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INTERROGATION INDEPENDENT PRACTICE UNIT EGRD2010 Kathleen Bocanog Graphic Design Semester 1 Year 2


From the previous year, I’ve touched upon the surface of CODES or CODING as a theme. I’m interested on investigating how codes shape up what it represents. Codes are set of rules which subsequently form an outcome, such as our physical and mental state. I find the subject intriguing because there are varieties of codes which can be very complex or quite simple; such as road signs. Also, there’s the fun aspect of secrecy using codes. As stated earlier, codes can lead to form. Thus, having the ability to shape the form. We are growing in a world full of codes, which determines the stuff we know. It would be interesting also to decode some of the the codes we already know and learn from it. Perhaps it can help create a new code…? This portfolio shows the ideas and developments I have done during the first semester. Starting point was researching into artists and books that may relative to my chosen subject of exploration. Artists I have looked at are: Karsten Schmidt, Troika, and Onedotzero. Some reading from contextual studies also informed my thinking through semiotics. I’ve also come across the term ‘steganography’ which is “the dark cousin of ‘cryptography’” (Clair, 2001). Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message; a form of security through obcurity. (Webster’s Online Dictionary)

It is very difficult to produce graphic design without words, but quite easy to do it with words alone.

It is very difficult to produce graphic design without words, but quite easy to do it with words alone. It is very difficult to produce graphic design without words, but quite easy to do it with words alone. Its very difficult to produce graphic design without words but quite easy to do it with words alone. Its very difficult to make graphic design without words but kind of easy to do it with words alone. Its soo hard to make graphic design with no words but kinda easy with just words. Its soo hard making graphic design with no words but easier with just words. Its soo hard making graphic design with no words but easier with just words. Its soo hard to make graphic design with no words but easy with just words. Graphic design with no words is just so hard but so easy when its just words. Graphic design with words. Quote by Ken Garland, ‘Shapes for Sounds’




say aah!


put your lips together and release with a short percussive pop of air as you feel your vocal cords hum


press your tongue against your velum and release to create a short percussive sound


place your tongue under your alveolar ridge and make a percussive voiced escape of air as you release your tongue


E can represent 16 different sounds in English alone, making it the most common letter in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.


put your top teeth on your bottom lip and blow


press the back of your tongue onto your vellum and make a short sound using your vocal cords


imagine your hand is cold and blow on it to warm it up


make a smile, press the sides of your tongue against your upper molars and vocalise


place your tongue against your palate and vocalise


place the back of your tongue against your velum and release a pop of air


place your tongue on your alveolar ridge and vocalise, allowing air to pass at the sides


place your lips together and use your vocal cords to hum some air through your nose


place your tongue against your alveolar ridge, lower your uvula and vocalise through your nasal cavity


make a small circle with your lips and vocalise


put your lips together and release wit a short percussive pop of air


push your tongue against your velum and make a pop of air without using your vocal cords


place the tip of the tongue close to your alveolar ridge and use your vocal cords to make a slight vibration


place your tongue behind your top teeth and gently whistle some air between them


place the tongue to your alveolar ridge and make a sharp escape of air as you release your tongue


press your tongue to your palate and vocalise (while closing the lips for extra shaping)


place your top teeth onto your bottom lip, vocalise and release


pucker your lips almost to a circle, make a sound from your vocal cords as you release the tension of your lips


follow the instructions for K - immediately follow with the instruction for S


press your tongue to your palate and slowly release with a voice


place the blade of your tongue against your alveolar ridge and using your vocal cords, vibrate your tongue allowing the sound to pass through a small gap between your lips


upper lip

teeh alveolar ridge palate




lower lip

I came across a book called ‘Shapes for Sounds’, by Timothy Donalson. The book consisted of the development of the Alphabet evolving from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. There were descriptions of each letter of the alphabet and how they are pronounced written by Donaldson. I found it interesting as people don’t normally learn how to vocalize the letters of the alphabet in such scientific terms. His description of how to pronounce the letters from A-Z are depicted on the table shown opposite.


Using Donalson’s decriptions, I have created a mini booklet titled, ‘How to Say’. It is an instructional booklet for how to pronounciate the English alphabet with more information and diagram of the mouth to help the user to identify the mouth parts. The idea is to complicate the alphabet by breaking it down from how they are known to be pronounced through sounds created by manipulations of certain mouth parts and air. So why complicate?...The idea is just to create a situation of ‘what if everything in our language were to be purely instructional?’

LAB WEEK During the lab week, I’ve attended talks from, Mary Ikoniadou about ‘Design Authorship’, Hellicar & Lewis who talked about their practice and ‘Open Sourcing’ and Robert Rubbish on copyrighting and ‘Illustration’. I also had an opportunity to join the workshop with Hellicar & Lewis based on paper prototyping. We worked in groups to complete set briefs; which were very fast-phased and required team work as well as quick thinking. The briefs were: 1. ‘Wakey-wakey’ - fastest way to wake someone up in the morning. 2. ‘Smile’ - you can detect smile, but how would you use it?

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos at the time during the workshop but I had fun working with other people that I haven’t worked with before and some people I’ve just met. For our group’s response to ‘Wakey-Wakey’, we based out idea of having to hit the snooze button repeatedly. So, here’s a diagram showing the process:

7:10 (Alarm goes off with water spray)

7:05 (Alarm goes off)

7:00 (Alarm goes off) Person hits the snooze button

Person hits the snooze button

Person hits the snooze button

For the second brief, we could detect smile and we had to think of how we can use that aspect within a public space. Our group chose train stations as the public space and the concept was to use people’s smiles detected inside the coaches to change the external colour of the train coaches. Each rectangles represents a train coach with different colours as with numbers of smiles: No smiles

10 people smiling 30 people smiling 80 people smiling

The workshop was very energetic and it emphasized that initial ideas should be tested out quickly even with just the simplest material; paper. The workshop also helped with presentation development, there were some tips given by the duo such as when presenting in groups, everyone within the group should be a participating in some way and never going against what the other says.

All smiling

7:15 (Bed shakes violently and will not stop until the person is out of bed.) If the person comes back to bed within 10 minutes, the bed will still shake.

Images of the day’s workshop from Daniel Jarvis’ video.

EXPLORING THE PROCESS OF CODING AND DECODING This investigation looks at people’s interpretations of a decoded visual material.




For this exercise, I have crypted an image (of Guevarra) by cutting it to smaller pieces and then arranging the pieces in random order dissimilar to its original state and then asked people what they see in it. From the results I gathered, it can be categorized in two: physical and mental. This just proves that an image can relate to them in some emotional or a reminder or something physical. The purpose of this exercise was to act out the process of coding and decoding in quite a simple form.

Portrayed word: running

Portrayed word: dancing

Portrayed word: skating

ONE DAY EXHIBITION This one day exhibition was a chance to exhibit certain work we have been creating based on our individual practice. I have used the space I had to gather some information about people’s perception. I provided some simple and basic shapes of circle, triangle and square all in three sets of colours; yellow, red and blue. I then asked some people to only use any 3 shapes of their choice to portray a word. The written words were to be picked from a box. It was an idea i had during the day which has been tested during the exhibition. I was just curious of how people portray still shapes to convey a verb. Looking at people’s interpretations of the word, most of them are quite dynamic, which conveys movement.

Some images of before, during and group feedback of the exhibition

EVALUATION Looking through what I have produced so far, I have mostly collaborated with some public members in order to receive feedback in order for me to analyse or give information back to them as medium to inform my area of interest. In conjunction with my contextual studies, we have reached a point where the discussion point was on semiotics; which very much realtes to my subject area. I believe that learning more about meanings and significance of any sign makes anyone’s design better, as well as good for knowledge. I have also read Bignel’s Media Semiotics which gave me some more insight about the topic. Going back into the work I have produced, most work was influenced by elements I have come across during research such as the ‘How to Say’. I would say this is still in progress as I still have a few ideas to try out using the instructions. Having said that, I believe the work I have so far are starting points of perhaps varieties of the subject theme. For the exploration of coding and decoding, is also a starting point. I would like to do further development on this since some of my colleagues gave me feedback and ideas on how I may expand on this. One idea is to use another method such as audio and recordings.


As a summary, the themes from concept that I have looked into so far are: the process of coding and decoding, making something simple complicated through utilizing someone else’s work to post a question (How to Say project), and creating a space to somehow find out people’s way of thinking.

Her talk was informational about their publication’s previous magazine themes as well as some of the methods they used such as doing an open call, in which they were contacting people they didn’t know to work with. Another was working with children in primary school(s).

For the laboratory, I have attended Mary Ikoniadou’s talk. She’s a member of ‘Making do’ which is an independent publication. She talked about ‘Design Authorship’.

“Making Do is dealing with what you have, not complaining about what you don’t” -quote taken from her presentation

The second talk I attended was Hellicar & Lewis in which they talked about a little bit of both their backgrounds and an emphasis on Open Sourcing. Their work are motivated by groundbreaking experiences that use art, technology and design and encourages others to use open sourcing to create a sharing community; not just using design for business. Joel raised a point that software such as Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe products should be free; not to be sold to students and designers. Most people would agree with that statement. Having worked in their workshop day, I found their ways of thinking and working fun as well as ethical. It was a simple workshop just using paper and pens but it conveyed the groups’ big ideas.

The third talk I went to was Robert Rubbish. He talked about his practice; why they use black and white with their illustrations. He also talked about how they are progressing into different areas such as magazines, installations and videos. Copyright issues were also mentioned

BIBLIOGRAPHY Books Donaldson, Timothy, (2008) Shapes for Sounds, Mark Batty Publisher Bignell, Jonathan (1997) Media Semiotics, Manchester University Press; illustrated edition edition

Websites Karsten Schmidt Troika Onedotzero

Hellicar & Lewis


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