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Reading is like cutting an onion

interaction web/publication design

Reading is like cutting an onion.

You read it differently, you cut it differently.
You read more times, you peel more layers.
But watch out!
It’s an irreversible process.
It changes your recognition.
Sometimes, it makes you cry.

The relationship between the designer and the reader is like the chef and the diner.

The chef tries to cut the “onion” in the way he wants but it’s still up to the diner how it’s eaten. The chef takes charge of the cooking part while the diner is in charge of the tasting part.

The designer designs while the reader reads.

Hao Jingfang uses planets and folding Beijing as metaphors to interpret different aspects of human life and hierarchy in a mild way. I link “invisible”, “planets” and “folding” to the onion to present the spices for readers to peel off. Seven different ways of cutting an onion are corresponding to seven different reading ways.


Readers nowadays are so used to fragmented reading. Readers’ attention is distracted and it’s hard for readers to finish a long story in one go. What if designers cut the long story in short but force readers to read it several times from different angles? Does it influence understanding?

Part 1 / WEB

Part 2 / PRINT

Some Process