Design In Canada Since 1945: Fifty Years From Teakettles To Task Chairs by Rachel Gotlieb and Cora Golden (Knopf/Design Exchange), 278 pages, $75 (cloth). Rating: NNNN
Rachel Gotlieb and Cora Golden's historical overview of Canadian industrial design since the second world war may be encyclopedic, but it's also full of sly humour. The 60s kitsch shot of a beehived model stretching her long legs out on the ottoman of Jerry Adamson and Kan Industrial Design's 1967 Habitat Chair will win over even the most jaded reader. From Hugh Spencer's sexy Clairtone Project G stereo (Frank Sinatra endorsed it, Hugh Hefner bought it) to Karim Rashid and Umbra's trademark Garbo garbage can, Design In Canada Since 1945 presents uniquely Canuck products as serious players on the global stage. It's a feel-good hit of nationalistic pride with some nifty historical stuff that actually ranks as serious content and excellent illustrations.