Archive for October, 2010

Pantalone, Smitherman or Ford, Toronto’s Still Toronto, Right? Right?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Toronto’s future mayoral stewardship may be hanging in the balance, but there’s no doubt about the significance of our city’s cultural, social and architectural heritage. In recognition, the BUILT store-within-a-store at Swipe offers a selection of informatively readable Torontoniana, relevant both to residents and to interested observers.

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A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto
? 2010: Margaret and Phil Goodfellow cdnmapleleaf

The past two decades have seen an explosion of building in our city, and while from an urban-planning perspective much of this development might be viewed with suspicion, from a purely aesthetic perspective, many of these buildings are thoughtful, challenging and truly beautiful. Authored by Toronto Society of Architects stalwarts Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, this up-to-the-minute guide documents sixty projects completed between 1992 and 2010 that form the core of this Toronto architectural renaissance. Organized by neighbourhood, this pocket-sized guide is equally delightful whether readers choose to hit the streets or do their site-seeing from an armchair. (2010: Douglas & McIntyre; ISBN 9781553654445)

$24.95

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The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork
? 2009: Alana Wilcox & Christina Palassio, editors cdnmapleleaf

The newest title in Coach House’s uTOpia series, the 40 essays in Edible City examine all aspects of the way that Torontonians feed themselves, from fancy restaurant to urban slaughterhouse, from disappearing farmland to balcony container garden. (2009: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452190)

HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets
? 2008: Christina Palassio & Wayne Reeves, editors cdnmapleleaf

With its harbour and sprawling lakeshore, two major river systems with a network of ravines and creeks, and a massive sewer and water-supply system, Toronto is a city of waterways. This fourth volume in the influential uTOpia series explores the city’s relationship with water, both in the landscape and in our domestic and industrial lives. (2008: Coach House Books; ISBN 9781552451946)

Historical Atlas of Toronto, paperback
? 2009: Derek Hayes cdnmapleleaf

In this recent addition to the acclaimed series, geographer Derek Hayes charts Toronto’s history, presenting more than 200 period maps that together provide a unique visual record of the city’s development. (2008: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd; ISBN 9781553654971)

The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl
? 2009: John Sewell cdnmapleleaf

A meticulous and thoughtful account of how Toronto became “Greater” Toronto, expanding on the author’s classic study The Shape of the City. John Sewell includes anecdotes on the origin and purpose of Toronto’s expressway system, the economic and political history of infrastructure in the 905, and the unlikely connection between the QEW and Adolph Hitler. (2009: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 9780802095879)

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto
? 2010: Shawn Micallef & Marlena Zuber cdnmapleleaf

Shawn Micallef, Eye columnist, senior editor at Spacing and a co-founder of the [murmur] project, explores Toronto’s buildings and streetscapes as dynamic cultural entities, examining not only their structure and purpose but also the ways they are used and experienced by the people who inhabit them. The thirty-two featured walks, guided by hand-drawn maps from illustrator Marlena Zuber, invite the reader to experience the city at a pace that celebrates the details as well as the grand vision. (2010: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452263)

The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork: $24.95
HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets: $24.95
Historical Atlas of Toronto: $34.95
The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl: $24.95
Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto: $24.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

We’ve Carried Lots of Really Cool Items Over the Years, But This, Well, This is Really Cool

Monday, October 18th, 2010

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The product of a collaboration between LEGO and celebrated architectural artist (and LEGO Certified Professional) Adam Reed Tucker, whose educational company, BrickStructures, Inc., specializes in the design and execution of scale replicas of architectural masterpieces in the ubiquitous plastic bricks. Or rather, not replicas. Tucker makes this point on the BrickStructures web site: “I first and foremost do not view my models as literal replicas, but rather artistic interpretations that capture the essence of their sculptural form.” Furthering his educational mission, Tucker’s ‘artistic interpretations’ are currently the centerpiece of an exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry. “With products such as the line of souvenir sets and educational events, we wish to promote an awareness of the fascinating worlds of architecture, engineering and construction in a new and unexpected way.” Tucker states. In the newly released Frank Lloyd Wright licensed series, as in the entire LEGO Architecture program, Tucker’s artistry is equally evident in the individual designs and in the overall concept, which puts to shame anything that’s come out of Billund recently. They are simple, honest and to the heart of what has made LEGO a mainstay of Twentieth-Century childhood.

Lego Architecture Landmark Series

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Sears Tower
? 2008: Adam Reed Tucker, Owings & Merrill Skidmore, Bruce Graham & Fazlur Khan

The first in the LEGO Architecture series, this striking black-and-white replica of the famous Sears Tower in Chicago measures 9 inches (228 mm) tall.

John Hancock Center
? 2008: Adam Reed Tucker, Owings & Merrill Skidmore, Bruce Graham & Fazlur Khan

Another Chicago landmark, this model of the John Hancock Center measures 7.5 inches (192 mm) tall.

Empire State Building
? 2009: Adam Reed Tucker & Lamb & Harmon Shreve

The Empire State Building, third in the LEGO Architecture Landmark series, proudly standing 7.4 inches (188 mm) tall.

Space Needle
? 2009: Adam Reed Tucker, Edward Carlson, John Graham & Victor Steinbrueck

This futuristic tower, Seattle’s famous Space Needle created for the 1962 World’s Fair, is the fourth in the LEGO Architecture Landmark series.

Each set: $29.95

Lego Architecture Frank Lloyd Wright Series

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
? 2009: Adam Reed Tucker & Frank Lloyd Wright

2009 marks the 50th anniversary of New York City’s best-known museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Guggenheim set stands 4 inches (102 mm) tall and includes a booklet describing the history and construction of the classic 5th Avenue landmark.

$64.95

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Fallingwater
? 2009: Adam Reed Tucker & Frank Lloyd Wright

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1934, Fallingwater is the most famous residential architectural design in the world. The assembled model stands 10 inches (256 mm) wide and includes a booklet with facts about the building, its construction and its history.

$159.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.

A Stunning Tribute to the Private Book Collector

Monday, October 18th, 2010

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Click on the image to browse this book’s contents
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Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 1 : 1628–1900

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles, Volume 2 : 1900–1938

? 2009 & 2010: Cees de Jong, Alston W. Purvis & Jan Tholenaar

Taschen has a knack, unrivaled among contemporary art and design publishers, for successfully balancing price against quality and content. By licensing existing text and photography, and through the creative use of out-of-copyright material, the publisher consistently manages to create desirable, yet affordable, books. Unfortunately, such books generally add little to the public record or to a critical understanding of their subject. Every so often, however, Taschen produces a book of grand significance. Drawn from the collection of the late Jan Tholenaar, these astoundingly beautiful surveys of the printed type specimen are probably the most consequential design books Taschen has ever published. The majority of the examples are exquisitely rare Continental specimens from the Nineteenth Century. Typical of Taschen, there is precious little explanatory text. The introductory essays, by Cees de Jong and Alston W. Purvis, are superficial and provide practically no context for the material that follows. Which would be more of a shame if the material that follows were not so extraordinary and otherwise completely unavailable. In fact, the illustrations embedded in the introduction, a Berthold Hebrew script specimen from 1924 and an Arabic and Turkish specimen from Stempel in 1922, are so lovely that it’s hard to even pay attention to the text. What these volumes also demonstrate, quite dramatically, is the continued relevance of of the private book collection as both an intellectual exercise and a cultural record. There are certainly institutional collections that rival the one amassed by Mr. Tholenaar, but such collections are typically not accessible by the public and are virtually never documented in so glorious a fashion. (2009: Taschen; ISBN 9783836511018 & 2010: Taschen; ISBN  9783836515146)

Each: $64.95

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To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: info@swipe.com.