This one has been on my desktop for a while and seems to want to stay there. Even before getting into the content of the book i was attracted by the meticulous and poetic arrangements of Clivio's collection of every day objects. But the subject is so essential that all the imagery becomes even more meaningful. With an array of products and tools, "Hidden Forms" explains the how and why we create great (or not so great) objects.
After interviews and philosophical observations on the subject, "Hidden Forms" is then divided in various stories; each one has a theme that relates to design in many different ways. The first one tells us how nature comes up with the best materials, such as wood that gets better with time and can even resist dirt. Other chapters talk about how we connect things, how we "handle" them, fold them, measure them, how we can learn by copying first, the power of mono-material objects, the necessity of unified systems and networks, the art of eye protection, and so on. The last chapter is quite charming, as Clivio presents his favorite products by commenting on their constructional qualities but also their indefinable charm and timeless perfection.
"Hidden Forms" is simply fascinating; the collection itself is astonishing and beautifully portrayed. It's the kind of book that i would recommend to anyone who wants to go behind the scenes of design.