Misha Kahn wants you to judge his new book by its cover

April 25, 2023

By Pei-Ru Keh


          The multidisciplinary American designer Misha Kahn has released a book surveying the last decade of his work. Titled Casually Sauntering the Perimeter of Now and published by Apartamento Publishing in collaboration with Friedman Benda, Kahn’s gallery, the tome features candid conversations with friends and fellow design-world pioneers, such as fashion designers Dries Van Noten and Todd Oldham, the artist WangShui and the writer and curator Su Wu.

          To celebrate the publication’s launch, which happened at a temporary Apartamento Bookshop that popped up at Milan Design Week 2023, Kahn designed 50 limited-edition dust jackets for the book that were displayed and available for purchase. The one-of-a-kind works, made from myriad materials ranging from resin, steel, glass and clay to fabric, wood and foam, echo the works showcased in the book itself. From underwater mosaic sculptures to scrap-metal chaise longues and a gem-encrusted ball game that’s worn on the wrist, Kahn’s undefinable body of work delivers the unexpected in all its witty, glamorous, eccentric and inscrutable forms.

          ‘Everyone always says don’t judge a book by its cover,’ the artist quips. ‘As someone who loves thing-ness, the intrinsic energy of an object, I’ve always felt like a book is a book when it’s in action and an object at rest – I jumped at making custom covers for the book to have both experiences be a rich, sensorial adventure.’

          Beyond the dust jackets and the book’s own pink and marbled cover, its content includes sketches, photographs of the creative process, final works and installations in progress. The six conversations that Kahn had with fellow luminaries have also been framed alongside an activity, such as while on a hike, at the nail salon and in a back garden, to add a further candour and humour to its contents. Prefaced by an introduction by the writer and curator Glenn Adamson, who charts Kahn’s meteoric rise and evolution, the book brings together the designer’s boundless energy, technical prowess and visionary thinking in one effervescent swoop.

        ‘Casually Sauntering the Perimeter of Now’ is available from Apartamento


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