Summer brings a desire for lightness, even in design which returns to dealing with games and children, but also with imagination (see Piero Fornasetti), green spaces and small everyday objects
Climate change permitting, with summer the desire for long days in the open air returns, among children's games, fantastic objects and cool evenings in the garden.

Among the novelties of this month, therefore, we cannot miss a book on Garden Design and one on the design of play spaces for children, to whom - we discover - two swings and a slide are not enough.

But also three useful titles to immerse yourself in the always fascinating story of the creative path behind the design of an object. Starting from that of the Australian Marc Newson to finally arrive at the fantastic, a little crazy and very Italian one, of a genius like Piero Fornasetti .

1. Designing Educational Toys & Space by Irene Guerrieri (Franco Angeli, 27 euros)

How do you design for children? The Roman architect Irene Guerrieri, one of the greatest Italian experts in spaces and toys for the little ones (and mother of five children who were lucky enough to grow up testing its prototypes) in this book tries to answer the most difficult question for every creative person.

And she does so by passing through the works of Cas Holman, Rosan Bosch and Rasu Watanabe. Three designers of different ages and backgrounds (the first American, the second European and the third Japanese) but united by the idea of ​​a new, freer and more autonomous education for children.

Page after page we thus discover that the game is the central aspect of every educational activity, the only prerequisite also for the designer to build new and effective scenarios, through which to stimulate imagination, learning constructive relationships with the others.

Who will like it: urban planners, architects and designers. But also to teachers, parents and educators interested in the theme of play and the symbolic value of any playground, domestic or public.

2. Marc Newson. 84-24, edited by Alison Castle (Taschen, 150 euros)

He was born in Sydney, studied sculpture and jewelery and lived and worked in Tokyo, Paris and London, where he finally decided to settle. In the meantime Marc Newson has designed literally everything: bathtubs, large pieces of furniture, accessories, chairs (some of which are now in the collections of 40 museums around the world, including the MOMA in New York) jewellery, boats, cars and waiting rooms.

No project has ever been too small or too big for him, and this book - edited by design and photography expert Alison Castle - has the merit of telling them all, starting from the first pieces like Pod of Drawers and Lockheed Lounge (the famous aluminum chaise longue that broke the world record for the highest price ever paid for furniture by a living designer).

We find them thus ordered chronologically, divided by category and expertly narrated by Castle also thanks to the descriptions of the designer himself.

Who will like it: creatives who, like Newson, are convinced that partnerships with brands with an important history such as Louis Vuitton, Ferrari and Apple should not limit but, on the contrary, free the best creative resources .

3. It is not easy to artfully create a garden by Cristina Imbroglini (Quodlibet, 12 euros)

It is not a biography or an exhaustive catalogue. The book dedicated to Maria Teresa Parpagliolo, a Roman landscape designer born in 1903 and then a landscape designer more loved and known abroad than in our country, written by the architecture teacher Cristina Imbroglini, it is above all a reflection on what it means to design the landscape. Yesterday like today.

We start from the Roman works of Parpagliolo, who participated in the project of the green spaces of the E42, designed the French military cemetery of Monte Mario, the Park of the Cavalieri Hilton Hotel but also the residential complexes of Casal Palocco, Olgiata, Vigna Clara and the patio of the RAI headquarters.

Page after page, the book therefore offers a precious opportunity to reflect on some themes that fuel the contemporary debate on landscape architecture and that Parpagliolo (also author of a column on Domus, from 1930 to 1938, entitled “Flowering Garden”): the training and specific skills of a landscape architect; the continuous redefinition of the landscape architect's field of action in relation to changes in the relationship between man and the environment; the relationship between theory and practice of the project.

Who will like it: today's landscapers and garden designers who cultivate a continuous exchange between research and profession to build representations, imaginaries, meanings, aesthetic and poetic contents through the design of green areas. >

4. Fornasetti. Memories of the Future curated by Barnaba Fornasetti (Rizzoli, 85 euros)

The book edited by his son Barbaba is structured in chapters that retrace the history and the best of Piero Fornasetti's production: illusionistic architecture between classicism and modernity, plants and animals, game, landscapes and faces, among which the Theme and Variation series stands out.

It is difficult to define the universe of this creative, outside of any pattern and yet always coherent with himself but this book full of precious illustrations tries to define his creative path from the 1940s to the collaboration with Gio Ponti up to upon the entry of Barnaba, the son, destined to take the reins of the company and enhance his father's immense archive. Also made of unique pieces that are now exhibited in museums around the world and the object of international collections.

Who will like it: all creatives who believe that imagination is not an escape from reality but a compass that helps prefigure solutions and intuit new scenarios.

5. Disorders by Maxime Gueugneau and with illustrations by Agnès Hostache (Pencil editions, 17 euros)

There is a sofa just left empty, the striped socks of a man climbing the stairs, an elegant red dress placed on the bed, the birds fluttering or at rest. These are some of the bright and vibrant illustrations of the third book in the children's series that Matita Edizioni (the independent publishing house founded in Venice in 2022) dedicates to design and architecture, due out in September but can already be pre-ordered online (

The result of an all-French collaboration between Agnès Hostache, illustrator and interior designer, and the writer Maxime Gueugneau who, for the first time in the history of Matita adds words constructed like haiku to the images. Book 3 is a journey to discover the design and architecture of intimate spaces.

That is, places that tell the story of the lives of others through the objects that are scattered there: clothes, objects and animals form an ordinary disorder to which words try to give meaning. In fact, texts and drawings, apparently arranged in a chaotic way, are linked together following a logic similar to that of the game of dominoes.

Who will like it: children (but not only) who have already loved books 1 and 2 and who, this time, will also be able to navigate thanks to the sentences that connect the elements represented in the illustrations, for an experience a fun and stimulating read, somewhere between a seek/find game and a surreal poem.