Emilie Hahn


Book Design, Interactive Installation, Research

Can a book be designed by chance? This concept is explored in Odds, a book about visual artists who use chance operations in their work. The artworks of Jean Arp, Janine Antoni, Yves Klein and William Anastasi are showcased throughout. I also took inspiration from these artists to use chance operations in the book’s design, exploring a different approach for each chapter. 

The book’s casing is built to be reminiscent of a deck of cards, a common device used in chance procedures.

One chapter allows the reader to create their own chance experiment, by flipping pages to compose a poem or collage.

In another chapter, I rolled dice to determine where each text column would be placed.

I also used generative methods, to produce randomly skewed text, and connecting lines.

Gravity and falling are also an important chance procedure. The etymology of the word chance is traceable to the Latin verb cadere, to fall. I used this concept to create a poster series, advertising the book's launch.

And finally, I couldn’t help but wonder—what are the odds that this book even exists? With the help of a statistician friend, we (very roughly!) approximated the number, which is shown on the cover.

I also created an interactive installation inspired by the idea of chance and throwing dice, titled Poetry Blocks. The viewer is able to compose a short poem, generated by chance. Each time a block is moved, a new word and color appears. I created this from top-to-bottom, including code in Processing, projection mapping, and a custom podium with blocks.

Design: Emilie Hahn
Photography: Taylor Luo
Bookbinding Fabrication: Kater-Craft
Recognition: AIGA Design