Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. Every thing design: die Sammlungen des Museums für Gestaltung. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009

Every Thing Design, an 864-page catalogue of the Swiss design museum’s collection, is certainly striking. It has the dimensions and bulk of a truncated brick; it feels like a box with something heavy inside. In its shrink-wrapped form, the book is defiantly close-lipped about its provenance or purpose (...) As well as design, Boom is credited with the ‘idea’ (what this means is unclear) and with image editing. Every Thing Design has a 190-page prologue, and a 190-page epilogue consisting entirely of pictures of objects and images from the museum’s collection shown one to a page. The curators gave the designer a completely free hand to choose any items she liked and to group them as she saw fit (...) In this case, the curators were willing to set aside their intellectual expertise and visual sensitivity because they seem to have believed that deferring to a designer celebrated as a master of the medium would confer greater value on the book and convey a positive message about the museum to readers. As I grappled for several hours with this awkward and totally impractical volume – it won’t even lie flat and stay open on the page you are reading – I would have been happy to settle for the routine handiwork of any ordinarily competent book designer.”

 

Rick Poynor. "Expression of faith". Blog Eye magazine, 15 November 2010 [online]