Most postwar architecture curricula, with the exception of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's at the Illinois Institute of Technology, stressed form and spatial volume. Grounded in a wholly opposing viewpoint-that materials generate form-this book presents an impressive range of materials suitable for several design disciplines, including architecture, interior design, product design, apparel design, and even automotive design. The authors, who operate the New York City resource Material ConneXion, along with its accompanying subscription online database, and Quinn (although only credited as an editor is also an author here) start out with an introduction on the essentials and endurance of fiber technology; this is followed by a chapter on each discipline, with detailed captions on each material illustrated and interviews with creators of several of them. The most cogent chapter examines how several designers, from architect Toyo Ito to apparel designer Isaac Mizrahi and his designs for Target, derive inspiration from the materials themselves. The second part contains a reference for basic material types, from glass to polymers, as well as a directory of designers, organizations, and competitions. This book is a good choice for libraries that cannot afford a subscription to the author's database.
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