Book Project Number Zero

1. Architecture is inseparable from bookmaking. Ever since Sebastiano Serlio discovered the potentials of the printing press, no cultural project in the field of architecture has escaped publishing and so thematising a possible reading of buildings—regardless of present or past, big or small, real or invented.

2. Even in the context of the extreme wealth of media available today, books are still the main instrument of architectural propaganda. The internet did not kill the architecture book. More likely, the internet increased the book’s value for an architect’s career.

3. Books are projects, as well as buildings. Books are imagined, sketched, designed and executed.  

4. Students will develop a project for a book on architecture. The choice of topic is open, as well as the format.

5. The final output of the seminar is a “book” that will include a written introduction, an index, an atlas of images, and a graphic design scheme. 

6. The imaginary book may be projected and assembled as long-form or short-form, text-based, image-based or composite. Students may realize their book using different media, but the final deliverable should be “book-alike” and printed.

7. Usually, when authors write a book, they A) first write the index and introduction, B) then write the actual book, C) then re-write the introduction. The seminar will stop at point A.

8. Instructors will present two case studies on bookmaking in fine detail. Pier Paolo Tamburelli will discuss his ongoing project of a (long-form) book on Bramante; Thomas Kelley will present his recent (short-form) treatise on vision. The seminar will consist of lectures, discussions with external guests, and a final review of the individual book projects.

9. And while the seminar will afford multiple strategies for ideating architecture through the medium of a book, each project will question how the essence of communication in architecture is informed, for better and for worse, by how a book (or any publication) relates to building.

Notes on schedule: 

Thomas Kelley will be in residence on January 30-31, February 6-7, 20-21, March 26-27, April 23-24, and for the Final Exam in May.

Pier Paolo Tamburelli will be in residence on January 30-31, February 27-28, April 9-10, and for the Final Exam in May.