Irma Boom, a graphic designer based in the Netherlands, is known as “The Queen of Books.” She combines what are usually three distinct roles—designer, editor, and art director—into a single person, inventing ingenious ways of achieving desired effects. Fifty of her books belong to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her own library, located above her studio in Amsterdam, includes many books—in particular those from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and from the 1960s and 1970s.
During her time at the Academy, Irma staged an exhibition of recent and past work, titled XS to XXL, in her studio. She also spoke with Hou Hanru, artistic director of MAXXI, the national museum of twenty- first-century arts, in February about her collaborations with artists and architects, which include Olafur Eliasson, Sheila Hicks, and Rem Koolhaas. In the age of the iPad and Kindle, Irma continues to make beautifully designed traditional books that are compelling arguments for carefully constructed printed media in our digital times.