Theatre under Construction Makes Prestigious 50 Books | 50 Covers List
Bolesław Stelmach’s Theatre under Construction: Travelogue was awarded in the prestigious 50 Books | 50 Covers competition organised each year by AIGA and the Design Observer. The jury hailed the book published in 2016 by Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre as ‘an example of seemless editing’.
Theatre under Construction: Travelogue is a record of the process of the creation of the Theatre under Construction in the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin. In 2009, after an architectural competition, work began on a new concept for the renovation of the ‘modern ruins’ of the opera theatre on which work began back in 1972. The renovation was finally finished in 2016.
The book was already recognised during the 20th International Book Fair in Kraków in 2016 and received an award for its ‘editorial excellence’. The book was designed by Idalia Smyczyńska and Robert Zając, who are co-creators of the kilku.com collective.
Jessica Helfand, a member of the jury, stated that Theatre under Construction: Travelogue is:
An example of seamless editing—photos are gracefully placed, sensitively sequenced, and the binding and boards frame the book with simplicity and power.
The publication consists of a descriptive section and a photo album. The creators wanted the book not only to be pleasing to the eye, but also to the touch. To do so, they used recycled paper with a distinctive texture. To enhance the effect they used glossy paper in many places, while the hard cover is double-pressed and the binding is open.
The 50 Books | 50 Covers competition is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the graphic design industry. The competition seeks out the best examples of book design in the United States and Europe. Each year, a special exhibition accompanies the competition. Beginning in 1923, the Fifty Books of the Year competition was a yearly mainstay of AIGA (the American Institute for Graphic Arts). In 2012, Design Observer, in partnership with AIGA, began hosting the competition. This survey of the best in book design represents perhaps the longest-standing legacy in American graphic design. Every year, 100 of the best books and covers are chosen. In 2016, more than 700 publishers from 23 countries submitted their books.
AIGA is the oldest and largest professional membership organisation for design – with 70 chapters all over the United States and more than 25,000 members – AIGA advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. From content that defines the global practice to events that connect and catalyse, AIGA works to enhance the value and deepen the impact of design across all disciplines in business, society and our future.
Theatre under Construction: Travelogue, Bolesław Stelmach
Publisher: Grodzka Gate – Theatre NN
Graphic design and layout: Idalia Smyczyńska, Paweł Szarzyński, Robert Zając
Printing and binding: Petit skład-druk-oprawa Wojciech Guz i wspólnicy
Source: press materials, compiled by MK, 25 Jul 2017, translated by NR