Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Lima-based architect Karina Puente has created a new series in her personal project: to illustrate each and every “invisible” city from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel. Her collection, which ArchDaily published in 2016, and again in 2017, consists of mixed media collages, drawn mainly using ink on paper, brings together a sequence of imagined places – each referencing a city imagined in the book.

Invisible Cities, which imagines fictional conversations between the (real-life) Venetian explorer Marco Polo and the aged Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, has been instrumental in framing approaches to urban discourse and the form of the city. According to Puente, “each illustration has a conceptual process, some of which take more time than others.” Usually “I research, think, and ideate over each city for three weeks before making sketches.” The final drawings and cut-outs take around a week to produce.

Puente’s work is set to go on display in the San Miguel de Allende, Mexico on the 2nd February 2019. You can learn more about the project from Puente’s official website here.




Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Ipazia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Sofronia. Image © Karina Puente

Oliiva. Image © Karina Puente

Oliiva. Image © Karina Puente

Armilla. Image © Karina Puente

Armilla. Image © Karina Puente

Cloe. Image © Karina Puente

Cloe. Image © Karina Puente

Zobeida. Image © Karina Puente

Zobeida. Image © Karina Puente

Valdrada. Image © Karina Puente

Valdrada. Image © Karina Puente

Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Illustrated

Lima-based architect Karina Puente has a personal project: to illustrate each and every “invisible” city from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel. The book, which imagines imaginary conversations between the (real-life) Venetian explorer Marco Polo and the aged Mongol ruler Kublai Khan has been instrumental in framing approaches to urban discourse and the form of the city.

Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Illustrated (Again)

Lima-based architect Karina Puente has a personal project: to illustrate each and every “invisible” city from Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel. Her initial collection, which ArchDaily published in 2016, traced Cities and Memories. This latest series of mixed media collages, drawn mainly using ink on paper, brings together another sequence of imagined places – each referencing a city imagined in the book.

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