2021 marks the return of Mistaker Maker to Convento São Francisco, to respond to a (beautiful) challenge, of shaping the simple question: How many lives can a single book have and live?

The story of the book is a sequence of metamorphoses, the first and most astonishing of which made thought, through the prodigy of writing, a movement projected onto the space of the page. From the papyrus volume to the set of printed sheets, the human word, transmuted, wants to be read to revive in the spirit. But this materialization of meaning can only be the initial stage of a metempsychosis. The typographer, on the other hand, master of formats and characters, plays with the plasticity of writing. However, whether the writer gives his creation unforeseen variations, or that, through translation, the text becomes incarnated in other cultures, the series of avatars is not limited to the universe of words. The painting recreates the book, as the Braille alphabet and the audio do, each in its own way. But when intermediate technology takes over the book, metempsychosis continues, giving the paper object new ways of being. Handed over to the power of artificial intelligence, has the dematerialized book reached the ultimate place of its transmigration?

In response to the challenge of presenting the book's potential for metamorphosis, we proposed the transformation of 2 and a half tons of wood into a bookcase, which dominates the space and leads and invites us to discover and experience the 2 books that underpin the entire narrative of the exhibition: the epic Os Lusíadas by Luís de Camões and A Paixão by Almeida Faria.

The shape, the touch, the smell of wood and paper, materials that dominate this experience, were at the basis of the entire proposal, which aimed for the visitor, from 6 to 90, in an absolutely informal way, to look at the book as an entity capable of containing itself thousands of universes, formats, media, uses and perceptions.




Convento São Francisco | Coimbra City Council


concept development, museographic project, exhibition design (with ODE), identity and graphic design and production


Coimbra, Portugal


Cristina Robalo Cordeiro and António Pedro Pita (Portugal)

Date: 2021 | april

Thanks to Almeida Faria, Luís Tinoco, Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra, Centro Cultural de Belém, DEI – Departamento de Engenharia Informática da Universidade de Coimbra, Fundação Mário Botas, Serviço de Ação Social da Universidade de Coimbra and SASUC – NIA – Centro de Produção de Braille

Photo Credits: Miguel Oliveira

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