Book I

This is a book designed by See Jia for her graduate thesis at Harvard. As a lover of books, she designed the architectural thesis to read like a novel instead of an academic work, infusing in the pages both the real and the surreal, using language and graphics accessible to people from all walks of life. The book cover is a sketch envisioning the multiplicity of spaces that can be imagined along the street of a city: what she calls the ‘street of possible spaces.’

From the title to the content page and chapter dividers, a minimalist approach is used for clarity and simplicity in design, while a classical typography is chosen to evoke a certain timelessness in the discussion of how humans across centuries have thought about and envisioned the physical world:

References from other publications were presented as scans inset within a thick white space:

Graphics were designed to clarify certain concepts, in keeping with the minimalist style of presentation:

Hand sketches are interspersed in the book, including a pair of comic strips drawn by the author to illustrate the possible generations of a theoretical layered world:

Sometimes, a full-bleed approach is used for a dramatic ‘pause’ in reading:

In one section, a ‘flip book’ approach was used, a classic technique in old game books to show motion – in this case used to illustrate the step-by-step morphing of an ornate cathedral into a modernist office building according to the author’s theory of “filigree and toile”:

Free-form layout of hand sketches within white space is sometimes utilized to provoke the reader’s imagination:

The book is available here.

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