Design by Ewa Solarz, Aleksandra Mizielinski and Daniel Mizielinski
|Design by Ewa Solarz, Aleksandra Mizielinski and Daniel Mizielinski|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Fascinating book about furniture and household gadget design over the last 150 years. Colourful, lively illustrations with interesting, informative text that is surprisingly addictive!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 168||Date: November 2011|
Although this is a book for children I can imagine plenty of grown ups who would find it fascinating! It's a wonderful dip in and out book and I actually found myself keeping it in our washing basket in the bathroom so I could have a quick read whenever I needed to spend a penny! It depicts 69 objects from all over the world that were designed in the last 150 years. There's everything here from octopus-inspired lemon juicers through to sofas made to look like a pair of lips or an Ottoman that resembles a shapely lady's bottom!
Each design is given a two page spread with details about the designer, the year of design, the materials used and what the object is for. There are little symbols to depict these with a key at the beginning to see what they mean. The designs are depicted with both their 'real' names as well as some made up names which make them more memorable at times, especially when the real name is something like 'Wassily OR B3'!
The illustrations are bright and entertaining. They show both the object, sometimes in use, and also what inspired the object, as well as showing the designer too. There are funny little asides marked with arrows and characters or animals in the background too so there's lots of look at and enjoy.
The designs themselves are all very interesting. The very first one is a very recognisable bistro chair and I found it interesting to learn about how it was designed to be simple to assemble and pack and, since reading the book, have seen these chairs everywhere! Some designs I had seen before but knew nothing about, and others were completely new to me. I liked the information about where the design ideas came from or what the purpose of an item was. It made for a fascinating read in which I was both entertained and also learning new things too!
Although it's probably best for children aged about 8 years and older I did find that my five year old kept picking it up and asking me to read her bits. The illustrations are entertaining, and the text for each design is fairly brief so she seemed to really enjoy hearing about the different objects and their design origins. As I mentioned, I also found it interesting to pick up and flick through and it doesn't have that feel of being directly aimed at children so adults could get away with a copy on their coffee table as a quirky book to have lying around! I think it is perhaps just slightly too expensive, but we so enjoyed it here that I've still recommended it as one to buy. It's a book that you can return to repeatedly, so if you don't mind digging a little deeper into your pockets then I'd certainly recommend it.
Children interested in design and invention may also like to take a look at 101 Things You Wish You'd Invented and Some You Wish No One Had by Richard Horne and Tracey Turner
You can read more book reviews or buy Design by Ewa Solarz, Aleksandra Mizielinski and Daniel Mizielinski at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Design by Ewa Solarz, Aleksandra Mizielinski and Daniel Mizielinski at Amazon.com.
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