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Tomorrow’s Book: Artifacts in the Anthropocene

Taylor Miles Hopkins. "Tomorrow’s Book: Artifacts in the Anthropocene." MDes Thesis, University of Washington, 2021.
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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 temperatures, biodiversity loss, increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and extensive waste, 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? It has been a notable part of many human histories, from stone tablets to the printed page. The book’s form often reflects the current technological and cultural points in many societies, so what forms will it take in the future? Through a series of three book iterations addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene, this thesis uses design as a storytelling tool to communicate to readers how their futures, as well as the book’s, will need to adapt to our changing world.

Additional information, including an essay about Miles Hopkins' thesis, on the Graduate Showcase website.

Read about Miles Hopkins' research in progress in her December 2020 Medium post.

Watch Miles Hopkins' thesis presentation from June 4, 2021.

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