We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.
14th annual AZ Awards issue

Get the Magazine

Iconic Designs
Book edited by Grace Lees-Maffei
Bloomsbury (hardcover, 240 pages)

The word “iconic” has become so ubi­qui­tous that it’s at risk of losing its meaning. Once used to describe sacred artifacts that helped to spread religious ideas, over time it came to be conferred on people, mass-produced goods, even brands. Acknowledging that it takes a medley of ingredients to elevate an object to such a rarefied position, this beautifully presented book asks, “What do we mean when we say a design is ‘iconic’?” Most of the 50 wide-ranging entries span from the late 19th century to today, from the Eiffel Tower to Benetton’s provocative advertising campaigns, from Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif citrus squeezer to the shapely Coca-Cola bottle. These venerated buildings, objects and ephemera are organized into five categories based on scale, from the magnitude of a city to the size of the humble paper clip. Each entry offers detailed explorations of the history, legacy and cultural impact of a design that – whether through ubiquity, renown, or some combination of both – has achieved exalted status. By Kendra Jackson

Designed for the Future
Book by Jared Green
Princeton Architectural Press (softcover, 176 pages)

This engaging collection of essays rounds up 80 architects, urban planners, academics and artists, and asks each the same question – What initiative gives you hope that a sustainable future is possible? There’s a catch: the answer can’t include any project the interviewee is involved in. All the same, the varied examples are thoughtfully selected and mostly compelling. Artist Janet Echelman chooses Park(ing) Day, a global event that encourages the transformation of single parking spaces into tiny temporary parks. Bjarke Ingels cites Company, an industrial design firm that keeps heritage alive by combining modern culture with traditional artisanship. This follows water and planning expert Henk Ovink’s piece on coalitions, which speculates that it’s individuals, working collectively, who will save the world – a point of view that emerges as the book’s overall conclusion. From river management to miniature pop-up parks, it’s the little things that come together to fill in the bigger picture. By Erin Donnelly

Shop Talk
Podcast by Michael Hammond

This biweekly podcast, hosted by Michael Hammond of World Architecture News, has been offering a platform for architects to speak freely about their work and the challenges facing the industry since 2007. The topics and the time devoted to them range wildly. For example, just over 12 min­utes is allotted to landscape architect Matt Gibbs of Edmonton to outline his scheme for the Freezeway, a circuit of skating rinks that would unite the city during winter. Meanwhile, Paddy Dillon of London’s Haworth Tompkins spends over an hour describing his firm’s renovation of Sir Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre, offering not just a clear sense of what the revamp entailed, but also detailed context for the original 1960s construction and the symbolism of working in concrete during that era. With more than six dozen episodes, the currency of the topics covered – such as Wolf Prix’s worries that architects are facing extinction – makes for an intriguing time capsule of the issues of the day. By David Dick‑Agnew

We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.