After receiving multiple accolades for the extraordinary design of a 1616 page architectural monograph, an RMIT designer’s practice has been profiled in the prestigious Eye magazine.
RMIT PhD candidate and Industry Fellow within the School of Media and Communication Stuart Geddes, has been recognised by multiple award wins for his design of Mongrel Rapture: The Architecture of Ashton Raggatt McDougall.
To date, the book has been awarded:
● 2016 Design Observer 50 Books Winner
● 2016 ABDA Designers' Choice Book of the Year
● 2016 ABDA Best Designed Fully-illustrated Book Over $50
● 2015 AGDA Pinnacle Award
● 2015 AIA Award for Architecture in the Media
The exquisite soft-leather-bound book, reminiscent of an illustrated bible, was conceived and designed to be many kinds of book: hymnal, illuminated manuscript, index, journal, monograph and zine, and took four years to complete.
Geddes said the book references these many kinds of books in various physical ways: the particular colour and thinness of the paper, the single thumb index, the rounded spine, and its flexibility when open in your hands.
“The design of the book also owes a lot to the diverse, obsessive and involved work of architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall,” Geddes said.
Best known for designing the Shrine of Remembrance and the National Museum in Canberra, architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM) also designed the Swanston Square project that carries on its facade an image of important Wurundjeri leader William Barak.
ARM have had a long association with RMIT, designing buildings on campus, such as Storey Hall and the adjacent ‘Green Brain’, a significant landmark on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe streets in Melbourne.
Partners Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall have both been adjunct professors at RMIT and have taught extensively in the architecture degree.
Raggatt and McDougall were also early graduates of the practice-based masters in Architecture and Design at RMIT.
Eye magazine is considered internationally the most established and influential professional graphic design journal and profiles Geddes’ practice over 18 pages in its latest issue, Summer 2016.
The Reputations profile is a significant feature on a practitioner in each issue of Eye, and the feature on Geddes’ practice makes him the second Australian to be promoted in this way.
The other is Stephen Banham, who teaches design and typography at RMIT, and is also a PhD candidate at RMIT.
Associate Professor of Design in the School of Media and Communication, Brad Haylock said that the number of national and international awards that Mongrel Rapture has received is testament to the importance of that project for the specialist field of book design in Australia.
“Moreover, the recognition of Geddes’ practice by Eye magazine is an extremely significant achievement, not only for an Australian designer but by global standards,” Haylock said.
Geddes is also getting acclaim for another book design for Opportunistic Urbanism, a book about the urban spaces of the RMIT City campus done over 20 years by Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design. It recently won the Bates Smart Award for Architecture in the Media at the 2016 AIA awards and has been shortlisted in the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) awards.
Currently Geddes is undertaking his PhD in the School of Media and Communication through practice-based research into book design and small press publishing, and is freelancing as a book designer and publisher.
At RMIT, Geddes runs an experimental typography workshop course in the Master of Communication Design and a studio on publication design and small press publishing in the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design).
Story: Wendy Little