cover image Total Design

Total Design

Chronicle Books, Dorothy Spencer. Chronicle Books, $45 (187pp) ISBN 978-0-87701-665-6

A Frank Lloyd Wright dining table, a Michael Graves post-modern tea kettle and an Eero Saarinen organic chair might strike the casual browser as curiosities. Yet these architects, along with many others, immersed themselves in all aspects of design--lighting, housewares, fabrics, graphics, the psychology of color--to fuse exterior and interior spaces into a cohesive design scheme. Ranging from the British and U.S. arts and crafts movements through the Bauhaus and Russian constructivism to today's eclectic innovators working with natural materials and craft traditions, this beautiful album shows how architects have linked furniture, buildings and objects in new, often surprising ways. Spencer, an independent curator and book packager, weds an analytical text to striking illustrations in her selective survey. This is both a fetching coffee-table book and a repository of ideas for designers and decorators. (Sept.)