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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Eco-Design

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February 03, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: Eco-Design

Books about environmentalism

Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books about green design.

ecoDesign: The Sourcebook (by Alastair Fuad-Luke, $35, Chronicle Books, Jan. 2010): This revised third edition's artful presentation of stylish objects tempts readers to dream about wearing a solar vintage frock while arranging recycled furniture in a mod eco-pad. Though aspirational in nature, the book is not impractical. A section detailing the attributes of materials ranging from hemp particle board to elephant dung paper is a good resource and an extensive list of vendors can help readers who want to make their eco-design dreams a reality.

Wild Design: Ecofriendly Innovations Inspired by Nature (by Alan Marshall, $19, North Atlantic Books, 2009): The conceptual designs detailed in the book were created by members of the Ecomimicry Design Project, which studies plants and animals to find ideas for green innovations. The prototypes, based on flower petals, shark bodies, or wasp nests, encourage readers look to the natural world and ponder possible eco-inventions.

Green: Architecture Now! (by Philip Jodidio, $40, Taschen, 2009): Taschen has a reputation for publishing stunning collections of visual arts, and its tome on green architecture does not disappoint.  With text in English, German, and French, readers are introduced to the world's top eco-architects and the buildings--both completed and imagined--on the cutting edge of both form and sustainability.

From Bauhaus to Ecohouse: A History of Ecological Design (by Peder Anker, $35, LSU Press, Jan. 2010): This thoroughly researched text traces the emergence of eco-design from its roots in the Bauhaus movement of the 1930s through the end of the cold war. While readers may not expect biologist Edward O. Wilson, architect Walter Gropius, and Disney's Epcot center to be mentioned in the same book, author Peder Anker shows that the disciplines of art and science have been mingling for years.

--Della Watson

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