5 Design & Culture Books You Need To Have On Your Radar

BY Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / Oct 12 2019 / 09:47 AM

Escape to a world of exquisite design, architecture and culture with these must-have new releases

5 Design & Culture Books You Need To Have On Your Radar
5 Design & Culture Books You Need To Have On Your Radar
Courtesy of Taschen
An inside spread of The Sartorialist India, Bandana Tewari and Scott Schuman

The Sartorialist India, Bandana Tewari and Scott Schuman

Comprising vivid photographs taken by New York-based blogger and fashion photographer Scott Schuman, this tome is a tribute to India’s culture and diversity. Schuman, having visited the country on several occasions, has captured the region’s people and environment in rich colour and beauty as found on the streets, markets and residences in Delhi, Jaipur, Pushkar, and Mumbai.

An inside spread of The Sartorialist India. Courtesy of Taschen

Through the imagery, the photojournalist represents the diversity and heritage of the country by shedding light on the modernised areas as well as the traditional and provides a rich insight into India’s dynamic landscapes and individuals. “He doesn’t moralize the fierce contradictions that are India; he doesn’t pretend to understand them either,” writes Bandana Tewari. “What he does, authentically, is focus on the uplifting and the banal, the cinematic and the realistic, in equal measure. He captures what India truly is – a storm in our senses.” Taschen. Dhs257. Taschen.com

Rooms with a History, Ashley Hicks, foreword by Christian Louboutin

Spanning 12 chapters, this book unveils British author, architect, photographer, interior and furniture designer Ashley Hicks’ latest creations as well as historic rooms and objects that have inspired his work over the years. The opening chapter is graced with writing by Christian Louboutin, who has been a dear friend of Hicks for a while.

An inside spread of Rooms with a History. Courtesy of Rizzoli

“Our obsession over details and our obsessive love of objects, despite coming from very different backgrounds, have linked us in a very solid “pairinghood,” and I am so happy today, after so many years, to see that Ashley keeps on living for his passions and by his passions, and to see him share them here, so brilliantly through this book, with every lover of colour, objects, form, and history!” exclaims Louboutin. “His dedication to beauty remains intact and powerful, as does my friendship with him.” The publication features discussions on notable rooms by the likes of the Pantheon in Rome, the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles in France and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. Rizzoli. Dhs220. Rizzoli.com


Journey back over the centuries and discover 100 historically significant Islamic houses of worship across the world through the 232 pages of this book, spanning The Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco - the largest mosque in Africa.  Written by Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the American University in Cairo, Bernard O’Kane, Mosques is the newest addition to Assouline’s Ultimate collection.

An inside spread of MOSQUES. Courtest of Assouline

The publication wonderfully showcases the architectural beauty and differences found in each mosque as a result of diverse sects, regions and practises. While all Islamic houses of worship stem from the same religion, the surrounding landscapes and inhabitants influence the structure and design of each mosque. Readers will find stunning photographs with informative text, as well as quotes by Lebanese-American poet and writer, Kahlil Gibran, from his book entitled The Prophet. Assouline. Dhs3,460. Assouline.com

Achille Salvagni, Pilar Viladas

Dedicated to one of the most influential furniture designers, inside this 272-page spread publication awaits a monograph on acclaimed Roman designer, Achille Salvagni. Featuring a selection of the designer’s recent projects, the pages offer a meticulous glimpse into Salvagni’s career highlighting themes of harmony, colour, heritage and more.

An inside spread of Achille Salvagni. Courtesy of Rizzoli

“As elegant as his work is, simply playing it safe holds no appeal; Salvagni is the first to admit that ‘there’s something that drives me to do things that are a little crazy, that make a space more vibrant’,” writes Viladas. “He likes to look at a space from a different point of view, to subvert expectations, and to move clients beyond their own expectations.” Readers will uncover beautiful imagery on Salvagni’s timeless designs accompanied by riveting text on his inspirations for each project, particularly on the narratives which inform his traditional Italian craftsmanship. Following publication in October, Salvagni will unveil a brand new collection of furniture and décor items made from Murano glass in collaboration with local glass masters. Rizzoli. Dhs239. Rizzoli.com

Evocative Style, Kelly Wearstler

Her first book in a decade, Evocative Style invites readers into the world of famed American designer, Kelly Wearstler. Featured are her latest projects from Art de Vivre, a 1901 limestone town house in New York to Vintage Voltage, a rustic bungalow in California. “Each project was personal, unique, and presented an opportunity to share my passion for history, the arts, and established as well as emerging artists and artisans, with clients who were open and engaged,” writes Wearstler. 

An inside spread of Evocative Style. Courtesy of Rizzoli

“Inspirations were infinite - from the simple beauty found in nature to fashion runways and street style, from the structured tenets of graphic design to the rich traditions of decorative arts and the innovative use of technology.” The pages provide a peak into the author’s perpetual desire to challenge traditional design norms and push the boundaries with ornate and innovative design elements. Rizzoli. Dhs202. Rizzoli.com