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MFA candidate Rongfei Geng’s hand accordion-bound, one-of-a-kind factbook explores the family history of its central figure by splitting the narrative into both a maternal and paternal thread. While the content is intentionally stripped of any emotional subjectivity, the textures, materials, and construction method are intended to evoke a sense of empathy that is unique to each reader.  




Quantity Produced


Production Cost


Production Time

2 months

Dimensions (Width × Height × Depth)

5.5 × 8 × 1 in.

Page Count

Paper Stock


Number of Colors







Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book
Rongfei Geng Handcrafted Book ---

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Project Description

The project started as an interview to a Chinese student who had thought-provoking family stories. These stories were about individual's identity within a bigger cultural and social environment, and how social, political, cultural and family happenings can shape an individual's life. The interview was conducted in casual environment and was then transcribed, organized, and carefully studied. Commentary and emotional contents from the interviwee were removed, only objective happenings and factual data were kept and then visualized, in order that the objective facts can generate different emotional, subjective, and empathic feedbacks from readers themselves, depending on their own life experiences.

This project explores design and cultural pattern in contemporary society, and the power of visual narratives on communicating information. By only presenting the factual happenings, the book removed emotional expressions, and re-arranged the information as two threads— a paternal one and a maternal one, represented by two colors in two accordion-bound blocks of pages. Through the layouts, the chosen textures and materials, and the special hand-crafted structure, the book left the audience to empathize and comment from their own perspectives.

Post Author

Author Picture

Kelly Cree

Writer for UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

February 25, 2013


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About UnderConsideration

UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN. More…

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