What was the book? What will it become? This team-taught, project-based seminar charts new trajectories for the future of the book. In tandem with exercises that build familiarity with practical techniques of bookmaking, the course will investigate histories of print across historical and geographical contexts. We will mobilize our collective knowledge to interpret books in multiple languages, and we will produce experiments on alternative and untested modes of book production, authorship, design, assembly, and distribution. In short, we will take the process of constructing a book as a site for critical intervention and design experimentation. Each student will develop their own book(s) which combine and reconfigure multiple publication typologies, formats, genres, and techniques into an original prototype. The course introduces all processes of bookmaking by challenging students to become bookmakers.
Students will have regular meetings with Koolhaas, Boom, and Denny, as well as invited guests, at the Harvard GSD. Koolhaas and Boom will travel to Cambridge on several occasions during the semester for in-person discussions, field visits, critiques, and project workshopping sessions (during Boom's and Koolhaas's visits to campus, the course will meet on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for extended sessions; dates to be confirmed). In addition to our regular meetings at the GSD, the seminar will conduct visits to local archives and libraries to consult examples of innovative books and other media artifacts. These field visits will include work in the Frances Loeb Library’s Special Collections, as well as Houghton Library and the Harvard Art Museums.
Schedule: Weekly on Friday mornings with additional in-person project workshopping sessions with Koolhaas and Boom to be held on select Saturdays and Sundays at the GSD (dates to be confirmed; students can anticipate approximately 3 weekend sessions).
During spring recess (March 10–19), the seminar will travel to the Netherlands for a weeklong intensive workshop with the instructors at OMA’s head office in Rotterdam, as well as field visits to Boom’s studio in Amsterdam, and to bibliographic collections in the Hague. Without exception, enrollees must confirm that they will be able to attend the entire workshop in Rotterdam. Students who are traveling with other courses or studios cannot enroll in this course. Enrolled students will be term billed $300 and are responsible for the cost of meals and incidentals.
Enrollment is capped at 12. It is not possible to audit this course.
This 1-unit module 2 course will take place on the following Wednesdays at 6 PM: March 22, March 29, April 12, April 19.