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CULTURE

Best of CH 2011: Five Books

CULTURE

Best of CH 2011: Five Books

Profane grammatical stylings, an inside look at NYC's elevated park, an insane beer can collection and more in our look at the best tomes of 2011

by CH Editors
on 29 December 2011

The digital era isn't stopping writers with a clear purpose for a printed publication, and readers are just as eager to get their hands on a bit of paper that will stimulate their mind and sit well on their shelves for another read another day. Below are the top five books on Cool Hunting that made an impact on 2011.

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Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design

The first retrospective book on the 20th century's film title master, "Saul Bass: A Life in Film & Design" shows the legendary visual communicator's full spectrum of work, spanning his graphic wizardry to album and book covers, typefaces, packaging, retail displays, a hi-fi system, toys and a postage stamp.

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The Elements of F*cking Style

A modern parody of Strunk & White, in "The Elements of F*cking Style authors Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen address everything from common questions like "What the hell is a pronoun?" to conundrums like "Does not using paragraphs or periods make my thesis read like it was written by a mental patient?"

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High Line: The Inside Story

The founders of NYC's park in the sky recount their ten-year journey in "High Line: The Inside Story." The intimately detailed book offers valuable insight on all of the planning and production that went into creating the beloved elevated park, as well as photos of the stretch before it became an urban gem.

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My First Dictionary

"My First Dictionary" uses cleverly corrupt definitions to teach big kids the facts of life. Inspired by "The Giant Picture Dictionary for Boys and Girls," first time author Ross Horsley's humorous take is perfectly accented by charming Norman Rockwell-esque illustrations taken from the original 1977 children's book.

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Beer

After documenting the astonishing assortment of cans found in his step-dad's Midwest basement, San Fracisco-based designer Dan Becker created "Beer" along with fellow designer Lance Wilson. The book handsomely captures a beer can collection that spans seven decades and 32 countries.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

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I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

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In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

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Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

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I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

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Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

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Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

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Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

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Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

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The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

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I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

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A quest to make the future brighter—underground

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We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

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The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

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Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

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How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

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We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

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People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

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I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

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Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

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It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

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[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

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The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

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I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

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My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

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What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

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The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

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I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

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I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

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We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

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We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should
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