For this week’s assignment, we needed to “Make a prototype of an electronic spirit board or other method for producing language or communication from unconscious/subconscious/collective gesture.”
I decided to take some creative license and re-design the ancient Viking runes. They’re not necessarily a spirit board, but they are based on the 24 ancient alphabetic symbols. So, what are contemporary alphabetic symbols we use to communicate? BINGO!–> emojis.
I looked to see what were the most used emojis globally and started pulling from there. Different emojis are used more/less in different countries, so I wanted to 1) have a well-rounded representation of ALL used emojis and 2) I wanted to make sure there was a balance between what could be taken as positive, negative and neutral emojis.
After spending some time on research and curation, these are the 24 final emojis I ended up with:
I had to redesign or alter existing graphics to simplify them enough to black and white line emojis. From there, I went to the laser cutter to test out my prototype. I originally wanted to do this in iridescent acrylic. Acrylic felt like a modern material that made sense for this, and the iridescence just pointed way too much to the actual 2017 time we’re in. But, as with all things being built, you should test first.
I had a sheet of clear acrylic stashed in my locker, so I decided to test out my runes with that first, to make sure they etched right and the size wasn’t too big/small. After they were finished, I did a small reading for zoe and got some user feedback.
Reactions were overall positive. I did get a really good piece of feedback which was that the pieces felt flimsy (I agree), and how there’s something really nice about the weight of the stones in your hand. So I decided to buy both stones and glass gems to see if they etch well on the laser cutter and then do the runes from there. I’m still waiting for them to arrive, so we’ll see how they turn out!