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Book Report: Every Thing Design

The moment we read a New York Times review of Every Thing Design, a 864 page tome dedicated to the Museum of Design‘s collection in Zurich, we knew we had to get our hands on it.  With close to six hundred images and measuring five inches wide, six inches long and two and a half inches thick, this is no ordinary coffee table book.  But don’t judge this book by its cover (a picture of the Rex vegetable peeler, an iconic Swiss object) as there’s so much more inside!

Every Thing Design - Christian Brandle and Irma Boom

Every Thing Design - Christian Brandle and Irma Boom

Amsterdam-based Irma Boom, the book’s designer, is known for her adventurous creations, each a “treasure trove of colors, shapes, textures and even smells” according to the New York Times’ Alice Rawsthorn.  While in the past, Irma has experimented with scented bindings and making her own paper, this time she’s chosen to give us a tour of design history through intriguing, and often connected images.

Balenciaga Dress c. 1968 / Baccarat Vases c. 1903

Balenciaga Dress c. 1968 / Baccarat Vases c. 1903

For example, a 1968 Balenciaga cocktail dress is placed side by side a pair of 1903 Baccarat vases – both decorated with a similar floral pattern.  Or an Aristide Colotte 1930’s vase emulating the design of turn-of-the-century Peter Behrens plates.  Even a Knoll wire chair is shown in the context of a Louis Majorelle bergere.

Diamond Chair, Knoll c. 1948 / Pommes de Pin, Louis Majorelle c. 1903

Diamond Chair, Knoll c. 1948 / Pommes de Pin, Louis Majorelle c. 1903

Every Thing Design is a delight to the visual senses and sure to become a pictorial classic!

Peter Behrens Plates c.

Peter Behrens Plates c. 1902

Aristide Colotte Vase c. 1903

Aristide Colotte Vase c. 1937

Photos from the Museum of Design and Amazon

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  • Reply The Neo-Traditionalist April 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Ohhh I love the diamond chair! And the Balenciaga dress next to the Baccarat vases is a truly brilliant comparison. I think I need this for my coffee table! xo katie

  • Reply The Shiny Pebble April 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I bet one could spend hrs looking at it. I wonder if she got the idea of setting distinct pieces united by patter or color from the way so many bloggers display their pictures… Also, that knoll chair sent me down memory lane to my grandmother’s patio decades ago. How fun.

    • Reply carolyn April 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      That’s so funny – the Louis Majorelle begere is exactly what my mother would have had in our home in Belgium. It is a truly fabulous book and worth the price!

  • Reply The Zhush April 21, 2010 at 7:46 am

    This looks like an incredible read! Great find!

    • Reply carolyn April 21, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Sue – It would look great in your fabulous living room!

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