Photo Credit: Courtesy of: DoubleDay Publishing; Princeton University Press; Fuel Publishing; Pavilion; Thames & Hudson

Five Must-Read New Books on Cities and Design

Nov 5, 2020 | By: LX Collection

Our homes, now more than ever, serve as repositories of inspiration and safe havens we intricately assemble. These books—from style guides and design roadmaps to an all-encompassing urban history—can be celebrations of the challenges and rewards of city life and catalysts for creating unique spaces. 

The book cover of Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble

Mid-Century Modern Design: A Complete Sourcebook by Dominic Bradbury

Whether you already know your Eames from your Bertoia or are looking to learn, this compendium of all things mid-century provides an enlightening survey of this era-defining movement. Collectors and designers alike will value the way details and design narratives are presented, from sections exploring the work of masters of their craft, such as furniture or textiles, to detailed breakdowns of 20 seminal homes and their interiors. The book also contains an A-to-Z guide to designers, makers, and creatives who contributed to the creative flourishing of this period.

Book cover of Photo Credit: Doubleday

Metropolis: A History of the City, Humankind’s Greatest Invention by Ben Wilson

Human creativity, ingenuity, and accomplishment developed in myriad ways, but most were nurtured in the petri dish of urban environments. Tracing the evolution of cities, from the ancient Uruk of Gilgamesh fame to the sprawling cityscape of Los Angeles, historian Ben Wilson also traces the ways that the places we live have shaped who we are.

Book cover of Photo Credit: Art Book LLC

London by Patrick Keiller

A companion to the cerebral filmmaker’s early ‘90s movie of the same name, this book is a novelization of Keiller’s meditation on London. Stills from the film, which present a time-capsule look at the British capital, are paired with the text of the original voiceovers, creating a nostalgia trip through a less vertical, more traditional city. Few photo books do a better job of capturing the hidden treasures, slightly askew views, and random streams of consciousness that emerge during an unguided stroll through the city.

Book cover of Photo Credit: Princeton University Press

Architectural Styles, A Visual Guide by Margaret Fletcher and Robbie Polley

Blending the romance of cultural exploration, the insight of a great lecture, and the charm of hand-drawn sketches, Architectural Styles serves as the ultimate notebook for building lovers. This compendium of historical and modern styles pairs the drawings of Robbie Polley with Margaret Fletcher’s erudite descriptions of everything from architectural elements to the highlights of Palladian and Pre-Columbian style. If one could order a personalized, illustrated encyclopedia rhapsodizing about the beauty of buildings, it would look like this. 

The book cover for Photo Credit: Pavilion

Everything: A Maximalist Style Guide by Abigail Ahern

In contrast to tempered Scandinavian simplicity, today’s au courant interior style, maximalism, pushes decoration toward the ocular outer limits. But as this new exploration of bold colors and creativity argues, that doesn’t mean a free-for-all that lacks focus. Witty British style guru Abigail Ahern guides readers through tours of inspirational interiors while providing accessible insight into balancing rich textiles, vintage pieces, lighting, and accessories. Consider it an expert’s field guide to avoiding excess.