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THE DESIGN CHASER

The Touch | A New Book from Kinfolk and Norm Architects

10.02.2019

Creative collaborators Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects and Nathan Williams of Kinfolk have co-authored their first book, The Touch—Spaces Designed for the Senses, published by gestalten. Exploring architecture and design that influence all of the human senses through elements such as light, nature, materiality, color, and community, this book exemplifies how haptic design can provide a richer quality of living. The Touch welcomes readers into over 25 inspiring spaces, from the private residence of Vincenzo De Cotiis, to Le Corbusier’s student dormitory, the Pavillon Suisse—and Tomba Brion, an isolated village cemetery at the foothills of the Dolomites, composed by Carlo Scarpa.

Photography by Staffan Sundström

Thrilled to have been sent an early copy of The Touch, I was looking forward to slowly savouring this book. However once I started reading, it was hard to stop. Presenting an alternative to the age-old notion that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, The Touch explores why good design is not only visually appealing but engages all of the human senses, through stories, conversations and incredible spaces that are all beautifully captivating. Now that I've finished reading it I'm already referring back to so many parts, bookmarking pages for future reference. Most certainly a book to cherish, here's a look inside.


The striking Cover illustration is by Frederik Alexander Werner, Designer and Associate Partner at Norm Architects.  

Photography by Staffan Sundström

Presenting the five essential building blocks of human-centric design—light, materiality, color, nature and community— The Touch is the first book to emerge from the longstanding friendship and creative partnership between Kinfolk founder Nathan Williams and Jonas Bjerre Poulsen of Norm Architects— two leading design authorities who base their practices in Copenhagen, and have previously collaborated on projects including the design of The Kinfolk Gallery.

In The Touch, beautiful homes, hotels, museums, and retail stores—from contemporary designs by Ilse Crawford and Bijoy Jain to classic cases by Arne Jacobsen—open their doors and invite readers to explore how elements such as light, nature, materiality, color, and community can deliberately bring us back to our senses and imbue every day with a richer quality.

"My hope is that readers will start thinking about architecture in a more holistic and humancentric way and that this book can be a small contribution to the world of interior design that goes against he visually-driven trend of social media that is inflicted on design thinking." — Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, from an excerpted conversation with Kinfolk editor in chief John Clifford Burns.


Here's a selection of inspiring editorial images from The Touch. 

ACNE Studios in Seoul, South Korea
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Bijuu Residence in Kyoto, Japan 
Photography by Johan Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

De Cotiis Residence in Milan, Italy
Photography by Christian Møller Andersen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Frama in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Hoshinoya Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

In addition to stunning photography and interviews with design industry leaders such as John Pawson, Juhani Pallasmaa and David Thulstrup, The Touch also details philosophical and art history references that reflect the tradition of design and color theory. For a deeper understanding of the concepts explored, an appendix profiles architects such as Lina Bo Bardi and Richard Neutra; heritage design pieces that helped influence this movement are also listed in the book.

Louisiana Museum in Humblebæk, Denmark 
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh, Morocco
Photography by Adrien Dirand, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Tomba Brion in SanVito di Altivole, Italy
Photography by Christian Møller Andersen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Photography by Staffan Sundström

The Touch is now available in Europe, and will arrive in selected stores worldwide from October 10th, 2019. 


Images courtesy of Kinfolk

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