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A dissertation exploring the idea of experiential narratives (novels that build a reading experience for their readers) using Mark Z. Danielewski's 'House of Leaves' (2000) as a case study.

'House of Leaves' and the Experiential Narrative (2018) explores how authors like Mark Z. Danielewski recreate the experiences described in their stories for their readers through visual, physical and typographic tools.

The thesis was designed as a material experience for its readers using embossing, a hardcover binding, braille title pages and a variety of paper stocks chosen for their unique and distinctive textures.

Outer sleeve

End paper

Outer pages

Section dividers

Title pages


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5


A variety of papers were used to produce this thesis, each carefully chosen for their unique texture, and applied to different sections of the publication.


Tissue and parchment papers were used to divide the thesis into different sections. Each section then had its own paper stock to signpost the reader through the publication's different chapters.

The papers are all of similar, neutral colours to keep the focus on the physical and material texture of the page, rather than its visual attributes.


The idea for the design of this thesis was inspired by the braille language system, designed to enable people with vision impairment to read. Pictured here is the first braille book ('Procédé pour écrire les Paroles, la Musique et le Plain-chant au moyen de points, à l'usage des aveugles', designed by Louis Braille in 1829).

Given experiential narratives often rely on heavily designed and visible elements (photographs, maps, typographic arrangements, etc.) this project aimed at creating a different kind of narrative experience, one based on my publication's physical properties and materiality, rather than its design.

Inspired by Braille

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