I still remember the colorful alphabet that adorned the walls of my early childhood bedroom. The letters were cut from colorful construction paper, and extended around the upper edge of three walls of the room (the last wall had numbers 0 - 10). While wonderful, those simple letters had nothing on artist Federico Babina's latest creative incarnation of the alphabet. Dubbed the "Archibet," the collection seems like a whimsical study in typography, but upon closer inspection, we see the vibrant collection holds more than just alphabetical knowledge. Each letter teaches the viewer something important about art as well as iconic architects revered the world over.
Each entry in this unique collection of prints represents a letter of the alphabet from A to Z. Unlike other alphabet art, each character in Babina’s Archibet is represented by an architect whose name starts (or ends) with the same letter.
The playful collection of architectural icons starts with Alvar Aalto’s Riolo Parish Church, and works its way through a varied assortment of buildings, including Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus school, Louis Kahn’s Phillips Exeter Academy Library and Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House and Oscar Niemeyer’s National Congress of Brazil and Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House also make an appearance before the collection concludes with Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Centre in Vienna.
The trained eye will notice that each letter is drawn according to the interpretation of the corresponding architect’s style, an artistic decision that Babina says expresses the “heterogeneity of forms and styles” that make up the architectural universe.
Whether you’re a design enthusiast or just looking for some clever nursery art, the Archibet is a great way to teach both the alphabet and an early appreciation for the wonderful structures that make up the built environment.