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"visual communication" Tag

Unlocking interaction

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The interview I had, was with my uncle, who has a autistic son of 6 who doesn’t communicate with his parents.
This problem was my starting point. We talked about autism, communication and the relationships between father and son.
I did a research myself: I read a lot of books about autism and, that was very special, I explored my nephew’s sleeping room.
How does a room look like from a person who is autistic? What do I see, and find?
I observed my nephew in different situations: while playing (with his father) – being on his own – dinner

I saw the communication between parent and child in different situations, and what I saw was trilling, new for me. All the information I collected was interesting material for my design-assignment.
In playing situations (with his dad) I saw the boy open up to his father, they played.
Drawing was an interesting exercise to observe the communication between father and son.
I saw this observation after observation.

The idea of a design product began to develop: I want to make something (clothing, an object or whatever) to unlock “more” interaction between father and son.
For this, I did some research in the house they lived in. Are there any special objects for “autistic people”? How is there room structured?
What I found was quite interesting: a room full of drawings! The room was structured, but the one wall was made by my nephew, his wall.

This element of putting something on the wall and declare it your own, is an element I took with me in my research for making a design product.

I was convinced that I wanted to make clothing: but not this regular clothing, but something of his own! I remembered the/his wall. The question raised: Can I make a piece of clothing that has the same specific connection like he has with his bedroom wall?
Which material do I want to use?

I also made a t-shirt for the dad, a shirt which also unlocks interaction. The pieces on the shirt are moveable, they communicate. You can start a conversation after playing with this shirt. In practice, this shirt doesn’t really work out. It was too complicated, also the material was wrong, I will later explain why.


While exploring the last question I found out that the main material should be; paper, like the paper on his bedroom wall.

I made different kind of clothing: jacket, trousers, shoes and sleeves.
All the different kinds of clothing are tested, within the 3 situations: while playing (with father) – being on his own – dinner.
I observed.

I made a jacket for the father; a jacket where you can play on, I tested this one, but it was not the jacket I was looking for! It did not meant anything for the boy. Also: this jacket has buttons, which did not work out.


I found out that the idea of a jacket worked really well, especially during playing time. Now, I tested a paper jacket on the boy; he wore a paper jacket, suddenly he started drawing on it.

He even asked his dad to help drawing on his new paper jacket!
A simple idea unlocks an interesting situation here! They talked about what they where doing, what they were making and so on.


I asked myself many question about my position in this project. Am I part of the observations? Should I interact with the boy? What is my position when the final product is done? What is my position anyway!?
During all the observations and the process of making in general, I found out that my position is a silent eye, who watches what happens, observe, make notes and sketches.
When this part over, I have a crucial position: making a relevant design object for this “problem”. I have to unlock my creativity, and find, test, examine, and communicate the results and outcomes.
Reflection on this very last part is as important as the first part of the silent eye. Because when these two parts of the whole process don’t work together, the end result won’t be seriously.


I came up with an interesting leftover, a simple paper jacket full of interaction, ideas and meanings. A truly unique object.
I was glad with the result, but it was not the end result, yet. There were a view practical problems I had to solve: how many jackets do I want to make? What is the right size? How do I want to present it?
While working on all these questions I came up with my end result. I jacket, for little boys between 5-6, no sharp edges, and cut out of one paper.
The jacket is so made that when it is finished, you can unfold it, and hang it on you bedroom wall, your unique object. The conclusion is that with this very serious process, I described above, I came up with a joyful product, which fits my starting point: unlocking interaction.


Universal Language

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Juli Gudehus is an active German graphic Designer born in 1968. In her book Genesis she made the translations of the Genesis from the Christian Bible or the Torah in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and in a more interesting way, in Pictograms.

Pictograms exist since cave art; they give information by a figurative drawing. It’s a common language that everybody can normally understand.




So this book is really about communication and most of all about universal communication. However, there is a lot of irony in it because the genesis also talks about the Babylon tower or how the humans where divided by god by confounded the language. The book which dignify the actions of god try to neutralize the consequences of his action.

This interesting paradox guide me to different universal languages. I will sum up with all these short discoveries.

First of all Esperanto, it’s an international language talk in 120 different countries. This Utopian idea was born around 1870 from Ludwig Lejzer Zamenhof. Its purpose is to be a second language and a bridge between cultures. This language avoids the risk of loosing cultural identities.

The sign language is another universal language which appeared around the fifth century BC. It’s a body language and manual communication uses at first to exchange information between deaf and mute people. Later it extends in basics exchanges in everyday life. The need to standardize an international sign system was discussed at the first World Deaf Congress in 1951, when the WFD was formed. In 1973 they published a standardized universal vocabulary.


International sign language alphabet

After the oral language and the body language the writing language of mathematics was constructed. First of all, you need to know that in each language the words have two components: the “signified”(abstract idea of language) and the “meaning”(concrete form of language). It’s a part of why languages are more difficult to assimilate. However, mathematics only use the “meaning” of the language and its why ambiguity can’t happen. Without these ambiguity mathematics looks like the more clear way of communication. Moreover, you can find mathematics everywhere in our human world: for example it rules the perfect way honeycomb is build or what we are wearing or eating today. And because it constructs our world it must be the universal language of this planet. But after all maybe mathematics is only a projection of humans on their environment. That is why I finally focus my investigations to the extraterrestrial communication or how human trying to communicate with something unknown. I continued this research on the hypothesis that this inter galactic language must be mathematics.




In 1974, the mission Pioneer 10 send the message Arecibo some 25 000 light year away. It was a binary message write by Frank Drake an American astronomer and astrophysicist. The binary system represents numeric values using two different symbols: typically 0 (zero) and 1 (one). Binary is what rules our digital world today and used by almost all computers and phones. The final picture of the message give information about the Earth and Humans: numbers,atomic composition of our principals components(as hydrogen or carbon), how our DNA structure looks like, how humans looks like , how tall we are, how many we are and where in the galaxy. Because of this long message distance we didn’t receive an answer yet and there is not a big probability to get one. In fact this operation was more about showing the capabilities of human technologies.

Here is a link to sent your personal binary message.




Another attempt took place in 1977. Two Voyagers spacecraft took aboard a gold phonograph record disc with 110 pictures of Earth and human life and 1 hour and 30 minutes of sounds and musics. A diagram on the record explained how to use it, partly written in binary arithmetic. The purpose is the same as a message bottle in the ocean but its goal is not anymore to communicate with an extraterrestrial life, it is also a time capsule for the future human generation.

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.

President Jimmy Carter



Cosmic connection is the first TV message for extra terrestrial life. The message is transmitted from Toulouse (France) the 30 September of 2006 during the evening to the star Errai of the constellation Céphée and also on TV. The star is 45 light year from the Earth so we will maybe have an answer on 2096. The originality of the program is that the televiewers could send their own message out of the galaxy. These messages were shown in the same time as the TV show which was about the evolution of extraterrestrial idea from our society. But more than sending a message, this event was about sharing the thoughts of humans on extraterrestrial life.


As all these messages tried to communicate with the outer world, they try to communicate with somebody or something with a capacity of understanding equal or more superior and of course similar with human. If an extraterrestrial life is not build on a mathematical logic, they may have some difficulties to receive and decipher our binary messages. But the hope to unite the nations under a same language is still present: even if the utopian and minor languages such as Esperanto, sign language and mathematics are not becoming complete universal languages. More than 1.8 billion people can more or less speak English. After decades of migrations and globalization, this language is probably the future of the universal language. Even before mathematics.

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