Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Material Girl

Have I mentioned yet how lucky I am to live in Austin? Only about a thousand times, I'm sure. One of my favorite things about ATX is the great public library system. I often hear people complain about it, but I've never been able to understand that point of view. I think we have an amazing collection despite the constant lack of funding. The librarians are brilliant and the facilities are pretty kick ass. So, kudos APL!

Case in point, I found this AMAZING book, Exploring Materials, at the library just last week. In fact, it's so amazing, I think I'm going to have to buy it. The pages are filled with fabulous ideas about the use and reuse of all sorts of materials. Here are a few spreads to whet your whistle.

The heart of the book explores individual materials--which range from the basics of fabric, glass, paper, metal and wood to the less expected like concrete, felt, foam, mesh and strapping. Each spread features one material and inspires ideas through the use of well-curated and photographed examples. This alone would be enough for me to feel the need to have it around as an inspirational reference, but authors Inna Alesina and Ellen Lupton also include a robust design process discussion at the front of the book and a helpful "From Prototype to Product" section in the back. Both are filled with great thoughts and tips even seasoned professionals could find helpful.

If you've ever thought "Is there anything else I can do with this?" as you're throwing that piece of cardboard, coffee cup lid or plastic bag into the garbage/recycling--this book is for you. You might be interested in some of Lupton's other books as well.


H said...

Thanks Christine! I have a trip to the library on my to-do list. Do you go to the downtown branch? Manchaca is closest to my house and seems fairly well stocked.

adaptive reuse said...

H-The downtown branch is definitely my go-to location for the best new books. They have a really good collection of DIY, how-to, and general art/craft/design books. Another favorite thing to do there is to browse the carts of books waiting to be re-shelved. I always find unexpected gems that way.