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    Living room: architecture; landscape architecture; industrial design; furniture design. Designed and built by Aslak + girlfriend.

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    Living room part II: books too big to fit on normal bookshelf (this section is blue!)

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    Bedroom: children’s books; comics; graphic design; photography; Scandinavian design. String shelf designed by Nils Strinning, 1949.

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    Bedroom part II: small books, mostly concerned with graphic design. Also a String shelf.

  • Picture-5

    Desk (home): books on birds and plants; travel books; Penguin books; Flamme Forlag books.

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    Studio: graphic design; typography; illustration; folders containing zines, catalogues & leaflets, photographs & postcards; Penrose Annual; other John Melin books.

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    Studio part II: research material; books designed by Norwegian designers, 1920s-70s. Built with other Yokolandians.

  • Picture-8

    Various curiousities; eye magazine; other magazines.

  • Picture-9

    Former photo studio, now storage for photo books. Collection having officially outgrown apartment…

Graphic Design

Bookshelf: Aslak Gurholt Rønsen

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

A special edition of Bookshelf this week from Yokoland and Aki Books founder, illustrator, designer, artist, editor and publisher of “more or less unsellable books”, Aslak Gurholt Rønsen. As well as collecting disciplines, Aslak is the curator of a personal library that is so vast it fills his home, two studios (much to the frustration of his colleagues) and is busy filling shelves in the apartment above his, which he ended up having to buy. Things are getting even more serious in the storage department though as he has also started to collect porcelain and pottery…

Massively curious about what a bibliophiles home and studio might look like, we asked him to take a couple more photos…

Byn med det blå huset
 Sune Jonsson
. Published by Nordisk Rotogravyr, 1959

Byn med det blå huset (The Village with the Blue House) is the first book by Swedish photographer Sune Jonsson. The book is one of many good Swedish photobooks from this period and is about Jonsson’s local hometown in the county, Västerbotten. Photobooks like this, regarding a specific geographic area, was quite normal in the 50s. Today this genre doesn’t really exist anymore, or at least not the same type of books. What distinguishes this book from the rest are Jonsson’s personal view and his exceptional images. Here there are stories about many of the local people – from young to old, normal to odd ones. Even though Jonsson is most known for his photography, he also worked as an author. This book is therefore equally divided between photographs and short stories. My Swedish language skills are not as good as my Norwegian, and I have not read all of his texts, but to me they seem strangely disconnected to his everyday photographs. A compilation of Sune Jonsson’s photographic work is soon to be published by Steidl.

Jost Hochuli: Printed Matter, Mainly Books
 Texts by J. Christoph Bürkle, Hans Peter Willberg, Robin Kinross and Jost Hochuli. Published by Niggli, 2002

This book is the ultimate book on Swiss designer Jost Hochuli. I remember I read this book as a student, and I was really captured by the way it described Hochuli’s graphic works, his working method, and his pragmatic and logic designs. I believe I learned more from reading this book once than what I learned from my teachers in a year. If I ever get to be a teacher, I’ll force it on my students. Maybe it’s time to read it again soon?

Design as Art Bruno Munari. 
First published by Editori Laterza, 1966
, new edition by Penguin Books, 2008

Most designers probably already know this classic but it’s so good that I thought I would include it anyway. Munari first worked as an artist with some connections to the Italian futurist movement. His first experiments with kinetic art were executed at the same time as Calder made his kinetic sculptures. As well as being an artist, Munari worked both as a designer, graphic designer, children’s book illustrator and writer. This book consist of his many short texts on design. Some of them might seem a bit outdated today but his way of thinking and the simple way he describes how we shape or misshape our surroundings makes it still relevant.

Fig. Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
. Published by Steidl and Photoworks, 2007

This book is one of my absolute favourite photo books from the past years. It is organized with one picture on each side. A short caption follows every picture and its structure, with the quirky leaps from one theme to another, reminds me in many ways of another favourite: Ryan Gander’s Loose Associations. In this sense the book is very much about objectification, description, representation and classification (or misapplication of classification systems).

En Bok Om Stig Lindberg
 Berndt Klyvare and Dag Widman. 
Published by Rabén & Sjögren, 1962

This book is one of the nicest I’ve been able to track down on Swedish multi-designer and artist Stig Lindberg, with its nice print and a pattern on the cover designed by Lindberg himself. Lindberg was working as a designer at Swedish pottery factory Gustavsberg for more than forty years (between 1937-80, and as the main art director from 1949). In this period he designed lots of ceramic items, both individual ones and mass-produced dinnerware. Lindberg is also known for his children’s book-illustrations and his many decorative patterns.


Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Architecture View Archive

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    I’ve slid down an art installation before thanks to Carsten Höller, and I’ve frolicked about in a room full of balloons thanks to Martin Creed, but never before had I literally swum in art until this morning. Bright and early, there I was shivering in art, thanks to a bathing pond art installation in a building site in London’s King’s Cross. The piece, formally known as Of Soil and Water: the King’s Cross Pond Club , was created by Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrč, and takes the form of a natural, chemical-free pool, complete with plants and bushes. And who knows what else – I didn’t dare think what one day could be lurking in there after the maggoty old python Hampstead Heath ponds story of a few years back. 

  2. Serpentine-pavilion-int-list

    SelgasCano’s colourful, experimental designs for this year’s Serpentine Pavilion wouldn’t look out of place at Glastonbury’s kids’ tent, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The structure, which will be in place from 25 June until 18 October, is made of materials including plastic fabric and webbing, forming a huge tunnel-like construction that forms a “journey through the space, characterised by colour, light and irregular shapes with surprising volumes,” according to the architects. SelgasCano is copmrised of Spanish architects José Selgas and Lucía Cano, and is based in Madrid. This will be the 15th Serpentine Pavilion commission, with previous designs by architects including Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry.

  3. Thomasheatherwick-studio-nanyanguniversity-int-list

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  4. List

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  5. List-klmairbnb_02

    Being on a plane overnight can have its merits. Watching a tonne of terrible films, wearing strange towelling socks, having your dinner brought over by someone who’s paid to be lovely to you and wear lots of blusher. It can also have its oft-bemoaned downsides, unhappy and vocal children, being one; lack of sleep being another. However, a night on a plane has taken on something of a different dynamic thanks to a project that’s seen one KLM plane masquerading as a loft apartment, with interior designs by Dutch design consultancy TANK that belie its origins in favour of a very much homely approach.

  6. List

    In recent years the 2012 Olympic Torch, the UK government website and the Plumen lightbulb have scooped the Design Museum’s prestigious Designs of the Year title; last night Zaha Hadid’s Azerbajani cultural centre joined the illustrious list.

  7. Tagas_01-2

    Seeing as the new Soft-Hard Zinc House by Terunobu Fujimori has just opened near Tokyo, we decided that it would be a great idea to put together a list of our favourite Terunobu homes from the past few years. The teetering structures are packed with environmentally sensitive messages, and are the perfect breeding grounds for creative inspiration.

  8. List

    For centuries we have been fascinated by the architecture of power; indeed many of the world’s most visited tourist sites are structures from where religious, political and social power was once exercised. But what about the places which provide the backdrops to the decision-makers of today? Swiss photographer Luca Zanier’s ongoing project Corridors of Power takes us inside the very rooms where the contemporary power-brokers play, many of which seem straight out of central casting.

  9. List

    Step aside all ye pretenders of yore; it’s time to show you my new favourite website. English Heritage – the body charged with protecting, maintaining and promoting the UK’s historic buildings – has launched a new Tumblr on which they treat us to images from their incredible photographic archives. With more than seven million to choose from, the Tumblr takes a thematic approach to curation, showcasing several examples of the same thing each day (today is gravestones, yesterday was railway signal boxes).

  10. List

    Architect and designer Ana Varela was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, where she graduated from the Superior School of Architecture with a bachelors degree in 2007. Since then she’s led an impressive professional and academic career, directing Spanish design magazine Pasajes Diseño and pursuing a masters in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship at ECAL in Lausanne. Now she teaches at ECAL and maintains a professional practice as an interior and product designer in Lausanne.

  11. List

    We’ve featured Brinkworth’s beautifully designed skate parks on the site before when they launched Nike’s BaySixty6, a community project under London’s Westway that invited people of all ages to pick up a deck and try their hand on the ramps. The initiative was such a success that Brinkworth have become something of an authority on skate park construction and have since been invited to create a temporary set-up at the Old Selfridges Hotel, located inside Selfridges department store.

  12. Terrazzo-list

    “Terrazzo is a composite material produced from layers of cement interspersed with chips of glass, marble, quartz, granite and other appropriate material. The invention of terrazzo can be traced to the 15th Century when Venetian artisans started to exploit construction residues to make highly resistant, low-cost surfaces principally used in flooring." Interested? Probably not. But the Terrazzo Project wants to change that.

  13. List

    It’s fair to say that we’re drawn to the weirder end of the architecture spectrum (giraffes sticking out of buildings and the like) so when I came across this installation in the grounds of the Portuguese presidential museum, my boat was well and truly floated. Super serious architecture, maybe not, but these red arches look for all the world like Microsoft Paint squiggles over photographs and that for me can only be a plus.