Research – Wendy Ewald: This Is Where I Live.

Julia lent me a book! (yay!)

This book is by Wendy Ewald and it is a delight to read from start to finish. Even looking at the images you can get lost in the pages. The most fantastic thing about this book is the fact that it is part of a participatory/collaborative project. In each section you are started with a block of colour, different for each section or chapter as there are so many different stories and places being explored within the book. The block of colour comes with the text for that chapter, defining a little bit about what is going to go on in that particular section and what the images should be conveying.

There is a massive difference between each section of the book and the layouts. It varies so much as you go through. There are some sections that have a very rigorous style to them that is consistent throughout the chapter and there are some cases where the design flows and changes become really interesting. Each chapters very distinctive style enables you to see clearly which stories fit with each narrative. I love the fact there are so many narratives within the book because it gives rise to these chapters and section of work that can be viewed almost as individual stories within one big body of work. The fantastic layouts are so engaging, and have really influenced my own work because of how unique and changing they are. There is no consistent house style throughout the book, but somehow it is clear to tell that all the narratives are part of one bigger narrative.

There are also pages of portraits taken of those who have contributed to the book with their names underneath them. This gives an identity to the collborators of the project which I personally really love and think works wonderfully well.

Overall the entire book is beautifully put together with strong considerations to design style and narrative. Each individual involved in the collaborative and participatory process has been noted and given the recognition for their work. They have also been able to convey the narratives they set out to because of how well they flow into the main project title. Ewald has been a very successful facilitator of this project and this really comes across i the results produced.

I have used this book extensively as a resource for my own work, especially the layouts and the use of colour. It had given me the chance to explore avenues I hadn’t previously considered because I could see how they worked within the book and how they might work within my own. It has been by far of one of the best influences for this project, and I think it is a fantastic representation of the lifestyles of people in the project involvement.


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