IDES 244: Decolonising IDEA

This project really gave me a new perspective on the issues that Indigenous peoples suffer from and the importance of reconciliation in Canada. I decided to focus on the revival of First Nations languages in Canada, after reading about how all 32 of the surviving languages in BC alone are currently endangered. During my research process, I realized that there were not an immense about of resources for people to learn Aboriginal languages, and all the apps that were available looked outdated and were not engaging due to poor design. I wanted to create an app that would help teach Aboriginal youth their native language and make the process fun and interactive.

In week 8, we had the opportunity to present our ideas to the Indigenous film students at Capilano. It was such a great experience getting to talk to and hear the struggles they had in-person. I received very useful feedback on my project from students Justin Leo and John Spink. Originally, I had wanted to create this app for two target audiences: one being Aboriginal youth, and the second being the general public. I thought, by getting other non-Aboriginals to learn as well, there would be a greater population speaking the languages. My second deliverable was billboard advertisements that would spark an interest to the general public to learn an Aboriginal language. However, Justin told me that some Aboriginals would not want other people learning their native language, especially before the Aboriginal youth. He told me that it is more important to get the app to the Aboriginal youth first, before considering (and also asking permission from the Elders) to release the app and encourage others to learn the language.

I named my app “Tanisi”, which means “Hello” in Cree. The interface is friendly and easy to use, with a happy yellow colour theme that is inviting and visually exciting. You can learn three languages in the app – Cree, Squamish, and Chilcotin. I decided to focus on Cree, as there were much more resources online for me to source from. Tanisi has many unique features to aid the user’s learning experience. When learning a new word, you can record yourself saying the word and compare your voice as well as the soundwave shape to a native speaker pronouncing the same word. This helps with learning tone fluctuations and accents. There is also a “chat” feature, where you can communicate with friends in Cree. You can hold a message and hear it pronounced or have it translated. This helps you practice communicating in real-life conversation. There is also a “challenge” section, where you can race against the clock with friends to translate words and sentences as fast as possible. This makes the learning process fun, especially for youth. You can earn badges in the app as well. Each badge symbol will have a description of what that symbol means in a specific Aboriginal culture. The badge system encourages users to keep using the app and acts as a reward system.

Overall, I am really proud of the work I have done for this project and I would give myself a 9/10 as I put a lot of effort into designing and creating the app to make it appealing and useful for my target audience. I also believe this app would be a very useful tool in aiding the revival and sustenance of Aboriginal languages. I didn’t want to just make “another language learning app”. Instead, I wanted to create an app that had many unique and useful resources to make the learning experience as easy and entertaining as possible.

The whole app is also uploaded onto Invision with hotspots for a clickable, interactive experience:

https://bit.ly/2tZ7Jnp

View the full PDF for this project here:

IDES 244: Resume

I directed my resume towards the branding and advertising agency, Toolbox Design. Through researching their past projects and also their company beliefs, there were several words that popped up in my mind: clean, young, friendly, trendy, and happy. In many of their projects, they use fresh colours including pastel pinks and blues. I chose to incorporate the same pastel salmon pink found in their project for “Southgate/Mapleview/Bayshore Personal Stylists” in my header name. Toolbox’s main typeface was very geometric and round. Initially, I was going to use the font “Avenir”, but decided to use “Averta” instead, which appears friendlier and more bubbly. I wanted to keep my layout clean and comfortable, as this comes across on most of their projects. My favourite project that they worked on was the Fraser Commons project, which completely embodies Toolbox’s fun personality. I drew most of my inspiration from this project. I would give myself a 9/10 as I believe my resume effectively caters to Toolbox through layout, text, hierarchy, and colour. I think if I incorprated some textural or illustrative elements into my resume, it would make it stand out more and add more personality.

IDES 244: Sustainable Design Manifesto

For my Design Manifesto, I chose to outwardly address the issues of consumerism and declare our responsibilities as designers in regards to these issues. My goal was to realign the priorities of designers from “making things pretty” to creating smart, sustainable work. In my writing, I chose to use a strong tone of voice with an interesting hook in the first paragraph to keep readers engaged. In the beginning stages of this project, I struggled with writing an actual “manifesto,” and wasn’t sure how to write one. I spent time researching and reading manifestos of various topics to see the different types of writing structures I could use. The second half of my research was focused on the sustainability aspect. I browsed countless sites which spoke on sustainable design as well as Judy’s presentation slides and took notes from both sources. I have attached some of my notes below.

During Judy’s lectures, we learned that seemingly minimal tasks, like sending a text or opening an email can create a carbon footprint. That’s right – sending a short email can add about 4g of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere. I chose to create my poster around this idea and decided to address my manifesto as an email to all designers. I illustrated greenery growing out from the corners of the email browser window to symbolize a sustainable aspect bursting out from the grey, mundane component. I decided to hand-write all the text in the poster (except for the email body text) to add a hand-made aspect that would contradict with the uniform text of the actual manifesto. I am very happy with how this turned out! I would give myself a 9/10 on my poster. My main concern that frustrated me during the illustration part of my process was the placement of the title text. I fiddled with many variations of placement and it was mainly the descenders of the letters “g” and ascenders of the letters “d” in my title that were causing the problem. I tried to write my title in all capital letters instead, but I felt that it created a much more serious tone to the poster that I did not want. All in all, I am overall satisfied the layout that I eventually concluded with, as well as the bright yet subdued yolk-yellow background colour I chose. I believe my poster resonates with my written piece effectively and represents my style accurately as well.

Resources Used:

Judy’s presentation slides

“How to Write a Personal Manifesto.” The Art of Manliness, 7 Nov. 2018, www.artofmanliness.com/articles/how-and-why-to-write-your-own-personal-manifesto/.

“How to Write a Manifesto, with Manifesto Writing Examples.” Benedictine University CVDL, 28 June 2018, cvdl.ben.edu/blog/how-to-write-a-manifesto/.

“How to Write a Manifesto.” Alexandra Franzen, 9 Nov. 2017, www.alexandrafranzen.com/2015/12/31/manifesto/.

“How to Write a Manifesto: Guides.” A Research Guide for Students, 11 July 2018, www.aresearchguide.com/write-a-manifesto.html.

“1000 Words: A Manifesto for Sustainability in Design.” Core77, www.core77.com/posts/40586/1000-Words-A-Manifesto-for-Sustainability-in-Design.

“Sustainable Design – What Does It Really Mean?” Architecture . Construction . Engineering . Property, 31 Jan. 2017, sourceable.net/sustainable-design-what-does-it-really-mean/.