Social Things 3. Scenario with references

After establishing the direction of the project, I wondered a question ‘How about the feeling of imprisonment?’. There is an interview with a guy who has been in Prisons and Prison Life with 60+.

‘…It was like this invisible door just closed on me… I thought about never having a future, never fulfilling my ambitions, being a pariah, a persona non grata from society. It was a terrible experience. As I watched the cars go by on the freeway, I saw the people of free society going through their daily routines, taking for granted the freedoms I wish I could have again…’

There are some keywords which are valuable such as ‘Invisible Door’, ‘Pariah’, ‘Free Society’ and ‘Freedoms’. It means that someone is severed from society without any ‘Contractual Connection’.

Do you remember the episode of Christmas Special episode of the drama ‘Black Mirror’? By using a device, everyone can block somebody off like below picture, and when they are talking, their voices are distorted as just noise. You can be blocked off from everyone like a person who cannot socialise with anyone.


In this regard, I have been thinking about setting up a scenario. The title is ‘Refugee Prison’ which is from refugee ‘Camp’. It means that by changing the term ‘Camp’ to ‘Prison’, people can recognise this situation seriously. Roughly, when it comes to technical approach, an experimenter wears a device or clothes attached a distance sensor which recognise and calculate distance, and then when people come and are closer to the experimenter, the device make some warning horns or recorded warning voices to block the connection off with others. By doing this, the tester will be most likely to avoid people not to make some noise, and can become isolated and will get depressed like a prisoner.


Research Proposal 03 – Formulating a Research Question

  • What is the role of the designer in emergency situations regarding information design, signage system?
  • Why is it important to consider information design to prevent or handle those crises?
  • Are there some references related to emergency situations in the field of the signage system (widely information design) model?
  • The possibilities to be able to deal with the crisis of the signage system.
  • As traditionally prominent designers in the field of signage system, what points do they consider?
  • What are the advantages/downsides of the existing signage systems in various real situations?
  • How can new alternatives compensate the disadvantages appropriately?
  • Are there more points of consideration to develop advantages of the existing?
  • How can I bring existing references to current states with improved technologies?
  • An appropriate connection between proper rules of design and emerging technologies.

I might be able to expect the field of my FMP as a package of interactive signage system which is a kind of digitalised model for the emergency situation. For a long time, as a graphic designer, I have frequently been thinking about the social role of the graphic designer. And, I realised that I can bring this thought to the wider context in the field of interaction design which has a tremendous potential to be able to deal with this situation more effectively than just considering the aspect of traditional graphic design.

I might argue that even though there has been apparently well-organised signage system developed by a large number of designers in ages, there is incalculable damage of human life year in and year out. However, there are fewer efforts to improve signage system with new research of design as well as emerging diverse technologies than other fields of design such as industrial design and architecture.

Research Proposal 02 – Literature Review

For emergency situations, people should evacuate from dangerous places such as buildings, and in this state, it is vital with regard to serving a proper signage system for evacuation.

With the previous research case ‘Design of audiovisual signage for Cinémathèque Française’ for Reverse Engineering Task, I fount out a possibility of several nifty cases of signage system design to bring some knowledge as well as approaches to deal with emergency signage system. There are more several projects at which I need to look regarding signage system of different methods and solutions.

Points the most advanced directional sign by BREAKFAST

brooklyn-based creative agency BREAKFAST NY has harnessed the power of the web yet again with their latest project entitled ‘points’. dubbed as the world’s most intelligent street sign, ‘points’ looks as one may expect a directional sign to look; three arms pointing towards different locations, each displaying text of a nearby destination. the way-finding device leverages content from foursquare, twitter, transportation APIs, RSS feeds and many other online sources, to create an interactive experience – more importantly it can be expanded to work with almost any online data source and adapt to any location where it’s installed.

The most impressive three features of Point are ‘Flexible data-driven (user-oriented)’, ‘Rotary electrical interfaces’ with endlessly spin 360° and ‘Lighting sign system’ with 16,000 efficient LEDs. Through these sharp features, it suggests a new alternative of developing interactive signage system in emergency situations with a huge amount of inspirations.

Pixel Track

Pixel Track is a prototype of a new kind of connected display from Berg in collaboration with Future Cities Catapult.

This is a Pixelated signage system having an aim at replacing existing electronic display.

It is dramatically cheaper since the main display surface can be manufactured with straightforward injection moulding techniques — all the complexity is in the train. There are also far fewer electrical drivers and circuits than a comparable LED dotmatrix. The pixels are bi-stable, which means, like e-ink, it requires no power to maintain a message on its surface. Pixel Track only needs power when the message needs to change. This means, in situations where the message might only need to change say once an hour, that it is believable that the system runs on a battery for long periods. Because the surface of the display is manufactured, it isn’t constrained materially by being a glass screen like and LCD display, or like LEDs. It’s aesthetically very flexible.

This is a stable and practical solution with less power and doing not use fragile displays like LCD and LEDs. In addition, it is a hugely flexible system operating text with an easy handling method.

There is a case study about pixel-based projects by Berg

Research Proposal 01 – Reverse Engineering Task

Choose a design project and reverse engineer a project proposal for it, searching, collecting and finding as much information about your chosen project as possible.


Project Title
La Cinémathèque Française

Design of audiovisual signage for Cinémathèque Française in collaboration with Integral Ruedi Baur & Associates (Olivier Duzelier and Stephanie Brabant).

Field of Study
Audiovisual Signage System based on projection on the walls.
Sound + Video = Audiovisual
Text (Typography) + Image (Moving Symbol) = Signage

The design of audiovisual signage for Cinémathèque Française has aimed at the new possibility of signage system composed of a proper mixture of ‘Kinetic Typography’ and ‘Moving Image’ for visitor’s effective traffic line.

This project serves a possibility of a new signage system with developed technologies instead of traditional signage system, and it makes designers consider looking at information design, especially signage system, further with wider research as well as technical skills.

Methodology / Methods
– Researching traditional signage system + possibility of new signage system
– Looking at works of Dépli design studio to get their design philosophy
– Connection of typography and image based on historical and technical areas
– Researching special and architectural design focusing on information design
– The role of collaborator ‘Ruedi Baur’ as renowned information designer
– The examples of ‘kinetic typography’ and ‘moving image’ used to signage system
– How to develop this project to a area of interactive, responsive design in real-time
– Prototyping with various angles with advisers

Predicted Resolutions
Finding the most effective method to serve interactive signage system by using diverse shapes of walls depended on each special feature.

Social Things 2. Direction of project

There is a one thing I realised that I was frequently considering thinking about just making something helpful directly for the refugees. However, except that, there are diverse methods to intervene in the crisis such as campaign to give wider publicity to the situation to be able to get helpful reactions from the public. Sometimes, introducing the truth to people who do not know an exact situation is more likely to become a worthwhile solution to improve and fix the problem in a way. Therefore, I decided to shed light on the truth of the current state in refugee camps by choosing a big problem. There was one thing that I wanted to introduce. Most of the refugees in the camp have been suffering from huge depression due to the fact that they have felt the camp like a ‘Prison’ without any hope and bright futures. I fount out the truth of this situation through several articles below.

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In these news, briefly, the the current state of refugee camp is like ‘Open-air Prison’ being able to change the term as ‘Social Prison’. with the severance of society. In fact, most of people all over the world cannot fully understand this the feeling of being in a prison. In this context, I might be able to progress an experimental campaign becoming a prisoner as well as experiencing their area of activity with some equipment of suppression being able to inhibit freedom. This is namely ‘Empathy Project’.

Social Things 1. Interest of an issue

This project is for the class ‘Physical Computing’ to make something with various technologies and design approaches. We have been asked to find and choose a tribe.

‘A tribe is social group that existed before nations but one could argue that group of people passionate by a certain way of life, thinking, passion, fear, … could easily constitute a modern tribe. As I have often mentioned, people afraid of EMF (electro magnetic frequencies) are a tribe and the work done in Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects is certainly a great example of design done around that tribe.’ (The e-mail from the tutor ‘Nicolas’)

In this respect, I am always thinking of the dark side of society related to the problems of design widely. I heard that from the news, there has been a significant number of refugees from Syria to avoid a dangerous civil war. When I looked at the report with pictures to be able to check the Syrian refugee camps (Fig. 1), I was shocked by the poor surroundings without any appropriate supports such as houses, necessities of life and so on. They are living in hopeless life like the unprivileged in ages.

(Fig. 1) Syrian refugees in Lebanon face health care crisis – Amnesty (From BBC)

From my perspective, as a designer, there has been a big problem to have to look at regarding depression, mental illness amongst them (Fig. 2). It is seriously hard for refugees to have proper psychiatric treatment because there are no effective methods to express their feeling in poor surroundings such as language barrier, shyness, mental shock and so on. This is an initial idea of my project. I am considering making something to help people have proper treatment with an efficient communication system with doctors, mainly psychiatrist. I am going to dig down more specifically about this situation in the camp and decide what they need for communication with specialists.

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(Fig. 2) Depression, mental illness endemic amongst Syrian refugees (From DW)