Architecture of Books; Image
Seminar Work, Spring 2018,

                Studio Introduction: When El Lissitzky credited himself as “book engineer” in Vladimir Myakovsky’s 1923 Dlia Gólosa [For the Voice], the Russian artist not only suggested the strong ties between books and building, but also expressed his hope that the disciplines of art, architecture, typography, and engineering would eventually merge into an inseparable yet distinctive field. Over the past few decades, visual literacy has turned out to be a vital skill and an integral part of any ambitious architectural practice, and the well-edited and designed book is probably its most obvious manifestation.

                Despite the repeated claim that printed matter will disappear in the age of electronic media, the book, with its material presence, its durability, and its spatial and temporal qualities, still seems to be an ideal medium for architects to broadcast their ideas and to critically address a larger audience. Based on the assumption that it is our responsibility as architects to convey our ideas and concerns to a greater public, this seminar introduces students to the book as a means to think about the production of space, and as a critical vessel to discuss and disseminate architectural ideas.

                The project uses scans of the existing publication, “S,M,L,XL” by OMA, Rem Koolhaas, and Bruce Mau. During an analysis part of the project, several questions arose in defining an image. As used in “S,M,L,XL,” there exists a blurred boundary between what we commonly regard as a text, drawing, and image.

                Through a juxtaposition of once separately categorized elements, a whole spread becomes an image. There are moments where texts blend into highly contrasting areas of the background image and the text becomes illegible. In the final project of reorganizing existing images, the goal was to expand the boundary from a spread to a whole book.