A collaborative project between myself and Minji Koo, where we were challenged to create and develop a project based on a list of restrictive variables.

Every constraint placed on us for this project was left to chance. We were given five categories to serve as the building blocks for the project to develop: (1) content, (2) influence or inspiration, (3) limitation and obstruction, (4) communication medium, and (5) audience and context. An example of each of the five categories were chosen at random from a list generated by ourselves and our peers, and were to be used to create our project.

Our category choices were the following: content: city, influence or inspiration: disguise and costume, limitation and obstruction: microscopic, communication medium: pop-up shop, audience and context: deaf people.

To better work within our given parameters and create a visually and conceptually cohesive project, we started by defining these variables.
  • Content/City: What makes up a city? A dense conglomeration of structures and organisms as well as the sensory stimulus they create.
  • Influence or Inspiration/Disguise and Costume: The use of visual illusion to hide or change the perception of something. Repetition, patterns, and vibrating colors can work together to accomplish this.
  • Limitation and Obstruction/Microscopic: Pertaining to fine details and close-ups of a space.
  • Communication Medium/Pop-Up Shop: A temporary space set up to feature a brand and/or its goods. Overall more of an artistic exhibit or experience than a typical store as it uses sensory spectacle to draw audiences and gain recognition.
  • Audience and Context/Deaf People: A group in need of more visual cues to enjoy experiences rooted in auditory stimuli.

We started to see a connection between each of our constraints right away, but our given audience and content became the driving elements. The ability to hear sounds was the one thing we noticed that set our deaf audience apart from the general public. Cities are areas dense with sound. These two facts led us to explore a way in which we could share the experiences associated with city sounds to a deaf audience: touch.

We created a series of handheld foldout cards to serve as the shop’s product. Inside each, a different motif is embossed representing a sound, paired with instructions on how the user should interact with the card. Stencils laser cut and used to hand emboss the cards (below).

The pop-up shop installation highlighted the area of the city where the sound was found by having the cards with the corresponding sound originate by that point on the wall. 

The installation also created extremely interesting shadows resulting from the overlapping strings of the cards.