Artistic prodigies will find plenty to contemplate in this heartfelt adventure book by author and illustrator James Yang. Rather than recounting Isamu Noguchi’s accomplished career, Yang instead follows a day in the life of a young Noguchi, who is drawn here like a more soulful Dora the Explorer. A trip to the local market, a walk through the forest and a visit to the shoreline all serve to highlight the deep curiosity and sensitive regard for nature that would later come to define the sculptor’s organic designs.
This encyclopedia of global talent profiles 112 architects who have made a significant impact in their field — and also happen to be women. While Zaha Hadid may be a household name, many of the other individuals featured have long been overlooked: African– American architect Ethel Bailey Furman designed over 200 buildings in Richmond, Virginia, but is largely missing from its official archives. Throughout six sections, editor Jan Cigliano Hartman corrects the record. As former Columbia school of architecture dean Amale Andraos writes in her introduction, the book may be framed around gender, but it also successfully counters the notion that “being an architect and being a woman architect are different things.”
As the original designer for Knoll, Jens Risom was a pivotal force in North America’s midcentury modern design movement. Author Vicky Lowry finally gives him his proper due, charting his path from Copenhagen’s School of Arts and Crafts to the memorable 1961 Playboy photo that saw him pose alongside Nelson, Wormley, Saarinen, Bertoia and Eames. Aided by archival sketches and vintage advertisements, Lowry catalogs Risom’s greatest hits — like his 1943 lounge collection constructed of maple and discarded parachute webbing — as well as numerous deep cuts.
Our favourite new reading material includes an illustrated bedtime story about the adventures of young Isamu Noguchi.