November 2011


Dwell Media LLC

  • 550 Kearny Street, St. 710
  • San Francisco, CA


Monthly except December/January

$28.00 per 10 issues per year

On the Dwell website, the magazine distinguishes itself from other interior design magazines with their "Fruit Bowl Manifesto" (originally published in the first Dwell issue in October 2000). Other publications present pictures of interior perfection, oftentimes including a bowl of unblemished green apples on the bathroom vanity or a collection of pomegranates in the bedroom. Dwell believes that good, modern design is an integral part of real life, that it’s possible to live in a home built by a bold architect, surrounded by exceptionally designed furniture, and still be a regular [imperfect] human being.‘If a photograph in this magazine includes a fruit bowl, it's there because the homeowners eat fruit.’

Perhaps only after reading this do you notice the signs of life they are referring to in their photos – children’s artwork on the wall, a pair of old shoes, a pile of papers on a desk – yet you still get the feeling everything in the shot is carefully styled. However, the casual, modern, and ‘real’ approach to their layouts is nicely balanced with a more varied collection of design profiles than you may find in other interior design publications. Along with the usual product highlights and peeks inside of homes, you can find a blurb about Jack White’s ‘Rolling Record Store’ van, an interview with the designer of the new BMW electric car, or a look at a NASA– inspired camper. You will also find articles about serious issues in the interior and architecture industries, such as the problems with American manufacturing, highlighted in their latest issue.

Not only does the magazine offer insight into many types of interesting design, but also the magazine itself is very well designed; I personally like how the Table of Contents offers a short summary about each of the magazine’s stories or reports. By browsing these first few pages, it is obvious there is enough of a unique mix of design subjects and advice to please anyone interested in architecture, interior, or product design.

Reviewed by Library Staff Member – Emily Teeple – OC