Inspiration and Process in Architecture

20 June 2013

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Moleskine publishes new titles in the series of monographs exploring the design processes of international architects.

The inspiration and the process are two factors underlying all design arts and specifically architecture: the Inspiration and Process in Architecture collection, published by Moleskine and curated by Francesca Serrazanetti and Matteo Schubert, came into the architecture publishing scene in 2012 to explore the hidden stages of the architect's work and to show the "behind the scenes" of a profession that often reveals only the outcome of a long process.

The series - which already includes books devoted to the work of Zaha Hadid, Giancarlo De Carlo, Bolles+Wilson, Alberto Kalach, Cino Zucchi and Wiel Arets - has now grown to include two new titles: Studio Mumbai and Dominique Perrault. Two different points of view on architecture and reality offer the reader a glimpse at the notebook pages of two major architects located at antipodes of the planet, revealing the most intimate aspects of their work.

The volume dedicated to Studio Mumbai, the well-known Indian group of architects and craftsmen, shows the development of Bijoy Jain's own mind-process as well as the collective dialogue through which each project evolves. Dialogues unfold through study sketches made by both Bijoy Jain and the Studio's carpenters, as well as full-scale models and photographs taken on journeys as study and inspiration for future work, showcasing a critical part of their design process.

Dominique Perrault's "notebook" shows a collection of materials from the DPA office on the occasion of two international competitions for museum buildings. An opportunity to demonstrate how even unrealized projects are a great opportunity for experimentation, these courses of research are told through sketches, models, notes and diagrams.

The books' structure – as in the whole Inspiration and Process in Architecture series – is organized in two sections: "Writings", which include critical essays and an interview with the architect, and "Drawings", which include images taken from personal notebooks and design materials specially extracted from their drawers, made with all kinds of artistic media, mostly manual, but not excluding a few forays into digital.

With these titles Inspiration and Process in Architecture is expanding its range to include new key players in contemporary architecture. Studio Mumbai and Dominique Perrault, like their predecessors, give an instant look into what "inspiration and process in architecture" represents today: not only the manual gesture (sketching, drawing, taking notes) but all kinds of materials that, collected and systemized, may become an inspiration for future projects. The entire series traces out new "cognitive geographies", offering different sources of inspiration for the architects' world, capable of guiding personal processes that, starting from the white pages of a notebook, end up in the defining stages of a project.

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The new titles will be on shelves from June 2013. For further information please click here or email

Inspiration and Process in Architecture is a collection of cloth-bound monographs on key figures in modern and contemporary architecture. It offers a reading of the practice of design to give a full comprehensive view of the manual approach of the creative process. Each volume provides a different perspective, revealing secrets and insights and showing the various observation techniques, languages, characters, forms and means of communication.


Series and Book Editors
Francesca Serrazanetti
Matteo Schubert

Graphic Design
A+G AchilliGhizzardiAssociati

Featured Architects / new titles
STUDIO MUMBAI consists of a group of Indian architects and craftsmen, all resident artisans of STUDIO MUMBAI, headed by Bijoy Jain, one of India's foremost architects. STUDIO MUMBAI's awards and honours include the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture from the Institute Français d'Architecture (2008), a Special Mention at the 12th Architecture Biennale (2010) and the BSI Swiss Architectural Award (2012).

Dominique PERRAULT, the author of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris and of the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, has received many prestigious prizes and awards including: "Grande Médaille d'or d'Architecture" in 2010, "Seoul Metropolitan Architecture Award" for EWHA Womans University in Korea, "World Architecture Award" in 2002, "Mies van der Rohe prize" in 1997, "French national Grand Prize for Architecture" in 1993.

Other featured architects
Wiel Arets - Projects and theoretical reflections immortalised through exaggerated perspectives, snapshots and architectural ideograms in felt pen – this is how architect and theorist Wiel Arets ‘freezes' his thoughts. Former director of the Berlage Institute, Arets has taught in many universities and designed numerous important buildings, including the Academy of Art and Architecture in Maastricht and the university library of Utrecht.

BOLLES+WILSON - Minute, highly-detailed and very fine watercolours depicting the travels, places, readings, theoretical notes, projects and day to day observations by Peter Wilson: a glimpse into the cumulative backgrounds and foregrounds,  endemic to a phenomenological ‘take' on architecture. Bolles+Wilson is famous throughout the world for the Suzuki house in Tokyo, the Luxor theatre in Rotterdam, the Münster library and the masterplans of Hamburg, Tirana and Monteluce.

Giancarlo De Carlo - Designs, sketches, notes, projects with touches of humour; lines found in notebooks and on napkins and scraps of paper reveal design intuitions and an extraordinary capacity to interpret space. From the archives of Giancarlo De Carlo, founder of Team X and ILAUD, winner of the RIBA ‘Royal Gold Medal' in 1993.

Zaha Hadid - The mental space of painting expressed in works that experiment with the existing urban panorama in search of visionary aesthetics. Winner of the 2004 Pritzker Architecture Prize, world famous for projects such as the MAXXI in Rome, the Fire Station in Vitra or the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati.

Alberto Kalach - Architecture and explorations focusing on landscapes, forms, narrations sketched in pencil, pastels, watercolours that closely bind local tradition and modernity, taking inspiration from explosive nature. The author is Alberto Kalach, who has always been interested in the emerging problems of Central and South America and is famous for his $5000 minimal houses and the library in Mexico City.

Cino Zucchi - Sketches, maquettes, project drawings and theoretical references from architecture to science or music intermingle in graphic narratives tracing the scientific and personal profile of lecturer and architect Cino Zucchi, well-known for his residential buildings in the former Junghans area of Venice and Nuovo Portello in Milan, and for the extension of the National Automobile Museum in Turin.

Forthcoming titles
GRAFTON Architects
Kengo KUMA