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Life Style [Hardcover]

Bruce Mau
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £45.00
Price: £39.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2000
Since founding his Toronto-based studio in 1985, Bruce Mau has become one of the world's most sought-after designers, collaborating with leading architects, artists and cultural institutions in North America and Europe. This book documents his creative process and studio practice. A collection of essays, observations and personal anecdotes interspersed with project documentation, it manifests Mau's world view and his belief that form and content are inseparable.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press Ltd (1 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9707906391
  • ISBN-13: 978-9707906396
  • ASIN: 0714838276
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 22 x 5.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,154,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'A 624-page strip tease performed with an endless variety of veils...the book tantalizes readers with glimpses into the thinking of one of the most creative minds at work in design today.' (New York Times) 'A book form thats partly a journal of ideas, creative anthology, social critique, manifesto for change and a superlative piece of design.' (Blueprint) 'An insightful and exhilarating analysis of image culture.' (Dazed and Confused) 'A wide-ranging, fascinating view of the world, it offers hundreds of explanations (or observations) of what we see around us.' (Guardian) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Bruce Mau is the President and Creative Director of Bruce Mau Design. He has been a visiting scholar at institutions worldwide, including The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, Rice University in Houston, the University of Toronto's School of Architecture, and California Institute of the Arts, where he was an artist-in-residence. He has lectured widely throughout North America and in Berlin and Zurich, and in 1998 won the Chrysler Award for Design Innovation. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Bruce Mau and associates give us an in depth view into the workings of their own design practice, covering work in a variety of areas.
A volume similar in size and scope to "S,M,L,XL" (beware the P&P on this one), "Life Style" is a must for anyone interested in peeling back the surface of advertising, graphics, architecture, book design and more. Considerable insight and candour reveal the thinking behind commercial pitches and more personal projects alike. Simple language is used to explain the meanings and convey the importance of each design aspect, so if you don't consider yourself a theorist, don't be put off. This really is a fascinating behind the scenes look at modern image culture, addressing the issues of our saturated global hyper-culture in layman's terms - and if all else fails there's some great pictures too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and imaginative 12 Aug 2001
By Philippe Vandenbroeck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Working as a management consultant I'm often turned off by the staleness of much of the current management literature. The design community is a much more sensitive antenna as to what is happening in the world today.
Bruce Mau's Life Style is an imaginative survey of how the world is being transformed under the inexorable impetus of global capitalism. It is not a dispassionate account: basically Mau is trying to show us how he is dealing with a very fundamental existential dilemma. Because, as a successful designer, Mau is part of the system - developing and spreading the lingua franca of a global economy. At the same time he is rebelling against the pervasive homogenisation of our image culture: "We should not forget that the com after the dot is short for commercial. Must we define every gesture and possibility within this envelope? Is it not our role to imagine new futures more rich and complex and wild in their style than any single framework can accomodate?"
Yhe book is a captivating mix of artwork and short insightful essays. Sanford Kwinter's introductory three-page essay alone is worth the price of the book. I gather this book will be very influential in the years to come.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars oma envy, or bruce erases rem's name (again) 30 July 2001
By richard winchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Here's the thing: Bruce Mau is a very good designer. His office turns out a lot of very refined objects, this monograph included. That said, this book is probably twice as big as it ought to be. It seems to me as though BMD wants to be more like OMA; "S,M,L,XL" was one of the best architectural books ever, and its heft reinforced the work being shown within it. "Life Style" is just big for the sake of being big. Well, as well as being self-indulgent. Because graphic designers are not asked to be deep thinkers, and most of their attempts at same do not fare very well. Bruce Mau really wants to be considered as an equal to the deep thinkers, and he just isn't. He's just a (very) good designer.
Buy it anyway. It's got too much good work inside to ignore, but keep some salt handy.
(p.s. indigo.ca was allowing people to choose their cover; they may still be doing that)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overproduced 12 Jan 2001
By Max Fenton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The Bruce Mau Life Style clearly intends to brand the man behind the firm, thought the work is a corporate product. The Romantic artis-genius may be dead, but the irony of the book is its insistence on Bruce Mau as just that.
The inspirational tome (or semi-manifesto) is a beautiful object on par with the Tolleson book (Soak Wash Rinse Spin) and leagues beyond Cahan's I Am Almost Always Hungry.
In all, this is an overhyped, well-made product, worth seeing/having as an object of production.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Bruce 13 Dec 2000
By Ferdinand Van Heerden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I received this book as a present from a friend, and must admit that it was the most special gift I have received in a long time. I have long been fascinated with Bruce Mau's ideas, and this book brings the ideas and implimentation of ideas together very elegantly. The insights into "How it works" are essential material for anyone with ambitions of setting new standards in design.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideas and images 29 Dec 2001
By Reto Zoppi Deiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Whenever you may have thought of the world as image, as customer economy, as something that you probably may have to digest visually, this is the book which will give you an idea of the weight of the image.
We're exposed and there's no shelter. If we want to survive sanely, we better learn to differentiate between the sublime and the ridiculous.
What BMD does, is serious. They know what they're doing and, most probably, they are among the very best in visual/conceptual design in the world. This book is a huge pleasure to go through, just peeping at the pages. But then, once you start reading, it becomes clear that this is not Disney or any sort of escapism - rather, it's anti-consumer, in the sense that the text URGES you to reconsider your comfortable stance of the by-looker and go out and get real about the stuff that goes into your head by way of your eyes.
We have to become active in creating a more responsible graphic/architectural/sensual surrounding; otherwise we'll all be homoequals soon.
Thank you, Bruce - and team, of course, for an insightful tome of words and pictures and simply great design which I'll never forget.
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