“If an eternal traveler should journey in any direction, he would find after untold centuries that the same volumes are repeated in the same disorder – which, repeated, becomes order: the Order.” (Borges, 1944, p.74)
Textual and visual reinterpretations of Jorge Luis Borges’ short story ‘The Library of Babel.’ Both components (type only and wordless) are inspired by the theme of order and disorder, a paramount attribute of Borges' systematic, infinite library. Type only – the story is reordered alphabetically according to the frequency of nouns in the passage. Wordless – in relation to the first intervention, a grid is constructed to exhibit noun frequency (the higher the frequency, the higher the percentage of the image revealed).
The thesis examines the branding rhetoric used by property developers to market new estates, exposing broader critical and ethical implications on urban living. Questioning the integrity of property language and symbolism, the thesis highlights the disparity between the exclusive depiction of a readymade lifestyle and the hardship of life in a progressively unequal city. How has the city shifted from a place to live to a place to invest?
The designed output aims to mimic the editorial pretentiousness exploited by developers in marketing collateral and development brochures. Resonating the overabundance of images in contemporary consumer society, visual elements are largely overlaid to the body of text with transparencies. Moreover, in order to reflect the monopolization of spectacle and the role of images in annexing reality, subtle typographic details are inverted and made decipherable through their reflection in mirror paper. This concept emphasizes the pressing need to decode signs in contemporary culture, learning to distinguish the real from the construct of the real.
Coptic bound process books demonstrating research, analysis, iterative design testing and development across three final major projects. These can be viewed in the Upper Gallery annex space.