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Sarah Infanger

Sarah Infanger is interested in researching the question of how books are read and the book as a material object. As for the first aspect, she will endeavour to understand more about how the materiality and the structure of a book influence our reading behaviour, our perception of the content and our navigation within it. Research situations will be set up in environments of reading and bookmaking, whereby interviews, experiments and observations can launch off her working process. The examination of un/conscious ways of reading and diverse reading behaviours will be the basis and inspiration for the second aspect of her research, on the book as a material object.

This second aspect focuses on the relationship between a book and its content. An essential point of this research is the experiment with book forms. The book as a material object gives the content a tactile body. Infanger will investigate the following relationship: how can a book’s materiality and structure become part of a reflexive navigation by its use? And how can a translation and a idea become the embodiment of the book? The book as an object can exist as a reflection and a statement of the content itself. The book becomes the mental space departing from its visual qualities, and, linked to the fluctuating content, the printed matter is the embodiment of impalpable language and ideas.


Harrisson believes that, as in architecture, the book has a role to play in history. It is a container, a means and a tool. Its form, codes and practice make it a constitutive part of mankind. Having said that, its position today has slightly changed due to the digital revolution. According to Harrisson, it is now obvious that the future of the book is endangered by the publishing economy.

The politics of graphic design present an interesting case. If the typographic workroom was the laboratory of the fragmentation and repartition of the work (as with weaving workshops, premises of industrialisation), the last 25 years of technical revolution has suddenly concentrated many professions into one (conception, creation of pictures, lay-outing,…). Quite paradoxically, the graphic designer at once handles many crafts, while also being a specialist. The graphic designer is the vector between authors’ ideas and their Zion. Moreover, he often makes the economic choices in the production of the printed object. He thus bears a grave responsibility in the publishing production line. Nevertheless, while often being good technicians, it is quite rare that graphic designers are aware of their ethic and social responsibilities. They are seen more as specialised relays than as authors that have something to say. What does the graphic designer relay? Are philosophies preached by schools (Ulm, Bauhaus…), or masters (Tschichold, Brockman…) and thinkers (Adorno, Bourdieu…) applicable in the present situation? Advertising, dominant culture, property rights, book production lines and tools, software... is there a space for critics and independent production?


Richard Vijgen

Richard Vijgen will concern himself with the following questions: How does the printed book relate to the large dynamic data structures of the twenty-first century? What is the function of design / the designer in these data structures, the extent of whose information is the equivalent of many libraries? How does the uniform nature of these new methods of gathering and storing information relate to the visual identity of the information? What can ‘open’ models for creating, archiving and delivering mean for the content itself?