The Images of Architects

For the 2012 Venice Biennale, Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati curated a selection of "Pictographs—Statement of contemporary architects." The inspirational images from well-known architects were displayed on a large table in the Arsenale, and soon they'll be collected in a book published by Quart.

I asked architects to send me important images that show the basis of their work. Images that are in their head when they think. Images that show the origin of their architecture.

In this book we find 44 individual "musées imaginaires". The most unique architects living today each present up to 10 images to explain the autobiographical roots of their oeuvre. The images are explanations, metaphors, foundations, memories and intentions. They are poetic and philosophical avowals. They reveal a personal perspective on thoughts. They show the roots of architecture and expectations concerning projects. Conscious and unconscious.

This book has the format of a reader. As little as possible is said. The images are small, legible and interpretable as icons. As individual collections, they present a personal view of an individual world, while as a whole they provide a universal view of the perceptible origin of contemporary architecture.

Valerio Olgiati