Zengqi Guo

Alien Encyclopedia

Alien Encyclopedia is a body of work that analyzes, expands, redefines, and leverages the definition of “alien” as both problematic and an avenue of possibility. By mapping the word “alien” as a fragmented play of alternatives, I translate the lessons derived from this exploration into a maker’s lexicon. I use “alien” to frame my identity, as a prompt to ground my projects, a factor to interrupt existing typography and to spark questions, a generative tool to explore the interpolation between the familiar and unfamiliar, and to incite new solutions and actions to solve the problems we are facing now. Alien Encyclopedia provides a new communication framework from the ‘outside’ to harness and enhance the ways in which we enact our humanity.


Texts set in the alien language that I created, means Re: to the Golden Record

Re: To The Golden Record

Video & Type Specimen

2019 & 2020

The vocabulary of any language is the outcome of a specific culture and the carrier of cultural information. The symbol and the glyphs are the carriers of language. The symbol itself has no meaning, and only the signified symbol can be used to communicate. When we master a new language, we can expand the range of conversations we can have across countries, across continents, across planets, across species, across time, until we can communicate with everything in the universe. This is to constantly transcend the current context, and explore the future of communication methods and objects.


Type specimen spread.

New Blackletter

Type Specimen


Using the method of juxtaposition, I combined these two ways of drawing letters into one, keeping calligraphy features in the Blackletter at specific positions of the strokes and using geometric shapes to emulate the mechanism from the rational design of 1803. New Blackletter is composed of geometrical shapes, and the circle specifies all the curve parts. It eliminates the complexity while still retaining the Blackletter’s characteristics and functionality.


Type specimen spread, showing alphabet.

MiXeR | Type specimen

Type specimen


In this experimental typeface, I blended the upper and lower case of each letter in proportion to try to establish a visual harmony in their complex relationship. Differences are allowed to exist here because it is not about “either/or” but rather “and/and.” Both uppercase and lowercase letters coexist in the whole, blurring formal boundaries and building interconnections.


Middle Case Manifesto, text set in MiXeR.

MiXeR | Middle Case Manifesto



The text of the Middlecase Manifesto poster's uses this typeface to provoke the interconnected relationships referred to in Rosi's essay—building new ways of writing to express new ways of thinking that reinterpret and imagine collaborative relationships in the posthuman era.


A spread of the book, showing the recipe and food image that were both generated by machine learning.

ML Cookbook



This project raises questions about whether machines can really think, and how designers might collaborate with robots in the posthuman era. I used the process of cooking to simulate the way StyleGAN2 generates images. In the ML Cookbook, the generator is a trainee in a cooking school and the discriminator is like a gastronome. Does the Chef Generator literally “cook” tasty food? Or is it merely simulating the ability to cook real food?