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10 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Overview of Mid Century Design
A very comprehensive, and easy to understand book. Great information broken down into relevant categories, with wonderful photography. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in Mid Century design aesthetics.
Published 9 months ago by Tina

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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures. Text......heavy going.
What I liked about this book: It is well organised and it has lots of well-chosen, well composed, colourful and clearly printed photographs..

If you want inspiration and ideas, the excellent photographs will give you what you are looking for. Only one picture contains a human figure - the others let you concentrate on the design and the furnishings, with no...
Published on 21 Nov 2008 by Martin A


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Overview of Mid Century Design, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
A very comprehensive, and easy to understand book. Great information broken down into relevant categories, with wonderful photography. I would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in Mid Century design aesthetics.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures. Text......heavy going., 21 Nov 2008
By 
Martin A (Normandy, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
What I liked about this book: It is well organised and it has lots of well-chosen, well composed, colourful and clearly printed photographs..

If you want inspiration and ideas, the excellent photographs will give you what you are looking for. Only one picture contains a human figure - the others let you concentrate on the design and the furnishings, with no distracting sign of any occupants.

Where the book falls down....

I found the writing is very heavy going.

On the dustwrapper, it mentions "Bradley also completed a master's degree in History of Art at the University of London".

It seemed to me that the book reads like a master's degree dissertation in which the writer's aim is to show his professor that he has thoroughly mastered the subject - rather than a book aiming to inform and entertain a general reader interested in the subject.

I'd read a paragraph and think "that sounds impressive - but what does it mean?" Then I'd read it again more carefully. At a third reading, I'd give up, not knowing whether it meant something profound or whether it was impressive-sounding but essentially meaningless twaddle.

A typical paragraph:

"The new styles of furniture took centre stage with the distinctive shapes that continue to typify the look today. While mid-century furniture is often recognisable by its balance of form and function, its impact resulted from its ability to convey the dynamics of lived experience in static form. Mid-century designers regarded furniture as tactile art intended to cradle the human form. Although the use of new materials and techniques pioneered a change of direction for furniture - with moulded and glued plywood, and plastics reinforced by fibreglass, among the exciting developments - the forms continued to take shape in relation to the human body. Designers used furniture to articulate the tension between movement and stillness, which can never be separated from the human body. Consequently, 1950s furniture often expressed a body-consciousness unknown to other traditions."

"... the dynamics of lived experience in static form." Huh?

".. to articulate the tension between movement and stillness, which can never be separated from the human body". Does this actually mean something that can be expressed in simple words? Dunno. Beats me.

The text is not always linked to the pictures. Descriptions of stylish objects in text, without linked illustrations is hard to follow. As just one example:

"In Isamu Noguchi's hands abstract art became applied art, In one of his sculptures, wood and glass were moulded into an arrestingly curvaceous silhouette that caught the eye of George Nelson, who identified the shape of a table in its form. An American manufacturer shared Nelson's view and in 1944 collaborated with Noguchi to transform the design into a coffee table. Organic in style, Noguchi's Coffee Table was manufactured with two wooden legs that interlocked to form a tripod, which supported a plate-glass top 2cm (3/4in) thick. Both parts of the design were reversible: the tabletop could be placed upside down or back to front, while the mirror effect of the tripod's design enabled it to maintain the same profile even when turned upside down. Needless to say, Noguchi's considered balance of sculptural form, design innovation and durable function inspired other designers of the period to pursue abstract shapes."

On checking the index, I found that there is actually a photo, earlier in the book, in which a part of such a coffee table is visible.

I recommend this book for its masses of interesting, clear and well-composed and chosen pictures of mid-century design. If you are like me, you'll finish up skipping over the text and enjoying it simply for its illustrations, which I found inspiring and first class.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on mid century design I've purchased, 26 Aug 2009
This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
I have a few books on mid century design and this is my favourite, featuring photos in room settings including a lot of photos from the period. It's a great overview of all aspects of interior design including ceramics and metalware, and focuses on interiors in Britain mainly, showing influences from the US and Scandinavia etc. I don't understand anything about design so the author going off on one (as another reviewer commented) didn't bother me really as all the design speak goes over my head anyway..

Lovely typeface used in the book too!
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4.0 out of 5 stars ALMOST perfect, 8 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book, well researched and with beautiful photos of mid century interiors.
The only reason I haven't given it 5 stars is because on page 72 he describes a Poul Henningsen Artichoke pendant when the picture is actually of Normann Copenhagen Norm69 pendant. They are very similar but the leaves on the artichoke are a flat metal whereas the Norm69 is moulded plastic which has folded down edges which are quite obvious in the photo.

It's absolutely worth buying and I'd recommend this to anyone for the historical details alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and practical, 18 May 2011
By 
J. Hellon (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
This is the perfect source book if you are considering decorating in a mid-century style. The photos provide inspiration, but allow you to take bits from each house on display. The accompanying text is incredibly knowledgeable, really describing where each look came from and how it is achieved.

Despite being more of a history book, this has helped me to create exactly the room I always wanted and helped me to understand what I was trying to achieve.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book..., 11 Aug 2008
By 
M. Otesanya "missy style" (Hackney, london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
Wow, what a great book. The pictures are impressive and plentiful and the narrative is very informative regarding the era. I have many books on design and interiors and this is one of my fantastic finds! There really is no need to buy another book on this era as it is all here.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, well researched and a great reference, 10 Jun 2011
By 
n7misc (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
I'm interested in the period and I would have said pretty well informed, but this gorgeous book was a revelation. Full of beautiful photographs, often from private homes, this book is wonderful to flick through as a (very classy) coffee table book, but offers much more of an insight into the important design trends and designers of the period. The author clearly loves his subject matter and his passion shows.

The book covers different geographical movements / emphases and considers overall design, looking at whole properties and rooms (including some you might recognise), but also focuses in on furniture, fabrics, objets d'art and kitchenware. It has a very good reference section at the back, with advice to those collecting / wanting to begin collecting - covering care as well as where to find the right stuff.

One nice thing to note - the author isn't snobbish about only having original (expensive!) pieces. He also looks at how such pieces can be combined with contemporary products and environments in such a way that a fresh, but 'respectful' or authentic modernistic setting can be created and enjoyed by anyone with an interest. I've enjoyed this book as an aesthetic piece and as a reference guide - having read around the topic, I feel confident in saying that this is the only book the average reader will need on domestic design in the 1950s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very stylish, 25 Dec 2014
By 
Felix Sanchez Del Rio (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
Cool photos. My wife is into midcentury furniture at the moment and loves the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 28 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
Nice book, with good pix and meaningful text !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 22 July 2014
This review is from: Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors) (Hardcover)
love it
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