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Monthly Design Review - December 2019

This month, a dispatch from Lisbon, Portugal - a collection of resources on tile, which I'm currently surrounded by!


5000 YEARS OF TILES (Hans Van Lemmen, 2013)

A comprehensive review of tile art and production worldwide, from earliest times to the present day. The book ranges from ancient Greece, where the first fired roof tiles date from as early as the third millennium BC, to twentieth-century Mexico. In between, it covers English medieval floor pavements, figural tiles from China, intended to adorn roofs and ward off evil; Iznik tiles from the Islamic world, ceramic tiles of the Arts and Crafts movement and the tiles created by some of the finest ceramic artists and potters of the twenty-first century.

Buy the book here.


THE TILE BOOK: History Pattern Design (V&A Museum, 2019)

An introduction traces the little-known history of tiles, from their earliest mass production in Europe in the 13th century to today, and presents the development of different types of tile. This book, curated by award-winning studio Here Design, is organized chronologically and features tiles in every variety of shape, displaying each individual tile type, and often with its overall laid pattern. Tiles are also shown in situ around the world and at different periods in their remarkable history.

Buy the book here.


TILE MAKES THE ROOM (Heath Ceramics, 2015)

The book, written by the owners of famous tile company Heath Ceramics, explores tile’s role in good design, as seen through the work of leading designers and architects. Showcasing over 50 projects from around the world, from the dwellings of notable designers to everyday homeowners, grand installations and subtle designs, the writers highlight tile's role in the form and function of architecture and interiors.

Buy the book here.


TILES OF... (Various publications)

Many cities around the world boast colorful and diverse tile designs, which are celebrated in books dedicated to specific locales. From cities famous for their tiles such as Lisbon and Barcelona, to lesser known collections in unexpected places such as Tel Aviv and Havana, the following books document tile's international appeal.



Visit the website here.



Museu Nacional do Azulejo showcases Portugal's history and design of ceramic tiles. Its collection dates from the 15th century to the present. The Museum is housed in the former Madre de Deus Convent, which is decorated in full Portuguese baroque splendor, with gilded and carved wood, paintings and tile panels.

Purchase the museum's website here.


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