School of Art, Media, and Technology

Bruno Munari: Unreadable books | Wed Oct 26 @ Parsons

Written by:


Alessandro Colizzi, MLitt, MA, PhD Lectures on Bruno Munari and His Unreadable books

When: Wednesday, October 26, 6pm
Where: 10th Floor Lab, 2 West 13th Street

Starting in 1949 Bruno Munari (1907-1998) launched his Libri illeggibili (Unreadable books), a series of design experiments on the form, materials, and purpose of the book as an object. A key feature of these publications with no text nor images is that the medium itself becomes the message, leaving the ‘narrative’ to the perception of the object in its materiality. Despite the fact they were made as limited editions (sometimes single copies), the Unreadable books received a wide critical acclaim, also at international level, attaining within a few years no less than twenty different editions. For Munari these leaflets were primarily research artefacts, an exploration of visual communication principles. Such an interest is directly related to his Futurist militancy during the 1930s, from which the Milanese designer assimilated an unprejudiced attitude to the creative process. The Unreadable books are more akin to artist’s books than to publishing products: as such they belong to the fine arts sphere (where they were part of Munari’s modernist engagement for a democratization of art). Their outcome however is to be found in Munari’s graphic design work, particularly in his most original children’s books. That proves the continuity between Munari’s range of diverse artistic interventions, as well as his will to abolish the separation between the creative sphere and everyday life –which is the most conspicuous legacy of 20th century avantgardes.

***Pizza and soda reception to follow













Alessandro Colizzi
MLitt, MA, PhD
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