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Tomorrow’s Book:
Artifacts in the Anthropocene


2020-2021

Research
Visual Communication
Publication
Bookbinding
Writing

Thesis in progress exploring the future physical form of the book and how it could adapt due to the impacts of the Anthropocene. Through the iteration of new several book forms, this thesis will utilize design as a storyteller to communicate abstract and future-based information while also addressing the importance for design to consider its role in the rapid progression of Anthropogenic change.

Thesis is currently in the design production phase, after completing the research phase. Below is a view on several research activities.

Read more about the research phase here.

Thesis Chair
Annabelle Gould

Thesis Committee
Jayme Yen, Audrey Desjardins







Abstract
The Anthropocene is our current epoch in which the Earth’s environment and residents are heavily impacted by human influence. While many people recognize the possible future effects of Anthropogenic change, such as rising water levels, loss of biodiversity, and severe temperatures, it can be difficult to imagine how the world might actually alter. Narratives allow us to weave diverse ideas together to relate to the experiences of others and grasp abstract information. Design can also act as a storyteller — speculative designers bring attention to present societal issues while designing artifacts for the future. What artifact could be better to tell stories than the book? They have been a notable part of human histories, from stone tablets to the printed page. The book’s form often reflects the current point of our world, so what forms will it take in the future? Through a series of book iterations addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene, this thesis will use design as a storytelling tool to communicate to readers how their future, as well as the book’s, will need to adapt to our changing world. 

See more on University of Washington’s website.





Screenshot from survey




Bookmaking activity to discuss the various definitions of a book.








Rapid ideation design sketches for books that could exist in the science fiction worlds of Mad Max + Prospect.







Next steps in thesis process: production phase.