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100 of the World’s Best Houses

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This one does what it says on the cover and with text at a premium it’s a real visual aid and essential if studying architecture in the classroom. Useful for all key stages but I have found it particularly useful at A Level.
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Concorde

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A book devoted to possibly the most beautiful machine of our times. Detailed photographs throughout, a simply stunning book, its applications in the classroom are endless
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Cult Watches: The World’s Enduring Classics

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A fantastic piece of reference material featuring the most famous and important watches ever made. Excellent resource which encourages the study of detail and the appreciation of tradition within design.

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Cartier: The Tank Watch

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A very specific publication only really for the connoisseur. The book looks in detail at one of the finest watches of our time. Still produced today the “tank” is a master class in design and illustrates perfectly the ethos behind the Bauhaus principal that being the love of machine art. The watch itself is based on the intricacies and “track” of a World War 1 tank and is beautifully illustrated in this book. Much cheaper than buying the real thing, a good tool for the teacher looking a bit deeper into the classic design movements (excuse the pun).
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Gucci by Gucci: 85 Years of Gucci by Aldo Gucci

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The title kind of sells the book, this one is pretty important if studying textiles and or graphics. Iconic designs displayed as they should be, flawlessly.

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Chanel: Collections and Creations

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If you are studying textiles in any form then I would suggest this publication is a must, how could it not be? If you want your pupils to design well, then surely showing them the best is a good start?

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Marc Newson

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Without doubt my favourite designer. Ex Surfer Marc Newson literally burst onto the design scene with his fantastic loungers that were made using the very same technology implemented in surfboard manufacture. I went to his exhibition at the Design Museum and was simply blown away by his products, his small car for Ford was stunning and I have referred to it more than once in my classroom. The layout of the book is excellent and in design terms is a very important publication; personally it is one of the most used books in my design library.
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British Auto Legends: Classics of Style and Design

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This is the same deal as the Italian Auto Legends but with all British Marques. Just as beautiful to study and fantastically presented. A real must for future budding car designers. Particularly useful for spotting design influences on modern British cars.

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Italian Auto Legends: Classics of Style and Design

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This book contains some of the most beautiful and influential cars on the planet, from the Lamborghini Muira to the Ferrari 512 Le Mans ,they are all here captured in exquisite detail. Superb book for studying form, even dare I say, over function.
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Luxury Toys for Men

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This is a book that simply contains the very best example of every product that you ever wanted to own or never even knew you wanted to own. The photography is exquisite; the paper even feels expensive and is the stuff that dreams are made of. Having problems getting a group to think outside the box? Put this down in front of them and your biggest problem will be containing their enthusiasm

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Dogtown: the Legend of the Z-Boys – the Original Stories

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If you are focussing on “extreme” culture within a project, whether it be graphics or textiles then this book is genesis. Without question Craig Stecyk defined skate culture and the aesthetic, which later developed into what most identify as the extreme sports genre. Absolutely beautiful photography from start to finish, a pure inspiration. I own and use this one.

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Subway ART (1984) by Henry Chalfont and Martha Cooper

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If you teach boys in the UK then I reckon you have a number of budding Graffiti artists in your groups. So why not turn their passion that is often seen as a negative into a positive? Why not use Graffiti as an influence in product design, graphics, textiles or resistant materials? Subway Art is the bible of graffiti artist’s full stop. It was the first publication ever to document the art form and describe in detail its nuances, the discipline, method and developments. The book itself has a style and aesthetic that still defines this genre of publication I have owned this book since I was 11 years old and have since used it countless times in the classroom. Dondi, one of the most famous “writers” of all time featured in the book, has been likened to Picasso due to his ability to create such fantastic proportions and scale in his “pieces”. Art critiques have since agreed and even suggested him as an equal. I would have to disagree; Picasso worked in a studio on canvas, Dondi worked at 4.00 am in the pitch black, dodging security, freezing cold on a 65ft train for a canvas.

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Agents of Change – The story of DC shoes

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I own this one and use it less for the DC shoes but more to help illustrate the aesthetic of extreme sports. It has proved an essential tool for a number of KS4 Graphics students working on an extreme sports point of sale unit. The key sports and personalities are covered, from BMX, snowboarding, FMX, surfing and skateboarding. Adds a real cool element to the classroom even if like me you are no longer cool!

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Robin and Lucienne Day – Pioneers of Contemporary Design

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The designs showcased in this book are timeless and illustrate an almost effortlessly stylish approach, products that are beautiful and yet restrained but never fashion led. Until recently you could buy a sofa and chair combination from Habitat and I organised a visit to the local Habitat with my current sixth from product design students. The influence was key in their subsequent furniture development work. Now that the sofa is no longer available I will have to settle for the book instead. Reference to this type of design is a must.

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1000 New Designs and where to find them. By Jennifer Hudson.

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I can only comment on what I have seen on the Amazon website by using the “look inside” function. The book displays some top end products, clear photographs and the designers themselves showcased. However where the book differs from most is in the fact that you are shown where to find them, as the title suggests. This is key when performing good product analysis, how can you comment on the cost of a product for example, when you cannot find out who supplies it? Could be very useful indeed.

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Dondi White Style Master General

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A fantastic publication that focuses in its entirety on the work of arguably one of the worlds most famous and talented graffiti writers, Dondi. The photography is superb and chronicles Dondi’s career from the train yards of the Bronx to the high end gallery exhibitions of New York city. Furthermore the book contains a number of sketches that show early pieces in development. Superb, own it myself.

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Brighton Graffiti by Stuart Bagshaw and David Oates (2008)

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So you have covered the “Old Skool”, now its time to get a little more up to date with the “New Skool”. Brighton Graffiti takes a look at a fresh and vibrant Graffiti scene that is “going off” down on the south coast. Nobody in the UK is doing it better, study the most technical styles and themes that are both inspirational and moving the scene in the right direction.

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Spray can Art by Henry Chalfont and James Prigoff (1987)

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A direct follow on from Subway Art, just as informative with the focus less on the New York and more on the global effect of the culture. Superb photography throughout with extremely informative text. The styles and skills of the writers have moved on considerably. The effect of this culture is now undeniable from music videos, packaging, products, advertising and clothing.

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Style Wars [DVD]

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Style Wars is the film that documents the making of the book Subway Art. However in the process the film end ups exposing far more than just the Graffiti artists and their work. Style Wars is the first and only film that captures HIP HOP culture as it developed. From Rapping, Djing, Break dancing and graffiti, with all the key players at that time. The DVD is a brilliant accompaniment to Subway Art and gives a deeper appreciation of the subject. However the version to own is the Revisited copy and from a product design point of view the interview with MARE a New York “writer” is priceless. He tells of how he has become a designer in his own right and how he uses his appreciation of Graffiti as an art form to inform his product design.

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