Unbinding the Book

  1. Interview with Laura Jouan


    What attracted you to the Unbinding the Book project?

    Unbinding the Book, as the title suggests, offered an opportunity to think outside the box. I like to questioning and investigating the medium and graphic design in general.

    What draws you to the book as a medium? 
    Without content, books or posters are empty containers, which makes them very interesting to work with, as you’re challenging them as objects, rather than what they’re holding.

    Could you explain your practice?
    My practice is graphic design.  Whilst I’m happy to respond to commissions, I am also interested in exploring the physicality of objects such as books and the way they are handled, in order to rethink our use of the medium.

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    Could you describe your project?
    My project explores the Architecture of Book, the parallels between the two and how we visualise architecture while reading.

    What materials are you incorporating into your work?
    I used 6000 sheets of clear acetate to produce up to 30 books-objects. My project is a collection of books, all of them have the same format, each one representing a different chapter that makes up a story. Seeing as they are designed to be similar to buildings and towers, I have built a landscape out of coloured sand for them to be displayed on.


    Your practice seems to centre around materiality. What draws you to this as a line of inquiry?
    I guess I am genuinely interested in questioning what can be done with the things we create. This should affect the concept of our work as a graphic designer, as we are working with physical objects.

    Your books are taking on a sculptural form. In general sense, to what extent does content dictate form, and vice versa?

    In this case, I am focusing on the medium as opposed to the content. The focus is entirely on their sculptural form.

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  2. Laura Jouan

    Laura Jouan’s background is graphic design, though she often pushes the boundaries of graphic mediums in order to challenge traditional commissions. Over the course of the past year studying Visual Communications at the Royal College Of Art, she has been exploring the structure of the book and it’s value as an object.

    For Unbinding The Book, she will be drawing parallels between architecture and books, such as the way we navigate narratives to the way in which the form can be perceived. Titled ‘Monument’, her piece will study the sculptural form of the book whilst exploring the journey one makes when reading a book from cover to cover.

    Her books will appear as semi-transparent towers through which you can see specific sections on different pages all at once. Below ,we can see some tests Jouan has been running, using transparent paper.

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan

    The towers themselves will be exhibited atop a landscape. Whilst this is currently in the process of being built Jouan has shared some sketches that give some indication of how it will appear.

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan

    image by Laura Jouan