For this student project I chose a podcast from This American Life and translated it into a physical book and a website. I chose the episode 361, Fear of Sleep. The episode has five different sections and explores the experiences of those who struggle with sleep and their varying diagnosis. The diagnosis range from REM sleep disorder, cockroaches, childhood trauma, and ultimately being afraid of death. Through vivid storytelling, each main character develops the themes of fear, vulnerability, and a heightening of the senses.
In the initial concepting phase of my book, I decided I wanted to make with my hands and
spent a lot of time working away from the computer. I wanted to make the book experience even more tactile. Fear is such a visceral experience, where the senses are working at full capacity and I wanted my reader to be able to experience more than just seeing the text of the story, I wanted them to be able to touch it. When I think of sleeping and being in bed, I imagine blankets and pillows; all textiles. When you’re laying in bed at night, afraid of whatever it is that scares you, the first source of comfort is usually a blanket. Blankets are composed of many threads and the thought of stitching and the theme of sharing a common thread came to mind.
Digital The book portion of my project is more experiential in nature. For the digital portion of this project I wanted to create a website that is more focused on the readability of the story. The website I created is a parallax scrolling web page that includes interactive elements and animations. Closely following the visual language of the book, the webpage incorporates threaded illustrations but they come alive when the reader scrolls.
All the written content was pulled from This American Life.