As a first-year graduate student, I sought to translate my systems-thinking skills from architecture into different mediums. In Typography, I was tasked with creating a conditional book made from a list of words that were somehow related to each other. The linguist inside of me was inspired by the graduate studio's cultural diversity, and so I sought to create a list of languages spoken form the students in the MFA Design program.
In order to generate a list of languages that represented the students in the studio, I created and conducted a survey that asked a series of questions (samples shown below). I used each of the respondents answers to generate the list of languages I would use to complete the assignment.
The first graphic design was presented as a book which was later converted into a poster series that animates the layers of spoken language. The goal of this exercise for me was to find ways to use the data and a graphic form to tell the story of all the languages spoken by each student, layered over text that describe how long they have spoken each one.
The current concept is a series of posters that list all the languages spoken by 31 individuals. Each poster is a collage of text which describes how long each respondent have spoken each of their languages.
In addition to the graphic developments of the assignment, I realized that the data also revealed a compelling relationship between individuals who speak the language another wishes to learn. The animated gifs below demonstrates this insight:
After creating this animated spreadsheet, I realized that there is a strong correlation between the data about students who speak the language that others wish to learn.
How might we create a community that includes people with various language skills space and opportunity to communicate effectively with each other?
Brooke Hessler Ph.D, our director of Learning Resources at the California College of the Arts approached me after discovering some of my language posters. She encouraged me to use design to continue the conversation on language and education throughout my studies in graduate school.