Over-Booked: Temporary housing + shelter
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Over-Booked: Temporary housing + shelter

Live from the New York Art Book Fair!

Literally fresh from the Toyko Art Book Fair just a week ago, Temporary housing + shelter is a collaboratively edited project between New Zealand-based split/fountain (organized by former Walker design fellow Layla Tweedie-Cullen) and Whatever Press.

Thinking about the effects of the natural disasters in Japan and New Zealand in 2011—and more importantly, the ongoing reconstruction—the publication focuses on the condition of the temporary and resourceful:

Beginning with the materiality and immediacy of emergency temporary shelters and structures, the construction of a temporary cathedral from common everyday materials such as cardboard challenges the way we conceive of ways to approach shelter and habitation in response to local conditions. As unlikely a material paper/cardboard may seem as a construction material for a cathedral, it offers a perspective on the nature of shelters as ephemeral.

Editor Bopha Chhay continues, explaining their approach the design of the book:

Temporary housing + shelter within seeks to explore the limits of printed matter as a ‘support structure.’ … With their combined interest in experimenting with different modes of publishing methodologies, the project seeks to reconsider the way we approach space through the idea of temporary shelter, not just within the binds of printed matter, but the relationship of printed matter to the spatial practices and methodologies of design, contemporary art and architecture. 

Composed of pages of various sizes nested together without any kind of binding technique, Temporary housing + shelter is the result of a series of projects undertaken throughout the course of the Tokyo fair. They range from “A Typology of Simple Things Which Support the Human Bottom” (a series of sketches of proposed seating configurations made from a variety of materials) to “Umwelt of crows”, a particularly lovely example of how nature, like man, also adapts to immediate surroundings and conditions, in this case, crows collecting unused (or possibly stolen) clothes hangers to integrate into their nests. As one washerwoman complains, “This is their work. I’m convinced the crows are responsible…” It is an exploration of architectural potential, social space, and sites of production and its relation to sustainability and civic responsibility.

After this weekend, Layla and split/fountain make their way to the Vancouver Art/Book Fair in October, and will feature their own publications, along with ArtspaceDDMMYYIndex PressMichael Lett, The Dumb Waiter, The National GridThe Silver Bulletin,Vapour Momenta Books, and selected artist editions.

[It is currently not available on either split/fountain or Whatever Press‘s site, but we’ll update you when and where you can get a copy!]


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