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Book - Urville

by: Gilles Trehin, Foreword by Uta Frith

About the author:

Gilles Trehin is 32 years old and autistic. He has exceptional talents in mathematics, music, languages and art. He has been developing his vision of Urville since the age of 15, and drawing since the age of 5. His father is vice-president of Autism-Europe, Belgium.

ISBN: 978-1-84310-419-3

Year: 2006

Publication Info: 192pp


Urville, the capital of a large island province, has a population of nearly 12 million, making it the one of the most significant cities in Europe. It is also entirely imaginary.

Gilles Trehin, an autistic man with exceptional creative talents and an obsession with large cities, conceived and developed Urville over the course of 20 years. He shares his vision in this beautifully illustrated guide to the city, which he renders convincingly real in nearly 300 drawings of different districts of Urville. He describes, in remarkable detail, the architectural styles of its individual buildings and provides historical, geographical, economic and cultural information. This includes historical figures and cultural anecdotes grounded in historical reality – Trehin accounts for the effects of the Vichy regime, the Second World War and globalisation on his imagined city.

This book offers fascinating evidence of and insight into the creative power of the autistic mind and will be of interest to people with autism and without.



Foreword by Uta Frith. Preface. Map of Urville. Introduction. A brief history of Urville. 1. The old town and Carsouce Harbour – the historical quarter of Urville. 2. The growth of Urville. 3. The left bank of crantes. 4. Beaux-Sites, Tression and Valmures. 5. Bellevalois, Mascotte and Barongeais. 6. Sermaille, Catalogne, tainon, Montgelat and Fensouque. 7. Jonquilles, Acadrmie, Republique et Fontinelles. 8. Liberte, Mirecailles, Quatre-Saison and Pre Saint-Julien. 9. Tgartines, Moineaux, Rossignol. 10. Trires, Martin-Pecheur, la Bourache and Mount Saint-Martin. 11. The East. 12. The northern industrial district. 13. The North-East. 14. Futurville 2000 and the airports.



Urville is an impressive work not because Trehin has been called autistic but because it is a testament to the creativity and talent he possesses. The artistry and finesse evident in the pages of Urville gives us an accomplished vision of one man’s ideal city. For the drawings of this city alone, it is worth spending some hours in Urville. Taking the city in its intended context fires the imagination and gives the interested reader an imaginary tour unlike any other.


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