Reading Space: The Book and Architectural Documentation

By Marian Macken.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 1, 2014 $US5.00

Parallel to the ongoing digital shifts in textual production and distribution in publishing, architecture has made significant developments in the realm of digital representation. Within these prevailing post-digital conditions of architectural drawing, it is precisely the physicality that the book as object offers, which opens new territories for architectural practice. Artists’ books, in particular, have certain qualities and characteristics, quite different from the conventional presentation and documentation of architecture. The elements of the page, the frame, multiple pages and sequence, structure, the objecthood of the book, and the act of reading lead to certain possibilities for the book as a site for architectural representation and production. This paper broadly outlines the relationship between architecture and printed media, that is, the book as alternate architectural practice. It then examines the points of intersection between books and architectural representation, such as drawings and models, allowing the clarification and reshaping of artists’ books as representation to occur. It demonstrates how the form of the book affects how the architectural work is conceived, constructed, and read. In this way, the critical facility of the book is brought to reside within architecture and continues to be a site of architectural innovation.

Keywords: Architectural Drawing, Architectural Representation, Artists’ Books, Creative Criticism

International Journal of the Book, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.23-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 1, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 803.900KB)).

Dr. Marian Macken

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China


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