The Bibliorium 读树馆 acknowledges the endangered nature of printed matter in the digital age and seeks to reaffirm the worth of certain pre-modern notions, such as book as collectible object, bookcase as designed altar of and frame for collections, and book vendor as guide to learning.
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Including information on Symposium, Installations and Curated Library
A tradition dating back to the construction of the ancient Egyptian Alexandrian Library (300 B.C.E.), book dealing was a commercial practice first implemented by scribes – authors of the books themselves. Bookshops where these books were sold, collected and traded became gathering grounds for discussion between community members, development and exchange of new knowledge, and ultimately a home that fostered the rise of an extensive diversity in printed matter. “Scholars and students spent many hours in these bookshop schools browsing, examining, and studying available books or purchasing favorite selections for their private libraries. Book dealers traveled to famous bookstores in search of rare manuscripts for purchase and resale to collectors and scholars and thus contributed to the spread of learning.” It was first through the collective spirit that printed matter was enjoyed and its contents disseminated.
The prevalence of book collecting came as a byproduct of the formalization of educational institutions around the end of the Roman republic (1st century BCE). By then, it was fashionable to have libraries outfitting private homes, and thus birthing the demand for bookcases. Even Senica noted that “…by now, like bathrooms and hot water, a library is got up as standard equipment for a fine house (domus)”. It was these bookshelves that came to serve as focal points of the interior space, allowing easy organization of and access to carefully developed collections, as well as tangible symbols of a home's dedication to knowledge acquisition. Though bookshelf classification systems have evolved as a result of the printing press, bookshelf design dates back to the Roman days in the West and to the 5th century in China, when circular bookcases were made for storing Buddhist scripture
In an ode to the ways in which printed matter was first experienced, The Bibliorium serves as a contemporary reading room intended to explore the expansive function, history and current use of print. It serves as an –orium in the truest of senses – a functional space for the community to gather, discuss and share thought and knowledge – to reveal bits of the self and perhaps a larger, more collective whole. And, uses the “biblio-” sphere as a vehicle to blur the lines between art and design, video and literature.