We’ve noted many times, that design is really design for life. Everything is designed.

OK, so it’s way past Christmas present time (or early for 2015), but you may want to treat someone (or yourself) to an unusual book or three about design. Often quite quirky, off-the-wall design at that.

This list is from one published by Wired at 2014’s year end.

Some are coffee table books, others are more usable, but what they share is a sense of the quirky, the application of design solutions to problems and some are from the realms of interesting trivia.

Goofy Ideas

Try often logical design conundrums in Variations on Normal by Dominic Wilcox and the report 8 Goofy Ideas That Solve Problems You Didn’t Know You Had which include spirit level scissors for ‘perfectly horizontal haircuts’, a yo-yo bungee and two ended toothpaste tube.

Influential Architects and Photos

For design photos read 17 of the Most Influential Architecture Photos of All Time captured in Shooting Space: Architecture in Contemporary Photography by Elias Redstone about Bas Princen.

Imagine Architecture: Artistic Visions of the Urban Realm is ‘filled with upside down apartment flats, levitating houses and skyscrapers made of clouds.’ It is an imaginative work of dreamed up landscapes and horizons, described as ‘mind-bending buildings that were never meant to be built.’

Toy Cameras Before Instagram

In the 1960s there was a dirt cheap ($1 in the USA) camera from Hong Kong called the Diana producing soft-focus shots scarred by light leaks. They started off the idea of affordable, spontaneous photography we are familiar with today.

In Camera Crazy toy cameras after the Diana are catalogued and fully described by Wired.

Some Other Quirks

Can you imagine travelling around the world to photo the shooting targets used by militaries? Well, Herlinde Koelbi did that and produced Targets. Imagine the thoughtful design that went into human targets!

As designers enter a golden age of design that elaborates packaging and highlights different media and design skills for music and book retailing, check out Collector’s Edition by graphic designer Stuart Tolley.

Other recent Dessol/MBF design and photography blogs:

Past, Present and Future Design is the Key to Life, 16 December 2014

In Conversation with Tom Mackie, Landscape Photographer Extraordinaire, 11 December 2014

At Last the Selfie Is Designed Into Oblivion By Clever Design Work, 25 November 2014

Something of the Importance of Design for Words and Messages, 10 November 2014

Image: NatalieMaynor

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