BPO


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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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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REVOLT by Paul Belford Ltd.

Opinion by Richard Baird

Hardcover book design by Paul Belford Ltd. for Revolt by Alex Lewis and Bridget Angear

REVOLT is described as an instruction manual, tool-kit and practical guide for any business seeking to do more with their brand, or for individuals looking to get more out of life. The central premise is that having people on your side, and that the ability to form and activate a group is the secret to success, and essentially leverages and intends to help channel any feeling of disenfranchisement and anger into affirmative action and movements of change. Content feels very much of its time, although the visual and form language of action and disruption, revolution and dissent employed by Paul Belford Ltd. is an enduring and fairly universal one. Conflating political and societal struggles with corporate (or charitable) interest or self-help is bold and provocative, as is its visual expression.

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