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Mikko O. Koivisto's doctoral dissertation was awarded at the Most Beautiful Books 2019 competition

Mikko O. Koivisto's dissertation The Art of Egress: Madness, Horror, and the Pedagogy of Depsychiatrization has been selected for the Most Beautiful Books 2019 collection. The book was designed by Tuomas Kortteinen and printed by Unigrafia.
Mikko O. Koiviston väitöskirja The Art of Egress. Kuva Mikko Raskinen
Graphic design for Mikko O. Koivisto's dissertation "The Art of Egress" is made by Tuomas Kortteinen. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

The competition brings out the book as an artistic whole

‘The book's design is all iron. It is cleverly crafted: classic without being boring. The inside font is a great choice’, the reasoning goes.

The aim of the competition, organized by the Finnish Book Art Committee, is to draw attention to books as artistic entities. The selection sought to be versatile in both genre and design: in addition to classical book design, the collection has cross-border, out-of-convention views and approaches.

Altogether 204 books were submitted for evaluation. According to the Committee, the competition was high level and many books were pieces designed with care, with special attention to materials and features. This year, 29 books were selected for the Most Beautiful Books collection, and nine books were awarded the Most Successful Covers for Book Art. Sakari Piippo received the title of the Most Beautiful Book of the Year for his book Eräitä huomioita Suomen poliittisesta järjestelmästä (Some remarks on the Finnish political system), designed by Anna-Mari Tenhunen and published by Kosmos Publishing Company.

The selected books participate in the Best Book Design from all over the World competition and are on tour in Finland and in three European countries. The works are also exhibited annually at the Leipzig Book Fair.

The aim is to diversify the catalog of mental health problems

Mikko O. Koivisto defended his PhD in art education in December 2019. In his dissertation, he examined, through rap lyrics, psychiatrically disabled peoples’ right to define themselves and their place in the society.

The starting point for Koivisto's research was that people with mental health problems and disabilities are subject to stigma, stereotypes and myths that do not relate to reality. In our culture, minorities are still underrepresented and limited in their compartments.

Koivisto uses the concept of egress, or crossing borders, as a strategy to get out of these compartments. His goal was to be able to diversify the way disability and imagery on illness is being handled.

The Art of Egress

The book is designed by Tuomas Kortteinen.

Mikko O. Koivisto The Art of Egress kansi ja sisus
Mikko O. Koivisto The Art of Egress sisus
Mikko O. Koivisto The Art of Egress kansi

Due to the coronavirus situation, the publishing event has been canceled and the "Most Beautiful Books" exhibition in the National Library's Gallery will be postponed. The date will be announced later.

See all the Most Beautiful Book 2019 winners (in Finnish)

Photos from The Art of Egress: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Read more about Mikko O. Koivisto's dissertation: 'I know you think I’m crazy'

The book can be purchased and the pdf file is freely available for download at the Arts Books online store.

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