What does it mean to think about the typographical character of form? By setting a history of typography side by side with the history of modern administration, one can question the grid as a graphic configuration that carries its own particular form of reasoning. To consider the typographical character of the grid is therefore to consider a protocol of reading and writing that has regulated the actions and decisions of the modern subject.
Valeria Guzman Verri
In the gridded architectural drawings of seventeenth-century Chinese imperial mausoleums, the starting point of any graph was located at the centre – the room in which the coffin sits (also known as the ‘Golden Cave’). After determining this middle point, the grid is then extruded into the masterplan, carrying within it a relationship between individual buildings and the surrounding land. This central location, determined both by infrastructural and symbolic considerations, was so important that it would go on to influence the future of the empire.