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High perspective street view in London with traffic on road and Daniela Keiser London – Being in the Library in white font with text to right in white

London – Being in the Library

Edited by Daniela Keiser
Interviewee David Adjaye
Interviewer Philip Ursprung


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  • An artistic reflection on the impact of David Adjaye’s architecture for the Idea Stores in London
  • Features a conversation with David Adjaye highlighting the architect’s intentions for London’s new public neighbourhood libraries
Full Description

Daniela Keiser ranks among the most renowned contemporary artists in Switzerland. In 2017 she was awarded the Prix Meret Oppenheim as well as a studio grant from Landis & Gyr Stiftung that enabled her to embark on an extended stay in London’s East End. There she discovered the Idea Store, the public library on Whitechapel Road built by British architect David Adjaye in 2001–05. Upon its opening to the public, this institution quickly became a meeting place for a broad spectrum of society including for socially disadvantaged people. The goal of the Idea Stores – eight of them have so far been opened in various London boroughs – is to enhance formerly neglected neighbourhoods and offer a low-threshold source of education and information.

From that initial Idea Store on Whitechapel Road, Daniela Keiser began to take pictures of the goings-on in the street outside. Her Library – Idea Store series reveals a calm, repetitive but insistent image of the city and offers insight into the small everyday variations of the surrounding world. Her photographic reflection is accompanied by a conversation between David Adjaye and art and architecture historian Philip Ursprung. They talk about Keiser’s perception of the site and – without actually showing the building – the impact of urban design and the architect’s intentions.

About the Author

Daniela Keiser lives and works as an artist in Zurich and teaches at Bern University of the Arts (HKB).

Philip Ursprung is a professor of art and architectural history at ETH Zurich’s Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta).

Sir David Adjaye RA is one of today’s most distinguished architects whose building designs in numerous countries and his contributions to architectural discourse draw great attention worldwide.

Park Books
24th May 2021
Paperback / softback
World excluding Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, United States, Canada, and Japan
190 mm x 140 mm
280 Pages
152 color
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