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Work / Publication

Graphic designer Laura Pappa’s architecturally-informed book design

To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, accompanies an exhibition of the same name, held at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in 2018. The accompanying publication tells the story of how Toronto’s architecture was influenced by the post-WW2 wave of European refugees; with numerous Estonian architects involved in the emigration and the city.

In the foreword to the book, Triin Ojari, director of the Museum of Estonian Architecture writes: “If Estonian culture in exile has been viewed mostly as focused on the preservation of national identity, in which the sense of community is very important, then the architecture created by these Estonians surprises us with its internationalism and unconditional modernity.” But they didn’t dismiss their heritage either, building community churches and cooperative residencies for Estonian-Canadian society.

The book was designed by Amsterdam-based graphic designer Laura Pappa, whose approach has both an architectural quality and visual sensitivity. The layout employs both brutal display type and delicate body text, with extensive footnoting and photography, without compromising on white space. It makes use of its relationship to an exhibition context by mirroring some of its practices – with full-bleed photographs dotted throughout, and a sense of a journey running through the catalogue.

Having received two BA’s – one from the Estonian Academy of Arts, one from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie – and an MA from the Werkplaats Typografie, her artistic spin and trained eye should come as no surprise. Her eye for detail comes through across her commercial practice, predominately in the cultural sector, as well as in her studio projects, which includes writing, publishing, workshops, and an itinerant bar. Alongside this busy programme of creative work, Laura also teaches at KABK in The Hague, and runs the Asterick Summer School with fellow designer Elisabeth Klement.

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen

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Laura Pappa: To the New World: Estonian Architects in Toronto, edited by Jarmo Kauge, photographed by Kaido Haagen