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A breathtaking monograph of prolific designer Marcel Wanders, "Behind the Ceiling" investigates the designer's motivations and inspirations, going beyond a simple catalog of work to lend real insight into what makes him tick.

The coffee table-style tome looks at Wanders' ability to reference old motifs while simultaneously exploring new themes, making him a leader in the permeating neo-decorative trend of the last decade. Rejecting the contempt for antiquity—what he calls "baby-face fixation"—in the world of design Wanders attempts to "use both old and new metaphors in the materials and material expressions I apply." Examples in the book include the way he adds novelty to classic Dutch ceramics (pictured below), outfitting eccentrically modern vases with traditional patterns.

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More proof of the Dutch designer's innovative experiments take the form of alternate methods of production and presentation. The Knotted Chair and Crocheted Chair (pictured below) explore the use of epoxy resin to create functional pieces of furniture out of rope and cotton, respectively. A series called the "Airborne Snotty Vases" borrow their shape from mega-magnified models of mucus, captured and reconstructed using SLS rapid prototyping technology.

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As beautiful and provocative as his products, the book also explores Wanders' more recent forays into interior and architectural design. From a glimmering Swarovski installation of luxuriously colorful murals (pictured below) to Mondrian hotels like 2008's South Beach Residence, his irreverent aesthetic creates playfully immersive environments.

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Buy "Behind the Ceiling" from Amazon.

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