The number poem

  • The work was developed from a workshop by Andrew Howard as part of the master's program in ESAD Matosinhos where the goal was to interpret the poem by Neil and Elaine Mills, "The number poem with two voices”. For me as a designer was extremely interesting to explore how we could translate sound into an image in a way that was not just arbitrary or individual and in the end could keep the poem just "The number poem with two voices”. The results of the workshop were not those i expected. It was more personal, inventive and expressive than real, true and raw. But the reasoning stay and continued to instigate me to build circumstances to reflect the sound in a visual way, with logic and simple as possible but filled with meaning in every movement, even in silence. This it was not something he could do only with the poem, but in any context in design. This understanding led me to return to pick up the proposal and develop a more scientific and preponderant mode. Translating the figures not by numerals (8, 4 ...) but by dots grouped to be included in a more comprehensive manner. A global one. The color of the dots differentiates the voice (male or female). Silence, represented by white space, should not be just white but in a light tone like a small noise. The geometry introduced with the golden measure to replace the metronome and to provide a space, rhythm, intonation and organization. Thus is created a system where any part of the poem can emerge in image and that although ideally with dots, there is a disciplined field that allow to be displayed with words, numerals or other forms.

    This project also has the ambition to become translated to animation, interactions and installations in a similar way as John Maeda and Kenya Hara work, exploring other tools like morse code and so on…ending in a sound and image exposition focused on design.

    I therefore conclude that the original question was the true inspiration of the project. In the case of a self-proposed work, methodology and education that emerged from the project is the essential value that I take. However, I believe that the system developed for the poem played by Neil and Elaine Mills can now be displayed in a visually meaningful way, where allow me to ask myself how far I can be understood as an interpreter. In this series of posters i want to believe i’m just the designer, not the author or even the interpreter.

    A long series of explorations were made which features 12 posters with the measures 519.77 * 841mm, printed in offset.