2023_1 | Craft Studios

Studio: 16A Friday | 16B Friday
Making Books. Weird Systems.

Stuart Geddes


Studio Inquiry

Books are boring familiar things. 
Books are weird unpredictable things. 
Systems are boring predictable things.
Systems are weird unfamiliar things.
Making books. Weird Systems. explores the way we might work with systems and patterns and structures to make books that are at once familiar and strange. Books are built on systems for typesetting, for page composition, for print production, for distribution. They are also built on systems of reading, histories of usage, and challenges to all of these conventions. We make systems in order to manage complexity, or to generate clarity, but what if we made systems for different reasons? What if we made a system whose purpose was confounding, or poetic? 
In this studio, we will investigate systematic book making, through theoretical, practical, technical and poetic perspectives, and we will learn about books by designing and producing books. Students will make a series of books, and we will have a stall at the NGV Art Book Fair, during which we will get to know a community of publishers and book makers.


The studio engages in theoretical, historical and practice-based forms of research concerned with the contemporary practice of book design and publishing-as-practice. Students will develop a variety of ways of thinking about and approaching the making of books, as well as specific technical knowledge about book typography, the construction of complex grids, and books as systems. 

Communication of knowledge

Books always create links: between a reader, an author, an editor, other books, to name just a few. Students will need to design for these audiences. A key activity in the semester will be the NGV Art Book Fair. We will have a stall at the fair, where we will meet and get to know our community of practice. 


Over the course of the semester students will design and produce (at least) three books. In some instances the projects involve also be authoring content or collecting and curating content. Students will need to be willing to work in unconventional ways and develop historically and theoretically informed ways of working. In the 
studio will discuss, design, critique and produce books. There will be guest lectures, field trips and weekly readings to discuss.


There will be three assessment tasks in this studio, each one will involve you making a different kind of book.

AT1: Book as investigation/documentary

AT2: Book as speculation

AT3: Book as critical archive (SKO)


Self-publishing: Graphic Designers as Editors, Florine Bonaventure (intro)

Studio Partner

NGV Art Book Fair

Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing Publications

About Stuart Geddes

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