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Invisible planets & Unfolding Beijing

The moment we start reading a book or publication,

it will set our imagination at work. What would the scenery look like or from what point of perspective are you perceiving the scenery. How do the characters look like or behave? We create our own visualisation of what we are reading in our heads. 

The author Ken Liu made a bundle out of various Chinese speculative fiction stories which add up to a strong representation of Chinese science fiction writers. These stories are all part of a collection of thirteen stories in total which are each ground breaking on their own.

The stories I used for my publication were Invisible planets & unfolding Beijing which are written by Hao Jinfang.

Something I noticed while I was reading these stories was that it felt as if I was travelling from one world to another. I could smell the food they were talking about by the way it got described by the writer, I could see the flora & fauna as if it were before me. I started to question how you could travel in your own mind and how this was different from travelling in real life. During my research I also started to question how travelling must be for visually disabled people. How do they experience not only travelling but also reading about stories that describe these different worlds.  Do they visualise these places it in their heads the same way we do? Even if they were never able to experience or see many different places. 

I started to do some research into reading experiences for visually disabled people by interviewing them but I also by approaching organisations who were focussing on publications for this group of people. These publications often lacked the visual attraction, since it was more intended to be practical. But they could still feel and touch the books, they were using their hands to see. This made me conclude to create a reading experience for visually disabled people that would engage the rest of their senses while reading. 

For the publication I created a leather journal which held the two different stories from 

Hao Jinfang, invisible planets and unfolding Beijing. Invisible planets told a story of different worlds where the scenery played a big part and was widely describes by the author. They talked about the smells and the different plants that could be found in these places. For invisible planets I chose a paper that resonated with the story that was very light but had an earthy texture to it. On the pages were plants were widely discussed I attached dried flowers and added different textures such as grass and sand to enhance their reading experiences and challenge their senses. For unfolding Beijing I chose a heavier paper weight, since the story talked a lot about concrete and the buildings in the story. This story had a wider focus on the various smells of the city and the food that could be found there. This resulted in adding food textures and smells to the story. 


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