Blogs The Gradient Andrea Hyde

International Pop: Exhibition Catalogue

Designer Andrea Hyde answers questions about about the design of the catalogue for International Pop, a groundbreaking exhibition deconstructing the accepted understanding of Pop Art, curated by Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan. Note: an abridged version of the following interview with Artbook/D.A.P.’s Madeline Weisburg’s was originally published on Madeline Weisburg: I’d like to start at […]

Designer Andrea Hyde answers questions about about the design of the catalogue for International Pop, a groundbreaking exhibition deconstructing the accepted understanding of Pop Art, curated by Darsie Alexander and Bartholomew Ryan.

Note: an abridged version of the following interview with Artbook/D.A.P.’s Madeline Weisburg’s was originally published on

The hardbook cover was produced by printing Pantone colors on linen with a white foil stamp on top of that.

The hardbook cover was produced by printing Pantone colors on linen with a white foil stamp on top of that.

Madeline Weisburg: I’d like to start at the very beginning of the book design process. When you first hear about the concept for an exhibition what sort of research do you do? How do you relate the aesthetic vocabulary of an artist, group or movement to the design of a book?

The research I conduct at the start of a project is tailored to the subject in question. For previous publications, I spent time with living artists, researching the subject in person. In this case, after I learned that I would be designing the catalog and identity for International Pop, I began frequenting the Walker’s library, reviewing our considerable collection of Pop-era ephemera, artist books, and catalogs. Then throughout the book design process, I adjusted my research strategy depending on what was needed, what was missing from the project, and what I needed to learn. The translation of artistic vocabulary into a book is context-specific, and ranges from a slight nod to a more literal reference. Pop has so many visual signifiers that it would be difficult to avoid calling them out in this book, even in subtle ways, like the choice of typeface or the style of the contents page.

Is your approach different for historical group surveys like International Pop as opposed to monographs?

Definitely. Monographs are different, in part, because it’s easier to get to know a singular artist—even posthumously—than it is to channel a movement or the conceptual arguments behind contemporary group shows. Artists who are the subjects of a compendium catalog often have large bodies of work and critical writing about said work, all of which provides an immersive experience for the designer: ephemera, previous publications and essays, artist statements and distinct artistic periods. In contrast, the curatorial ideas behind a group show can be difficult to convey, in part because those ideas often present new ways of thinking about art, and the visual language needed to put those ideas forward has to be invented a priori, without the benefit of a specific artist to inspire the process. Contemporary group shows are more abstract, but that being said, there is a certain freedom in defining a new idea, of not being beholden to an artist but to a concept. In the case of historical surveys like International Pop, the approach I take is somewhere between the monograph and group show, in that an artistic movement like Pop functions as the artist. Though curators Darsie Alexander, Bartholomew Ryan, and other contributors to this show and catalogue present fresh takes on Pop, there is still a defined visual language surrounding the movement, and there is a tremendous amount of scholarship at my disposal. The resulting book identity is not inspired by one artist or one group of artists, but by Pop-at-large, reimagined by myself and my colleagues.


Which designers or artists do you look at for inspiration?

I have stopped looking at specific designers for style inspiration, as, when working on art books, there is usually abundant visual material from which to drawn upon. I look to other designers for the way they think or the way in which they work, or how they’ve managed to make a living for themselves. Although, of course there are exceptions, and I do find myself admiring specific designers or artists for one reason or other: Irma Boom as the quintessential book designer; Maureen Mooren for her beautiful form and posters; Hort for their mastery of typography and branding; Maurice Scheltens for still-life photography; Karel Martens for the design legend he is; Jean Luc-Godard for his amazing intertitles; Slavs and Tatars for their prolific multi-disciplinary practice; artists Wanda Pimentel, Kerstin Brätsch, Lesley Vance, Vija Celmins, Lorna Simpson, and infinitely more.

As an object, International Pop is incredibly striking. What was your guiding principle behind the design of the package?

This project required high production values to match the importance of its contents. I didn’t set out to make a book that felt expensive per se, but I did push for little nuances to make a book that felt more visually and tactility impactful as an object. The book was printed at Die Keure in Belgium, which was instrumental in realizing the project, as was our image specialist, Greg Beckel, who corrected the book’s illustrations and plates.


Wow! I know that Die Keure is considered to be on of the best printers in the world. What makes them so special? Why did you choose to work with them on this project?

I had wanted to work with Die Keure for many years, but did not have the opportunity until now. They are truly masters of their craft, and the best designers from all over the world work with them. Although they don’t print with UV ink, their printing is incredibly sharp and their pressmen have an amazing eye for color. The foil stampers and binderies they work with are outstanding. Throughout the printing process, I felt that I was in expert hands.

There is so much about the production of the book that I love—especially the puffy cover. How is this made?

The puffy cover was something I advocated for because I thought that it added to the unexpected but luxe feel of the book, and I associate Pop—rightly or wrongly—with a kind of soft friendliness. The book board is padded before it is wrapped with the book cloth to achieve the puffy effect.


Where did the concept for the cover graphics come from?

In the initial stages of the project, I reviewed and researched the exhibition checklist as it stood at the time and noticed a number of artworks intended for the show featured either mouths (as in László Lakner’s Mouth), eyes (Joe Tilson’s Look), or ears (Eduardo Costa’s Fashion Fiction 1). My understanding is that the isolation and detailing of body parts is one of Pop’s many artistic legacies. Because of that, I began sketching the cover as a rebus, featuring artworks in the place of lips, eyes or ears. I came up with introductory text to render on the cover, interrupted by the artworks defining the rebus: “International Pop ecc(lips)ed us in its neon red l(eye)t, but afterward, the ear(th) app(ear)ed. That strategy went over well, but we ultimately did not want to feature specific artworks on the cover, so I abstracted it, illustrating the rebus elements instead. Later on, I shortened and abstracted the title “International Pop” in response to how the curators and editors were using the shorthand “I-Pop,” to refer to the show. The eye, a prominent reference point in Pop and the thinking around the show’s touchstones—geopolitical unrest, increased media coverage and consumption, and cultural self-reflection—seemed like a perfect stand-in for the “I” in “I-Pop.” Apart from the graphics on the cover, I had created a suite of passport stamps to serve as the International Pop brand. In each version, “International Pop” was translated into the languages of the artists that were heavily featured in the show and the essays, which detailed Pop movements from around the world, from Brazil to Japan.

Has anyone brought up an association between the passport graphics and Masons’ symbols or the eye of the dollar bill?

No, not yet, although I can see the resemblance. I think it’s because all three are triangular. The other passport stamps I designed won’t have that association, but it’s an interesting one. Perhaps there was something subconscious going on there.


I’m also curious about the color scheme that you’ve chosen. When I first saw the book my personal association with the teal printed edges was with the color of a popular brand of photo emulsion for screenprinting, which seems so perfectly suited for a book about Pop. What informed your color decisions?

Although the screen printing reference would have been a clever one, the color scheme was a happy coincidence. Initially, I sketched the cover and other elements of the book with primary colors on a white background, much like Lichtenstein’s Look Mickey featured in the show. But I needed to move away from that knee-jerk reaction, which made more sense for the Walker’s International Pop campaign than it did the catalog. Curators Alexander and Ryan set out to redefine and broaden the scope of what most people think of as Pop with this exhibition, and that included color. So in the spirit of experimentation, I opened a few sketches in Photoshop and inverted them. The white background became black and the primary colors were altered; I continued working with the same palette going forward, including the fore edge stamping, which is meant to match the turquoise graphics on the cover, as well as the pages I call “interruptions:” snapshots taken by the curators over the course of their their travels and research for the exhibition and catalog that are dispersed throughout the book.


The catalog starts with a detailed visual chronology, which charts key events surrounding Pop internationally – both political, economic and explicitly art-related. Instead of making this an appendix, this section grounds the rest of the book. Can you talk about the thinking behind the design of this section?

Curators Alexander and Ryan had already planned for an extensive visual chronology by the time I started the catalogue. They worked with local art historian Godfre Leung, who had the massive task of identifying, organizing and writing about the relevant and tangential events, movements, and watershed moments that contributed to the evolution of Pop. I took some of the early drafts from Leung and presented two very different approaches to the section. The version that made it into the book is formally based on scaffolding, which had the effect of compartmentalizing each entry. It was important to control the chaos of the hundreds of dates, texts and images in the chronology with a strict system to ensure the reader could make sense of it all. The curators, contributors, and I collaborated on which entries were illustrated and which photos were selected. As most of the archival images we found were black and white, I decided to make this section one-color to contrast with the four-color work featured throughout the rest of the book. In addition, to me, the artists’ voice was as important as the photographs. I treated the pull-quotes similarly to the images, in that they stood out on the page. They are displayed larger, in a different typeface from the entries (Founders Grotesk), and were given their own “compartment” on each spread, which allows the reader to engage with this section from either the cursory level of quotes and images, or the deeper level of entries and captions. And because international travel was a relatively new and exciting reality at the time, I called out each event by noting its international country code(s), at times listing two or more countries depending on the item, and noting artists’ movements, international agreements and the like with arrows. Finally, even though the chronology is the entry point to the rest of the catalog, it is intentionally stylistically separate, and is printed on salmon-colored paper a la Financial Times.


I read an interview with you on the Walker blog where you made a distinction between designing art publications that feel like artifacts and those that feel like documents, in reference to production value. These definitions seem incredibly important for the book designer. Can you expand more on this?

Yes, I think designers are often in a position where they need to prioritize and focus their efforts. In some cases—depending on timing, budget, and manpower—it makes perfect sense to provide a document of the subject matter meant merely to glance at, maybe read, and in time discard. Publications that seek to be a definitive resource have a higher standard. They need to be appealing on several different levels, production value being one. As I mentioned before, in response to your question about the “objectness” of the book, International Pop needed to feel like an artefact, and the permanence of the book as an object helps the ideas within it feel permanent as well.

International Pop does a great job of presenting the work from the Walker exhibition but also can stand alone as resource about Pop art. How do you address the challenge of making a book a platform for the material and not a walkthrough of the show?

Unlike digital media and design for the web, print has a built-in finality that puts the book in a unique position to be an authority figure, the “final word” on a given topic. Depending on the curator or editor’s motivations for a publication, I can either highlight that sense of authority or I can underplay it. In the case of International Pop, the subject matter was so extensive that there was never a thought that this catalogue would merely document the show. In fact, there were a number of plates that we included in the book that, for a myriad of reasons, did not make it into the show. Apart from that, essays by curators Alexander and Ryan, Erica Battle, Claudia Calirman, Dávid Fehér, Ed Halter, Maria José Herrera, Hiroko Ikegami, Luigia Lonardelli, the visual chronology by Leung, and Charlotte Cotton’s roundtable discussion with Martin Harrison, Hiroko Ikegami, and Tomáš Pospiszyl added such richness to the subject that it far surpassed what our audiences could hope to experience in the gallery.


Are there any radically different approaches to the catalog that you ended up not taking?

“Radically different” is a pretty high bar, but I did have alternate approaches that were abandoned for one reason or another. The “interruptions” throughout the book went through a number of incarnations. They were originally intended to be the stylistic glue that held the book together, presenting another layer of content in a more explicit manner than you see in this book, where I present the curators’ snapshots from research trips in a similar high-contrast style on glossy turquoise paper. It’s less aware of itself, and a better thoroughfare than what I initially presented: divider spreads that 1) foregrounded the exhibition titles and texts written during the Pop period: But Today We Collect Ads and Parallel of Life and Art were two favorites; 2) featured newspaper tearsheets representing the regions and events in the show; or 3) provided an extension of the rebus system on the cover.

Any upcoming projects that you’d like to mention?

Currently, I’m designing an exhibition identity for Jack Whitten, who will be at the Walker in September for the opening of his touring show. I will also likely design the Walker’s upcoming Merce Cunningham book, which will be another big, International Pop-level undertaking. And then apart from my work at the Walker, I have a number of freelance projects that keep me engaged, although I will wait to talk about those chicks after they hatch.



Below: an assortment of images demonstrating the application of the visual identity for International Pop.









9 Artists, 8 Books

From A to B and B to A: Bartholomew Ryan, curator of 9 Artists, and myself Andrea Hyde, designer of the catalog and exhibition identity, sat down a few years back to talk about the book, published in October 2013. B: Hi Andrea! A: Hi Bart, how are you doing? B: Good. Thank you. A: How was the […]


9 Artists cover

From A to B and B to A: Bartholomew Ryan, curator of 9 Artists, and myself Andrea Hyde, designer of the catalog and exhibition identity, sat down a few years back to talk about the book, published in October 2013.

B: Hi Andrea!

A: Hi Bart, how are you doing?

B: Good. Thank you.

A: How was the exhibition opening at MIT?

B: It was really nice, actually. It was the first time a show of mine has opened outside of Minneapolis. What was interesting about it was having people I didn’t expect to show up. Obviously the exhibition is very different there, it’s about half the size in terms of space…

A: So, apart from the exhibition, how do you think the catalog has been received so far?

B: Well, I know that it has met its sales targets, which is good. Group show exhibition catalogs famously don’t sell very well, and one of the things that I am anxious for, is to preserve the ability to do books like 9 Artists that don’t conform to your typical coffee-table style catalog. We talked early in the process about making a book that’s less an illustration of the exhibition than a platform, a way to give light to the distinct practices of these eight artists who are all amazing creators outside the gallery context, a book that might be more interesting as a result. I’m hoping that is how it’s bearing out. I know the first batch of books that went to Europe sold out fairly quickly. I don’t think there are any left there right now. But, I am getting email from people who really enjoy the catalog, and who find it quite strange. And, I have decided that maybe ten people in the world have read my essay, but I’m sort of fine with that! (laughs) It’s probably for the best. But yes, people are interested and engaged by it, which is great!

The Cover:
B: From my perspective, part of the book’s appeal is the cover, and the identity system that went into the exhibition. I know that was something you came up with at a certain stage in the process, and I thought it was perfect for a number of reasons. It was actually the first time I realized the show had only eight artists! Where did the cover concept come from?

A: You’ll have to correct me if I am wrong, but I recall that the cover came out of the interior sketches. And the interior was largely informed by the artists. As you said, the book is less a documentation of the exhibition or the works within it, as it puts forth new work, new ideas, and new writing independent from the show. And because of that, because each of the artists have their own artist-book-like sections that were grouped into a singular catalog, their individual identities were really important. In this case, because of the nature of the artists’ work, because it was so personal, I thought that, unlike the name of the show—9 Artists, an iconic title that reads like a manifesto—I felt like the artists themselves were just as, if not more, important. Grouping them together on the cover in the way I did, as brands or as passport stamps, and using their first names allowed it to be casual, a bit irreverent. And I think that’s the nature of the exhibition and of the book itself.

A: Was that your reading of the process?

B: Yes. I remember we began by having conversations about what this book should be. We really wanted to step away from quasi-nostalgia, an artisanal sort of aesthetic that is so prevalent in the art world. At the same time, we didn’t set out to make a zany, kitchy experience. What we wanted was to capture a quality that would feel present, and also have its own flow.

A: Right, and very responsive to the content. Do you think that’s perceptible to the reader?

B: I think what happens when you look at the cover is that you see names that are locatable and reveal identity. 1. Liam [Gillick] is very clearly an Irish name. 2. Danh [Vo]…I don’t know what Danh looks like. Does it look Vietnamese? Or Danish? 3. Hito [Steyerl], it’s ridiculously Japanese. 4. Nástio [Mosquito], something cool… 5. Natascha [Sadr Haghighian], Russian most likely. 6. Bjarne [Melgaard], Scandinavian 7. Renzo [Martens] Italian, 8. Yael [Bartana] Israeli I guess. It’s a smorgasbord of [probably misleading] identity formations. First names conjures this idea of friendship, and potentially of a cohort. People in the art world love the narrative of a group of prominent artists who used to serve as security guards at Dia or what have you, yet these artists are distinctly not that, they are not a clique formed and perpetuated to accrue market and critical validation. The cover has a suggestion of that, but if you know the artists is pretty easy to see that that’s not how they exist in the world, at least not with each other.

A: But it’s also a response to the way in which you talked about the artists when we first started to think about the book. It was a very familiar conversation, and I think that friendly first-name basis tone was right for the book.

B: Yes, because it’s counter-intuitive to the work or to the grouping. Curators sometimes refer to artists by their first names as a sort of power play. I don’t think that’s how this happened. I think this was a very organic process. Another thing this cover does, of course, is it is Tetris-like. There may be a lot of tension—

A: and connections, networks…

B: and also breakups. Like, why is Danh, who is one of the more celebrated artists at this moment at the top left?

A: Why is Bjarne in two different foils? Whereas Hito is upside-down and rendered in ink?

B: Yeah so you’re put into this position where you’re—

A: You’re trying to make value judgments based on the composition.

B: Andrea, were you trying to tell us something when you put this together? And of course this formulation has taken on different iterations like in the exhibition graphics,  Nástio was upside-down… (laughs)


The foldout inside cover
A: Let’s flip through the book and talk about different things we find interesting. There is a gatefold at the beginning, behind the cover and contents page. Do you want to talk about the foldout? I won’t mention some of our original ideas, but let’s just say one of them involved a centerfold of our dear curator who could be thought of as the ninth artist…

B: Yes, well there was a moment where we could have pushed that direction. Like, who is the ninth artist? Many people complain about the curator annexing artistic authorship and having too aggressive a role in the creation of the content in the exhibition. And, you know, I’m a curator in an institution, and I spend most of my days figuring out why someone didn’t get a loan form or something. So, it’s not like I perceive myself as an artist, but I do feel quite strongly—and that’s obvious in my essay, which has a first-person feel—that there is a huge level of subjective quality in the organization of these artists (or any artists) into a list. So we discussed having a semi-naked spread—because I am pretty fit (laughs)—and contacting a local photographer who does amazing body painting, really going for it, and make people laugh a little. But thankfully we went in a very different direction. As you know, the exhibition checklist for the show came very late in the process. There was a lot of conversation and time spent with the artists without really knowing what the hell we were going to do, but trusting the process. So when I saw Hito’s piece in the Venice Biennale, it seemed very obvious that it was perfect for the exhibition for a number of reasons. Partly because we acquired Red Alert a number of years ago and the two seemed so relatable and yet were from such different eras. I don’t think How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File could have been made in 2007. It’s absolutely relatable to our current context. So we ended up using a still from How Not to be Seen of an iPhone being held by a green-gloved hand.

A: Yes, we were looking for a an iconic image, but we didn’t want something that was instantly readable or understandable. We liked the idea that the still would be dated immediately after we published it, in the same way that the book is completely about its context. We liked that it was completely of its time. There’s also something charming and surprising about it.

B: Yes, I love that it’s very present, because it’s this fetishized iPhone: it’s a 4S or 5. But I also love that it has this futuristic, sci-fi feel. As you say, in three years’ time it’s going to utterly date this exhibition. I think notions of desire in relationship to how identity forms itself and how we actually shape ourselves as human beings often through the accretion of objects, the sort of lifestyle that is defined by something like an iPhone is a key to the exhibitoin. Obviously, if one has one it kind of give you a whole set of…

A: …tools and…

B: self-impressions, you know? There is something about that fetishization of commodity in relationship to the image that I think is a very interesting thing to hold on to in engaging with the book. But also the work itself is about a kind of liberation from that, breaking free of that process into a more anarchic space where desire and drives and so on are decoupled from these status things, in a sense summoned by then liberated from…


9 Artists table of contents

The Contents Page
B: I also love the contents page with the list of artist contributions and the essay section titled. Cumulatively, the language is just incredible, it kind of tells you all you need to know about the exhibition.

A: Yes, the artist section titles, which serve as subtitles in your essay, are very interesting—Hito Steyerl’s Happy Pixels Hop Off Into Low-Resolution, Gif Loop! is my personal favorite. I hear you are releasing each section of your essay on the Walker blog.

B: Yes, I don’t think it’s ever something we’ve done before. I can’t think of another U.S. institution on the scale of the Walker that’s done it in this way. It’s actually a bit scary, because there’s a lot I say in the essay that will have a different existence online. Having said that, I was reading the Nástio section on my phone the other day and I thought, ‘God, this is so obvious! Nobody reads books.’ I mean, of course they do, and it all comes back to the book which I completely value, but why not make it available to people in other ways?


Title page for Natascha Sadr Haghighian’s section in 9 Artists.


Spread of Natascha Haghighian’s section in 9 Artists

The Artist Contributions
B: (flipping through pages) I love this!

A: The very first signature is a contribution by Natascha Sadr Haghighian. Here, I simply responded to her title to make the first page of her signature.

B: Which is what?

A: Which is Dear Artfukts, Look at My Curve, (laughs) and following is an antagonistic, yet funny correspondence between herself and ArtFacts.

B: Natascha is a wonderful and complex thinker, and in her essay she plays out a well-known aspect of her work: bioswop, which is for the free exchange of CVs and resumes. She created it in 2004, during a very different moment. This show tracks the fundamental change that’s happened to the artists in the show, in their response to a culture that is no longer new to the internet. You know, the internet is all encompassing, and it shapes everything all the time for the many, many people who have access to it. Natascha uses other peoples’ resumes and bios whenever she’s presenting her own work, and allows people to share these documents, which is an attack on the legitimacy of institutional affiliation, but also on the way one can be tokenized through one’s identity as, let’s say, a female artist from Africa. What I love is that she resists ArtFacts listing her work online, the data-bots collecting intel. She writes to them asking, ‘Please remove this information. This is my artistic project and you’re spoiling it.’ And they say, ‘No.’ So she takes action, and identifies with this graph that’s on the website that illustrates her career going up and down over the years, turning it into a subject, giving it agency by lifting it out of the capitalist metrics that it was meant to serve, leading it into into a more interesting space. It’s a simple thing that plays through various forms of identity and representation into things like social media campaigns around Troy Davis or Treyvon Martin. It’s a beautiful essay, and it’s very timely. And what I love about your cover design for it is—‘cause I think as a designer, you have this very interesting ability to be both very attuned and precise on a certain level, but there’s also such a freedom in the moment that I really enjoy. Like this curve, that’s not a graph, it’s its own animal.

A: Yes, it’s extracted from the Artfacts graph, but still illustrates the idea she’s trying to put forward.


Last page of Natascha Sadr Haghighian and title page of Danh Vo’s section in 9 Artists


Danh Vo’s section in 9 Artists


The conclusion of Danh Vo’s Gustav’s Wing and the title page of Hito Steyerl’s contribution to 9 Artists: I Dreamed a Dream: Politics in the Age of Mass Art Production

A: And what about Danh Vo?

B: Well that’s one of the…you know, for me personally, when you’re a curator at an institution like the Walker you only get to do so many shows. I mean, it took for me three or four years to get 9 Artists on the books and get it done. In the meantime I was meeting people and spending a lot of time with artists. It’s a bit sad because I often have nothing specific in mind project-wise when I meet them, but I like spending time with artists to get to know their work. So Karl Holmqvist was someone I spent a number of hours with a few years ago in Berlin, and I had always wondered about his work, but knew how absolutely fascinating and important it was. So, one of the nice things about Danh’s section is that Karl had written a piece called Curriculum Vitae, which starts off with a dream where he wakes up and he’s being cuddled by Joe Dallesandro and Iggy Pop and then it moves onto a story about Danh filming something.

A: An advertisement.

B: An advertisement, yeah. And so Karl’s piece in this context becomes Danh’s Curriculum Vitae to an extent. So, it’s a very different relationship to Danh’s contribution than the one Natascha proposed. But it is equally about artists thinking of ways to subvert or deter official documents. What became nice was that it became a collaboration between a number of people. Phùng Vo, Danh’s father, who is often employed by Danh was commissioned to use his beautiful calligraphy in the project. Initially it was supposed to be in the font of, or in the script of, Martin Wong, the great painter whose work is also represented in the exhibition through I M U U R 2, 2013. But Phùng doesn’t play ball with Danh. Everybody who criticizes the relationship between Phùng and Danh act like it’s exploitation. But Phùng has incredibly agency in how he does these things—he kind of does more or less what he wants…—so he did his own script. There were a bunch of typos: like, instead of a “kind of human sandwich” it became, “king of human sandwich,” and “My Beauty Qeen,” where queen is misspelled. We decided to keep all of that. It was very simple.

A: I enjoyed this one because of its simplicity, in contrast to some of the other sections which were either more image or text heavy. Danh’s section was just about that the composition of the page and the beautiful calligraphy. And then, these intriguing images of Danh’s nephew and the process of making a cast.

B: Yes, there is a piece called Gustav’s Wing which I think—well was—a photo of Gustav. Obviously Danh works a lot with his family and tends to like to do things like this. So in a way it’s a very classical set of what really were just snapshots by Danh of the process of his nephew’s body being cast. And you know it’s a young boy. It has a classical quality, there is a sense of the gaze etc. It certainly has a resonance that’s interesting particularly when measured against subsequent work made from the cast, which is really about a kind of collapsing of beauty and a somewhat tortured representation of this source.

A: Well, it’s slightly odd, too, because both the calligraphy and the images are treated in a monotone, bright-blue color which removes the viewer from the content, and abstracts it a bit. I should mention that each artist book or signature is a complete formal departure. The composition, the color, the various paper, shifting grid, and system of page numbers. For example, Danh Vo’s case, the page numbers are all set in Roman Numerals without explanation. So as you’re traveling throughout the book, there is a sense of disorientation. Each section is a world onto itself.



The first spread of Hito Steyerl’s section in 9 Artists. The paragraph reads: “The text that was here was withdrawn days before this publication went to print. The artist included the lyrics of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables as an essential illustration of some themes in the essay. After protracted good faith negotiations, the representative of the lyricist refused the Walker and the artist permission to print the song, or even a limited extract. While the Walker and the artist stand behind the fair use of the lyrics, the artist has decided to withdraw the text in full as a protest against the decision of Alain Boublil Overseas Limited.” The remaining spreads in this contribution include a selection of barricades, spanning hundreds of years and several geopolitical realities.


Renzo Marten’s contribution was made to look like an HMO report. His Institute for Human Activities launched “a five-year Gentrification Program and set up an in-vitro testing ground of the material effects of art production.”



The last page of Renzo Marten’s signature, and the title page of Yael Bartana’s contribution, which was a fictitious correspondence between herself and  the ghost of Otto Weininger.


Yael Bartana’s section was treated simply, using Times New Roman and basic letter format to foreground her fictitious pen pal relationship with Otto Weininger, whose letterhead was intentionally made to look as if it was from the Austrian house in which he committed suicide, coincidentally also the death place of Beethoven. The text was written by Bartana’s friend and collaborator, the curator Galit Eilat.


Yael Bartana’s section in 9 Artists. Her “letterhead” makes use of the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP) emblem, found in Bartana’s Polish trilogy “and Europe will be stunned.”

B: And really it follows the whole approach of the show which was to put things in proximity and allow them to be digested. I think there are some really key thematic through-lines in this exhibition. They are obvious, but in order to encounter them, one has to spend time with the content, the structure, and the form. And so, there is a call to the reader, to the viewer, to the person who engages the exhibition to really engage with it. I think what I discussed with you and what I discussed with others is that I really want people to get there themselves, but try to give them the tools to do so, the basic level of information they need in order to engage with and access the artist[s]. Hence the book, the show, the events etc.

A: (At this point in our conversation, the recorder stops just as I was claiming that design is not an essential part of this book)

B: Okay, so you just said this book is not designed, right? What do you mean this book is not designed?

A: This book isn’t about the design. In the past, the typefaces I use, the color, the grid system, everything—because it’s homogenized— is based on a particular way I want to present a group show or a solo artist. It’s coming from a very distinct perspective. In this case it was more a collaboration, with the artists, writers, and even with outside designers: Bjarne, worked with Brendan [Dugan] at An Art Service, and Nástio worked with Vic Pereiró on their section [later the piece was used as the basis for a video by Vic and Nástio]. They both submitted completed signatures that we didn’t really alter at all apart from paginating them, putting them in the book and producing them. So, in a sense this book is not the creation of a designer, but of the artists. The form was completely subservient to the content.

B: I don’t agree with that at all.

A: Oh, you don’t? Interesting!

B: I think it’s a heavily designed book. For example, what I enjoyed about Bjarne and Nástio’s contributions is that I felt like you needed to come up with a system for the book that glued it together. That was very necessary. And the fact that you were thrown these complete curveballs problematized it a lot. So, it’s like it created this other context that just fucked with everything a bit.

A: Well, it did allowed me to disconnect. It allowed me to share because there was a bigger community to consider. It took a village to make this book!


The title page to Nástio Mosquito’s contribution, designed in collaboration with Vic Pereiró


The last page of Nástio Mosquito’s contribution, designed in collaboration with Vic Pereiró beside the title page of Liam Gillick’s signature which features a reprint of the artist’s Berlin Statement, and a new text by Federica Bueti.

B: Because I know, we talked about this before, but Vic and Nástio have a very particular aesthetic relationship that’s extremely free, DIY, bold, and absolutely anti-anything-that-might-come-out-of-the-Walker.

A: And it flies in face of a lot of the classic ideals of design that I learned, that I practiced, and that is hard for me to remove myself from. To be confronted with something that’s so outside of what I would or could create is a humbling moment. It is something I struggled with, but I think Nástio’s contribution added to the experience, which I think you might mean when you say that it’s heavily designed. In fact, if we were looking at one section, say Yael’s contribution: if I ran that theme throughout the book there would be less a sense of disconnect, there would be a rhythmic association with her work and the fictitious letters between her and [Otto] Weininger. Those can serve as visual cues that a reader can latch onto and understand in a way that allows the design to recede. But, because there are different formal and organizational styles butting against one another, it feels more “designed” than it actually is.


Bjarne Melgaard’s title page to his contribution to 9 Artists, designed in collaboration with Brendan Dugan.


B: Well I think that—regarding Nástio and Bjarne—you made two decisions there: Bjarne is on this glossy paper, which really suits the commercial, highly constructed feel for those images, even though they are actually candid images of Bjarne doing his thing; and then Nástio’s section is on newsprint paper, which captures that DIY, quick, but really interesting aspect of his design. I think those two would have been really lost within a less focused approach to the sections. For example, you have produced one color for most of the sections you designed, so that creates a sense of unity. In addition, the title pages for each section is very strong, whether it’s Liam and Federica [Bueti], or Renzo, Yael, and Natascha. And then you and I worked very closely with the sequencing of the signatures. It wasn’t based on a somewhat arbitrary alphabetical approach…or what have you…


A: You’re right, the pagination of signatures was based on their visual impact. The end page of one signature coming up against the cover page of the next was really important to us.

B: Yes, that’s very much a design choice and very interesting on a lot of levels. And you’re right in that some of our decisions were made just to allow the logic of the book to follow. Like Liam and Frederica who share that signature but with two different texts, and at one point we were going to run their texts in tandem. Hers is somewhat allegorical, fable-style response to Liam’s text: it’s the tale of a man who walks through the skyways in Minnesota looking for a job and meets a cat. Cats are quite amusingly a key part of the Walker’s identity right now.

A: Actually, cats also appear later on in the compendium of works…

B: We originally thought it would be a good idea to run their texts in tandem, but it was obvious that it wasn’t working, as her text is very different to Liam’s.

A: The lengths are different.

B: It just didn’t feel right. So then we thought, “let’s just have these two texts in the sixteen page signature run into each other in the middle. In order to do that in a way—I can’t remember why—we turned Federica’s part upside-down. How did that work design wise?

A: I originally had the title page of Federica’s following the last page of Yael’s. And I think we just liked that feeling, and so decided to run it backwards. Her essay is running upside-down and meets Gillick’s essay in the middle of that section.

B: That’s one response I get a lot: “Why is that part upside-down?” The only thing to respond to that is, “Why not!” What it does is it really reinforces the objectness of the book. It’s not by any means a radical gesture, but it is kind of interesting because it is also one of the biggest contributions by someone who’s not actually in the show. There are so many collaborators on this book, it really manifests the broader communities that the artists engage. There is something quite special about Federica’s text, a kind of mood. I think it calls out that we don’t even know quite what to do with it (laughs).

A: I think that, if this section, if this signature, existed as its own small artist book, you would think nothing of it being upside down…and you see that very often. Our approach to each section was to design it as if there weren’t any other sections in the book. Apart from a few choices, like the color and paper, every other choice exists solely within its own signature. I think the shock comes from the fact that the upside down text exists within a bigger book with formally different sections, none of which are upside-down. Every small change we make seems larger within the context of this catalog. Each artists’ contribution is its own signature—or its own artist book—and we designed it as such. You could literally take the binding off the book and bind each section, and publish those on their own merit.

8 Artist Books, One 9 Artist Catalog

B: During the press release process, I would often shy away from using the term “artist book,” even though that was how we were thinking of of the catalog as these signature sections. But whenever I used the term, “artist book” it wouldn’t feel right to me. It felt like moving toward something a little too isolated. What I found interesting in that process was how—and this is where I would push back and say, “this is highly designed book.”—the artists’ decisions are very much a part of it, but a huge number of decisions about design were made by you largely.

A: Before we conclude, how do you think the book is being received? I wonder if it makes people feel uncomfortable? Does it challenge? Because, I know that it does for me as a designer, so I can only imagine what someone who was not involved in the process would think or feel.

B: I’ve  heard some informal, unsolicited feedback from people, such as: “Wow, this book is really interesting.” All of the artists received several copies of the book, and in a way that’s the most obvious way it’s being distributed, because they are showing it to friends or giving it to people. I got an emails saying that people are going gaga over the book. I don’t know what “gaga” means (laughs), and maybe that person was being polite. People have different responses. I’m not a designer, so for me moments like Nástio’s are really happy moments, because I think it helps the book feel heterogeneous. It shows those cards very visibly—people probably look at it very casually and go, “Oh, this is just tons of visual information trying to show us that it’s an exciting show or something.” But I think people who engage it more deeply are pretty interested in it. I feel like it has an iconic quality as a publication without actually having tried so hard . The more obvious approaches are all ones we shied away from. It almost happened by accident. I’m not trying to claim radicality or anything, but it is a really nice book.



Compendium of Works in 9 Artists, a wholly visual approach to the “plates” section ordered and organized by the designer and curator.


The Walker Magazine: 80s Issue

Here’s a project from the archives that we never got around to posting, but seeing as how we are in the process of redesigning our magazine, it seemed like a good time to exhume this. The July/August 2012 issue of Walker featured a fashion editorial shot on the occasion of the exhibition, This Will Have […]


Here’s a project from the archives that we never got around to posting, but seeing as how we are in the process of redesigning our magazine, it seemed like a good time to exhume this. The July/August 2012 issue of Walker featured a fashion editorial shot on the occasion of the exhibition, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, known colloquially as “The 80s Show.” We took the typical content of our magazine (shop spread, Target Free Thursday Night event listings, restaurant blurb) and framed it with a custom style.

The spreads were modeled by Claudette Gacutti, shot by photographer Cameron Wittig, with wardrobe from Cliché, and shoes from Ina Grau.

2012_july_august_mag2-2 2012_july_august_mag2-3 2012_july_august_mag2-4 2012_july_august_mag2-5 2012_july_august_mag2-6

Below: outtakes, prep, and storyboards.



How to balance on a strip of Möbius: Insights 2013

Above: Trailer for the lecture series. Best viewed at 720p   Above: The main print run of the poster was printed in CMYK. Pictured is one of five limited edition prints with combinations of ink channels turned on/off, here in black only.   The identity for Insights: Surface Readings—as detailed here—employs a collection of Möbius strips […]

Above: Trailer for the lecture series. Best viewed at 720p


Insights poster 2013

Above: The main print run of the poster was printed in CMYK. Pictured is one of five limited edition prints with combinations of ink channels turned on/off, here in black only.


The identity for Insights: Surface Readings—as detailed here—employs a collection of Möbius strips to reference the commissioned contributions of lecturers Geoff McFetridge, Eike König, Job Wouters, and Luna Maurer to the various “surfaces” of the Walker. The poster was made by photographing printed strips of paper on a paper backdrop, the perfect “surface” for a printed piece. The trailer was made by filming strips on a green screen attached to a rotating rigging, and placing them on default Final Cut Pro backgrounds, which is again, a fitting surface for the medium.


If you can’t make it for the talks in person, make sure to check out the live webcasts on the Walker Channel.

The Making of the Lifelike Catalog

Lifelike, a Walker-organized exhibition curated by Siri Engberg, and now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art, is documented by its eponymous catalog. I sat down last March with João Doria to talk about the making (and thinking) of the book. Transcript of João Doria with Andrea Hyde on the Lifelike catalog J: […]

Lifelike, a Walker-organized exhibition curated by Siri Engberg, and now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art, is documented by its eponymous catalog. I sat down last March with João Doria to talk about the making (and thinking) of the book.

Transcript of João Doria with Andrea Hyde on the Lifelike catalog

J: I have the catalog here. I was wondering if we could start with a little description of the context in which this catalog was made?

A: The context I think you’re referring to is the Lifelike exhibition, now on tour. Siri [Engberg] curated the show as you probably know. She was interested in presenting artists working with realism from the 60s through the present. She touches on various incarnations of realism, from abstraction to installation-based work like Maurizio Cattelan’s sculptures to [Gerhard] Richter’s hyperrealistic paintings. I needed to find a way to reflect these themes in the book.

My initial meeting with [the curators] was very interesting. I presented some pretty radical ideas.

J: Are they worth showing? I mean to me they are but in a blog post?

A: Potentially. I feel protective about them. Perhaps they will be useful in the future [giggles]. You know, as a designer we sometimes recycle our ideas. I’ve found that it sometimes happens, but unexpectedly. Perhaps I will come upon the perfect occasion to use an old idea in the future…

With that said, one of the initial ideas that made it into the book—though a in a subtle way—was the idea of the book being a collection of stolen materials. For example, instead of a half-title page, the very first page of the book is a page from a published Charles Ray book. There’s no explanation as to why it’s there, but for a very small caption on the inside front cover. The gesture is meant to throw the reader and to refer to the art in the show—there is a moment where most aren’t sure whether what they see is real or fake. I’m thinking specifically of the Fischli and Weiss’ installation that looks like building materials and debris. Is it part of the exhibition or the byproducts from the show’s installation? In fact, it is an artwork. Or the Vija Celmins installation—it looks like a mistake, a remnant. That’s what that first page is meant to do: present the reader with something that doesn’t quite fit. I wish there were more instances like that throughout the book, but because the pagination was tight, it became necessary to economize those moments.

J: Before we go too deep into the catalog, what did the curators ask you for? How did it all start?

A: During the first meeting we talked about the ideas behind the exhibition and where it was going. I knew that there would be some reprints and commissioned texts. Siri was going to write [giggles] a really large essay, and I started type layouts based on the reprints. The first reprint I received was a [Josiah] McElheny article that first appeared in Artforum, which was really useful in figuring out some of the themes of the show: Duchampian readymades and work that followed in the same vein.

J: You did other catalogs since you started at the Walker and I wonder if you have an opinion about a curators’ general expectation when it comes to catalogs. Moreover, what’s the role of the catalog here at the Walker in relation to exhibitions. Why do they usually want to do a catalog?

A: Everyone wants a catalog. Sometimes they are more wanted than needed, but for this show a book made perfect sense: it’s a substantial exhibition, it’s touring, and the show’s grouping is unique.

Each curator has different goals for their catalogs. Eiko & Koma, which was the book I designed right before this one, is a good example. The curators, editor, and former publications director [Lisa Middag] wanted that book to stake out a position for performance art within the scholarly realm of art criticism usually associated with visual arts. It hadn’t been done often in the past. So that was the goal then.

But Lifelike is really true to its exhibition. It presents the ideas behind the show in chronological order. It’s similar to the way a curator would organize the exhibition’s physical space. Its a good accompaniment.

J: Now we can get more to the object. We talked about it before and also with Andrew [Blauvelt] and Emmet [Byrne]. I noticed that recent Walker catalogs have been more lightweight. They look (but in fact they’re not) less luxurious objects and this involves many questions I think.

I remember, for instance, the Frida Kahlo book or the books in that era of the Walker design department. They had hardcovers, cloth, etc., and it’s more apparent that they were meant to document the exhibition/made to last (which doesn’t mean they will) and that makes me think about the public. I would say that in a regular situation, in a context away from the collector or a designer interested in books, the Lifelike catalog would feel more appealing. To me, I would fear it less.

A: It’s less intimidating, I agree. I see the trend but I don’t know if this is intentional. I see it more as a byproduct of trying to pare down the cost of our publication program, at least temporarily. In the future there will be bigger moments. We will have more [Yves] Kleins, more [Frida] Kahlos. I know that will happen [for example, there is a Jim Hodges book on the horizon], but in this case, to a casual reader, this book feels a bit more like a reader because of its humble production. Because it’s less of an artifact, I feel more like reading it. Kahlo and The Quick and The Dead really feel like art books—you put them down on a table and they make a sound [laughs].

Before I came to the Walker I worked on books for Gagosian and the Guggenheim through a studio. Those institutions seemed to prefer expensive, exclusive books, more an artifact than a document. That’s also a challenge. I think both are extremes and challenges for the designer.

J: How do you articulate your own language/interests with the content and budget restrictions and the intellectual decisions taken by the curators with the practical design decisions you need to make?

A: It’s always a case of priorities. In this case, we prioritized a Swiss cover and  smyth-sewn binding so even though it’s a softcover it’s actually pretty sturdy.

Originally the idea was to use the second spine—as I’m calling the interior spine—and to stamp it with the same foil I used on the cover. We evolved away from this when we decided that to begin with the Charles Ray page. Initially, I was thinking of the whole book as a copy of something. I even sketched the title in the Life cereal logotype but in different crazy colors. It would have been a fun cover, less reverential to the artwork featured inside the book. Instead, we decided to put an artwork on the cover that corresponded to the Charles Ray page half-title and to add some materiality by using cast-coated paper, so that there is a textural  difference between outer and inner covers.






And when I talk to the artist/curator/whoever I’m dealing with when making a book, I generally talk about those different options all out and say ‘well, I think we should try to focus on those three things’ and then maybe the other nice things need to fall out as a consequence. It’s always a balance and even when you have a big budget you’re working to fit as much into the book as possible. It’s a balance between the production aspects, the physical aspects of the book and the idea behind the book and how it’s structured.

J: I remember talking to Emmet and he told me as well that one real interesting thing about the fake half-title page is that the artist himself he had lost the notion as it is said here on… wait a minute, is your book different?

A: Oh I forgot to say! [The book tape fabrics] are different. There are three different types. We went to the bindery and they had it on salvage, so we used their extras.

J: The name of the exhibition, how did you approached it through typography? As a foreigner, I would say Lifelike has a good sound, a sort of wordplay. When you separate the letters people tend to say ‘aw, this is going to get difficult to read!’ making, naturally making the designer a little furious because we tend to believe people are more intelligent than they think.

A: Lifelike is really nice as a title because first, there is no subtitle [giggles]. Second, it’s clear and represents the show perfectly, and third, typographically, it’s nice that the words ‘Life’ and ‘Like’ share every letter but one, which gave me the perfect excuse to play around with shapes. I’ve always liked the tree and flower of life symbols. Starting from there, I created circular, triangular, and diagonal divider spreads and headers to play with the title and refer to the symbol.

Above: The flower of life, an inspiration for the divider spreads and headers (located near the gutters of each spread).


J: Now for nerdy stuff. This format is a little bigger than Eiko & Koma, so why did you pick that particular format? It’s a stupid question but…

A: …no no, not at all. I think Eiko & Koma needed to be more intimate, more like something you could read in your bedroom—there are so many details about their life and work. I feel like [Lifelike] is more like a manual in the sense that it’s main goal is to be informational, and the proportions are a little awkward, too big for intimacy but too small to be “coffee table.”  An in-between format, awkward. In fact, many of my decisions were made in order to make the book feel more awkward, in part because that’s the feeling the exhibition inspires. It’s a bit wide, too. I knew that the softcover would help the book to really open and I wanted to have some good text-spreads. I also knew that I wanted to use the gutters for the page numbers and running headers so I felt like it would be nice to have a almost-square proportion, which we extended to the exhibition didactics.

…Something you said before was interesting, something about the reprints being re-purposed copy, the Charles Ray page reproduced. This duplication is also evident in the contents page. I simply took the layout from select pages and placed it there, another reference to the work in this exhibition, in that divider spreads, made smaller become literal representations of those sections of the book.

J: The grotesque typeface, is it F Grotesk from Radim Peško? The typewriter monospaced typeface, which one is it?

A: It’s called Prestige Elite.

J: When I look at the surface of your pages in this publication, I see two planes, and I feel like you use thick lines to relate to the density of F Grotesk and to everything which is heavier and thin lines to relate to Prestige Elite and to what’s lighter.

I wonder, then, when we get to the book I look for how you organized the book’s different moments and how what we said before is expressed in that.

In the contents page, the letters circling around the page makes me thing you’re trying to place some hidden message, a continuity in each divider page. In the foreword the text is set in the grotesque typeface so it feels like the more institutional texts are set this way whereas the content that relates exclusively to the work is set in the monospaced type. So this is something that may be nice to talk about—can you explain more about the structure of the text?


A: Siri’s essay is first and is divided by themes. In many catalogs, there are distinct and uninterrupted essay sections. In this case, the plates and divider pages serve as bookends to the essays. Plates correspond to sections like ‘Previous Lives’ or ‘Common Objects,’ and directly correspond with the exhibition—as I said before, the book is a perfect reflection of the exhibition space because, in a sense, its layout is the same. Entering the exhibition, you first encounter works that illustrate the ‘Common Objects’ theme, and then ‘Uncanny’ follows, etc.

Sprinkled throughout are ‘Object Lessons,’ case studies of specific works. I wanted these to be distinct, rendered in an institutional voice and differentiated from Siri’s essay.

J: The text set with Prestige seems more for reading, and what’s set in the other voice seems more like extended captions.

A: That’s exactly what they are. It’s interesting because I was thinking of the Object Lessons as extended captions. Normally, I wouldn’t choose to use a typewriter face as the body text for an entire book, but in this case it made perfect sense. Prestige in its digital form is a copy of its original typewriter-produced self. I mean, typewriter faces are anachronistic, we don’t use typewriters anymore, we’re mimicking it.

J: How did they react when you presented those ideas/justifications? To my experience, the good thing about working with curators and artists is that usually the talk gets to a level where everyday life decisions for you as a designer are understood on a conceptual level.

A: They got it right away. When I presented initial ideas—I called one of the ideas ‘The Impostor’—I mentioned using typefaces that mimic others: Arial for example, which mimics Helvetica. With Prestige I am mimicking an outmoded mode of production. It also refers to scripts, like you were saying—”this is something to be read.”

J: What about grids and stuff. What’s underlying what we see?

A: I’ve always been a fan of how the Talmud is laid out. I like the big blocks of text brutally interrupted by notes, references, asides and diagrams. These interruptions don’t break the rectangular shape. It’s the inversion of what most designers consider “good design,” with white space, unforced kerning, etc. To me, the Talmud’s modular denseness is attractive.

One of my original ideas was to make a book that looks like a different book, an iconic text that most people would recognize. It would copy the look and structure but use our content. Does that make sense to you?

J: Yes.

A: Then it evolved. But to answer your question, I changed the grid depending on the type of content. The essay has a different grid type than the plates, which was a very different grid from the object lessons.

J: I was also wondering whether it was modular or not.

A: I would say there’s a master grid and variations on that, but the variations are so big it makes for very different layouts. Before we decided to intersperse the essay throughout the book I thought that sections of the book could look extremely different from one another, almost like different books stitched together. That idea evolved into type and grid variations.

J: About the images. In the show their scales vary a lot—how did you deal with it on this book? The chairs outside, the leaves in the corner, what goes through your mind when putting it together, giving it new relationships? It’s typical book design problem.

A: It was very interesting. Initially, we had all the dimensions right underneath the plates, but we moved them to the checklist. There are other moments we try to be true to proportion, usually when I’m pairing different works on the same spread.

J: Is it more a form problem? To put things with different sizes together and to see whether they fit or not, their shapes and colors?

A: Oh yes, we have lots of problems (giggles).

J: (laughs)

A: And remember, I couldn’t reorder the plates because they all had to exist within their themed sections. That was also challenging as well. It wasn’t strictly chronological

J: One last thing… the book has an insert!

A: (laughs)

J: (laughs)

Let’s talk about this insert.

A: It’s another obstruction, another confusing element, an intentionally awkward moment. The reader flips through the book and suddenly this thing is just there. It has a caption but it’s not bound or glued. It’s not tipped-on. It’s not something you would normally frame. It’s not a complete composition. It’s just a thing, a texture.

J: And what did the artist say?

A: That’s exactly what we wanted. [Keith Edmier] didn’t really mind whether we bound it in, tipped it in, or how big it was. I think he just thought, ‘It would be interesting to give you some wallpaper’ [from Kitchen, an excerpt from Bremen Towne, 1971]. We could have done what we wanted with it. It could have been a lot of things: endpapers, a dust jacket… Instead we chose to do this awkward thing.

J: Another stupid question—being an object, something actual, did it ever come to the talks that this could be then an original?

A: No that’s a very good question. I intend to address this in my blog post about the catalog, that the insert is actually an artwork. There’s no material difference between the insert in the printed book and the wallpaper in the physical exhibition space. It was done at the same time, the same process and the same paper. It is something meant to exist in a specific space, but we took part of it and gave it to the printer to cut and insert into our book. It’s another Charles Ray page moment.

J: It wasn’t problematic then.

A: No. I think going forward though, when the show starts to tour and go other places it will be useful to talk about it…

A: Let’s conclude with the backcover. Originally, I wanted to do something like this on the back [pointing to contents page], put thumbnails from the interior on the back. Another contents-like page where I copy and resize pages of the book. But then I received an interesting email from Siri, detailing her visit with Paul Sietsema. The painting he had in his studio perfectly illustrated the idea of the exhibition.

The layout reminds me of a paperback with a blurb that screams: ‘Look what’s inside this book’—something a publisher’s marketing department would dream up—but the text below the photo is actually a really profound statement about the contents of the book, a summary of the exhibition.

J: In what way?

A: You have this trompe-l’œil effect of a nail seemingly sticking out from a still-life painting. Artists working during the time this painting was made would usually leave something like a nail out of their composition, because it was not considered art. It’s a mundane thing you don’t really paint, but here it’s rendered in such a realistic way that it looks like the painting could actually be punctured with a nail. The painting is similar to so many of the works featured in the book.

J: Now something not exactly related to this particular book but in Eiko & Koma you use the vertical text on the spine and here too, it’s so nice! Are you into that lately?

A: I actually wanted to do something strange on the spine, use the text in diagonal [sings, spelling L-i-f-e-l-i-k-e], is that what you mean?

J: Oh no, I just found a coincidence that both use vertical text—a good quirk of yours?

A: Oh yes I did do that in my last two books! I tried it the other way, but it didn’t feel right.

J: It is how it is!

A: Yes, I never turned the type elsewhere inside the book so… it’s always upright.

[Looks at phone]

J: Oh are we late?

A: Yes… We should go…

J: Miniburgers!


Over-Booked: João Doria

Below, as part of the Over-Booked series, is an interview with our former “resident studio squatter,” João Doria, who spent last March at the Walker on the occasion of the Insights Design Lecture Series. Doria is a Brazilian designer who most recently lived and worked in Oslo. Currently, he attends the MFA design program at […]

Below, as part of the Over-Booked series, is an interview with our former “resident studio squatter,” João Doria, who spent last March at the Walker on the occasion of the Insights Design Lecture Series. Doria is a Brazilian designer who most recently lived and worked in Oslo. Currently, he attends the MFA design program at Yale.

(Above: a small sample of Doria’s work)

What is the last book you read?

Clarice, by Benjamin Moser (The original title in English is: “Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector”—pardon the arrogance but the Brazilian edition is sooooooo much nicer!).

Clarice Lispector is one of the most important Brazilian writers. She was quite the character. I said she’s Brazilian but in fact she was born in Ukraine in 1920 and immigrated to Brazil, escaping the violent riots against Jews during the Russian Civil War.

Moser spends a lot of energy explaining the Jewish genealogy in Brazil/South America to give insight on her character and this, together with what he covers on Brazilian history between 1920-1977, feels very much like an excellent class.

Clarice was known for being a gorgeous woman of fierce personality, opinions, and experimental writing. Moser asserts that she’s the most important Jew writer since Kafka (wow). She had a very complicated life, and he gives so much information on all of the aspects I mentioned that it makes you want to read more and more.

Describe an impossible book that you’d like to make (if you could do the impossible).

I depend so much on the connections I make when the content in front of me, in addition to what comes to mind when talking with the people involved, so nothing comes to mind…

Describe a person you think might dig your books?

I am curious about what the visiting critics at Yale will say about my previous work. I just started the course and haven’t gotten further into my own ways of working. It’s going to be great to have people to talk to about what sucks and what doesn’t and disagree/discuss it.

Pick five books that that could be buddies.

1. 2.3.


1. Étrangers à nous-mêmes (Julia Kristeva)

This has been my ‘émigré handbook,’ recommended by my friend Frederico Coelho (his blog is worth reading even through google translator). He told me that when he spent a couple years living in New York he was struck by a feeling of homelessness and awe because of the feelings, people, images that were so different from his daily life in Rio. Little did I know that the same would happen to me when moving to Oslo.

In that book, Julia Kristeva writes (among another things) about the building/understanding of this ‘new me’ that happens when you leave everything you used to recognize as home. She makes observations about the interior world (me, inside myself) but also about what this ‘stranger’ provokes to the new people around him/how the stranger was seen as ‘enemy’ in primitive societies.

2. In Alphabetical Order: File Under: Graphic Design, Schools, or Werkplaats Typografie

When my friend Cecilia came back from her trip to Netherlands to visit some design schools (sometime near 2007 I think?) she brought a few WT publications back with her and that was one of them. She showed it to me and we would look/talk about it together during work. I spent quite a while before buying it but after I did it was the kind of book I would take notes in.

I remember looking at that object and always feeling it was quite precarious but also feeling like it really needed not to be more than what it is; that precariousness was interesting to me. Later I understood that what interested me the most was how the content was put together, and the fact that a school would use it as a statement/marker of its own thoughts in/for a specific time, like Yale just did with the Graphic mag. #22. (Anthony Froshaug’s text ‘Design is an exercise in analogy’ remains excellent to me).

3. The Craftsman (Richard Sennett)

I began reading it right after I settled in Oslo and started traveling with low-fare airlines to as many countries as I could in a very short period of time. In every trip I would pay attention to the materials found in each city—clothing, road typography, street signage, mailboxes—and try to relate them with Sennett’s explanations of craftsmen guilds: how each guild’s craft shapes community and defines local elements. It was very valuable to me.

There’s also a nice part about Stradivari’s workshop called ‘His Secrets Died with Him,’ about how a master’s originality inhibited knowledge transfer because it was tacitly incorporated, uncodified in words, and how the very presence of the master would inhibit the apprentices’ contribution—they wanted to please the Master rather than being themselves.

4. What do you care other people think? (Richard P. Feynman)

When my friend Pablo left for the Netherlands he gave me a box with books and this one was there. We attended a drawing course together where the tutor would spend hours showing us material from subjects unrelated to drawing/arts so we could learn to make connections. Mr. Feynman, a physicist, appeared many times. Feynman was a Nobel laureate in 1965 and, among other things, participated on the committee that analyzed the failure of the Challenger in ’86.

Feynman approaches very complicated and/or delicate subjects with a humorous, open-minded and thoroughly descriptive tone. He puts everything in perspective with his physicist’s eye. For example, he writes of his father explaining the physical dimensions of the world to him, and of the letter he sent to his wife one year after she passed away.

5. O povo brasileiro (Darcy Ribeiro)

I’ve been reading portions of this since I left Rio. I think it’s a natural reaction for those who move abroad, to want to know everything about one’s home country from a distance. I forgot my copy of it at the house in Minneapolis where I lived last March.

Darcy Ribeiro, an anthropologist, writes about the ethnic and cultural formation of the Brazilian people and discusses how the land was populated/organized before and after the colonization period, arriving at the conclusion that there’s not ‘one Brazil’ but ‘five Brazils’, because of what the geographic formation requires from the pre-existing indigenous and the new settling communities, and also because of being a result of mixed DNA—between the indigenous who were already there, the Portuguese colonizer and the African slaves, and all the cultural heritage each of those groups already carried in themselves. This gave me lots of insight on how to see myself when arriving in Europe, in the middle of so many ‘original-people’, and notice how much everyone is freaking out towards foreigners and immigration (sorry for the simplistic statement).

What is the first book you can remember?

‘O menino maluquinho’ (The Nutty Boy). about a kid and his lively childhood with his friends, his ten girlfriends, the toys he would make himself, his feelings, him playing football, how his parents would react when seeing his grades and how he would get perfect A’s after that in all subjects except his own behavior, and so many other things.

It was all drawn in black over white paper with pencil, and I remember I liked that a lot and was always intrigued with one particular illustration of a kid with legs so big he could hug the world. The final sequence explains that he grew up and became a great guy and everyone understood that he was a happy child, not a nutty one. The drawing of the boy as a grown up (or to picture what a great guy is) is someone wearing a navy uniform. I never understood that. ;)

Ziraldo, its author, is among the greatest Brazilian illustrators of all time. Although from the early ’80s he focused mainly in children’s books, his previous work covered a broad range of graphic design pieces. He would alternate between the illustration style he became known for and highly typographic pieces. This poster for instance:

What makes a book valuable?

Personally I relate books to moments in life, and how they affect my reality (see ‘The Craftsman’ above). As a designer, I look at weight, paper, how the book feels and how the contents are organized, how the book’s moments are marked, and whether I can get with those choices. Something else may stand out: nice typesetting, great printing, etc.

For instance, a couple years ago I visited Robin Kinross as a fan. I was going to London for a different reason and sent him an email asking whether I could visit and he said ‘sure!’ By that time Karel Martens’s book Printed Matter/Drukwerk was in binding and he showed me some of the proofs. He told me about additions, new work that was the reason behind the new edition. He also mentioned that he was aware that copies of earlier editions were being sold at used marketplaces for more that $1,000 and that that wasn’t his idea.

This may belong to a broader discussion about collectionism, but it touches on the fact that most design or art books print in small runs, and there are some things that people just *have* to see! I’m the same way. I find what I want/need but it can be a lot of extra work (there’s a couple of books I would like to have, but since the price of used copies skyrocketed, I refuse).

On the other hand, when thinking about books as products to be sold, the value discussion gets super-ultra objective. There have been many times when I’ve been approached with a set of specifications, a printing budget and so many design decisions already made in order to reach a selling price that includes paying a number of actors in the production chain + make some profit, so the viable book becomes the valuable one.

Do you have any book-related rituals?

Not for reading, but for making. I acquired one a couple years ago, which is to try to obsessively make dummies for every project. It may sound silly but in Brazil it was always too difficult to have it done (in Europe this is everyday currency) because you need to ask the printers and maybe one of two would see it as something crucial. In Norway there is a paper supplier particular that mails dummies to us pretty quickly (no need to ask the printer). The dummy increases my understanding of the book as an object. So although this is part of the design process, I feel like it’s quite ritualistic to handle the book—fold it, open it, and weigh it until it feels right.

Above: For Espen Dietrichson’s book, the 7th dummy and counting…

Above: A paper swatch from his prints, so that I can find something with the same feel…

Do books start to look like their designers? Do designers look like their books?

Some do, I think. I don’t see it in my own work, but my friend Aslak became easy to spot on a bookshelf. This picture gives an idea of it :).

Can you tell a cautionary tale related to the design or production of a book?

I did a catalog with my friend Rune Døli, and the museum wanted a wide format with some flop-outs because of some panoramic images we were using to document the restoration of a set of murals. They also wanted it in big format. Because of that (now stupid!) dummy ritual we managed to reduce the book size and increase the page number in almost 80% and use the same amount of paper in the previous specs.

It was good for the content but the printer decided to use 32-page signatures without telling us and the book had informantion on the top/bottom margins within a tight space. They had a very bad time binding it and cutting it and inserting the flopouts. Because of that, they told us one week before the deadline that they would not deliver on time. Since that was not a choice they ended up by saying “okay then!” and word was that on the exhibition opening people would see colorbars and crop marks for how much that 32-page signature would push the pages in every direction when folded (and even more for the top/bottom margins that usually lose space in wide formats). It was meant to have a sticker above a blind emboss and even after reprint we couldn’t find a single copy without rotated stickers. It was a nightmare. Although it was reprinted/re-bound etc, no more wide formats for me. I made this very annoying list of things to ask each printer in the future just to make sure.

Do you have any current publication projects that you’d like to feature on our site?

I made a book for my great photographer friend Luiza Baldan. We met in a studies group long ago, and since then work together when her exhibitions need design work. This year she got a grant that allowed us to produce a book, and distribute it for free. She has had a diverse range of residency projects, and in 32 years lived in 28 places. The name of the book is ‘São Casas’ (if you translate it literally it would be ‘It’s houses’ but then you miss a pun, that can be also ‘St. Houses’).

The book is only made of images, no text at all (except for cv/checklists and the sentence ‘In 32 years, 28 houses in 9 cities’). The discussion was about how to put those images together. After defining the page size I sent her an Indesign file and she would put an initial sequence. 80% of the project consisted of deciding which pictures from her body of work relate to the idea of house/home. We sent the file back and forth—I would change the image order/sizes, she would change it back, and so forth, until the last minute.

Since I’m in Oslo and she’s in Rio, we compared production budgets and discovered that it’s cheaper to produce her book in Europe rather than Brazil. Since the exhibition is in October, we had time for delivery, and chose a printer in Portugal that we worked with on a previous occasion. She had a conversation with the printer about every image, every plate in the book. It was exhausting but amazing for her to interact so closely with the printer.

The printer also was a real partner in the project—they would recommend paper, make several dummies, add a 5th plate with spot varnish to protect the images and let us number each copy. We changed so many of the specifications in just a couple of days in a very short notice and they would do everything possible to keep it within budget. It was sewn, flat spine, cold-bound with PVA glue and because of that we fearlessly crossed the gutter

Do you have a great idea for a book that didn’t happen?

Long ago I was invited by my friend Carlito to produce a dummy for a 10-year commemorative book of a project that happens in the Eva Klabin Foundation in Rio, called ‘Projeto Respiração’ (something like ‘the breathing project’). I proposed a layout where everything on a given page would be set on the negative space of what happened on the previous page. With the text, every second paragraph would have a considerable indent and this would establish a constant ‘breathing’ pace for the whole thing. The chapter openings would have a pattern of punched holes, a sort of lung.

The output was quite chaotic but I still like this idea a lot! Here’s a few screenshots…

I know, it looks pretty confusing!

I know, it looks pretty confusing!

I know, it looks pretty confusing too...

This thing flipping is the chapter marker I mentioned…

Over-Booked: Lucie Pindat on 1/2

1/2 is a creative collective comprised of four friends living and working in four different cities: Berlin, Paris, Rennes, and Vienna. Their collaboration manifests as undemi, a blog for sharing work and ideas, along with a series of handmade zines, self-published biannually by members Laure Boer, Anne-Pauline, Chloé Thomas, and Lucie Pindat. The following is […]

1/2 is a creative collective comprised of four friends living and working in four different cities: Berlin, Paris, Rennes, and Vienna. Their collaboration manifests as undemi, a blog for sharing work and ideas, along with a series of handmade zines, self-published biannually by members Laure Boer, Anne-Pauline, Chloé Thomas, and Lucie Pindat.

The following is an interview with Pindat as part of the Overbooked Series:




What is the first book you remember from your childhoods?
Loe Lionni, Petit-bleu et petit-jaune

What is the last book you read?
Georges Perec, Un homme qui dort 

Describe an impossible publication you’d like to make (if you could do the impossible).
Nothing is impossible, isn’t it? Or maybe I don’t fantasize about impossible things. Then I can feel completely free.

Who collects your zines?
People like us. Those who like printed papers, books, and magazines… And those who want to possess them…

What makes a publication valuable?
As a designer I would never buy a book if the design isn’t good. But I could buy a book for the design and never read it. A bit insane, but that’s the way it is. Form, colors, paper, composition, materials…

Do you have any book-related rituals?
I buy, I collect, I put them on the shelf, and then I keep them in mind.

Do you have any current or upcoming issues you’d like to feature on our site?
Yes, 1/2 no. 7, the recent issue of 1/2 zine.

What is the process of creating 1/2? Does the group pick a theme? How are the themes researched and articulated? How do you print and hand-produce the publication?
There is no theme! At a certain point everyone sends raw materials (images, drawings…) to the one in charge of designing and editing that issue. We send a lot of material so that the editor has enough content to make something new. No restrictions. Everything is permitted. Images can merge, be reworked, cropped, or destroyed… as long as the result is strong. Every zine is designed by someone else. That’s what makes each one different.

The zine is printed (offset, risograph, or laser print) and then folded and bound by hand. It’s published in a limited edition of 200. That’s the maximum quantity we can produce by hand. And that’s what we want because it enables us to make things that wouldn’t be possible in larger quantities.

I would just say that 1/2 is a friendship story. And sometimes I wonder why we do all this. I don’t know if it’s for the art or just to have a good reason to see each other more often!

How do you see your site coexisting with the printed publication? Does content from your blog appear in print or is the blog a separate manifestation of your conceptual/formal exchange?
The blog and the zine are the same thing. Only I would say that the zine goes further. The images posted on the blog are not altered or edited, so the interaction is limited. On paper, the works merge. And the zine becomes an artifact. It’s not a showcase or a portfolio. It’s really an art piece in and of itself…


Over-Booked: Christopher Schulz

The following is the first of several interviews conducted by the Walker design studio on the occasion of Over-Booked, a preview of the New York Art Book Fair co-presented with Printed Matter. Christopher Schulz is a designer and independent publisher known for his publication, Pinups, as well as various print works. The distinctly spartan (yet […]

The following is the first of several interviews conducted by the Walker design studio on the occasion of Over-Booked, a preview of the New York Art Book Fair co-presented with Printed Matter.

Christopher Schulz is a designer and independent publisher known for his publication, Pinups, as well as various print works. The distinctly spartan (yet furry) aesthetic that runs through his drawings, collages, and photographs has been well received by the queer and design communities alike. He is the recent recipient of Printed Matter’s 4th Annual Awards For Artists, and will be unveiling new works at the New York Art Book Fair in September. Below, Schulz graciously answers a few questions about the books and magazines he loves to read, smell, and make.





Pictured above: 1) Schulz’s book Seth, a series of graphite drawings of Seth Rogen imagined-nudes 2) Digital collages from Schulz’s Tumblr-based Mopping Is Stealing 3) Copy Machine, an accordion fold-out book featuring a professional man and the fruits of his unprofessional labor and 4) Covers and spreads from Pinups.

What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was Querelle de Brest (Jean Genet). It’s a favorite that I revisit from time to time. (Pictured above: Poster for the film adaptation of Querelle, featuring an Andy Warhol print)

Describe an impossible book that you’d like to make (if you could do the impossible).
I really love when there’s variety within an edition—for example, a magazine issue with numerous interchangeable covers—a mixed edition. I’d like to create an edition where each book is unique, down to every page. Of course it’s not impossible but definitely challenging enough to seem impossible.

Describe a person you think might collect your books?
My books tend to evoke a strong response. Some really love them and others feel uncomfortable by having to confront the work (even though it’s really very tame). Though those with an affinity for visual design, printed matter, and male nudes tend to dig my books, I’m always excited when someone I don’t expect to like my work ends up really liking it.

What makes a book valuable?
All the things that determine a book’s collectibility make it valuable. Things like cultural relevance, history, edition size, the maker, the collector.

Do you have any book-related rituals?
When I open a book, I thumb through it gently. I’m very particular about how to appropriately handle a book (in fact, I’ve been thinking about printing a how-to about page turning). I enjoy the smell of the paper and chemicals in the ink.

Do books start to look like their designers? Do designers look like their books?
Only through my own associations. If I know a designer, then I automatically associate the look of that person with their work. But when I meet someone who’s work I’m already familiar with, I’m often surprised that they don’t look how I imagined.

Can you tell a cautionary tale related to the design or production of a book?
Printing is the only part of the process that is out of my hands. I am obsessive about doing press checks to make sure everything prints as it should. I’ve caught some pretty major mistakes while conducting a press check (they were my mistakes). Luckily I spotted the mistakes before printing began otherwise I would’ve had a major problem on my hands.

What are you working on right now?
I just published a new issue of Pinups. Issue 16 (pictured above). I’m also working on a special poster to be featured at this year’s New York Art Book Fair in September. It will be announced later this month.

Which Pinups model is the most single?
Elliott of Issue 1 (pictured below) is the only one that I can say for sure is single. Most of them are partnered these days. One is married.

Do you have a great idea for a book that didn’t happen?
Book ideas pop into my head all the time. If the idea persists then I feel like I’m on to something. I have several ideas for books that I’m currently trying to make happen. I never totally abandon an idea—I’ll alter it enough that it becomes something else but the initial idea is necessary to arrive at the point of creation.

What project will your Printed Matter award support and what does it mean to receive it from them?
I’ve got several small print projects that I’ve been working on, one being the how-to about page turning. I’m interested in making a book out of my naughty blog collages, Mopping is Stealing, which will take quite a bit of time to complete. Also, I’m working on a new book of drawings which is still in its beginning phases.

I received a letter from Printed Matter that John Waters had written urging mailing list addressees to become members. I think it sums up what makes Printed Matter so cool. This is what it said:

Printed Matter is, of course, not just a bookstore—it’s a way of life and I urge you to join the cult. Ever since Printed Matter opened, I have been an eager customer, an enthusiastic audience at their book launches, and a repeat visitor at the gallery shows. In fact, I daily resist the urge to carve the initials “P.M.” into my forehead with a red hot poker. You, too, can become a member of this cutting edge organization. Be well read, cruise cute people in the store, and discover new artists that will make your jaw drop. Join up today, or I’ll have you killed.

It’s also cool that Printed Matter carries books made by an array of artists from someone in the middle of nowhere making amazing self-published zines that you’ve probably never heard of to iconic artists like Yoko Ono, Lawrence Weiner, and Larry Clark.

Pick five books that would be buddies.


2.  3.




1. Queer Spirits (AA Bronson and Peter Hobbs) — This book presents five invocations of queer spirits performed in Banff, New Orleans, Winnipeg, Governors Island, and Fire Island. It also glows.
2. Landscape (Christopher Russell) — This is a beautifully made book consisting only of vague black and white images captured in hidden areas around a park where gay cruising took place.
3. The Ossie Clark Diaries (Ossie Clark) — So bitchy but I love it. Beginning in 1974, It’s a window into a fascinating time in London when fashion, art, and music collided in an unbelievable social circle, particularly the early part of the book (although the book is actually really dark and about his personal drama). I suggest reading the diaries and then watch A Bigger Splash (Jack Hazan), a film made in the early 70s that uses documentary footage of David Hockney to construct a somewhat fictional story. There’s an overlap with what’s talked about in the diaries so it’s exciting to put the pieces together.
4. Little Joe (Sam Ashby) — Little Joe is my favorite new magazine. It’s a biannual publication interested in exploring films that inspire alternative discourse. The first issue actually features a piece on Hazan’s A Bigger Splash.
5. Gayhouse (September Editions) — this is a large format magazine based in Paris. For each issue, an artist is invited to direct the pictorial.

What is the first book you can remember?
Where the Wild Things Are. Somehow that book really stuck with me. I guess it tends to do that.

What do you consider to be your day job?
For my day job I manage production for a portion of an e-commerce website. It’s basically the opposite of Pinups.


ROLU Residency Postscript: Collaboration with Various Projects

ROLU‘s recent Open Field residency involved, as noted in other posts on this blog (1. 2. 3.), a number of fruitful collaborations. Case in point: Brian Janusiak, Elizabeth Beer, and Matthew Chrislip of Various Projects created a garment for visitors to borrow and wear in exchange for free admission to the Walker. The multidisciplinary design […]

ROLU‘s recent Open Field residency involved, as noted in other posts on this blog (1. 2. 3.), a number of fruitful collaborations. Case in point: Brian Janusiak, Elizabeth Beer, and Matthew Chrislip of Various Projects created a garment for visitors to borrow and wear in exchange for free admission to the Walker. The multidisciplinary design collaborative responsible for Project No. 8 and 8a in New York was inspired by Hélio Oiticica’s parangolés, and their collaboration with ROLU resulted in a bright orange, one-size-fits-all customizable smock, translating audience participation into performance, and contributing to the residency’s “takeover of the whole museum.” ROLU’s Matt Olson specifically “liked the idea that [their] work would, through this piece, travel everywhere in each gallery.”


Watch Participation as Performance: Incomplete Instructions

Below, photos of ROLU x Various Projects’ parangolés at the Walker, including details from their instructional flyer.


ROLU Residency: Collaboration with Peter Nencini

The ROLU residency at this year’s Open Field involves in a number of collaborations, many which feature artist/designer editions: publications, wearables, objects, and furniture. Artist/designer Peter Nencini, formerly profiled and interviewed here, has been engaged in a year-long collaboration with ROLU, the first result being a series of embroidered totes for Dream Shop on Rhiannon Silver’s Intelligent […]

The ROLU residency at this year’s Open Field involves in a number of collaborations, many which feature artist/designer editions: publications, wearables, objects, and furniture.

Artist/designer Peter Nencini, formerly profiled and interviewed here, has been engaged in a year-long collaboration with ROLU, the first result being a series of embroidered totes for Dream Shop on Rhiannon Silver’s Intelligent Clashing. In Rhiannon’s words, the shop is a “snap-shot of a current community of artists/makers/designers who operate and communicate online.” The Nencini collaboration will culminate in a collection of interactive stitched fabric chair covers. ROLU’s Matt Olson explains, “we’ve both been interested in Franz Erhard Walther’s use of fabric as a catalyst for an action…Peter has also been working on a series of films about the misuse of our chairs.”

Nencini writes, “I’m using readymade bags in 12oz cotton canvas available colours. Down the line, the intention is to design and make the structure from scratch but I do also like exponentially adding worth through handwerk, to such a staple. A significant step is to have pre-punctured stitch holes so that I—as a stitch novice—could do it. It also bonds the project with the boxes and other pieces which owe a good deal to Friedrich Froebel’s ‘Gifts and Occupations‘ lineage through to the Bauhaus’ preliminary exercises


1) Froebel’s Gifts of Kindergarten No. 7 (paper parquetry)  2) Franz Erhard Walther

This bag developed as a kind of sampler, especially within these bars. I feel encouraged by the reductive but glitched turnabout symmetry and gaudy, bubbly spurts. It’s a little marker for Matt and ROLU, too, on technique to be carried through to the chair covers.”



Above: Nencini’s stitch schematics. Stunning.