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Monthly Design Review - February 2023

Accompanying our Forum about designing the future, this month we look into the history and significance of science fiction in films, TV and pop culture.


SCIENCE FICTION: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination (Glyn Morgan, 2022)

Accompanying an exhibition at London's science museum, the book reviews the role played by science fiction in exploring our world and our ideas about our relationship with the human condition. Drawing on a wide range of science fiction examples from the literary and visual canons - short stories, novels, films, television programs, video games, graphic novels, artworks, and more - in both cult and popular culture, it encompasses a fascinating range of themes: machines, travel, aliens (the Other), communication, threats, and anxiety.

This extensively illustrated book features a range of essays by experts, interviews with well-known science fiction authors and reproductions of classic ephemera, graphics, and objects throughout. It also focuses on the darker elements of this fascinating genre: the anxieties, fears, dystopias, monsters, and apocalypses that have populated science fiction from the beginning.

Buy the book here.


SCIENCE FICTION POSTER ART (Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh, 2003)

The book reviews well-known science fiction movies and showcases their poster art from artists around the world. Exhibited side by side are iconic British and American posters, and Czech, French, German, Italian and Polish posters, many previously unpublished in book form. Covering mainstream Hollywood cinema and arthouse auteur films, the book demonstrates the creativity and imagination of the science fiction genre.

Buy the book here.


STAR TREK: Designing the Final Frontier (Dan Chavkin and Brian McGuire, 2021)

The book is a unique, expert look at the mid-century modern design that created and inspired the aesthetic of the most successful and longest-running television franchises of all time. From Burke chairs to amorphous sculptures, the book is bursting with mid-century modern furniture, art, and design elements, illustrating how "Star Trek" helped to shape one of the greatest visions of the future.

Buy the book here.



A companion to AMC’s six-part television series by the same name, this unique book explores the history and evolution of the science fiction genre with contributions from the filmmakers who have helped bring it to life.

For the show, James Cameron personally interviewed Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ridley Scott, and Steven Spielberg to get their perspectives on the importance and impact of the genre. This book reproduces the interviews in full, with the addition of essays by experts in the science fiction field, concept art from Cameron’s personal archives, and imagery from iconic sci-fi movies, TV shows, and books.


Buy the book here.


TYPESET IN THE FUTURE: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies (Dave Addey, 2018)

Written by blogger and designer Dave Addey, the book invites sci-fi movie fans on a journey through seven genre-defining classics, discovering how they create compelling visions of the future through typography and design. These studies are illustrated by film stills, concept art, type specimens, and ephemera, plus original interviews with the filmmakers and designers.

Buy the book here.


MAKE: Props and Costume Armor (Shawn Thorsson, 2016)

Making a sci-fi film on a shoe-string budget? No problem! In this book, master prop maker Shawn Thorsson uses his unique blend of humor and insight to turn years of painful experience into detailed explanations.

The ultimate collision of creative imagination and practical maker skills, making props and costume armor involves sculpting, molding, casting, 3D printing, CNC fabrication, painting, and countless other techniques and technologies. The book demonstrates many of the tools, methods, and processes that you can use to create professional-looking science fiction and fantasy props and armor.

Buy the book here.



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