All About Distance (2022)

Self-directed Project (Thesis)

My thesis project talks about distance in the world. Distance exists in the physical world and the biological world. Besides, it also exists in human psychology. We learn the distance by measuring and we feel the distance by experiencing it. What is the distance? What distance stands for? What do we learn from measuring distance? The process of studying distance is unfolding the hidden aspects of individuals as well as society.  


Selected Book Pages



The story begins with flashes of my ideas. I spent a whole summer thinking about the workshop topic. Collecting and association became my daily routine, everything I experienced was forced to relate to a social issue. “Baby Doomer” from Britt Wray’s Generation Dread when I strolled through Indigo; “Attention Span” popped up when I self-reflect on a day of procrastination; “De-Logo” showed up while I was gawking at my sticker-covered laptop. These little sparkles flickered in my head. I tried to light them up, however, these matchsticks failed to ignite in the oxygen-deprived brain at the end. Kept writing down and crossing out ideas, I had a strong feeling of distance between the desires and outcomes. 

A short but long distance, a close but far distance. Perhaps, distance is the cause, the motive, and the answer. Like the word itself, it can be a noun to represent something, and it can be a verb to describe an action. Reflecting on my life, what distance means and how it impacts individuals, society, and the environment. Distance may not just be a piece of information but perhaps, an archive, a database. Therefore, I would like to unfold the story of distance.  



Distance can be divided into two categories, physical distance and psychological distance. Physical distance connects with spatial distance (length, width, height), and time distance (hours, minutes, seconds). Psychological distance reflects human emotions. The former is tangible and intangible while the latter is entirely intangible. I have documented my research on these two distances in two separate chapters. 

In the first chapter on physical distances, I start with maps and navigation and link to research about measurements and data. In chapter two, I relate psychological distance to language and culture, exploring how language and culture will bring people closer and distant from each other, even physical distance. In chapter three, my research discusses the relationship between the two kinds of distances that influence each other and interact with each other.  

I built up my mind map in Miro and used colors to classify the week-by-week process.



The most challenging part of the project was how to relate other ideas and issues to the theme “Distance”. In other words, discovering the connections among things was significant and interesting. 

To deal with it, I placed as many ideas as I can on my mind map, and listed out their similarities and differences in order to seek the hidden connections. I was satisfied with the outcome.   


I record every idea and every interesting thing I observe (image or text) on a mind map. I keep adding ideas to the mind map and looking for relationships between two ideas that do not seem to be directly related. 

By linking two unrelated ideas, I find hidden connections between them, and these connections often contain the protagonists of the next web of relationships. Thus, this hide-and-seek game can be turned into an infinitely extended, never-ending story. 



Adobe InDesign

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop

Using Format