The INCEPTION is a collaborative experimental book, which emphasizes a new way of thinking about authorship, collective creation, inspiration and ideas.

The experiment documented in the INCEPTION book is, indeed, an open-ended exercise in art and creation, yet it points to a bigger social, political and economic problem—namely, how dated the current dominant approach to authorship is. By focusing so much on individual authorship—and so little on the shared nature of inspiration—we ourselves succumb to exhausting conflicts about ownership and leave less energy to creation itself. How did this come into being? Why should we care? And can it be fixed?

The book that followed became a manifesto for a more nuanced approach to the individual and collective aspects of creation. We propose to take the best of both worlds – to maintain the key value of individual contributions to the creative act, while at the same time embracing the shared nature of inspiration. This is a way to remove the imaginary borders between “mine” and “yours” that so often prevent inspiration from freely moving in the atmosphere.

How does inspiration move through the atmosphere? How do we inspire each other? And how does creative inspiration itself change through each person’s unique experience? To find this out, Annvil set an experiment by tasking one architect to use the painting The Rhythm of a Russian Dance by Theo van Doesburg (1918, Museum of Modern Art, New York) as the stimulus for creating his own work, which would then be passed onto other architects, who in turn would draw inspiration for their own new work.

This way, 111 of the world’s most remarkable architects were invited to co-author this book of collective creation by contributing artworks inspired by each other. Drawings, graphics, photographs and models by these renowned architects form a chain — each contribution is a response inspired by the previous work. Personal statements by the architects themselves provide a glance into the inspirational impulses essential to creative work processes.

A study on the nature of inspiration on an unpreceded scale — for the first time in history, 111 architects from 28 countries, spanning five continents, united in a unique, collaborative experiment.

The book was designed by the Joost Grootens Studio and published by the Jap Sam Publishing House in the Netherlands.