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Past and Present

By Dwell @dwell

Design*Sponge managing editor Amy Azzarito branches out with her first book, Past and Present. “I love learning about history through objects and design rather than remembering names and dates; it makes more sense to me,” says Azzarito. Her column, “Past & Present,” dives into design history and links it to present day. “Even an object as ubiquitous today as the sofa didn't always exist. Someone had to come up with it first. The fact that our homes didn't always look this way is fascinating to me.”

That intrigue prompted Azzarito to take her column one step further and develop it into a book of the same name, Past & Present, set for release on March 1. The subtitle explains the content, “24 Favorite Moments in Decorative Arts History and 24 Modern DIY Projects Inspired By Them.” In the book, artists tackle designs from the past and give them a modern twist. Straightforward directions are included with each project, as well as an educational essay that explains the historical and decorative arts tie-in. Here are some highlights from Past & Present.

Inlaid Easel designed by Anzfer Farm

Inlaid Easel designed by Jonathan Anzalone and Joseph Ferriso of Anzfer Farm
This sturdy, practical, modern spin on an old-fashioned easel offers a fashionable way to prop up your iPad, showcase a book or keep to-do lists nearby. “They took something that seemed clunky and old and made it new, vibrant and modern,” Azzarito says. “In the culture of the Renaissance, collection was a part of someone’s identity—to display your knowledge and wealth and good taste. I love the cheeky idea that a cell phone or iPad is a cabinet of curiosity for the modern day person.”

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