Empowerment: I, X, Q
Concept & Research
A healthy and fostering environment is imperative for the overall well-being of humans, especially children. Around the ages of 9-12 is when children generally begin to develop social skills and a deeper sense of their identities. Ensuring that they feel empowered while doing so is what my group ultimately wanted to accomplish. Through a printed book and interactive digital experience, we want children to be confident and love who they are, regardless of differences.
In order to understand what would be most effective in communicating these ideas, each member of the group conducted their own research for their letters. Some of us even spoke with members of certain communities to gain more insight.
I is for Identity
Since identity can be such a complex subject, I wanted to portray that identity is fluid, and that your identity changes based on your environment. To do this, I modeled 3 characters in Cinema 4D who are vastly different from the other. This conveys that despite their unique features, each of them are still as wonderful as the other. For the interaction, each character is given a prop based on the changing settings. Again, to show that your identity isn’t stagnant.
Q is for Queer
With Queer being another intricate subject, I wanted to focus on an aspect of the Queer community that is empowering and positive, this being the idea of a “chosen family.” I wanted to go down a specific route since Queer doesn’t always convey romance or sexuality, so focusing on friends as family felt the most beneficial, especially for children. I want them to know that family doesn’t necessarily mean the people you are related to, and having a solid support system can aid in having an overall healthy lifestyle.
X is for Mx
In order to visualize Mx, I focused on the positive aspects of gender. Since Mx is gender neutral, I wanted to portray the idea that it’s important to create spaces for genders beyond the binary we created. Since a lot of people are empowered by their gender, I didn’t want to erase it as a concept, so I visualized a community that welcomes all instead. Characters throughout the comp can be seen engaging with their surroundings.
Overall, I would say this project was a bit challenging due to having words that are arguably complex for children 9-12. The design challenge in itself was figuring out how to communicate strong ideas using simple imagery. As designers, we may be accustomed to using more detailed and abstract visualizations, so simplifying the concepts for a completely different audience than we’ve had to work for in the past gave us interesting restrictions.
You may use the below assets created for this project provided via Figma as long as you give attribution, share your outcomes, and if your use is non-commercial in nature.