Our top 20 design books

Our top 20 design books
December 7, 2018 SydneyDesignSchool

Our top 20 design books

Looking for inspiration? Or maybe a gift, or something for your Christmas wish list? We asked the Sydney Design School team to share their favourite design books… here’s our top 20.

The Alchemy of things – Interiors shaped by curious minds by Karen Mc Cartney
This newly released book was nominated by two of our Educators.
“An intriguing exploration of curious creative homes, bountiful with beautiful objects.” – Vanessa Colyer Tay
“It looks at interiors not shaped by trends, but curated by their creative owners.” – Sharon Raco

Hare and Klein – Texture, colour, comfort by David Clark & Meryl Hare
“I love this book. Sigh! I love Meryl Hare’s whole aesthetic approach – it’s so casually perfect, creating very inviting and unpretentious interiors.” – Kate Hughes

The Maker. Beyond decorating: Crafting a unique space by Tamara Maynes
“Once you get past the absolutely beautiful book design (including the curved edge!), you’ll find equally stunning images and inspiration to inspire creativity. This book is an ode to makers and shows how to create unique individual spaces with handmade touches.” – Lisa Tilse

The Sensual Home: Liberate Your Senses and Change Your Life by Ilse Crawford
“A good old faithful and favourite.” – Di Fernandes

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney
“I love this book because it captures a snapshot of creative business women from all walks of life. Some are young, some are old. Some are conservative some are whimsical. Some are all about contemporary and monochrome. Some are all about colour and eclecticism. This is what makes it as much a visual feast as it does a great inspirational read.” – Samantha Cahill

Top 20 design books - chosen by designers

Design like you give a damn – Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises by Architecture for Humanity
“After first reading this aged 21, I wanted to go overseas and volunteer with Architecture for Humanity. Fascinating case studies!” – Claire Blanch

CMF Design: The Fundamental Principles of Colour, Material and Finish Design by Liliana Becerra
“A great reference that’s accessible and easy to read with lots of tips about new and existing CMF options for designers. This is a well designed book with lots of illustrations.” – Zena O’Connor

Happy – Creating joyous living spaces through design by Amanda Talbot
“The author is a Sydney Stylist and Design Consultant who explores the question ‘Can design help us lead a happy life?’. Avoiding cliches, the book delves into the science and psychology behind the concept of ‘happy design’. But it’s far from a dry read! It’s such a beautiful book, brimming with gorgeous interiors and ideas.” – Lisa Tilse

The Anatomy of Colour The Story of Heritage Paints and Pigments by Patrick Baty
“Probably one of the most comprehensive and useful books on colour and colour application I’ve come across. The detailed information is coupled with fabulous illustrations.” – Zena O’Connor

The Inner Game Of Tennis by W Timothy Gallwey
“A beautiful study of the psychology of achieving your full potential through identification and re-visualisation of hurdles and re-framing mindsets. It can be applied to so many areas of study, much in the mindset of Zen in the Art of Archery (which was also suggested for this list by Julia Martin).” – Adrian Veale

Top 20 design books - chosen by designers

Architectural Graphics by Francis K Ching
“This guy is amazing, all the drawings are done by hand!” – Victoria Aleporos

Hue by Kelly Wearstler
“This book is like the Derwent 100 coloured pencils box that has been tipped upside down on the floor and organised into colour names that are divine in themselves, like Jonquil, Citrine, Dahlia.” – Samantha Over

Shelter: How Australians Live by Kara Rosenlund
“Go on a road trip of Australia through shabby and beautifully styled shacks. Australian photographer and stylist Kara showcases her amazing photography and interesting interiors. For me this is the vibe of Australia.” – Sonia Audoly

Colour: A Journey by Victoria Alexander
“Inspiring if you are a colour addict like moi!”- Wendy Beard

Absolutely beautiful things by Anna Spiro
“Colourful, bold and inspirational. The book illustrates how layering and using memory objects can create interiors full of soul. The cover itself is a gorgeous tactile piece of fabric!” – Sonia Audoly

Top 20 design books - chosen by designers

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur by Nathan Williams
“A fascinating, behind the scenes study of creative businesses around the world.” – Bella Taylor

Public Sydney by Peter John Cantrill and Philip Thallis
“A fantastic drawing study of Sydney’s public spaces and landmark buildings.” – Adrian Veale

A Frame for Life by Ilse Crawford
“I’m obsessed with Ilse Crawford so I love this book about human-centred design. She creates spaces that excite the senses.” – Bella Taylor

Best Ugly – Restaurant concepts & architecture by Avroko
“This book is a great reference for unique, quirky and timeless joinery detailing.” – Claire Blanch

Carlo Scarpa: The Complete Works by leading architects and architectural critics
“This is a perennial favourite of mine. I pull it out often for a read or some inspiration. Scarpa is my favourite designer/architect. His work was so detailed and it’s fascinating looking over his sketches and drawings.” – Julia Stockdale