This book is about the future of the modern metropolis, as envisioned by Dutch architect Wiel Arets. It raises questions, predicaments, and ideals regarding the future of cities, while recognizing their limitations–centered on the metropolis of Tokyo as a prototype. The book’s Japanese folded pages, composed of a translucent, slightly off-white, rough-yet-delicate to the touch paper, reflect the ideals contained in the book’s prose. The interior of the cover is printed with an image of a burnt wood texture, printed in two tones of black, referencing the traditional Japanese weather-proofing building methods. Page numbers are replaced by time; each of the eight chapters is numbered with a length of 72 minutes, running in total to 8 hours and 42 minutes. These 72 minutes are based upon the idea that that’s the maximum travel distance one is able to take in comfort. A series of images, all taken in Tokyo, book-end all but the first chapter. When a chapter ends, white pages are still marked with the 72-minute timestamp, regardless of the length of each chapter’s text. The photos denote the end of a chapter, with the first of each portrait-format photo printed in a vertical mirror, by printing the photo on the inside of the Japanese folded opposite page, making use of the paper’s translucency, and binding technique.
Read a review of the book from November 2019.
‘Like other books by Arets with editor John Bezold (e.g., Stills, Autobiographical References, and Wiel Arets-Bas Princen), Un-Conscious-City is a beautiful object full of thought-provoking ideas.’ –John Hill