Inclusion: C, J, Z
Concept & Research
In the first few hours of brainstorming for our theme, members of our group brought up many topics they were passionate about. As a group, we realized all of the topics fell under the umbrella of inclusivity. Enthusiastically, we brainstormed twenty-six concepts to introduce an inclusive mindset.
To broaden our research, we visited the Strong Museum in Rochester to study interactive exhibits and inspire the scope of our project, which would ultimately be an interactive installation for kids transitioning between elementary and middle school that could be paired with a book taught in the classroom. I also studied a sampling of my favorite books from that age to grasp an understanding of the language and concepts late elementary school children are experiencing.
C is for Culture
To communicate the concept culture, I wanted to use something tangible and deeply relatable to a child. When I was a kid, the first thing I asked every day was, “What’s for dinner?” For people around the world, the idea of a home-cooked meal could mean a lot of different types of food presented in different ways, and is often tied back to cultural traditions. As a result, I created a table-spread featuring five different meals presented in different ways.
Each meal chosen has a history pertaining to the culture it originated from, rooted in history and in the hearts of the culture it represents. The meals all sit on one table to unite them, but are distinct in their differences to represent their uniqueness.
J is for Judgement
Communicating judgement was a challenge because of the variety of ways it could be represented and the complexity of the concept to accurately explain what it is in just a few words. I decided to focus on combating judgement rather than going in-depth of the meaning. To do this, I created a short story about the sun and the moon, two opposites that co-exist together in the lonely sky.
The story begins with the sun passing judgement onto the moon for spending all their time in the dark, but when the sun finally asks the moon why, the moon admits they love watching the lights on Earth down below. The two bond over a shared love of light, and are able to rise above their differences to become friends.
Z is for Zingers
To end the book, we wanted to wrap it up with a simple overall takeaway. The word “zingers” doesn’t belong to any previous topic in the book, but is relevant to all. I wanted to show how many people will not speak up when they are hurt and will endure jokes that might not necessarily be intended for harm, but nevertheless are insulting and hurtful to one of the parties.
The lesson I wanted to demonstrate is we should always be mindful of the jokes we make about other people, because even if they don’t seem upset does not mean that joke was okay. Ultimately, we should all just be more conscious of other’s feelings and ask questions to make sure others are okay. In the interactive component, every character has an insecurity that is only an insecurity because they are teased for it by others.
I learned a lot about design decisions through this project. With all of my letters there was a high amount of ways to approach explaining relatively complex ideas, so I had to make choices about how to depict them. I was often working with subjects I couldn’t relate to because of my own privileges, so I had to develop my own conscientiousness and pay attention to every detail, especially the message the user would ultimately takeaway.
I also learned a lot about working with a large group of designers and setting boundaries without prohibiting others from producing their best work, while also creating a cohesive and meaningful project.
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.