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Super-Modified: The Behance Book of Creative Work
Book edited by Oscar Ramos Orozco, with text by Jocelyn K. Glei
Gestalten (hardcover, 287 pages)
Founded in 2006 as an online showcase for design, Behance.net has become the go-to site for networking and self-promotion in creative fields from graphic design to architecture. Thousands of projects are uploaded to the site each day, a deluge closely monitored by a cura­tor­ial team that shares the cream of the crop on the website’s main page. At first glance, Super-Modified is simply a collection of Behance’s best of the best, from i29 Interior Architects’ muted felt office furnishings, to Happycentro’s Plasticine organs and Christoph Bader’s digital sculptures. After 18 chapters, however, it feels as though you’re closing the cover on a time capsule that captures the moment when technology began to blur with traditional craft, and digital tools became widely accessible but not yet ubiquitous. It’s a book that would have looked very different had it been released even two years ago – or two years from now – hinting at where we’re going. Super-Modified ’s value is certain to grow as it becomes a poignant look at how far we’ve come. By Erin Donnelly

The Future of the Skyscraper
Book edited by Philip Nobel
Metropolis Books (softcover, 128 pages)
This pocket-sized book is the debut volume of the SOM Thinkers series, produced by venerable architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. In these pages, the top minds in urbanism – novelists Bruce Sterling and Will Self, Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan and political journalist Emily Badger among them – offer their insights on the topic of skyscrapers. Once considered a solution to the question of urban densification (build up!), towers now represent much more, both culturally and economically. Dubai, as editor Philip Nobel points out, is not restricted by space, but the city is nonetheless home to many of today’s tallest towers – and controversially so. From the psychological and emotional effects of living in the sky to the influence of new economies and the latest trends in vertical farming, The Future of the Skyscraper touches on many facets of its complex subject, and reads like a well thought-out workshop with riveting speakers. Much like a densified modern city, it packs a great deal into a small tract. By Catherine Sweeney

The New Rijksmuseum
Documentary film directed by Oeke Hoogendijk
First Run Features (131 minutes)
It took 10 years to renovate the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam’s cultural jewel, and the process – captured from the outset by documentary filmmaker Oeke Hoogendijk – was as dramatic as the final result. All of the hazards you’d expect from a project of such massive scale are here – clashing egos, truckloads of permit applications, years-long delays and budget overruns into the hundreds of millions of euros – but one overriding theme permeates every frame: the need to envision something that’s not there, and to persuade others to share that vision. It’s a dilemma everyone invested in the project grappled with from the moment the plans were unveiled. As then museum director Ronald de Leeuw remarked, after facing furious protest from a cyclist union determined to keep a bike lane through the museum open at any cost, “The Dutch people have no idea what we’re doing: maintaining the city’s position in the international art world.” The New Rijksmuseum illustrates that any accomplishment as great as this stunning trans­form­ation is only achieved with untiring teamwork. By David Dick‑Agnew

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