Going Public

The next publication from Tower Block Books sets out to explore and celebrate public buildings and the places where people come together—and right now, they're looking for contributions from designers, illustrators, architects and artists from all over the world...

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Founded by graphic designer Amandine Alessandra and architect Rute Nieto Ferreira in 2014, Tower Block Books is a small press publisher of beautiful picture books for children that explore our relationship with places, buildings and our everyday surroundings. Grafik readers will remember their excellent first publication, The Great Letter Hunt—for which they scoured the architecture of east London, in search of letterforms hidden in plain sight—and subsequent Tower Block Books titles have included colourful collaborations with illustrators including Lucy Vigrass and Jenny Bowers, that encourage younger readers to visually engage with the playful potential of their surroundings.

For their next publication, Tower Block Books are focusing on buildings that bring people together. They have invited artists, designers, architects and image-makers to contribute to the book with illustrations of their favourite public buildings, in an open call that aims to bring together an eclectic range of drawings from all over the world. “All buildings have a story and most humans have a strong affinity to places,” they explain. “Buildings house our personal memories, remind us of meaningful events, transport us to a different time or mood. We want to encourage children to reflect on the environment around them from a young age, to show them that community buildings and places exist in many cultures and that they are wonderful shared spaces where we exchange ideas and do things together.”

The call for submissions is open now, and you've got until 11 December to choose your place and send in your drawing, together with a short text about it. Anyone can apply, including students, and you're welcome to submit more than once as long as each drawing depicts a different public building. So far, submissions have included drawings of buildings from Chicago, Chandigarh, Porto, Prague, London and New York, but they're keen to expand this even further—so if you feel like putting pencil to paper, now's the time to get to work!

For more information about the project, which is not-for-profit, and details of how to submit, visit the Tower Block Books website or download the Call for Drawings PDF here.

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