M+P // Deconstruction / Final

Final Installation Photos & Video

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Intentions of Our Choices:

  • Two Cups with a Connected Tube

Resembles two cups with string attached; childhood way of talking to each other, indexes communication.

  • Silver Foil Tube and Cups

Aesthetic resembles materials found in spaceships, indexes the visual language of space. Distortion caused by the silver cup indexes the distortion of gravity.

  • Complex System of Tubes

Symbolizes parallel universe and space. It allows the audience to think that they all will be able to send the ball through. However only two groups would be able to send and only two groups would be able to receive and decode.

  • Hanging the Installation with Invisible Thread

Illusion of floating installation, symbolizes gravity, make them feel as if they are in space.

  • Space Footprints

Used icons of a space boot foot print as a path guide, so it works well with the aesthetic and theme of space.

  • Coded Messages

Borrowed the idea of communicating with codes from the movie, Interstellar. We choose to make a pragmatic, simple code so that it can be understood by a wider audience.

  • Messages of Affection

Allows the groups to communicate affection, like the movie. Gave the senders a different set of messages than the receivers, so they can decode the message they receive with the chart, not by using the list of decoded messages we gave them. Also the act of choosing the message to send through would require the group to work together.

  • “7 People” Label

Uses a distorted font which indexes the distortion of gravity.

  • Font

We used the same font, Univers, in all our printouts except for the floor labels. The name of the font links back to our theme of space.

  • Space Posters

Cropped into three panels to look like screens or windows into space. Labels add detail of location in space. The planets and black hole are links to the movie. The death star moon and Vulcan planet are fun easter eggs.

  • Location

We choose the library because in the movie she received the codes near a bookshelf. Libraries have books, and books are a form of communication. They also can mentally transport you to another time and place.

  • Lighting

We closed all the lights in the library, and just kept the spotlights on the installation and poster. It helped focus the attention on the installation itself, and it made the atmosphere feel a bit more like space.

  • Sound

We played the Interstellar soundtrack as background music to link the installation and experience back to the movie. It also acted as a way to set the mood, and make the audience feel more affectionate.

  • Layers

Because our audience is broad, we created layers within the experience that can be understood by different people. The simple code can be understood by everyone. While people who are more into sci-fi movies would notice the easter eggs on the space poster, and would think of gravity distortion when they see their distorted selves in the reflection of the cups.

Ideas, Thoughts & Discoveries:

  • This project made me realize that when your making and designing an interactive experience, you should engage everyone in your audience, by using a hierarchy to break up your message. The main point should be developed as the simplest form of signs, so that you can reach a wider audience. Then you can use the supporting themes to reach a narrower audience within the wide one.
  • I found myself throughout this project planning, recording our thoughts, discussions and plans, coordinating with the library and getting the materials for the installation.
  • Throughout this course and especially this project I found out that materials can help lead and shape a project.
  • The silver tube material lead us to plan on connecting other tubes around the main tube to make it look complex, so the audience can’t figure out which side would work at first.
  • I learned to let go of my ideas, and be open to changes in ideas and plans.
  • I found that having discussions is a really important part in developing ideas and solving problems. Because through discussing ideas thoroughly, you let go of the bad ones, and you can find solutions to problems that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
  • Compromising and refining ideas and plans lead to our final plan for the installation.
  • You can’t control everything in real life. I learned to adapt and work around problems that we faced in production.
  • When we ran into the difficulty of balancing the tubes on Saturday, I was starting to doubt if we would be able to achieve our initial plan by the deadline. However I really wanted it to end up with all the complex tubes attached, rather than just the two main tubes. So when we kept trying and it actually came together the way we wanted it the next day, it was much more rewarding. So I learned that I should always try and figure problems out, and I shouldn’t give up.
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M+P // Deconstruction / Week 3

I started researching stars and constellations that mean love or affection to add in the posters. I couldn’t find ones with direct links. However I did find two stars in the summer triangle that are part of Chinese and Japanese mythologies of two star crossed lovers. I then started looking through NASA’s image database, because they’re the only ones who have really high quality space images for print. As I was looking through I came across a moon that looks like the death star. So I thought it would be interesting to add fun easter eggs in the posters that reference space movies. I also added the black hole and planets mentioned in Interstellar, as a link to the movie.Untitled 1.08.42 PM.jpgSentences of Affection:

  1. We like you
  2. We love you
  3. We enjoy your company
  4. We enjoy spending time with you
  5. You make us happy
  6. You make us laugh
  7. You make our day
  8. You make our day brighter
  9. We hope you have a great day
  10. I wish you happiness
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Ju’s Code

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Faheem’s Way Finding System

We then shared all our individual work together, and we agreed that it was all working well together. We then started production on the installation. We first tested out two positioning of the holes on the bucket; in the centre or on the edge. The one on the edge worked better because it allowed the ball to roll through better. We then covered the inside of the buckets with foil so that the silver texture is continuous throughout the hanged installation. We extended the metallic silver cover on the outside of the bucket, so it hides the position of the tube. We created a system to maximize efficiency, Faheem & I were working on covering the buckets with the foil. When we finish we hand it to Ju who cuts out the silver poster using the popcorn bucket template we made and he covers the bucket with it. Splitting the work helped us finish the task much faster, because we got into a rhythm.

The next time we met, we started to connect the other tubes to the two main tubes to create the complex system. Faheem also tested hanging the cup from the ceiling, and it worked great, because the thread was really thin and clear, so it really looked like it was floating. Ju & I perforated the codes using a tool from Fashion, we had to fold the perforated lines well so that they could be ripped off the page easily. We decided on make space footprints as the path guide to match our space aesthetic, so I created a simple vector illustration of the footprints.

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We met again on Saturday to start installing everything. We spent a long time trying to balance the tubes and cups, trying to hang them at an angle while stretching them to allow the ball to roll through smoothly. However because the other tubes were already attached, it weighed everything down, and unless we were holding and stretching the main two tubes, the ball kept getting stuck in the tube. We tried holding the cups in place from the ceiling and the floor, however the one on the floor wasn’t that secure because the rug wasn’t long or strong enough to hold the thread, so if someone walks on it, or kicks it by mistake it would come off. We also tried to hang it to the bookshelves on the sides, it also didn’t work out because it moved the installation sideways.

We then decided to remove the other tubes and focus on the main two tubes and secure them in place first, so we used tape to map out the anchor points of the tube and the length of the thread itself.

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We came back the next day and started to use the invisible thread to hang the tubes. It worked this time because we made sure that the blue tape was holding the tubes at the right angle for the ball to roll through. Some wires needed to be tighter, so we fixed that by tapping it to the tube.

After we finished hanging the two main tubes, we attached the other three tubes the same way. Checking every time we hung a part that ball still rolls through. We then used foil to cover all the white tape we used to secure the threads on the tubes.

I got some label sticker paper, and started to print and cut out the foot prints and floor labels. We decided to keep a white box for the floor label, and to inverse the colors of the footprints. Because white would contrast more with the grey carpet in the library. So the audience can notice it and know straight away where to walk and that each cup is for a group of seven people only. We decided to stick it two hours before the experience so that it doesn’t get ripped by people walking into the library all day.

We also tested out the lighting, so we can be prepared on the day to know which ones to close. Faheem put on the Interstellar soundtrack while we were working and people walking by got the idea of our installation. So we decided to add sound to our installation, so that it’s sets the mood and can help get our idea across. It was really encouraging as well when the people walking by got that our installation looked like the two cups with strings that they played with as kids. It proved to us that the change in scale didn’t affect our sign of the two cups and string for communication.

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M+P // Deconstruction / Week 2

I started researching round paper cup templates and how to tutorials. All the how to videos were origami based paper cups, so they weren’t really round cups. However I did find several templates like the one below, so I printed one out and tried making the cup.

88171375245e84666d797e4bc0b1b840.jpgI used a silver metallic poster for the cup model, because we wanted the big cups to be reflective, so they can index the distortion of gravity. Because the poster was a thicker stock, it was hard to glue it together with a glue stick. However the super glue was able to close it, even thought it was slippery and messy. Because of that, the cup wasn’t exactly round, and it didn’t look good enough to be used as a model for the final one. So I thought if we had a structure that was already round, and we can then just place the metallic poster on top, it would solve the roundness of the cup. The largest cup I could find were the big popcorn buckets.

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The back up idea I generated was a combination of all our groups ideas:

  • Two clock-faces facing each other
  • Strings connect the second hand with minute hand, so they move at different times
  • One string is red with knot
  • Antenna signals moving around base making waves
  • Mirrors to stand on, reflects the opposite of the installation downwards, and to act as guide for ‘stand here’.

However after we discussed our ideas as a group, we still agreed our original plan was the best because it was the most effective for the message we wanted to communicate.

We also decided to go with my idea of covering the popcorn buckets with the silver poster, because we all came across the same problem of not being able to create a strong round cup model.

While we were discussing our plan with our professors, we realized that our initial plan of using the two cups with a string attached for one way communication had many variables and potential errors in setting it up, and that it might not be as successful as we thought. Especially since we have twenty eight people interacting with the installation. The main one was that we wanted to create one way communication through the cups and strings, and it would be hard to control what is heard through the cups. Because they would be three meters apart from each other, and they would be in hearing distance of each other, and the group wouldn’t interact as much together.

So we thought of having one cup higher than the other, and attaching a tube in the middle, so that gravity will only allow the message to roll through from one side. We then divided the work between us, each of us would develop a way finding system, a code/language system, and a method of sending the message.

I then started researching different way finding systems, and created a mood board of all the images I found, and an illustration of how ours could look like:moodboard_Page_1.jpgIllustration.png

I thought we could use morse code for the coded language of the messages, because it links back to the movie. For the method of sending the message, I thought the use of the ball we discussed in class would work well, because the silver tube that I found was big enough to allow a ball to roll through it.

When we got together as a group, we discussed our ideas, and tested out if the ball could roll through the silver tube. It even rolled through at a slight angle. Ju thought we could use a simplified version so that the audience could decode it faster, we discussed it with our professors and they agreed that it was more important for us to use a system that can be understood easily and used in eight minutes, rather than using the morse code because of the movie.

We decided to restrict the messages sent, by giving the groups five messages of affection to choose from and send to the other side. The senders  will receive a different set of messages than the receivers. The messages would already be decoded, and they would only have to rip the perforated coded message, and send it through the tubes in the ball to the other side. This would save time and allow the experience to run smoother.

The discussion with the professors and group helped generate better ideas. For our final installation plan we decided on hanging four cups with two connected tubes at an angle to facilitate one way communication.

We solved the problem of the audience figuring out from the beginning, from the angles of the tubes, that it would be one way communication, by creating a complex system of tubes all around the main two tubes. This will allow the audience to think that they’ll be able to communicate with each other through the tubes. However afterwards only two groups would be able to send the messages, and the other two would only be able to decode the messages, therefore giving all the groups an experience of a one way communication.

We decided to add more details like the space poster, so that the groups can look at the installation’s details while their waiting for their message to arrive. We also decided to put spot lights on the installation and close the libraries lights, so that the atmosphere has a similar feel and look to space.

It took us a while to secure a plan, many ideas had to be scratched. I learned to let go and go with the plan that is the simplest to reduce the chances of technical difficulties and variables to guarantee success of the experience, and the delivery of the message; communication with affection through gravity.

We were able to scratch ideas through our discussions. Because the more we discussed, we thought through the ideas more, so if it had too many variables, we either found a solution or let it go. For example the idea of building a smaller tube into the main tube so that the ball could come back to the receivers, was a more complicated idea for the idea of having a slanted tube that would send back the ball if they sent it through, so we went with the simpler idea that communicated the same message. It would have also been obvious to the group that it would come back to them, so they might not even try sending it.

We then separated our work load between each other. Ju was going to develop the simple code, Faheem would develop the way finding system, and I would make develop the three space posters that would be hung on the wall, and write the messages that would be sent through the tubes.

M+P // Deconstruction / Week 1

I choose to deconstruct the movie, The Time Traveller’s Wife. So I rewatched the movie and noted down scenes and moments that were important. I noticed the mood and how the lighting changed with the weather and the characters’ emotions. The theme that I was really interested in deconstructing was, how he was able to time travel because of a genetic disorder, rather than time traveling with a time machine.

Deconstruction Notes:

I was put into a group with Faheem & Ju, because we all had themes about time. We first discussed which movie to choose. We all agreed on Interstellar, because we all saw it and were interested in it. So we thought it was the right movie and theme to move forward with. We then started to think about the main points of the plot that we wanted to focus on, we agreed on these five:

  • Communication
  • Time difference
  • Parallel universe
  • Gravity
  • Affection

We then made a sentence that linked these five elements together so that we can refer back to it as we were working: Communication through gravity, irrespective of barriers between the parallel universes and time, because of his affection for his daughter. The professors then informed us that we shouldn’t use the movie’s characters, just the movie’s ideas, so we changed it to: Communication through gravity, irrespective of barriers between the parallel universes and time.

We then agreed that each person would come up with two ideas of how we should make the installation, so that we have a total of six at the end.

As part of my research to generate ideas, I started to look at videos explaining the movie’s science, watched the movie recap to refresh my memory of the storyline instead of watching it, because I did watch it before. I then brainstormed all five themes and generated ideas and signs for these themes. I also looked for inspiration online by researching the outcomes of my brainstorm. I then used all the research I found to sketch two main ideas for the installation, I also had other small ideas that acted as alternates to some ideas I had in the main two sketches.

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Visual Research

Group’s First Installation Ideas:

We then got together as a group and discussed all our ideas. We chose the best elements from each of our designs for each of the five themes. When we discussed it with the professors, they suggested we narrow it down to two main themes, and use the others as supporting themes. So that we can focus on communicating the idea of our main themes in the eight minutes we have to present to everyone.

We narrowed down our themes to affection and communication, and gravity was our supporting theme. We started discussing our place and installation. For the place we decided on the library because books can mentally transport you to another time and place, they are a form of communication, and the library’s floor has grid pattern, which we might try to manipulate. For the installation we decided to use paper cups with a string attached as the sign for communication, because it was the simplest form of communication, and can reach the widest audience. We also decided to use a red rope with a knot as the symbol of affection in the installation.

We then started to develop the installation further. Because the movie showed that the communication was one way. We thought of making only one of the cups work, to demonstrate one way communication. The annoyance and frustration the audience will feel because it doesn’t work well, will give them the experience of one way communication.  We also thought of covering the cups in something metallic. It would create a distorted reflection, which communicates our supporting theme, gravity distortion.

Notes I took of our group discussions:

When the professors said that in the eight minutes we have to present, the whole class should be able to interact with the installation. A problem we faced was trying to include everyone. The professors suggested expanding our installation to include more participants at once. Because our cups were going to be big, if we added a few more cups in two or three batches, everyone can experience our installation.

We divided the work between us for the next class. So each person was going to make a model of a cup, so that we can choose the best method to then make the final one. We also had to generate a backup idea incase this one doesn’t work out, and so we have more options to discuss with the professors.

M+P // Signs / Final

Final Signs

Global

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  • Uses a universal car, a Jeep, as the typical car used for drifting
  • Simple monotone grey colors for the background, contrasting red to signal stop
  • The curved road reinforces the idea of drifting, because cars usually take sharp turns while they drift.
  • Reduced opacity of grey drift marks so the overlapping effect indexes that a lot of drifting happens here
  • The drift marks leave the road to show how the cars drift off the road as well

Local

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  • Uses the usual shape of the local car that is used to drift in Qatar.
  • Focuses more on the man standing on the drifting car, which makes it more of a local icon.
  • The texture of the gitrah adds to the visual language of the local sign.
  • The shadows in the texture of the gitrah add dimension to the body of the man, which makes it look like wind is blowing at the thoub.

Abstract

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  • The overlapping lines and the repetition helps visualize the drifting marks that is seen on the road as the aftermath of drifting.
  • I choose to make three red drift marks, because the number three is a dynamic number.
  • I also liked how organic the overlapping of the red lines are. It looks unplanned and random, which is how drifting marks are made.

Concrete

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  • I created a really simple landscape with solid colors, to keep the sign minimal and keep the focus on the activity.
  • The type of car is the same as what Qatari men would use to drift.
  • The red hand is in a lower opacity, so that you can see all the drift marks on the road and the car.
  • The hand is aligned with the horizon line of the road.
  • Everything is in it’s simplest form, so that it can send a direct message to drifters that drifting is not allowed.

Vernacular

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  • The vernacular sign is specific to Qatari men who drift with their Land Cruiser in neighborhoods and cities.
  • It borrows their visual language, the red gitrah, the Land Cruiser, the Doha skyline, to communicate to these groups of men, that drifting is not allowed.
  • The Doha skyline is in a lower opacity to give the sign a sense of depth.

Challenges I Faced & Things I Learned:

  • Experimentation leads to good ideas. So by experimenting with material, I got the idea of using the red gitrah as a substitute for no.
  • I was finding it challenging to reach my audience and keeping it really simple so that it communicates the message fast enough for a passing car. Then Leland said it doesn’t have to be a traffic sign for roads, that it could be for driving school. I was then able to add more details that helped me target my audience.
  • Having the limitation of not using the crossbar as a no sign was initially such a struggle, however through research and experimentation, it lead to more creative ideas rather than the cliches.

M+P // Signs / Week 4

I tried using other material instead of the illustrated car, like the red gitrah, metal tread texture, and red tire tracks that I made by folding red paper. They didn’t really work well instead of the car, they made the sign more abstract, and the type of car wasn’t clear anymore, and since it was a local sign, I wanted the car to look like the cars they use to drift here.

Leland suggested that I try cropping the sign to focus on the man, because it was what really made this sign local, because it’s only in this region where men stand on a drifting car. I made the size of the sign rectangular to try and fit in the wheels, and I tried cropping it as a square. I preferred the square because it would fit in with the rest of the signs, and I think that the angled car and the horizontal man communicate drifting without the need to see the wheel off the road.cars 2_Page_01.jpgI tried to use the materials again, but this time I placed them in the hand in the vernacular sign. I liked how the red gitrah lends itself to the vernacular of the Qatari men, and how the red color in the gitrah represents the “no drifting”.cars 2_Page_02.jpgLeland also pointed out that the silhouette in the local sign looked very stiff, and suggested I try finding a better one to use. So I looked online and found an image of a guy on a drifting car doing the peace sign that wasn’t very straight and confined.  The new silhouette made the sign look much more realistic, since the silhouette is a much more realistic way of how they act.

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I then experimented with different ways to say ‘no drifting’ other than the hand.  I made the headlights red, and used a red flag that is used in races to say stop. However the professors thought that the red hand worked better. I thought so too because this was the concrete sign and the ‘no’ part is supposed to be really clear.cars 2_Page_03.jpgI then experimented with the red hand by reducing it’s opacity, so that the car would show from under it, by changing it’s position to cover the wheels or to cover the car. I think it worked better covering the car, so that people understand no drifting rather than no drifting on two wheels.cars 2_Page_04.jpgFor the vernacular, Leland suggested I try placing it between buildings instead of the desert. So I placed it in a neighborhood with the Doha skyline in the back. So that it represents that drifting is not allowed in both areas; small neighborhoods and the city. Because in those places, people can actually get hurt, where as in the desert the people drifting are the only ones who would get hurt.cars 2_Page_05.jpgI then started refining the last details of my signs. For the vernacular, I previously used an image from the internet that wasn’t good quality, because I wasn’t at home when there was sunlight, so I couldn’t really take a well lit photo of the car. After I shoot the car, the resolution, colors and lighting were much better.

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For the concrete sign, they suggested I reduce the size of the hands, since they were two big on the last one. So I tried two different scales. I preferred the slightly smaller one because the hands were aligned with the road.cars 2_Page_06.jpgAfter looking at all my signs I realized that my abstract sign was missing the ‘no’ and was just a sign for drifting. So I changed some of the tire marks to red to represent the ‘no’. cars 2_Page_07.jpgLooking at the sign line up also made me notice that the concrete and vernacular were missing drifting marks, so I added them to both signs.cars 2_Page_08.jpg

M+P // Signs / Week 3

After our second draft critique, we found out that we should have experimented more with materials rather than just creating vector based signs. So I looked at all the materials I had from previous projects and that were around my room, and I started making things.

I used the clock gears and metal clock hand from the word project to make the car, because both these things are made out of metal.

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I experimented with tissues and tracing paper to create the thoub, I choose these materials because they were light weight and would kind of ‘float’ and move in a similar way to how the thoub would move if someone was standing on the car like the drifters do.

THOUB.jpgI then used the sand that I had from my previous experimentation for the first M+P project and used it as sand on both sides of the road, that I could then use as a background for my signs. I also tried to create tire marks between the sand by taping off the areas where the tire marks would be then gluing on the sand on the whole page, so that when I remove the tape, the black paper would represent the tire marks.ROAD.jpgWhen I removed the tape, the black paper had this slight texture to it that I thought could work as an abstract way to represent tire marks, so I tried clear tape and blue duct tape to recreate that effect, but it wasn’t that clear that they were tire marks. Leland then suggested that I try the same technique on an illustration board. It did have a better texture, however it was very hard to control the direction of the ripe, even though it was taped, because it had to rip from the sides to reveal that texture. They were good experiments, but I don’t think they communicated drifting enough to work out.PAPER.jpgI then started to make the signs for each category. For the global, I illustrated a simple Jeep car, so that it can represent a more universal car that could be used to drift. I then experimented with two ways of representing the road,  the first one was how I first made the road, the second one looked more like it was in perspective, which is why I think it worked a lot better, and it gave the sign depth.CARS_Page_1.jpgThen I tried making the car itself red to avoid using the hand, and just using the red color as the “stop” part of the sign. I also tried just making the car body red or making the car and the details red. I preferred the details being a darker shade of red because it made the car illustration feel more unified.CARS_Page_2.jpgI then started illustrating the Land Cruiser for the local sign. I experimented with different ways of showing the man standing on the car for the local sign, I used the thoub material experiment, and I used a scanned image of a gitrah’s texture as the silhouette of the man. The gitrah texture worked a lot better because it’s a part of the local visual language. I also added more detail to the car, which I think worked better because it had the same amount of detail as the Jeep, which unified these two signs.CARS_Page_3.jpgFor abstract my first sign worked really well, because it communicated the action of drifting by showing the drift marks on a road. It’s much more abstract because i didn’t use real tire marks, but the repetitiveness of the lines is what represents drifting.

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For concrete I also tried two different roads. I preferred the perspective road because it was more realistic and ‘concrete’.CARS_Page_4.jpgThen I tried changing the position of the hand, just to see if it would look better. I also changed the Jeep into a Land Cruiser, because I remembered that my audience were Qataris, and it was more realistic that they would be using a Land Cruiser rather than a Jeep. I also preferred the hand below because it balanced out the two wheeled car.CARS_Page_5.jpgFor vernacular I used an image of a Land Cruiser, and I also tried out the illustration. I used sand paper for the road texture and sand for the desert on both sides of the road. I preferred the image of the Land Cruiser because it can’t be mistaken for any other car. Because my vernacular is specific for Qatari men who drift with this Land Cruiser.CARS_Page_6.jpg

M+P // Signs / Week 2

First Draft of Sign Sketches

Because we couldn’t use the crossbar, we had to experiment with different ways to say no. I started to research different ways that I could represent no, most of it was about how to say no in a more polite way, and not visual ways to say no. I then found a list of ways to say no that had thumbs down and the mathematical symbol for empty set. I found the empty set symbol ( {} ) very interesting, and I thought that might work if I make my vernacular math geeks who like to drift. So for my initial sketches I just used the empty set and the color red to say no. When we started to discuss our signs in our groups, someone suggested I use the hand icon for stop, which would work as a substitute for no, so for my second experiments I incorporated the hand sign as a no. We also found out that we didn’t change directions a lot, and played only with traffic sign styles rather then experimenting with other ways to represent the action. So for the second draft I used a detailed illustration of a car from my imaging project to test if that type of style would work as a sign, an abstract representation and the adjusted silhouettes from the first draft.

Second Draft of Sign Sketches