Can a book be an architectural form? According to the Architectural Association School (AA) in Bloomsbury they can. The AA’s current exhibition does just that, displaying books produced by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and its many collaborators in order to reveal their key role as a revolutionary architectural form.
Curated and edited by AA director Brett Steele and AA art director Zak Kyes in collaboration with the OMA Archive Collection, Book Machine offers a hitherto unseen retrospective not only of a key architectural office of our time, but of architectural culture itself, which has long been defined by and circulated through books and the printed page – a medium that today is undergoing profound, even revolutionary, changes.
The centre piece of the show is a specially-made 40,000-page book, binding together hundreds of OMA’s pamphlets and books made over 35 years of architectural thought, work and provocation.
Adjacent to this show, the AA’s bar will display a large selection of one-off books made by AA students in recent years as part of their studies. Spring 2010 at the AA presents a season of books and aims to demonstrate the enduring importance of books as, and not only in, the architecture of our time.
OMA Book Machine: The Books of OMA runs until 29 May 2010 at AA Gallery, 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.