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How can graphic design be used to augment or alter environmental experiences?

I have answered how can graphic design be used to alter or augment environmental experiences.

The spaces I will be designing to have a point and purpose. I chose to use these experiences to simulate the emotions felt individuals who struggle with reading comprehension and learning to read.

Literacy Kansas City 225,000

In that, I chose to get behind Literacy KC. An organization that certifies volunteers and tutors and matches them with adult learners. They provide free one-to-one tutoring for students age 16 and above. Almost half of students are ages 30 to 50 years old. These students are paired with tutors based on reading level and commit to one year of phonics-based sessions that include study skills, budgeting and other valuable topics. (CLICK) Illiteracy is a serious and sensitive subject, but it is something that over 225,000 adults in the Kansas City area struggle with every day.

Embarrassment Overwhelmed Victory

I chose three of the most prominent emotions that were recognized after researching Literacy KC; (click) Embarrassment, (click) feeling overwhelmed, and (click) victory after learning to read.

My altered environments will be presented as Public Service Announcements (PSAs) by installing them in public locations and allow anyone to experience them voluntarily. This is visceral language applied to the environment.

Each of the experiences will occur right outside of the Kansas City public library plaza branch. This will emphasize the fact that illiterate individuals are usually not found inside the actual library but holds the concept of reading due to the close proximity of the experiences.

Here are the primary materials that already exist at the location.

The first emotion felt by illiterate individuals is usually embarrassment that they cannot read. This environment is found right outside the entrance to the library in a small stone garden that is placed there now. The space is framed by a small staircase that leads to the bus stop beside the library. I will be removing the trees and stepping stones but leave the landscape gravel as the floor to the space.


Each of the panels will be made from solid, 1" plexiglass and form a maze for the visitor to walk through. Since the panels are transparent, the visitor will be confused as they try and find their way through the space.

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Each of the panels will be made from solid, 1" plexiglass and form a maze for the visitor to walk through. Since the panels are transparent, the visitor will be confused as they try and find their way through the space.


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At each opening a sensor will shout the words, "WRONG" and "NO" when they pass through. This will make them think they are going the wrong way even though this is the only way throughmaking them embarrassed.

Not only will the shouting be loud, but the visitor will remain in public site through the whole experience. Onlookers will be able to observe (and hear) every move through the space.

At the end of the maze, I will install a large-scale, wall graphic in place of this library graphic that is currently on the stairs leading to the bus stop. This will simply state, "Literacy Kansas City" to let the visitor understand the purpose of the maze environment as it connects with the public library.

Overwhelmed is the second emotion I have moved this experience from the tiny hallway I had first planned on placing it in (found inside the library) and moved it to the parking garage elevator. This makes all three experiences outside the library. Placing the "overwhelmed" experience inside the elevator of the garage will still involve the physical lack of control and moving experience (from the previous moving floor that I had planned for the experience).

4 2 The walls of the elevator will be covered floor to ceiling in small, 1' x 1' screens that will simultaneously show close-up shots of emotions on unidentifiable faces. This would mean 140, 1X1 total screens.

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Some will be seen at a fast pace, some slow and will include a strobe-like effect with flashing white on various screens. I have changed the exposure on the video to brighten each screen and create more of an overpowering presence in the elevator. This will contrast with flashing black on the screens at certain times The ceiling of the elevator will be painted a bold pink. Both doors will be painted an intense yellow. (CLICK) The sound of multiple voices talking at once will play once the doors have closed and the elevator is moving up or down.

The outside elevator doors will have the words, "Literacy Kansas City" on it that the visitor will see before they enter the space. Since the elevator is such a tight space, I don't want to make the visitor panic. To prevent this, the purpose (literacykc) will inform them before entering the elevator.

Obviously, these regulatory signs will have to stay and be a part of the experiencebut adding another element to an already overwhelming experience ownt be a problem.

Here is the video that will be individual played at different loops across the screens. I am still in the process of combining all of them together so that they are able to play wihtout crashing a program. Now watch.

Victory is the last emotion students of literacy kc feel.

This will appear in the stairwell of the library garage.

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The text includes the top, 100 classic books in the United States and remain jumbled and illegible until the top of the staircase.

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Both the text and sound are attempting to symbolize the experience of learning to read and achieving your goal at the top of the flight of stairs. The visitor will experience this process by physically stepping up the stairs and feeling accomplished at the top.

As the visitor walks up the stairs, they will trigger the sensor placed on each step after the first step and hear, " step, spark, courage, memory, excitement, confidence, determination, strengthen, endurance, resolve, certainty, victory!"

The window at the top of the stairs will also be covered and the stair climber will see the words, "Literacy Kansas City" with the sky showing through the surface in the background.

The wall text itself will be applied to the surface of the garage in black vinyl over a painted, dull white (to show the connection to reading pages in a book) on the concrete wall.

How can graphic design be used to augment or alter environmental experiences?