Archibet, from Aalto to Zaha Hadid

A charming little book arrived here this week. Archibet is the work of the Italian architect and graphic designer Federico Babina who has set about creating an alphabet book inspired by some of the world’s most talented architects.

Designed as postcards, each of the 26 pages is dedicated to an alphabet and a corresponding creative from Alvar Aalto to Zaha Hadid. Admittedly, even though the British architect is often referred to by her first name, we did feel putting Hadid in Z is a little bit of a cheat.

Nonetheless, Babina has created a wonderful illustrative book that pays tribute to the distinct architectural style of each of the featured practitioner – all in his unique fashion.

Babina sees a close relationship between architecture, graphic design and illustration. The architect needs to express his or her vision through drawings, and the more provocative they are, the more expressive, it helps give shape and life to a project.

He explains, ‘sometimes I am an architect with a passion for illustration and others I’m an illustrator in love with architecture.’

Archibet is published by Laurence King.

For more reviews on books on design and art visit the Design Talks Book Club.

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Architects draw the City of London

Some leading architects and designers have sketched their take on the City of London to raise money for charity. Original works of the City’s Square Mile by 100 participants were auctioned at the German Gymnasium at London’s King’s Cross in aid of development and disaster relief charity Article 25.

The event on the 1 December raised over £60,000 which will provide essential funds for post-disaster reconstruction work around the world including water and sanitation improvements in Haiti, schools in Burkina Faso, and a vocational training centre for former child soldiers in Uganda.

The auction represented the culmination of the 10×10 Drawing the City, an event which sent participants out onto the streets of London to re-interpret the City. Together the works highlight some of the most beautiful and hidden details of the City.

Twenty five lots were auctioned in a live auction on the night by Sotheby’s Adrian Biddell. Big ticket items included a signed Norman Foster model of the Gherkin which sold for £4,500 and a Norman Ackroyd water colour of the City’s skyline which went for £2,000. Other contributors included Pierre D’Avoine, Kathryn Findlay, Piers Gough, Takero Shimazaki, Angela Brady and TV’s Kevin McCloud.

See the full gallery here.

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