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inspiration

Electronic Popables

A little while ago I wrote about the integration of electronics and books and speculated about the different kinds of reading experiences this might create. Now I find Electronic Popables by Jie Qi which electronically augments a pop-up book and creates a beautiful series of scenes where sliding, pressing and flipping pieces of paper causes underwater sea creatures to glow, the buildings of New York City to light up and stars in the night sky to twinkle.

Jie Qi created the book with Leah Buechley and Tschen Chew during a summer working in the High-Low Tech group at MIT Media Lab. The High-Low Tech group aims to engage people in creating their own technologies through situating computation in new and unusual contexts integrating high and low technological processes, materials and cultures.

Electronic Popables integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics including capacitive sensors, bend sensors and pressure sensors, and the result looks like a familiar pop-up book but with added electronic effects.

Watch a video of Electronic Popables on YouTube here..

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inspiration

Johan Hybschmann: Book of Space


Book of Space was made by architecture student Johan Hybschmann while at the Bartlett, UCL. Johan was inspired by Sokurev’s film Russian Ark in which viewers travel through time as they move through the rooms of the Winter Palace. This all takes place in a single shot sequence. Johan writes:

The distortion of time is, of course, interesting in terms of the timelessness of the spaces – but the interest of the project lies in the way that the camera never looks back. Even though the viewer never sees the full dimensions of these spaces, we are still left with a sense of coherence and wholeness. It’s as if we constantly use the previous space to create an understanding of what should be behind us.

Book of Space draws directly on the film and transforms two scenes into constructed perspectives cut into the leaves of the book. The elements collide and the nature of the space changes as the user turns the pages.

For me, Book of Space is a fascinating and inspiring match of concept and construction as it explores spatiality and temporality through its content as well as through the book format. And I feel that the fragility of the cut-out pages brings a further reminder of the temporal nature of books as they are used.

See more images on Johan’s website..

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publishing on demand

Alphabet Book No.1: by Clara

One of the great things about bookleteer eBooks and StoryCubes is their hybrid nature that means they can be simultaneously mass-produced and hand-made. Alphabet Book No.1 is a fantastic example of this.

Each letter was sketched in pencil then painted over by Clara Angus Lane (then aged 3). The painted letters were than scanned and put into an eBook that can be downloaded from the diffusion website here.

I love this book because it has such a hand-made quality to it (and fabulous colours and quirky letters!) yet it can be shared and enjoyed by anyone with an internet connection and a printer. And because you have to make up the eBooks by hand I feel they keep a strong sense of a handmade tangible object – even though they can be printed in their dozens!

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inspiration

Chisato Tamabayashi: Book Artist

Chisato Tamabayashi is a London-based artist who’s made a range of stunning books using cut-outs, printing and pop-ups. I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.

9 – 5 is a book of hand-cut images showing the shape and colour of a tree transforming through the seasons. Alongside this three miniature books nest inside the book cover illustrating smaller transformations of the tree at different speeds and times. The image below is not actually from the book because I couldn’t find any accessible photos of it. Instead these two pictures are from Chisato’s Season series and similar enough to give you some idea of the beautiful colours and delicate nature of the work.

Two untitled images from Season series

queue is designed as a pop-up book and as a fold-out pop-up scene. As a book each page shows a single car that, once unfolded, line up to form a traffic jam.

queue as a fold-out pop-up scene

The last project I’ll write about is branches which combines elements of both of the above (and do check out Chisato’s website because there are many more fabulous works to see!) branches is a pop-up book that explores the transformation of a family of trees in different seasons and of different generations. Like queue, branches can also be viewed as a fold-out scene showing all of the trees simultaneously.

I find these books completely inspiring and after looking at these I’m impatient for my next session of bookleteer experiments (last week I played with pop-ups and I’ll write about the results of that soon). I would love to see what Chisato would make out of the bookleteer eBooks and StoryCubes..

All of the projects I describe here (and more) are on Chisato’s website..

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inspiration

A Cube with More than Six Sides

So far I’ve mostly written about eBooks but bookleteer also makes StoryCubes, and to inspire my experiments I’m thought I’d write about this cube of cubes created by Sydney-based illustrator Matt Huyhn.

During the Perception Peterborough project Matt worked with Proboscis to create visual representations of Proboscis’ research. These images were put onto each side of eight storycubes which were then connected together to create an object that can be opened, folded and turned to hide and reveal various themes and elements drawn from the research work.

There’s something quite hypnotic about playing with this cube object and seeing different images come and go in your hands.

You can see more of Matt’s work on his website here..

Categories
inspiration

Pop-ups

From Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Robert Sabuda

I came across the work of Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart when I was investigating the idea of making an e-Book pop-up book. Robert and Matthew’s books don’t just pop – they also spin, slide and grow! While the subject of the books is often aimed at children the construction is most definitely for adults. The pop-up of Alice growing inside a house, or the tornado spinning across Kansas in the Wizard of Oz have me mystified!

The spinning tornado in The Wizard of Oz by Robert Sabuda

From watchingthe video I learnt that Robert began by making white pop-ups and this became something of a signature style for him. The construction seems simpler in these books and is matched by the simplicity of the style to create something I think is  beautiful.

You can find their all their books on Robert’s website and Robert and Matthew reveal a little more about their craft in this video here..

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inspiration

Cut-out


Cover and Page 1 of the cut-out version of Dusk by Saki

Another bookleteer experiment I thought I’d show you is another  version of Dusk by Saki. This short story is set in the West End of London around Piccadilly and this time I illustrated the eBook with a cut-out of a map of this area.

bookleteer eBooks are made by folding  and cutting sheets of A4 paper and slotting these together to make the final A6 size eBook (see here for a detailed video of how this is done). One sheet of A4 paper makes 4 eBook pages. Thanks to the folding technique pages from one sheet are not included in sequence but are interspersed throughout the eBook.

For the cut-out eBook I marked up one A4 sheet with 4 A6 size boxes and put a section of the map into each leaving a reasonable sized border so that the final eBook pages wouldn’t be too flimsy. Once I had cut out the map I cut the A4 sheet vertically down the centre (you would cut the sheet differently for different designs of eBook) and inserted it amongst the A4 translucent sheets onto which I’d printed the text.

Dusk cut-out eBook deconstructed

Because the map was only printed on one side of the A4 sheet the flip side of the cut-out pages is blank. I really like the effect of seeing the text through the cut-outs and the fragile quality that the cut-outs give to the book.

(See some other bookleteer experiments here)

Categories
inspiration

For the lazy reader

Feeling too tired to turn the pages of your book? You need les éditions volumique…

The making of les éditions volumique, Bertrand Duplat and Etienne Mineur

Created by Bertrand Duplat and Etienne Mineur les éditions volumique is a physical book with computer-controlled self-turning pages. Watch the video here..

At first glance I thought this seemed a very different digital / physical hybrid to the ebooks and storycubes, however, why shouldn’t the little books be augmented with electronics and programming? The potential is great. Imagine stories with sound effects, guide books that know which direction you’re facing or self-lighting books for reading in the dark. Suddenly the content is brought to life, as the book becomes aware of its surroundings and responds to them expanding the experience of reading beyond the page.

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inspiration

Your House: Olafur Eliasson

A few pages from Your House, Olafur Eliasson

Looking deceptively simple, Your House by Olafur Eliasson (the artist behind the Weather Project at Tate Modern in 2005) is beautiful and detailed. The book shows a laser-cut negative impression of Eliasson’s house in Copenhagen. As you move from the front to the back of the book you make your way through the rooms of the house constructing a mental and physical narrative as you go. Every sheet is individually cut and every time you turn the page your perspective on the building changes. Each page is to scale and corresponds to 2.2 cm of the actual house.

The book is a limited edition of 225, published by the Library Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2006. Concept by Olafur Eliasson, design is by Michael Heimann, Claudia Baulesch / groenland.berlin.

See more pictures of it on Olafur Eliasson’s website here..

Categories
inspiration

Rainbow in your hand: Masashi Kawamura

I’ve seen the photos and the video but I still can’t quite believe this works. I hope it does because it’s so simple and such a unique way of experiencing a book.

Rainbow in your hand is a flip book by Masashi Kawamura. Each of the 36 pages has a colour spectrum on a black background. As you flip through the book you see the illusion of a rainbow hovering above the pages.

Seeing this makes me wonder if it’s possible to make an eBook flip book. I’m quite surprised to hear no-one has tried this already and it’s definitely something I’d like to experiment with in the next few weeks. Do let me know if you have made an eBook flip book already and have any tips or examples…

Watch Rainbow in your hand on YouTube