‘Beyond the Town’ was produced for visitors to Hauser & Wirth Somerset at Durslade Farm – an 18th-century agricultural property that was transformed into a multidisciplinary arts centre in 2014. The book would have an unusually broad readership, as Durslade’s visitors span people with a professional interest in art, architecture and landscape architecture, but also amateur cooks and gardening enthusiasts.
Our approach was to intermingle learned essays with a trove of images and more personal conversations with the people who are building the “soul” of Durslade. Out of this rich selection of perspectives, texts and images, the book provides a nuanced portrait of the farm, the people and ideas behind it. Our design starts with a perforated section of colourful, double-exposed photographs taken by Pipilotti Rist during her residency on the farm. Between the essays, a visual timeline and interviews in forms of walks across the fields, we placed a smaller insert of illustrations of Somerset birds, reproduced from Archibald Thorburn’s book ‘British Birds’ (1915–16). The book is wrapped in a warm, textured book cloth, with one of Piet Oudolf’s garden designs embossed into the cover.