3+2 shortlisted for design and publishing award

The double volume monograph of Australian architecture practice Durbach Block Jaggers has been shortlisted for the NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing.

Launched in 2015, the NGV Art Book Fair is an annual book fair held in Melbourne, celebrating international and local publishers and art practitioners. Held in conjunction with the book fair, The Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing is the first award of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region that recognises eminent books that explore art, design, architecture and contemporary culture. The shortlist will be narrowed down to five finalists and an overall award winner during the art fair from the 16 to 18 March 2018. This will be the second year in a row that a book by Uro Publications makes the list: in 2017 Episodic Urbanism, designed by the award winning Stuart Geddes, was listed as a finalist.

3+2 is the first collection of selected architectural works by award winning practice, Durbach Block Jaggers. It is a unique collection that came from collaboration between the architects, designer Mark Gowing, editor Andrew Mackenzie and photographers Andrew Cowen and Julia Charles. As Andrew Mackenzie explains in an interview with Sky News, the photographers were selected for the particular interpretive quality they could bring to the work, beyond simple documentation.

The result is a visually compelling twin set that celebrates the beauty of both built and published material; the half-swiss binding allows each volume to sit flat when opened into the double spread to fully show the form and material that makes the work of Durbach Block Jaggers distinct. Put together, the two books carry the reader through the various projects – from the expanding curves and precise lines of the Holman House, to the curious mix of muted colour and playful patterns of the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. The photography of Cowen is complemented by a thick paper that absorbs the ink and fills the page, while the colour and contrast of Charles is brought to life on a soft gloss.

All this is brought together under the careful guidance of award-winning designer, Mark Gowing, and Japanese book-makers, Sun M Colour. This design is part of the reason 3+2 was made a finalist in the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards for its excellence in Communication Design. The Cornish Family Prize goes further in recognising the beauty of the book as an art object.

We look forward to the announcement of finalists and the overall winner in March.