A Few of our Favourite Things


“I have always collected books – I have groaning bookshelves both at home and in our studio – and I find it difficult to cull! Last year when we published our own book Hare + Klein: Texture Colour Comfort, I developed a deep understanding and appreciation for the process of publishing – from concept to final edit. I don’t think that books will be usurped by digital. Paper has survived as a means of recording and communicating since the early Egyptians. Holding a book on your lap, turning the pages, referencing, returning to old favourites, tagging pages to reference… somehow this just doesn’t work for me on an iPad! Books are beautiful objects to treasure and enjoy over + over.”
– Meryl Hare

This month we asked our team to nominate A Few of their Favourite Design Books. A difficult task given the incredible range of titles covering design, art, architecture and interiors. Here is a small selection from the long list…

1. Joyce Huisman Piet Boon Book 2
Published by Lannoo Publishers
Reviewed by Dimity

I remember when we first had this book in the office, it was so different to anything else we had seen. A portfolio of work from Piet and Karen Boon (from the Netherlands) showcasing a beautiful clean aesthetic favouring natural materials, simple lines and exquisite detailing. Very inspiring!

2. John Pawson Minimum
Published by Phaidon Press
Reviewed by Joanna

One of my favourite design books is John Pawson’s ‘Minimum’.
The book delves into the theme of simplicity across nature, art, architecture and design.
I like the diverse range of images in this book, all collected from a variety of contexts. Each image attempts to convey the idea of reduction.
The book has encouraged me to seek clarity and simplicity, and to look for the essence and quality in architecture, objects and design.

This is a book I often look at, and never tire of the images or text.

3. BEDMaR & SHi 5 in Five
Published by Thames & Hudson
Reviewed by Belinda

I love the simplicity and purity of form, the celebration of materials, intentional play of light and shadow, amplification of architectural elements through reflection, contrast in texture, and the reverence to design detail.
BEDMaR & SHi poetically frame large landscape vistas or a single sculptural tree with equal elegance.
My favourite project is the Amrita Shergil Marg House located in India. The design language is monastic yet warm. It references ancient Hindu culture to create a contemporary residential temple.

4. Julie Paterson ClothBound
Published by Murdoch Books
Reviewed by Meryl

I have always found Julie Paterson’s fabrics refreshing and original, with the hand of the artist evident in the prints. So when she published this book, it was no surprise that it is also original in its presentation and content. Apart from the visuals, it’s a very good read.

5. Tom Dixon Dixonary
Published by Violette Editions
Reviewed by Christina

I love his honesty about his design and what he does, I actually crack up laughing because he is so honest and real. The simplicity of the presentation is brilliant, with summaries contained on one page and in such a way that you just keep wanting to read more. It’s not your average biography, it’s far more engaging than that.

6. Tom Kundig Houses 2
Published by Princeton Architectural Press
Reviewed by Victoria

Inspirational raw concrete and steel detailing throughout. Paired back detailing that celebrates the mechanics, elemental materials and construction elements in architecture.

7. Amanda Talbot Rethink: the way you live
Published by Murdoch Books
Reviewed by Eloise

Rethink: the way you live – is a book that I enjoyed from the get go.

It really makes you question how you live day to day, making you consider what and how you consume – objects, food, technology, energy, etc – and the effects on the environment now. It makes you reflect on how we use space and how we design spaces. It also inspires you to appreciate the world in which we live, the small things, details and rituals of the everyday.

This book is filled with beautiful images of how individuals, couples and families live, work & create around the world. It inspires you to be more creative with less.

8. Christian Liaigre LIAIGRE
Published by Flammarion
Reviewed by Meryl

The longevity of this book is a testament to the classic nature of Christian Liaigre’s design aesthetic. It reviews 6 major Liaigre projects, each one entirely different – a Spanish townhouse, a yacht, 18th C farmhouse near Geneva, a tropical home in Bora Bora, a 19th C mansion in Toronto and a house in Provence. They are all different, are beautifully photographed in much detail and demonstrate an approach to design that is considered in every way. Our copy is getting scruffy!