Social Campaign,Inclusive Design

The Dyslexperience

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“The Dyslexperience” is an “empathy book” including an installation that has been specially designed in response to indifference to dyslexia in our society. The enhancement of digital projection mapping on a physical surface, such as here on the reduced design of a book, has facilitated creating this sensory experience that aims to communicate the emotional ordeal faced by dyslexic people every day. And for those who do not know that dyslexia is a learning disability and not a lack of vision or intelligence, it enables them to see from the lens of those affected. In this way, they see that and how the invisible diagnosis becomes visible, enabling them to vividly assess what it means to be confronted with dyslexia. The clinical symptoms slightly differ between the persons concerned. Accordingly, the letters of the text sometimes appear three-dimensional and blurred like in a hologram, sometimes they jump and change their order, or they dissolve making the text look fragmentary.

Statement by the Jury

Those who have never experienced it think that it doesn’t exist: The Dyslexperience Empathy is a very strange thing. Very often, people are unable to feel empathy until they are put in a similar situation. Like it is the case with racism, those who have never experienced it think that it doesn’t exist in their society, but it is always lurking somewhere secretly. And like it is the case with ableism, people who are healthy do not see that physically handicapped people suffer every day from the lack of universal design in our everyday life. Dyslexia, an invisible condition, can be very frustrating for the sufferers, as reading, like walking, is a daily exercise. Those who can’t read, like those who can’t walk, are constantly being hampered in their life. When people see a person in a wheelchair, they feel empathy because this person’s suffering is being physicalised; but with dyslexia, nobody can see a person’s struggle and hence a lot of people are guilty of not being empathetic towards this person as they can’t even imagine what it is like to be dyslexic. What many people do not understand too is that dyslexia is not an eyesight problem, it is a learning difficulty. Hence, this project by Ai Ling Ng and Zi Fong Yong really moved the jury as it presented the ­experience of the dyslexic not only succinctly, but poetically as well. Presented as an art ­installation, the project employed projection mapping onto a book, demonstrating through a visual journey all the different reading hurdles that a dyslexic goes through every day – an artistic engagement that forces the audience to confront the challenges that dyslexia presents. Besides being enchanted by the curated experience that quietly and sensitively calls for empathy in the viewer, the jury is as well impressed with the technical aspects – an elegant treatment of the typography and layout in the “book” design, which is half physical, half ­projection. There are many effective awareness campaigns around, but sometimes they are a little in your face. “The Dyslexperience” manages to create an advertising campaign that not only conveys the message clearly, it has won our hearts because it is at the same time artistic and poetic. To borrow the last words in the book, that summarised the message of this project befittingly: “If one more person understood what dyslexia is, one less person will feel misunderstood.”

Red Dot: Junior Prize

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