Irma Boom Interview: The Architecture of the Book



Distinguished book designer Irma Boom makes miniature versions of her books in an almost architectural manner. Watch her demonstrate and discuss these unique miniature books, which are among the world’s smallest.

“It’s all about scale, size, weight – and sometimes even smell.” Boom often creates small models – or “mini-versions” – of the books she makes in order to oversee the distribution of text and image in a foreseeable way. Furthermore, Boom finds that making a small book is more difficult than making a big book, and being fearless when it comes to rethinking the boundaries of what a book can be is essential to her: “Miniature books were made to show the craft.”

Irma Boom (b. 1960) is a Dutch graphic designer, who specializes in book making and is widely acclaimed for their iconoclastic beauty. Boom introduced the idea of a ‘fat book’ (overtly thick book) and has made more than 300 books, 100 of which are in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. The 2,136 page commemorative ‘SHV Think Book’ (1996) – which was anti-chronological and also devoid of page numbers and index – became her international breakthrough. Boom’s design for the book ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by American artist Sheila Hicks (2006) received the ‘The Most Beautiful Book in the World’ award at the Leipzig Book Fair. Boom’s many clients include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Chanel, Ferrari and Camper. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is the youngest person to have been honoured with a Gutenberg Prize in 2001. Since 1992 she has been a teacher at Yale University in the US.

For more about Irma Boom see: http://www.irmaboom.nl/

Irma Boom was interviewed by Christian Lund at her home and studio – Irma Boom Office – in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2014. In the interview she shows a selection of her “models” as well as her published miniature books, such as ‘The Architecture of the Book’ (2013), which offers a complete overview of her work in 800 tiny pages.

Camera: Maurits Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Edited by: Sonja Strange
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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