The big book | Alison Knowles


The Big Book by Alison Knowles was just that: a book.

Comprised of eight moveable pages—each four feet wide by eight feet tall—anchored to a metal spine, this walk-in construction was equipped with casters, which made it possible to leaf through individual pages. Each page had access to the next, opening up different spaces between them where a reader could spend some time.

It was given its first public airing in 1966, at the Something Else Gallery in Chelsea, New York, which was also the living room in Alison Knowles’s apartment. She lived there with Dick Higgins and their twin daughters Hannah and Jessica. Something Else Press was on the third floor of the same building, with her studio higher up. The book was built of found materials from this environment, and designed so that it could be shipped, packed into two crates.

It subsequently travelled to various venues in Canada, Europe, and the United States. In the course of these travels, the book gradually disintegrated into its individual components, so that by the time it departed from the final venue in La Jolla, California only a few pages remained.



Out of stock

Technical specifications

Author: Alison Knowles

Format: hardcover; 44 pages; black and white and color printing.

Publisher: Passenger Books

Dimensions: 25,9 x 20.4 cm.

Print run: 500

Language: English

Year of publication: 2013

Weight 0.220 kg
Dimensions 25.9 × 20.4 × 0.8 cm


Instrucciones para dibujar su caminar / Sofía Garrido / Naranja Publicaciones from Naranja Publicaciones on Vimeo.

Virtual book launch

Author's video


  • MoMA Library, New York, NY, EEUU
  • Tisch Library Zine Collection, Tufts University, Boston, MA, EEUU

About the author

Sofía Garrido es Diseñadora Integral de la Universidad Católica de Chile —recientemente titulada con el máximo grado académico y premiada con la más alta distinción de la escuela— y Licenciada en Artes Plásticas, con mención en Gestión Cultural, de la Universidad Pantheón Sorbonne de París.

Curadora y diseñadora de la exposición Habitantes de la Imagen, la cual fue galardonada con el Premio Chile Diseño 2019.

Su actividad profesional se enfoca en un gran rango de disciplinas: desde el diseño gráfico, diseño expositivo, identidad visual hasta la dirección de arte, curatoría y fotografía.

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