Kickstarter campaign to reissue The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn


Stephanie Salomon


Executive Editor, Designers & Books


louis kahn
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Originally published in 1962 and out of print for almost 50 years, The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn was the first book on influential 20th-century American architect Louis Kahn (1901–74) to feature his own images and words and offers a unique window onto Kahn’s early creative process. Among the books of his own work published during his lifetime, it is the one that the architect most treasured, the one that he felt got his work—and his thinking—right.

To make this book available again, and in honor of Kahn’s 120th birthday this February, Designers & Books plans to reissue it in a new facsimile edition (an exact reproduction), along with an all-new companion Reader’s Guide that will feature previously unpublished material from the Architectural Archives at the University of Pennsylvania, which holds the Louis I. Kahn Collection. To support this publication project, Designers & Books is running a Kickstarter (through March 31), which offers copies of the book and Reader’s Guide as well as virtual tours of Kahn-designed buildings, including the Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth, TX) and the Kahn Korman House (Fort Washington, PA).

Notebooks and Drawings was the brainchild and passion project of a then 25-year-old Richard Saul Wurman, a former student of Louis Kahn, then age 59, who employed him in his Philadelphia office. Wurman (acclaimed today as one of the first practicing information architects, and founder of the renowned TED Conference), asked to select all the drawings and texts for the book. To his surprise, Kahn agreed.  “I didn’t choose what were considered his best, most finished drawings,” Wurman says today. “I chose those that spoke to me—much in the same way that Lou would say you had a conversation with the building . . . the drawings that told me what they were trying to be.” Wurman worked closely on the book with experimental printer Eugene Feldman, who pioneered the use of offset lithography as a fine-art form. “I wanted the spirit of Lou—I wanted a book of him,” adds Wurman. As a result, the two created a book that captures Kahn’s work in a way that has been unequaled.

For more information, visit The Louis I. Kahn Facsimile Project or contact with any questions.