Books orient, intrigue, provoke and direct the reader while editing, interpreting, encapsulating, constructing and revealing architectural representation. Binding Space: The Book as Spatial Practice explores the role of the book form within the realm of architectural representation. It proposes the book itself as another three-dimensional, complementary architectural representation with a generational and propositional role within the design process.
Artists’ books in particular – that is, a book made as an original work of art, with an artist, designer or architect as author – have certain qualities and characteristics, quite different from the conventional presentation and documentation of architecture. Paginal sequentiality, the structure and objecthood of the book, and the act of reading create possibilities for the book as a site for architectural imagining and discourse. In this way, the form of the book affects how the architectural work is conceived, constructed and read.
In five main sections, Binding Space examines the relationships between the drawing, the building and the book. It proposes thinking through the book as a form of spatial practice, one in which the book is cast as object, outcome, process and tool. Through the book, we read spatial practice anew.
Part I Field: the scope of the book.
1. Artists’ books: historical context
2 Qualities and characteristics of artists’ books
3 Architecture and printed media
4 Recording time, place and memory
Part II Page: the book as cumulation
5 The line within architectural documentation
6 Architectural drawing and the page
Part III Volume: the book as vessel
7 The objecthood of the book
8 The book as folded model
9 The temporality of interiority
Part IV Series: the book as sequence
10 The reproducibility of drawings / buildings / books
11 The book as exhibition
Bridging a range of positions between practice and academia, this series seeks out the best proponents of architectural design research from around the world. These texts will be varied in tone and structure, and will discuss aspects including design method, visual representation, textual analysis, social processes, and strategies for action. The series is to be deliberately inclusive in order to encourage a novel and vibrant kind of approach for architectural research. Each of the books will contain a large amount of serious and innovative historical or theoretical research, combined with creative propositions realized through a mixture of drawings, models and textual analysis. It is the essential symbiotic interplay between these components which creates the framework for design research in architecture.
The precise working of the interplay of text and project in architectural design research remains a much debated and relatively unformed issue, and this is of course symptomatic of the conditions facing any newly emerging subject area. The broader questions and theoretical structures of design research have formed the basis of discussions in international refereed journals such as The Journal of Architecture, and there is undoubtedly more intellectual work to be done in such areas. But there is also the need to form knowledge and method through actual propositions, with these studies enabling their authors not just to explore, propose and reflect on their specific subject-at-hand, but also on the wider nature of design research in general. It is for this express reason that this series aims to publish as widely as possible a number of the very best outputs in the field of design research, to allow others to use them as exemplars or to take issue with them through reasoned critique. It is a fertile time for design research and this book series will act at the heart of these investigations and discussions.