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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ewa Solarz
Age Range: 9-11
D.E.S.I.G.N. explores the art of inventing and creating objects. The Polish author and illustrators have selected 69 objects that have been created by the most influential and famous designers from all around the world. Household items from the classic to the most crazy – pieces of furniture, lamps and domestic gadgets – from the last 150 years have been brought together in this innovative and informative book.
Here you will find a chair designed in 1859 by Belgium designer Michael Thonet that is still in production today or an armchair inspired by riding a bike from Hungary. Novelty furniture such as ‘The Great Mouth’, influenced by the work of Salvador Dali from Italy to an indestructible sofa from Sweden or the trolley chair from Germany. Then there is an Octopus juicer from France, a corkscrew from Italy in the shape of a woman and a funky dog kennel from the UK or the really bizarre to the serious such as the Dutch designer who creates his objects by setting expensive furniture ablaze and the ecological design of green laptops for children of poorer countries.
Each object is introduced by two names – the first has been invented just for the book, the second, in smaller print, is the original name given to it by the designer. Special icons tell the reader when the object was designed, what material it is made of, what functions it can perform and what country the designer comes from. All the objects are listed in two ways: by their picture in the diagram and at the end of the book under their name (invented and original) in the index.
The light and witty descriptions together with the striking illustrations make D.E.S.I.G.N. a truly unique book. This is another inspiring book from Poland and like its predecessor H.O.U.S.E. , it entertains, amazes and enables the reader to learn about the origins and aesthetics of objects that surround us. A perfect book to be used in the classroom.