The aesthetic congruity between Japanese and Scandinavian design is self-evident. Both traditions hold a similar attitude toward nature and natural form, both tend to minimalism and share a reverence for craftsmanship. In the field of architecture there was a reciprocal influence between the cultures throughout the Twentieth Century, with Alvar Aalto, who is essentially revered by modern Japanese architects, being particularly vocal in his appreciation of traditional Japanese architecture and design. In graphic and pattern design, the Japaneque is very much a part of the design vocabulary of Marimekko, while contemporary Japanese designer Yurio Seki has collaborated with Swedish craft maven Lotta Jansdotter and is responsible for the design of the first monograph on the work of renowned graphic designer Olle Eksell to be published outside of his native Sweden.
Yurio Seki: Japanese Graphic Designer
? 2008: Yurio Seki
This is the first comprehensive monograph on the work of Yurio Seki and her brand Salvia. Seki is one of the most popular graphics designers in Japan with an instantly recognizable style and palette. Along with a complete presentation of the Salvia pattern and product designs, this book features an extensive selection of her book designs and other print work. Unfortunately, as this is a specially imported domestic publication from Pie Books, all text is in Japanese. (2008: PIE Books; ISBN 9784894446496)
Olle Eksell: Swedish Graphic Designer
? 2007: Olle Eksell
Olle Eksell (1918-2007) was a pioneering figure in Swedish graphic design.Typical of the industry in Sweden, Eksell maintained a diverse practice, working in illustration, corporate identity and editorial design, fabric and textile design, and as a design educator and writer. However, it was his advocacy of the modern conception of graphic design and his 1964 textbook Design-Economy that were most influential in the development of the industry in Sweden. His work is uniformly subtle, beautiful and gentle. Another domestic publication from Pie Books with the majority of its text in Japanese. (2007: PIE Books; ISBN 9784894445475)
Alvar Aalto: Through the Eyes of Shigeru Ban
? 2007: Shigeru Ban, Juhani Pallasmaa & Tomoko Sato
Based on a 2007 exhibition by the same name held at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, this beautifully produced catalogue examines the development of Aalto’s architectural style, reproducing models, drawings, photographs and artifacts from 14 of his key projects. Curated by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who, despite the generational and geographical divide, is perhaps the most most legitimate heir to Aalto’s architectural vision. (2007: Black Dog Publishing; ISBN 9781904772644)
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