Twenty-First Century Design by Marcus Fairs

If you're looking for design-related Christmas presents, this makes the perfect gift, etc etc! Twenty-First Century Design by Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs is an overview of design at the start of the new millennium, presenting over 200 of the most important buildings, interiors, products, furnishings and lights from the last few years.

With a forward written by Marcel Wanders and lavish colour photos over more than 450 pages, the book also has chapters on clothing, landscape and urban design, graphics and homeware. The book was published in October last year. Above: eCity by eBoy.

Frame magazine's reviewer called it "a 463-page encyclopaedia of cutting-edge design” and added it was “worth the design aficionado’s time and money” (see the full review at the bottom of this page), while Architecture Review described it as "an entertaining romp." In its review, the Daily Telegraph said "Marcus Fairs knows a thing or two about design." Above: Smoke by Maarten Baas.

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Above: Millau Viaduct by Foster & Partners.

Here's some more info from


This beautiful book is an exuberant manifesto defining the design zeitgeist at the start of the twenty-first century, charting the
bewildering array of new movements and styles that have erupted over the last few years.

It essentially sets the scene for a dramatic transformation in the way design is perceived that will influence the objects and buildings that
surround us for years to come.

Lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs, it presents over 200 of the most important designs from the fields of architecture, interiors, furniture, lighting, homeware, products, clothing and accessories, visual communication and urban and landscape.

Each entry comes with an in-depth text explaining its significance and giving details of the designer, concept, manufacturing method and materials, as well as explaining how the building or design fits into the contemporary design landscape. Every chapter is prefaced by an essay setting out the key movements, designers and influences that are shaping design in that particular sector.

Many of the objects and designers presented will be familiar to people with an interest in design but there are also many surprises. International figures such as Zaha Hadid, Marcel Wanders, Norman Foster, Tom Dixon and Jasper Morrison are represented but so are up-and-coming talents including Joris Laarman, Ora Ito, Maarten Baas and Ineke Hans.

The book is extremely accessible, demystifying design and explaining the subject in layman's terms while covering trends such as iconic architecture, the return to decoration, the crafts renaissance and rapid prototyping.

The book, written by Marcus Fairs, features an exclusive foreword written by leading international designer Marcel Wanders.

Above: review of Twenty-First Century Design in Frame magazine, November 2007


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