• Max-lamb-big

    Bookshelf: Max Lamb

Product Design

Bookshelf: Max Lamb

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

Max Lamb’s work mentality could be described very roughly as a partiality for chairs, a respect for process and the design principles that respect engenders. Knowing about materials and their context through history is as important to him, and informs the use of them in his work so that a lot of Max’s designs – furniture and things – are as weighted by the stories of their creation as much as their physicality. We’re very pleased to have Max select five books for Bookshelf, including some making-thinking type-manuals for living, full to the brim with insight into his own practice.

SAS Survival Handbook John Wiseman

In order of books read first, this is the first book I read (in this list, not ever). I don’t remember when I actually first read it but judging by the red stamp on the inside cover suggesting the book belongs to “R.A.F. MOUNTBATTEN” where my father was stationed in 1986-88, I was probably around the age of seven or eight. I do remember setting my first snare-trap in the woods near our house. It was a spring snare as illustrated on page 97 and as per the instructions, I found a small sapling (probably an ash) near what I thought to be a rabbit trail, judging by the worn away grass and foliage. The spring snare is, apparently: “…good for animals such as rabbits and foxes and is ideally situated on the game trail by a natural bottleneck. When game is caught the trigger bar disengages and prey is lifted off the ground”. What on earth would I have done if my spring snare had worked? I am such a wimp when it comes to dead animals, even insects. It was my first and last snare trap but the book has been – and continues to be – very well read.
www.amazon.co.uk/sas-survival-handbook
www.harpercollins.co.uk/sas-survival-handbook

Industrial Art: Objects, Play and Thought in Danese Production Stefano Casciani

A real gem of a design book. Or is it an art book? If I was only allowed one book about design this would be it. Published in 1988, the second sentence of the first chapter reads: “There is renewed enthusiasm for manufacturing methods which incorporate a degree of craftsmanship to allow greater formal expression,” suggesting today’s attitude towards craft is either passé or only just catching up with the likes of Enzo Mari, Bruno Munari and Achille Castiglioni. Covering lighting, interiors, shop displays, shelving, children’s toys, vases, ashtrays, graphic image, water pitchers, glasses, bowls, coat-hooks and more, Industrial Art documents the history of Danese as “publisher” of works by these pioneering Italian designers, celebrating the timeless balance they found between intellectual expression, industrial production and craftsmanship; the designer’s art.
www.amazon.co.uk/industrial-art
www.antiqbook.nl/industrial-art

Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland Lavinia Greenlaw

Did you know that William Morris made more than one expedition to Iceland? He went quite simply to experience the country’s rugged wilderness and harsh conditions and to discover the simple, practical and adaptable ways of life required to thrive in this beautiful but unforgiving landscape. Morris wrote a personal journal describing the wonderful peculiarities of daily life he observed during his travels but it wasn’t until after his death that the journal was made public. Although I have never travelled to Iceland myself, reading this book, which offers just a glimpse of Morris’ full journal, has revealed an inner desire to escape there.
www.amazon.co.uk/william-morris-in-iceland
www.nottinghilleditions.com/questions-of-travel

Where I lived, and What I Lived For Henry David Thoreau

Another book to inspire escapism. In 1845 Thoreau left his home and possessions and moved into the woods to live off the land and earn a keep for material essentials by the labour of his hands. He wanted to "live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life.” His escape lasted for two years, two months and two days, and it turns out he was only a couple of miles from the nearest village and his family home. But Thoreau’s account does beg the question, why do we hang onto and treasure all the unnecessary, inessential artifacts we accumulate during our lives like flotsam and jetsam smothering a beach? Why do I have over 15 sets of cutlery in my drawer, or 30 t-shirts in my cupboard, or a collection of ‘precious’ studio ceramics that I rarely use, or every sketchbook I have ever drawn in and all of my old school text books from the age of four? And why do I live in London with high living costs, no space to swing a cat, dusty dirty smoggy air to breathe, never ever a moment of silence and always a rat or another human being within arm’s reach? In short, because this is my life, I appreciate all of the aforementioned both good and bad, and I’m a natural hoarder. Thoreau’s account of his two years living in the woods is truly inspiring but, for now at least, a dream. Never say never.
www.amazon.co.uk/where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for
www.penguin.co.uk/where-i-lived-and-what-i-lived-for

A Potter’s Book Bernard Leach

I arrived at the wooden house built by JB Blunk – the most amazing yet humble house I have ever had the privilege of staying in – in Inverness, California, to begin a two month residency. Blunk was a sculptor, a woodworker and a potter. Everything, both inside and outside of the house and workshop, including the walls, was built by Blunk himself. In awe of his absolute creativity I set out to explore the two materials Blunk dedicated his life to. I picked up a chainsaw as if I had used one for years and so my productivity working with large logs of cypress wood came quickly. But pottery is a science as much as it is an art and without Blunk there to teach me I began my immersion into the science of ceramics by reading and re-reading and re-re-reading this book.
www.amazon.co.uk/a-potters-book
www.faber.co.uk/a-potters-book

Portrait9

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: Bookshelf View Archive

  1. Come-de-bouchony-itsnicethat-pienkowski-list

    We’re pretty big fans of French graphic designer Côme de Bouchony in the It’s Nice That studio – we’ve covered his work again and again and again on the site. So it comes as no great surprise that underneath all of that sharp, reference-laden work lies a Bookshelf bulging with first-rate printed matter. The ten most influential people in magazine design, illustrator Jan Pieńkowski and one very long Italian sausage all have their place. Roll up, roll up!

  2. David-luraschi-bookshelf-coveritsnicethat-list

    Paris-based photographer David Luraschi is as adept at photographing undulating hills as he is sprawling nudes, and he brings his unique perspective to both. You might know him best for his series of photographs of people spotted on the streets of Paris photographed from behind – a project that started on his Instagram and has since been splashed about all over the internet.

  3. Charlotte-mei-list

    Now I’m not saying that the Bookshelf feature should act as a barometer of how much we want to be friends with the people we feature, but if you can’t identify niche interests in a kindred spirit by way of their favourite publications, when the bloody hell can you?

  4. Parterre_de_rois_list

    Biannual magazine Paterre de Rois seamlessly weaves contemporary culture with relevant masterpieces from the past. The latest instalment, titled Rebellion, is a hot mix of punchy, full-bleed images, engaging copy and an assortment of paper textures. Editors Molly Molloy (fashion designer for Marni womenswear) and Gianni Tozzi (creative director for FutureBrand Milan) are passionate about print, and here Molly selects five books that proudly sit on their bookshelf. Informing their work past and present, these publications have provided guidance, inspiration and visual delight in one form or another for the pair.

  5. Studio-toogood-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    From furniture design and a fashion line to a series of installations, Faye Toogood is a material aficionado. Her interior and environmental design work is founded in artisanship and “the irregularity of the chosen material,” meaning that no corner of the creative industries has been left untouched by her influence. We caught up with Faye to find out which five books hold the greatest sway on her bookshelf, and her inspirations – from Yohji Yamamoto to Barbara Hepworth – are evident throughout her expansive practice.

  6. Sh_books-itsnicethat-list-2

    From googly-eyed palm trees oozing California cool to a cheeky yellow thumbs up sign against a backdrop of a bright American flag, artist and designer Steven Harrington has been wafting LA sunshine our way via his cartoonish characters for years now. His work is a staple reference for anybody making Americana-influenced illustration, and spans huge hand-screened prints to limited-edition skateboards, all of which is doused in his sunny, funny style.

  7. Laurabradley-bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    There are few corners of the internet which remain sacred nowadays, but anothermag.com, the online counterpart to Dazed ’s sister publication AnOther Magazine, feels something like a tiny jewel-bedecked cave in the midst of a vast wasteland. Hosting a curated collection of insights into the lives of legendary artists and craftspeople, alongside photographic series, handwritten letters and aspects of the fashion world which might otherwise go unnoticed, the site is a rare gem, and at its helm is editor Laura Bradley.

  8. Ng_inside_2bookshelf-itsnicethat-list

    London-based fashion brand Eley Kishimoto was founded in 1992 by Japanese-born Wakako Kishimoto and her Welsh husband Mark Eley, and has since earned a global reputation for bold print design and collaborations with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Jil Sander. We were lucky enough to pin down co-founder Wakako to find out which publications have most inspired and influenced her on her trajectory thus far. Her response? A beautiful old Japanese/English dictionary, a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac-clad Snoopy, and an old old issue of the National Geographic and all of the treasures inside it.

  9. Alex-tieghi-walker-itsnicethat-list

    When we invited Alex Tieghi-Walker to contribute to the Bookshelf feature we didn’t realise he was in possession of what basically constitutes a library. A looming wall of books, teeming with colour, insight and inspiration. Look at it! It’s enormous!

  10. Book-shelf-list

    If you’ve been for a walk in Hoxton, east London recently there’s a good chance you’ve come across One Good Deed Today, a recently-opened shop selling a curated collection of lifestyle and homeware objects. The objects on sale are lovely, but the approach taken by the owners Romain and Alev is even more so – the products are chosen based on how and where they are made, making it a very responsible collection, and five percent of all proceeds from the store are donated to a charity chosen by the customer at the time of purchase. Nice, huh?

  11. Spuren_cover_00-int-list

    Brighten the Corners (the name comes from the Pavement album!) is a design studio split in two – it’s made up of Frank Philippin and Billy Kiosoglou and based in both London and Odenwald, Germany – so it makes sense that it has two bookshelves to show for it, too. The studio’s portfolio of work includes some very impressive stuff for the likes of Anish Kapoor, Frieze, the British Council and the Department of Education, and with fingers in such diverse pies we were keen to see the books Billy and Frank were drawing on for inspiration. So here they are!

  12. Allbook_spines-teal-triggs-int

    What a treat we have for you today! The one and only Teal Triggs, professor at London’s Royal College of Art and all-knowing figure in everything concerned with print, graphic design history, self-publishing and feminism, has spent some time digging five of the most influential and inspiring books she owns out of her bottomless collection to share with us.

  13. Laserigraphie_cover-int-list

    If you aren’t already familiar with Atelier Bingo then I can’t think of any better way to introduce their joyous work than to have them present five of their favourite publications, in their own words. The atelier consists of Maxime Prou and Adèle Favreau, a creative couple living in an impossibly beautiful barn in the French countryside where they experiment with illustration, graphic design, surface and textile design on a daily basis to create an endless array of utterly unique and distinctive works for clients including Vogue, The Plant, Wanderlust and Wrap magazine. But also just for fun, because why wouldn’t they?