Lima-based architect Karina Puente has created a new series in her personal project: to illustrate each and every "invisible" city from Italo Calvino's 1972 novel. Her collection, which ArchDaily published in 2016, and again in 2017, consists of mixed media collages, drawn mainly using ink on paper, brings together a sequence of imagined places – each referencing a city imagined in the book.
Invisible Cities, which imagines fictional conversations between the (real-life) Venetian explorer Marco Polo and the aged Mongol ruler Kublai Khan, has been instrumental in framing approaches to urban discourse and the form of the city. According to Puente, "each illustration has a conceptual process, some of which take more time than others." Usually "I research, think, and ideate over each city for three weeks before making sketches." The final drawings and cut-outs take around a week to produce.