Before design became globalised, some practitioners advocated for a cross-cultural approach that combined modernism’s international ambitions with local sensibilities. 石汉瑞：启蒙者 (Henry Steiner: Graphic Communicator) (2019) brings together the works, essays and interviews of one such trailblazer. The Vienna-born Steiner brought the modern graphic design principles he learnt from Paul Rand in New York to Hong Kong in the mid-1960s just in time for the city’s economic takeoff. By playing off cultural opposites of West and East, he showed one way modernist design ideas were adopted and adapted in Asia. While Steiner‘s works have been published in English, this comprehensive collection, edited by 何东, is entirely in Chinese and introduces him to a new generation and geography. It was published for a 2019 Steiner retrospective curated by designer He Jianping (何见平), who also designed this book.
#ADesignLibrary spotlights lesser known design books, and invites public access to my personal collection of titles that focuses on Singapore architecture and design, Asian design, everyday design, critical and speculative design as well as design theory and philosophy. I welcome inquiries and physical loans.