The Visual Communication Design programme at Aalto University (VCD) is an international learn- ing community committed to investigating new modes of action within visual communication. This archive was established in 2020 as a means to document and share the activity and work of the programme.

Xiaoyi Xu

MA thesis



The city of Szymborska – World-building as a way of interpreting and presenting poetry


The City of Szymborska tests the compatibility of World-building and Poetry. An imaginary city was built up in an exhibition space, as an audience, you can feel free to explore and experience different ways of looking at poetry, you’re encouraged to touch, listen and interact with all the poems exhibited there.


This thesis describes in detail an artistic practice-based research that uses the theory of World-building to analyse the structure of the City of Szymborska as well as the construction process. The imaginary city is displayed in an exhibition context where all Szymborska’s poetry is transformed into everyday formats or objects. This transformation is based on a semantic and core theme analysis of the poems, which I elaborate in the ancillary material Poems and Forms.


Thesis text:


Website: (open with chrome)