The architectural monograph Agenda is a frank and sometimes uncomfortable architectural history of the nineties, and in that way the writers depart from the tradition of the monograph as a heroes’ gallery.
Mevis & Van Deursen’s design ties in well with this ambition, starting with the jacket. Here they have chosen a monumental typeface in an ultra-thin font printed on semi-opaque paper that allows the fluorescent greenish yellow printed on the inside to shine through dimly.
Second, there is the book’s ample format: 23 x 32 cm, almost atlas size. Many publishers shrink from using formats larger than the economical 17 x 24 cm, so the panel were pleased to see 010 Publishers accepting the designers’ proposal in this regard.
Third, the panel were struck by the whole approach to text and image. The text is printed on a type area no larger than that of a novel, leaving plenty of space for monochrome reproductions of sketches, models and photographs. The bottom part of the page is reserved for footnotes. The result of all this is varied pages. The full-colour photography has been kept to twenty-four pages distributed through the book as six outserts on a different kind of paper.
The panel were full of praise for this book. The architects, the designers and the publisher have together succeeded in breaking the mould of the architectural monograph.