A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This project started as a response to the phrase ‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ as a project at Norwich University of the Arts. The goal was to create an outcome that would embody the meaning of the phrase. For this, Simone Costa, Graphic Communication student decided to use the Touch Board and Electric Paint to create an interactive design, that allowed the audience to touch an image and listen to the 1000 words behind it.

The pictures were collected from multiple sources with no context of why they were taken or who the people in them were, from there Simone asked different people to interpret the pictures and write what they imagine the story behind them is in approximately 1000 words, which were turned into sound by using a speech generator.

As the goal was to have to touch the picture to be able to discover the story when she started turning this idea into a physical outcome she used the Touch Board and conductive paint to turn the touch into sound. Simone wanted the outcome to be able to lay flat on a wall without any wires and for this reason, using just Electric Paint would be the best solution for it.

Some elements of the pictures were covered with Electric Paint, and those painted lines were connected to the Touch Board, which was connected to a speaker. Being able to see the paint and the lines connecting the pictures to the device added to the overall visual interest of the project, as it made the audience try to figure out what the pictures did and be curious to try it even before reading the explanation.

While planning and developing this, Simone came across a few challenges since she had never had any experience using the Touch Board or paint before while trying to determine how wide the lines should be to still conduct electricity across a 2-meter-long distance. But thanks to all the tutorials and resource guides available online this was an easy challenge to overcome.

The final outcome resulted in a fully functional interactive design, that communicates the meaning of the original phrase by allowing the audience to touch a picture and hear the story behind it.

Images & Video: Simone Costa

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