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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 Tréhin, 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 - Tréhin 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.
  • Published: Feb 15 2006
  • Pages: 192
  • 297 x 217mm
  • ISBN: 9781843104193
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Press Reviews

  • Current Awareness Service

    A collection of almost 200 pencil drawings of an imaginary city. Of interest to anyone with a taste for fantasy, and an insight into the incredible imaginative creativity of some autistic minds.
  • Link, Autism - Europe

    It is with great pleasure that one can see `Urville' on the bookshops shelves. Gilles Trehin, a young man with autism is a drawing artist. His sketches represent primarily perspectives of buildings belonging to an imaginary urban development which his author called 'Urville' and which he started in 1984. This city has avenues, streets, public service buildings, churches, schools etc. All drawn very carefully, the small details are deliciously drawn.
  • Autism Us

    This book offers an insight into the creative power of the autistic mind which will appeal to autistic and non autistic people alike.
  • The Irish Psychologist

    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.