New Work Spaces

The Bene trend report “New Work Spaces” deals with the worlds of office and work in the twenty-first century. It tracks the significance of communication, interaction and creativity in the age of knowledge work and uncovers developments that shape contemporary work styles.

Framework conditions and trends are analysed because, as work changes, so too does the workplace. The trend report is based among other things on a study from London’s Royal College of Art, commissioned by Bene, that investigates the work styles of knowledge workers and their needs in terms of work spaces.

The Class of the New

The London based historian and political scientist Richard Barbrook straightens out the image of this creative class that has emerged over the past decade in his book “The Class of the New”: Taking London as an example he shows how it is the trend-setters among the young and sub-cultures with their street style who have established the reputation of London as a vibrant cultural metropolis.

According to the authorthis do-it-yourself creativity in music, fashion, design or art is then taken up by the creative industry and sold with great success around the world.

+rosebud no.7 — VERY FUNNY!

VERY FUNNY!, on 600 pages that include the longest joke in the world, explores the previously unimagined depths and pitfalls of our fun-and-games culture.

There are people who can supposedly tell jokes for hours on end. Are you one of those who can laugh about them? Or, when at the movies, do you always have the feeling that the audience constantly laughs at the wrong places? But there are worse things than a bad sense of humor. Like financial crises. Or humor-lacking colleagues who think they are madly funny and gigglingly write quotation marks in the air.

In any case, humor is best when it’s at the expense of others. Which is why VERY FUNNY! - following in the wake of Dada, Fluxus, satire and the grotesque - presents brainwaves and fallouts from biting to ironic - in words and pictures.

The Making of Design

This book takes an in-depth look at design processes, with twenty-five depictions of "the making of" products from a wide variety of industries. Its primary focuses are furniture design, transportation design, and household appliances.

Renowned designers like Konstantin Grcic, the Bouroullecs, Stefan Diez, Hella Jongerius, and Sir Norman Foster offer step by step accounts of how they go about designing products for Vitra, Grundig, Jura, and Authentics – the tools they use for visualization and how projects change during the model phase. Plus: an interview with design legend Dieter Rams on realized and unrealized products for Braun.

Design for the Real World

Victor Papanek’s "Design for the Real World" is internationally considered to be one of the most read design books of all time. The book is based on the awakening of an alternative design concept against the background of the emerging post-fordism and new social movements.

Alongside a broad criticism of culture and consumerism, Papenek discusses social and ecological principles for practicing participatory, decentralised and democratic design. Reinforced by the current debate on issues surrounding climate and environmental preservation, Papenek’s work is becoming ever more significant. There are very few recommended reading lists in the field of social and critical design that do not feature his work.

Originally published in Swedish in 1970 the book has since been translated into over 20 languages, though Papanek was not happy with the original German translation, which has since gone out of print. Shortly before he passed away in January 1998, Papanek authorised a new translation, though its publication was put on hold as a result of the author’s death.

T.C. Boyle - The Women

The fiery loves that populated the life of America's premier architect make excellent grist for an over-the-top melodrama. Wright's private life was shocking, lurid, the stuff of pulp fiction. For three decades and more, American tabloids thrived on appalling revelations about it.
In this book the reader stumbles from last wife to first. Narrating the story is a fictional apprentice, a genial Japanese man named Tadashi Sato. And then there's a co-narrator named O'Flaherty-San.

Why these buffers are necessary or why Boyle decided to employ them, we never know. What we do know is this: Every time the story begins to get some traction - just as we're pulled toward the next juicy morsel - we are reminded to look through a thoroughly trumped up lens. Eventually, Boyle's structure reveals itself as a steady, efficient machine against the natural drama.

The Making of Architecture

This book takes a closer look behind the scenes of 20 internationally renowned architectural practices, presenting an authentic profile of the individual creative realms of architects. The aim is not to flaunt glossy images, but rather to provide a step-by-step account of the design process which becomes more transparent through snapshots of the studios and descriptive texts quoting directly from interviews conducted with the architects.

Each firm is portrayed with a characteristic tool. The aim is to present an overview of the tools different generations of architects have used and to document how these instruments have changed over time - a hitherto hardly documented process.

Playtime

Jacques Tati as Monsieur Hulot – as always tall, slightly bent forward, smoking a pipe – a cult figure of film history!

'Playtime' is set in a sort of "Paris of the future" made of steel, concrete and glass. Monsieur Hulot navigates through this grossly beaurocratic, excessively technological city and takes us to the waiting room of an airport, an office complex, an exhibition on modern living and a fancy restaurant. He continues his struggle against the perils of modern technology that fail to make life easier. A critical but also comical look on the modern world.

The Rise of the Creative Class

Florida, an academic whose field is regional economic development, explains the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues.

Richard Florida traces the fundamental theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity in the economy. He describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant.  

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