The New York Architecture + Design Book Club, created by Head Hi and the design journal Untapped, is a book subscription and quarterly gathering for readers and creative people that takes place at Head Hi’s Brooklyn bookstore. It is a lively program series where experts, authors and readers can expand their minds and build connections with each other while discussing a recent architecture and design publication during an interactive, thought-provoking event, which is open to the public (an R.S.V.P. is required).
Photo from our first event by Christopher Garcia Valle
JOIN + GET THE BOOKS
Stephen Burks Shelter
in Place, $50
Touch Wood: Material, Architecture Future, $45
A Dark, A Light, A Bright The Designs of Dorothy Liebes, $50
To be announced Winter 2023. Stay tuned!
Join us on Saturday, September 23 from 3-5pm! The third title for the New York Architecture + Design Book Club subscription and event is A Dark, A Light, A Bright, The Designs of Dorothy Liebes (Yale University Press in association with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum) edited by Susan Brown, Associate Curator and Acting Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, and Alexa Griffith Winton, a design historian and educator currently serving as Manager of Content and Curriculum at Cooper Hewitt, and contributions by John Stuart Gordon, Emily M Orr, Monica Penick, Erica Warren and Leigh Wishner.
This is the first major publication devoted to weaver and designer Dorothy Liebes, reinstating her as one of the most influential American designers of the twentieth century
At the time of her death, Dorothy Liebes (1897–1972) was called “the greatest modern weaver and the mother of the twentieth-century palette.” As a weaver, she developed a distinctive combination of unusual materials, lavish textures, and brilliant colors that came to be known as the “Liebes Look.” Yet despite her prolific career and recognition during her lifetime, Liebes is today considerably less well known than the men with whom she often collaborated, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Dreyfuss, and Edward Durrell Stone. Her legacy also suffered due to the inability of the black-and-white photography of the period to represent her richly colored and textured works.
Extensively researched and illustrated with full-color, accurate reproductions, this important publication examines Liebes’s widespread impact on twentieth-century design. Essays explore major milestones of her career, including her close collaborations with major interior designers and architects to create custom textiles, the innovative and experimental design studio where she explored new and unusual materials, her use of fabrics to enhance interior lighting, and her collaborations with fashion designers, including Clare Potter and Bonnie Cashin. Ultimately, this book reinstates Liebes at the pinnacle of modern textile design alongside such recognized figures as Anni Albers and Florence Knoll.
A Dark, A Light, A Bright, The Designs of Dorothy Liebes is published in association with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and their concurrent exhibition by the same name running from July 7, 2023–February 4, 2024.
The book was published on June 27, 2023. It was designed by Estudio Herrera and includes 256 pages and 225 illustrations.
Alexa Griffith Winton
Alexa Griffith Winton is a design historian and educator. She is currently Manager, Content + Interpretation at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She has researched and published on the work of Dorothy Liebes for over ten years. Griffith’s work has been featured in scholarly and popular publications, including the Journal of Design History, Dwell, August Journal, and the Journal of Modern Craft. She has received research grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, Center for Craft, Creativity and Research, Nordic Culture Point, and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
Susan Brown is Associate Curator and Acting Head of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she oversees a collection of 27,000 textiles produced over 2,000 years. Her exhibitions include Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (2018), Contemporary Muslim Fashions (2020), Suzie Zuzek for Lilly Pulitzer: The Prints that Made the Fashion Brand (2021) and A Dark, A Light, A Bright: The Designs of Dorothy Liebes (2023), among many others. She has also contributed to the publications Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe, Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living, and Ripples: mïna perhonen. She lectures regularly for the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.
Juan Jofre Lora is the Founder and Principal of Estudio Esmero Architecture and an Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute. Prior to founding Estudio Esmero, Juan taught architecture at the University of Texas in Austin and worked for several renowned firms, including A+I, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien, Weiss / Manfredi, Studio Libeskind, and KPF. He has also participated in multiple public exhibitions, including as the Research Coordinator for OfficeUS, the American Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale. Juan was born in Bogota, Colombia and immigrated to the United States in 1996.
IN CONVERSATION WITH
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE EVENT
UNTAPPED BOOK REVIEW
Ahead of each event, Untapped publishes a review of the featured book, written by a leading design critic. We are pleased to announce that the review of A Dark, A Light, A Bright has just been published by Debika Ray, the editor of Crafts magazine and Head of Editorial at Crafts Council in the U.K.
At each gathering, the author(s) will briefly present their book to a special guest, outlining its main topics and the process of bringing the publication to life.
This introductory presentation will be followed by a conversation, open to all attendees and participants and led by the book club’s organizers, that encourages discussion and insights around the book’s content and design, and its connection to the broader architecture and design community.
Come prepared to judge a book by its cover and look back to look forward!
Our first title for the New York Architecture + Design Book Club debut event on February 18, 2023 featured Stephen Burks: Shelter in Place (Yale University Press), a survey of the last 10 years of Burks’s global workshop-based practice, alongside a new commission of speculative works exploring ideas concerning domesticity in the wake of global crises.
Stephen Burks is one of the most recognized American industrial designers of his generation. Independently and through association with various non-profits, he has worked as a product development consultant in close collaboration with artisans and craftspeople in over ten countries on six continents. Stephen and his Brooklyn-based studio have been commissioned by many of the world’s leading design-driven brands to develop collections that engage hand production as a strategy for innovation including Cappellini, Dedon, Mass Design Group, Missoni, & Roche Bobois. Stephen is the only African-American to win the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Product Design and the only industrial designer to be awarded the prestigious Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Christian Nyampeta is an artist, filmmaker and writer living in New York and working in the Netherlands and Rwanda. He organizes programs, exhibitions, screenings, performances, pedagogical experiments, and publications, which are conceived as hosting structures for collective feeling, cooperative thinking, and mutual action. Nyampeta’s recent activities include participating in the 58th Carnegie International. Nyampeta sits on the Board of Directors at Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, and he is a board member of November Magazine, also in New York.
READ THE BOOK REVIEW
Francesca Perry reviews Shelter in Place.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS
Head Hi is an organization dedicated to art and design specializing in publications and cultural programming with an espresso bar located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn by the Navy Yard. We feature a curated selection of publications from around the globe. Working with local and international artists, designers, publishers, community members and organizations in various fields, Head Hi is a space for exploration and interaction that hosts talks, book launches, art shows, music performances and other events.
Untapped is a new design journal that looks back to look forward. It tells long-form stories about people and projects that combine overlooked or ignored knowledge from the past with new ideas, with the aim of improving our lives. The project features voices from the fields of art, design, food, science, business, and beyond—and often puts them in conversation with one another to share insights that might be useful when tackling issues in their respective pursuits. Published by the design company Henrybuilt, the editorially independent initiative seeks to offer valuable, varied perspectives on where we are, where we’re going, and how the past can enhance the future.