Client—University of Michigan, MAP series
6.5 inches by 9 inches, 160 pages, sewn paperback
Bootstrapping is a book on the New York architecture practice Marble Fairbanks. The book is composed of a number of chunks of content: open conversations, projects, prototypes, interviews, essays and archives. Each section is distinct and abrupt in transition from its neighbors. (We were thinking about how Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is made of radically different sections, 6 or 7 of them.) This approach to content gives a descriptive cross-section of the office's work, increasingly focusing on the relationships of soft programming and issues of material production enabled by developments in fabrication.
Thumb was responsible for editing and designing the publication for the Michigan Architecture Papers series. This publication series is funded in part by the Charles and Ray Eames lecture series. Thus, we felt it was an important opportunity to critically address the Eames legacy and made an effort to recall not only the aesthetic and visual aspects of their design, but also the operational and economic ideas they developed. The most direct way this was done in the book was by re-tasking an interview from 1977 called "Design Q&A" that was part of an exhibition called "What is Design" the Eames designed and curated. By asking the same set of questions of Marble Fairbanks (e.g. "What is function?" etc.) it is possible to map the differences between the ideas affecting material culture 30 years ago and today.