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Mies In London by OK-RM

Opinion by Richard Baird

Mies In London published by Real Foundation and designed by OK-RM

Mies In London is a project by Real Foundation that seeks to document modernist architect Mies van der Rohe’s only design for the United Kingdom, Mansion House Square; a bronze tower and grand plaza located at the heart of London opposite the bank of England and commissioned in 1962 by Lord Peter Palumbo. Following a long struggle with Royal and political concerns, as well as an increasing disfavour for modernism within the public consciousness, the project was halted by an inquiry in 1984 with many of the details and artefacts lost to time.

Through careful research and collaboration with RIBA, the CCA and Drawing Matter over three years, editor Jack London and co-editor Yulia Rudenko have brought to light the inside and out of Mansion House Square as envisioned by Mies. The project is an interesting and ambitious example of Gesamtkunstwerk / Total Project. This is expressed by Real Foundation in their own practice and material response through a combination of book and objects; an ashtray and door handle. The book, designed by OK-RM, chronicles and presents the grand architectural gesture and philosophy for the site using the arrangement of content; documents and images with extended captions as a narrative tool.

This article, in a break from convention and with a desire to experiment editorially, has two interwoven parts; the familiar format looks at the micro (the graphic and the material), while inset italics explores the more meta. These can be read independently or sequentially.

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Next To The Ocean by Lundgren+Lindqvist

Opinion by Richard Baird

Catalogue cover and graphic identity for Next To The Ocean by Lundgren+Lindqvist

Valand Academy in Sweden offers a complete range of undergraduate, postgraduate and artistic research opportunities. This is a unique educational environment, the only one of its kind in Sweden. Next to the Ocean is an exhibition of works created by 23 of the students from the BFA, MFA and research programmes, which was held at Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg.

The exhibition serves two purposes. The micro; a look at the individual interests and concerns of those on Valand Academy’s photography programme, and the meta; an intention to position this a representation and overview of what is happening in young contemporary photography in Sweden today. To express this proposition The Valand Academy approached Scandinavian design studio Lundgren+Lindqvist to develop the visual identity and catalogue for the exhibition. This is characterised by an immediacy of form language and a material appeal, and a conceptual subtlety in the relationship and direction of essay and image.

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OfficeUS Manual by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Book designed by Pentagram's Natasha Jen for OfficeUS Manual published by Lars Müller Publishers

OfficeUS Manual is a guide to the American architectural workplace over the past century. It is the third book in the OfficeUS series which deals with the development of international US architectural practices, and offers insight into the office life of these over the past 100 years; how they have changed and remained the same. It does this through the compiling and presentation of job listings, timesheets and estimates, work furniture and reception areas, office hours and benefits.

The book is marked by its approach; a balance of criticality, conviviality and deadpan documentation, in its mix of isolated objects, technical drawings and iconography, contemporary reflections by more than fifty architects, artists and writers, and a scope that covers the meta, macro and micro.

The book was edited by Eva Franch, Ana Miljački, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Jacob Reidel and Ashley Schafer and published by Lars Müller Publishers. It is a paperback measuring 160 × 240mm, made up of 288 pages featuring 461 illustrations and was designed by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen and team.

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