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Forms of Inquiry
Architectural Association, London

Forms of Inquiry
Architectural Association, London, UK
October 8-31 2007
Traveling exhibition

Curator: Zak Kyes

Statements: «Forms of Inquiry presents architecture as seen through the practice of graphic design. The exhibition features works that have originated as self-propelled inquiry, either professional or personal, and have been developed into a myriad of media and forms. The works exhibited share a common desire to reframe the circumstances surrounding graphic design practice at the start of the 21st century. The exhibition highlights the work of 20 contemporary international graphic designers who were asked to contribute ‘inquiries’ into architectural subjects, in the form of an influential reference. These inquiries are the foundation for a series of specially commissioned A0 prints, which will be interspersed with existing projects. Exhibited works include Paul Elliman’s Whispering Walls, a short radio programme to be broadcast from the AA, Jürg Lehni’s Hektor, a computer-controlled graffiti writer and Radim Pesko’s Sol Lewitt Typeface. Other participants are: Åbäke (UK), Cornel Windlin (CH), Devalence (FR), Dexter Sinister (US), Experimental Jetset (NL), Hudson Powell (UK/JP), James Goggin (UK), John Morgan (UK), Julia Born (CH), Karel Martens & David Bennewith (NL), Manuel Raeder (DE), Meta Haven (NL), Mevis en van Dursen (NL), Michael Worthington (US), Project Projects (US), TASK Newsletter/Emmet Byrne, Alex DeArmond and Jon Sueda (US) and Will Holder (UK).
A Reading Room situated in the AA’s Front Members’ Room will make visible the process of debate and exchange. This open library is guest-curated by eight publishers/designers who will contribute a selection of independent scholarly
publications, books and zines, both new and historical, exemplifying graphically
driven modes of inquiry from around the world. [see the Forms of Inquiry Annex]
The exhibition is curated by Zak Kyes, a Swiss-American graphic designer. Kyes is Art Director of the Architectural Association and faculty member at LCC and the AA.
The publication accompanying the exhibition is co-edited by Kyes and Mark Owens, a graphic designer and writer working between Los Angeles and New York and a regular contributor to the design journal Dot Dot Dot.»

Another publication was released in 2009 following the Forms of Inquiry exhibition in Stockholm. Iaspis Forum On Design and Critical Practice: The Reader, edited by Magnus Ericson, Martin Frostner, Zak Kyes, Sara Teleman and Jonas Williamsson, and co-published by Sternberg Press and Iaspis, is «based on four conversations between graphic designers about various aspects of design relating to their practices. It also contains a number of interviews and other texts linked to these conversations, and a broader discussion about design and transboundary practice.»