After Taste is a meaty book that explores that subjective thing called taste and how it fits into the interior design world. As the book explains, while the inherent purpose of interior design is to “demonstrate the prevailing taste,” taste as a subject matter has very rarely been written about. The book features ten essays from historians and designers interrogating the idea of taste, its historic importance and its usefulness in interior design today. The essays featured here began as presentations at an annual symposium series hosted by Parsons The New School of Design between 2007 and 2010. The book does well to focus on taste in the context of interior design and doesn’t sway too much into architecture or fine arts. Image-based portfolios are also included on the likes of James Casebere, Courtney Smith and Petra Blaisse, as well as interviews with Stephen and Timothy Quay (Brothers Quay) and Constance Adams. It’s thought-provoking and at times challenging, but also an important addition to the academic reading list of interior designers.
Edited by K. Kleinman, J. Merwood-Salisbury & L. Weinthal (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) 256 pp $52.50.