The (Real) Book, Alice Y1 2019/20
The documentation of an architecture class at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) covers more than 800 pages, describing the challenges and opportunities of running a school under pandemic conditions. The designer’s immense commitment and extensive organisational efforts enabled him and a group of 160 students in lockdown to replace a planned large construction in a river landscape with a communal work in book form. Sixteen project teams of varying sizes present their study and design material in 16 chapters that are between 8 and almost 100 pages in length. The urgency of the undertaking is palpable at all times. The design makes a major contribution through its strong presence, crafting the heterogeneous material into a coherent object by means of a luminous orange navigation system. Yet there are many scattered impressions, and finding one’s way around the publication is no simple matter; in that respect, too, it is a child of its time. The jury saw the book as a counterpoint to the very clearly structured work on Kazuo Shinohara. Together, they delimit the broad field of current architecture publications.