BMW issues drivable book celebrating its commitment to culture [video]

Award-winning graphic-designer Stefan Sagmeister created the concept for the book

BMW has issued a book celebrating its support of the arts over the last 40 years - a book with wheels that can be driven by remote control.

The book is the work of Grammy-award winning graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, who has designed album covers for the likes of the Rolling Stones and Talking Heads.

"In a publication about all the cultural activities of the BMW Group it made sense to include four hidden wheels and a remote control that allows readers to drive the book around the room. Culture really moves," says Sagmeister in the BMW press release.

There is more hidden art in the book covers. When each cover from the 1488 hand-signed copies of the book are arranged in proper numerical order, they depict an abstract representation of BMW's Munich headquarters from a bird's eye view - a building nick-named the 'four-cylinder' built by architect Karl Schwanzer in 1972.

The book is not for sale and covers BMW projects regarding contemporary art, jazz and classical music, as well as architecture and design.

BMW board member Frank-Peter Arndt will present the book at a press event today in Berlin.

Source: BMW
Published Mar 9th, 2011 10:00pm By Alex Ricciuti

CULTURE by Stefan Sagmeister

The Grammy-Award winning designer creates publication celebrating 40 years of BMW Group cultural commitment

Munich/New York. The BMW Group is celebrating 40 years of cultural commitment and is currently supporting more than 100 projects throughout the world. To mark this occasion, the internationally celebrated New York-based graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister has created the design of the publication CULTURE, a book describing the BMW Group's international cultural partnerships. The limited edition of 1488 hand-signed copies, which are not available for sale, will be first presented to the public by BMW board member Frank-Peter Arndt at a press conference in Berlin on March 9, 2011. Stefan Sagmeister explains his concept: "In a publication about all the cultural activities of the BMW Group it made sense to include four hidden wheels and a remote control that allows readers to drive the book around the room. Culture really moves." The concept is - typical of Sagmeister - unconventional and refreshingly new: CULTURE is not only a book to browse through, but as it also features an integrated, remote-controlled car, a book that can be driven around. As a whole, the numerical arrangement of all book covers would make a square measuring 7 x 7 metres depicting a graphically abstracted image of the legendary BMW "four cylinder" building - the company headquarters in Munich built by Karl Schwanzer in 1972 - from a bird's eye view. Consequently, each book cover becomes a fragmented, unique specimen.

Frank-Peter Arndt is thrilled: "The publication by Stefan Sagmeister offers an unconventional and intelligent overview of the most diverse facets of our global cultural activities during the past 40 years. With his novel concept, the graphics designer has landed yet another coup: CULTURE is not a narcissistic exhibition but an original overview and an artist's book one wishes to browse through, put on the bookshelf or even drive around. I am delighted with this book and I hope every reader feels the same way."

The book is divided into four parts according to the BMW Group's main cultural activities - contemporary art, classical music and jazz, architecture and design and, finally, culture within the company. The first three chapters are each preceded by a quote from the conductor Daniel Barenboim, the artist Olafur Eliasson and the architect Zaha Hadid respectively. This is where partners from the culture communication network have their say. Containing more than 50 partly full-page colour reproductions, CULTURE also illustrates a selective overview of the spectrum of the BMW Group's international cultural involvement.

Stefan Sagmeister
Two-time Grammy winner Stefan Sagmeister, a native Austrian, studied in Vienna and New York. He designed prize-winning album covers for the Rolling Stones, the Talking Heads and Lou Reed, but is far more than a designer of CD covers. Whether film installation, furniture, posters or books, Sagmeister is a broadly positioned, globally operating artist. The publication "Sagmeister. Made you Look" went on to become a bestseller. In addition to the Grammy awards, he received further internationally significant design prizes such as the Lucky Strike Designer Award 2009 and the Cooper-Hewitt Communications Design Award 2005. As a result, Sagmeister has become a frequently shown designer at international galleries and museums as well. Cities that have already held individual exhibitions comprising works by Sagmeister Inc. include Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka, Prague, Cologne and Seoul.

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Comments (4)

BadMrSnake BadMrSnake
That's about as aerodynamic a Bm really is!
Mar 10th, 2011 4:59am
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Soorena Soorena
books are good just for fire , but i don't mind a drifting book ;)
Mar 10th, 2011 12:35am
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cronan cronan
So thought a nice man in a brown suit and a funny mustache. Books are for reading and learning.
Mar 10th, 2011 1:54am
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Mikeado Mikeado
Well, clearly it's best to not judge a Bimmer by its cover. I'm sure the Press Release is a real... PAGE TURNER. Ok there must be better jokes than those...
Mar 9th, 2011 11:02pm
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