Sometimes a book's cover, or in this case, the book jacket, is an indication of what is between the boards. The stylish use of the ISBN number and large colorful bar code are emblematic of good modern design. As well as being a dictionary of modern design, this book is also a concise history. It is filled with biographies of individuals, such as Laura Ashley, Charles Eames, and Robert Venturi, as well as entries for styles (Art deco, Danish modern
); materials (Bakelite, Chrome, Formica
); companies (IKEA, Tupperware, Prada
); and more. Each alphabet letter section, from A
, is introduced by a classic example of modern design. For example, F
is illustrated with a photograph of Fiskars scissors; N
with a Nokia mobile phone; R
with a Rubik's Cube. There are no other illustrations.
More than 2,000 entries cover world design from the middle of the nineteenth century through 2004. Occasional boxed entries discuss important concepts such as Arts and Crafts movement, Green design, Kitsch, and Modernism. If an entry heading is mentioned within the text of another entry, it is preceded by an asterisk. The dictionary portion of the volume is followed by a topically organized bibliography, time lines, and an index of names.
A wealth of information in a well-designed book makes this a required purchase for libraries supporting design programs and for most academic libraries and large public libraries. Linda Loos Scarth
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
`Woodham, who authored the well-known Twentieth-Century Design, has produced an excellent lexicon of design concepts from the past 150 years. International in focus, the work boasts over 2000 concise entries on concepts like Fisher-Price, Ikea, and Ferrari as well as background on designers (e.g., Michael Graves), manufacturers, major museums, and heritage sites. A multitude of mediums is represented, including ceramics, furniture, graphics, industrial design, interiors, and fashion. However, it is not just the richness of information provided that makes this dictionary an essential acquisition. There are also superb time lines charting both aesthetic and commercial movements in design, plus a thorough bibliography and a well-organized index. Bottom Line This marvelously compiled dictionary will answer just about any reference question on modern design. A delight to browse; highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.' Library Journal