As part of my senior thesis project, we each chose a topic that was meaningful to us. Each topic should relate to the theme of transformation in some way, and it can be developed into any design outcome.
Reading is participating. We interpret the author’s writing through the lens of our own experiences. By exploring the act of reading fiction in an interactive exhibition, participants will be able to recognize their own subconscious creativity. Visitors will therefore gain a new understanding of how reading fiction augments their own imaginations.
Advisors Professor Nicholas Taylor, Professor Diane Lee, and Professor Earl Gee
Within the chapters of a narrative lie experiences, conversations, and understanding. Each reader’s version of the story varies based on their own life experiences. It is exactly this uncontrollable variability that makes the world of literature so infinite. The subjectivity of language as well as the relationship between writers and readers can inform how we think about and approach communication. Stories influence us just as much as we influence them. Words, phrases, and narratives do not exist in a stagnant form, but rather morph and iterate in meaning from person to person. In Peter Mendelsund’s novel, What We See When We Read, he writes that “Authors are curators of experience.” In order to shed light on this experience, I will design a space where participants can recognize what reading literature means to them. I will highlight a specific story and go beyond the author’s words to show how readers interpret those words.
Results and Impact
Ideally, people do not simply “see” design—they experience it and participate in it. My project highlights a specific story by going beyond the author’s words to show how readers interpret those words.
Relevance and Extension
The importance of this topic ranges from an appreciation for the simple act of reading to the broader and complex implications of communication. My project helps participants to recognize and appreciate their own creative ability. The overall transformation inspired by this project happens in the participants’ mindset and approach to reading. Presenting how our brains interact with the story, and having people take part, transforms curiosity into creativity.