Characters: Cultural stories revealed through Typography

Review by Veronica Grow Like most typo cognoscenti, Stephen Banham is fondly known for being somewhat fanatical and nerdy on the subject of type and letters. In my opinion, it takes the obsession of one such fanatic to compile such a vast treasure of information, so clearly, in the form of this fascinating book named Characters. Characters focuses on the cultural role that typography plays (especially in the guise of signage) in defining the flavor and character of the City of Melbourne...

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Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: In Praise of Shadows (谷崎 潤一郎: 陰翳礼讃)

I came across this slim book (which is more an extended essay) while looking into texts on aesthetics. I was particularly interested in books about the differences in perception. Not specifically from a design point of view but more general ideas on cultural differences in the perception of everyday objects, the spaces we occupy and how we interact with them. I call this book an essay – I could easily call it a mild rant. A personal plea against homogeneity. In Praise of Shadows...

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The Rhetoric of Modernism: Le Corbusier as a Lecturer

(Guest review by Becky Quintal) ‘You only have to see his notes to feel the emotion of the speaker. It is evident that this kind of discourse, even if expressed only in the intimacy of his notebook on the train, reveals a therapeutic aspect of the lecture for someone like Le Corbusier. His life was a roller coaster between peaks of fame and harsh setbacks, all of which he felt bitterly.’ – Tim Benton, The Rhetoric of Modernism: Le Corbusier as a Lecturer Unlike extemporaneous...

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101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

Guest Review by Max Gadney Architecture is a discipline that draws together principles typical of many design disciplines – clients, briefs, research, materials, form and function. Added to this mix is permanence, history and scale, which has made architecture arguably one of the most intellectualised design disciplines. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick contains single-page, easily digestible thoughts on aspects of architectural theory and practice as well as...

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