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Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes Hardcover – August 18, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jane Thompson is an urbanist--designer and planner-who has spent her thirty-year career creating successful and well-loved places that contribute to the vitality and identity of cities worldwide, such as Dublin, Cardiff, Amsterdam, and Tokyo. Since 1994, she has been principal of Thompson Design Group in Boston, whose projects include Navy Pier in Chicago, the Grand Central District and Times Square Center in New York, the North Coast Harbor plan in Cleveland, and the Redevelopment Master Plan for Houston's Buffalo Bayou. Jane graduated from Vassar College and pursued graduate studies at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. She then worked for the Museum of Modern Art and became acting assistant curator in the Department of Architecture. This was followed by positions as architecture editor of Interiors magazine and founding editor of Industrial Design (now I.D.). In the late 1960s Jane became co-owner of Design Research, Inc., founded by her late husband, architect Benjamin Thompson. With Thompson, she conceived and designed Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace and numerous waterfront restorations in the United States and abroad. She has been a board member of the International Design Conference in Aspen, the Institute for Urban Design, and the Waterfront Center in Washington, D.C. Jane chairs the Gropius House Advisory Committee in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has received numerous awards for her work, including a lifetime achievement award from the Industrial Design Society of America and Institute Honors from the AIA. In 2000, Jane and Ben Thompson were each named Knight First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland.


Alexandra Lange is a critic, journalist and architectural historian based in Brooklyn, and her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Icon, Metropolis, New York Magazine and The New York Times. She teaches architecture criticism in the D-Crit Program at SVA and the Urban Design & Architecture Studies Program at NYU.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811868184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811868181
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.9 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mill on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Going through this wonderful DR book brings back so many memories for me. I remember when DR opened in Harvard Sq. First you noticed the amazing building. It was a pleasure to view, with all the light and colors visible through the glass. Then, when you entered the building there was color everywhere, a whole new style of furnishing and decorating and WOW those Marimekko fabrics. I never came out of DR without purchasing something, it was a fun place to shop.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is the last word on the greatest store ever created. The stories in here are illuminating, exuberant and full of everything that was right and positive and hopeful about the 1960's. If you've only heard about Design Research but never got there, this is your best shot at it. Back to the future!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book! For those of us who loved the Design Research stores and mourned their passing, this book brings back many happy memories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thorough and detailed, this describes an exciting time in the history of design. Ben Thompson and Design Research made great design available to American consumers. Now we have lots of retail stores that offer well-designed merchandise to consumers. All because DR broke the ice. I lived in Cambridge in those days too, so it's cool to read the backstory.
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I was sent to Design Research for the first time in the early 60’s by my design professor. It was our go to place for finding good design. 50 years later I still love the things I saw there and have acquired many for our home. The book brought back fond memories. A great coffee table book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is primarily of interest to style and interior design aficionados. I bought it because I was living in Cambridge in DR's "breakthrough" and had friends working there in rather high positions. I wanted to reminisce, and did so. I don't think the book would be of much interest to a general audience.
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This book about Design Research captures the visual style of the store through a distinctive format that offers a unique voice for some of the participants who lived and practiced modern design during this era, along with many ideas quite relevant in our world today. Many of Ben Thompson's good ideas are recognizable in the new ventures spawned by D|R. The store was a great venue for many innovative ideas-- and this book documents a great era of "thinking design" that some of us still practice!

Thanks to Jane Thompson and her team, for generously documenting this influential era of design history, so that future generations can understand what came before the present day form! Let's hope this book becomes a catalyst for, and influences, more great ideas to come!---KLD
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wish it had more visual examples of what D.R. sold to support the writing. Distant shots through the windows don’t do it
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