Curious Trends


Books in design

Defacing books in the name of art is a curious trend that’s especially popular amongst emerging young designers. This reminds me of a flat I lived in years ago, where ex-owner, Dave Dee of Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich had sawn dozens of books in half and stuck them onto a fake bookcase to conceal a pull out bed in his sitting room. I’m sure I still have a photograph of this somewhere…

Anyway, here are some of the latest designer re-workings of books:

Catherine Ann Haynes work, "Based on a Discarded Story" is a collection of illustrations created using rejected fabrics which were provided by her sponsor LMB Textile Recyclers, London, along with second hand magazines, and books sourced from charity shops and second hand book stores. Catherine’s fashion illustrations are contained within a collection of books, as she is “excited by the fashion industry and loves challenging the idea of desired fashion by using discarded items to create really layered, textured and exciting illustrations that literally come out of the page.”

Her print inspiration was “enthused by the constructivist movement”; however she added a twist to the regimented style by hand drawing on it, to add character and personality to the print. She added enlarged features such as eyes and lips as she felt they are the most sensual features on the face and therefore they needed to be emphasized. She was seeking to “create new and spine-tingling fashion design and illustration ideas.”

Coventry University’s Rosalind Roberts projects revolves around sustainable design. The light shades of her standard lamps (seen below) are made with old discarded books found locally, while the frame is steamed willow and the base in beech wood; much of the wood Rosalind uses has been harvested herself from local trees.

University of Plymouth graduate Lorna Wilby won the prestigious New Design Britain Award at the Interiors 2010 Show held at the Birmingham NEC. However, this was not for her rather unique book chair, ‘The Seat of Learning', illustrated in the introduction to this post.

Lorna explained that the glue used to bind a lot of books is actually unrecyclable, so one way to re-use them successfully is to use them as a material in furniture construction. I love the way she's given such a familiar object a bold and theatrical second life.

Jenny Hardisty is the creator of The Sandwich Book,(above), an interactive educational tool designed so that children "can decide for themselves what sandwich fillings they would like."

Jemma Clyne and Hayley Fountain, of the University of Northampton have also created works of art from newspapers and books – as has Charlotte Gee of De Montfort University in Leicester:


By Deborah on 08/09/2010 16:37:06

Well done Hayley. It's lovely to be able to view your excellent work on line.

By mitch on 08/09/2010 12:14:01

It's good to see Hayley getting some promotion, her work deserves it.

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