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Monthly Design Review - May 2016

In this monthly design review: obsolete Soviet space centers, Egyptian armchairs, the visual musings of a famous filmmaker, a history of commercial signage, the plight of Canadian Natives and a self-made refugee city in France.

Adam Bartos: KOSMOS - A Portrait of the Russian Space Age (2001)

Photographer Adam Bartos spent time in Russia in 1997/8, documenting the Soviet space program and its history. His photographs captured with vivid details the particularities of the science, culture, and politics of the Space Age. Present are not only once top-secret space complexes but also home interiors and portraits of former space program personalities. Bartos' strong sense of color and structure lends itself to the nostalgia of that rarely-seen world, at once powerful and pathetic.

To see more photos from the book, alongside other work, visit Bartos' website

To purchase the book go to Amazon.


Wim Wenders has been taking photos for as long as he‘s made films. He travels extensively and often records scenes of urban and rural neglect, expressing a mixture of bemusement, melancholy and dislocation. In this book he presents a collection of photographs taken around the world, with his written thoughts and musings about each one. The connection between the image and words gives us a glimpse into Wenders‘ inner visual world and helps us see through his eyes.

To purchase the book, go to Amazon or the publisher Hatje Cantz.

To see more of Wim Wenders‘ work, visit his website.


A History of Architecture and Graphics along America‘s Commercial Corridors (2012)

The architect and author Martin Treu surveys more than 200 years of signs and place-marking along America’s commercial corridors. Treu charts the evolution of signage from modest pioneer origins in the 1800s to the extravagance of neon and sculpture in the 1940s and 50s. He laments the disappearance of historic signs and the diminishing creativity in contemporary signage, and argues that the recent signage reform has suppressed originality and radically cleared away years of accumulated history based on the taste of a single generation.

To read more about Martin Treu‘s work, visit his website

To purchase the book go to Johns Hopkins University Press


Photo Feature - Larry Towell (

Canadian photographer Larry Towell has been documenting North American Native communities for the past few years and visited isolated Attawapiskat in northern-Ontario in 2013. Though only 2,000 people live in Attawapiskat, more than 100 residents have tried to end their lives since September 2015, resulting in widespread concern over mental health among Canada’s native communities. Towell‘s photographs juxtapose mainstream concepts of Native people with the daily reality of their lives and the spaces they inhabit.

To see more, visit Magnum Photos

To see more of Larry Towell‘s work, visit his website

SULTANS OF BLING - the work of Anne Steinmann

article in World of Interiors magazine, May 2016 issue

French Artist Anne Steinmann paints vivid representations of interiors, from furniture pieces to whole apartments. Her strongest visual reference comes from 15 years of living in Cairo and absorbing the town's rich colors, textures and design style. “Egypt has huge, monstrous armchairs. I like this absurdly overdone look, naive but sweet.“ She often displays her works as pop-ups, creating installations from painted MDF sheets - recently she displayed “Pop kitch‘n‘Up,“ a colorful transformation of a Charlotte Perriand kitchen, at the entrance hall of Le Corbusier's Unité d'habitation in Marseille.

To learn more about Anne Steinman, see her website

To subscribe to World of Interiors, visit their website

CALAIS - From Jungle to City - (Exhibition in Foam Amsterdam, 8 April–5 June.)

Close to the port city of Calais in France a parallel world has existed for ten years. Refugees from Africa and the Middle East are waiting here for their chance to cross the Channel to Great Britain.

Henk Wildschut has been following and photographing the growing influx of refugees in Calais since 2005. Over the past year, he increased his visits and watched as the long-time refugee camp increasingly became a city in its own right. A city that took on increasing prominence and notoriety in the news. And thus, a city that, due to political decisions, began being dismantled starting on February 29, 2016.

To learn more about the exhibition, visit Foam Museum‘s website

To see more of Henk Wildschut‘s work, including a book about Calais called Shelter, visit his website

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