News - 12 September 2022

UNStudio / Ben van Berkel design the Zumtobel Group’s 2021/22 artistic annual report

Nothing is ever fixed. Transformation is everywhere, at all times.

UNStudio / Ben van Berkel, in collaboration with the Dutch graphic design duo Bloemendaal & Dekkers, have designed The Zumtobel Group’s 31st Artistic Annual Report. Entitled ‘Transform’, this year’s book is a reflection on three decades of design at UNStudio.

Each year since 1991, a wide variety of creatives from the fields of architecture, graphic design and art have been invited by the Zumtobel Group to design their annual report in response to the theme of light. Detached from any corporate design guidelines, over the years this design freedom has resulted in the creation of singular editions, which have since become collector's items.

“Compiling this book gave us a wonderful opportunity to look back and re-think the conceptual thinking that has always formed the basis of our work,” says UNStudio’s Founder and Principal Architect, Ben van Berkel.

In this report, UNStudio attempts to illustrate visually the transformation of conceptual models and theoretical ideas into integrated architectural systems. Here, we also investigate where the cultural edge of the profession meets its physical and functional side.

“It is as much about the future as it is about our own history. Now, more than ever, integrated system thinking is essential to design if architects are to be in a position to play their part in tackling climate change, bringing about social inclusivity and guarding against periods of economic downturn,” van Berkel adds.

Transformation is the basis on which all aspects of the design for the book rests.

The artistic annual report is designed in an unconventionally small book format (16.5 cm x 12 cm). Across approximately 300 pages, our collaborators Bloemendaal & Dekkers have woven the central theme of transformation into almost every facet of the graphic design.

This is represented in this 2-volume edition’s ability transform itself, thus engaging with the theme in both form and content. As a result, the artistic book itself can be transformed into a circular object that appears to radiate light during daytime.