Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace
18 June – 20 October 2013

Sky Arts Ignition: Memory Palace brings together a new work of fiction by the author Hari Kunzru with 20 original commissions from leading graphic designers, illustrators and typographers to create a multidimensional story. The way we read books is changing. Memory Palace explores how a story might be imagined in a different format – as a walk-in book.

Each of the designers and illustrators worked on a different passage of text from the story, responding freely to the text.

In this video Hansje van Halem talks about how her love of materials, patterns and a sentence from her passage of text from the story inspired her to create thirty-two hand-painted floor tiles as part of her commission.


My name is Hansje van Halem. I’m from Amsterdam. In my daily life I am a graphic designer. I design books and I play around with typefaces. When I design books I also make the endpapers of the book, which is making a lot of patterns. I love to work with materials and for this assignment - because the curators said it was completely free – I took words out of the text. The first sentence from my piece of text was ‘On a broken tile above my bed’, which I thought…‘broken tile, interesting’. And then they were listing all kinds of gemstones and one of them was agate and I just started drawing agates. Agates are a stone, which by nature, if you cut it, you have symmetry – a stone that has left and right, and I just started making a pattern with it. At first I thought from this pattern I would start making a type, but by making this drawing and changing it on the computer and mirroring it into a symmetry, I thought it would be very nice to turn it into tiles which was the first sentence of my piece of text.

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