes with a summary and a critical assessment of twenty-first-century museum architecture, programming, and expectations. Architects, architecture students, museum professionals, and aficionados of museum design will all find helpful insights in these lessons and critiques.

BASIC FACTS: “The User Perspective on Twenty-First-Century Art Museums” is written by Gerorgia Lindsay. Published by Routledge. Release Date: June 23, 2016. Hardcover; 310 pages; $180.00.



“Breuer” is the complete monograph on architect and designer Marcel Breuer (1902 – 1981), the last of the first generation of Modernist architects. The most comprehensive book on Breuer, looking in detail at all the houses, furniture, and public buildings he designed in Europe and the United States–from his beginning at the Bauhaus through his collaboration with Walter Gropius, and the establishment of his own practice in the USA.

BASIC FACTS: “Breuer” is written by Robert McCarter. Published by Phaidon. Release Date: June 27, 2016. Hardcover; 448 pages; $150.00.

“The Planting Design Handbook (Third Edition)”

The Planting Design Handbook (Third Edition)

Since the first edition was published in 1992, Nick Robinson's “The Planting Design Handbook” has been widely used as a definitive text on landscape architecture courses throughout the world. It remains one of the few titles written by a practicing landscape architect and educator who is also a horticulturalist and accomplished plantsman, and which deals with the application of planting design on a large scale in landscape architecture and urban design projects.

“The Planting Design Handbook” is distinctive for its integration of an ecological approach with an understanding of visual and spatial composition. This expanded and comprehensively updated third edition still provides a complete examination of principles and practice of design for public, institutional and private landscapes. It takes account of developments in theory and practice, especially in the use of perennials, and reflects a variety of media and approaches current in landscape architecture and design. All chapters have been revised and re-written to ensure updated references and new references have been added. Many new photographs of planting and projects around the world have been included, with examples of current professional drawings to illustrate the design process.

BASIC FACTS: “The Planting Design Handbook (Third Edition)” is written by Nick Robinson. Published by Routledge (3rd Edition). Release Date: June 27, 2016. Hardcover; 414 pages; $59.95.

“Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe”

Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe

Alexander Girard (1907-1993) was one of the most important modern textile artists and interior designers of the 20th century. He combined Pop and Folk art influences to create a colorfully opulent aesthetic language whose impact continues to be felt today. This illustrated catalogue draws on the vast holdings in Girard’s private estate, which were investigated for the first time at the Vitra Design Museum. The book presents the oeuvre of the designer in all its facets, while offering the first scholarly, critical examination of his work.

Six essays address Girard’s textile and graphic design for the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, interior design projects such as the Irwin Miller House in Columbus, Indiana (1953), and the restaurant La Fonda del Sol in New York (1960), his activities as a pioneering exhibition organizer and curator, his roots in Italy and his passion for folk art, which resulted in a collection of more than 100,000 objects and served as one of the most important sources of inspiration for his own work. In addition to extensive portfolios with never-before-shown archive materials, the publication also provides a biography and a complete list of works, plus articles by Susan Brown, Jochen Eisenbrand, Barbara Hauss, Alexandra Lange, Monica Obniski and Jonathan Olivares.

BASIC FACTS: “Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe” is written by Susan Brown. Published by Vitra Design Museum. Release Date: June 28, 2016. Hardcover; 512 pages; $85.00.


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