Shubin + Donaldson monograph
Edizioni Press, 2008
Offset, 8.375 x 10.5 in., approx. 240 pages
Architecture firm Shubin + Donaldson has largely moved on from its roots as a scrappy little studio doing warehouse office interiors on the cheap. And yet, as it moves into the realm of ecologically sound housing and site development, as well as high end office spaces for clients like Saatchi, it retains much of that can-do spirit in its work. The task for this monograph was therefore to reflect that balance, between material/conceptual ingenuity and formal refinement.
The conceptual and formal conceit for the book therefore became the idea of a "panning shot." Drawn from the firm's history working for media companies, it organized the material without seeming overly clever and self-explanatory. Images and text were meant to seem as if they were scrolling by horizontally, often slightly out of register with the limits of pages or spreads. This allowed for juxtapositions between inside and outside, comparisons of project to project; continuities were highlighted, as were discontinuities.
Overall, however, elements are presented in a very restrained manner. Most images are large and, despite wrapping over edges, fill pages; texts, set cleanly in mostly sans-serif type, fill columns on a simple grid. Captions "snap left" to either text or page edge. The chaos of the structure is tempered by the refined look and feel of the style.
Unfortunately, it does not appear likely that this project is going to reach completion. Though the design and layout were nearly finished, we were still awaiting several keys pieces of text (as well as a title) when the publisher announced that they were shutting down.