Sabina Oțelea

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication / BA (Hons) Graphic Design - Farnham

Theme

‘Blessed Parenthesis’ is an explorative project & interactive installation, a result of my fascination with the space created between a piece of design and its audience. My studies have led me to explore and speculate on the interactions which take place in that space. ‘Blessed Parenthesis’ challenges traditional notions of user experience by focusing on the participants’ physical presence as the vital element within the designed interactive experience. All of my findings throughout my studies have determined me to develop a piece of design that is only truly effective when someone else is there to experience its properties, which, in effect, is what all design pieces are, but they wanted to explore making this concept more poignant. Inspired by Olafur Elíasson’s use of unusual materials, and Georges Perec’s writings on embodiment within the human experience, I experimented with employing a material that can only be generated by the participants involved: their own body heat. Through research and exploration, I have developed a conceptual site-specific, print-based installation, constructed out of three layers: a large-format poster of one of Georges Perec’s quotes; a thin acrylic sheet covered in thermochromic black ink which obstructs the text from the viewers until they interact directly with it; and the viewers’ own heat-emanating hands, alongside the actions they perform when interacting with the installation. In this context, interaction and experience become a means of uncovering modern yet fundamental truths about the desensitized nature of their experience. Through the way the typographic elements are arranged within the installation, and through the touch sequence the participants choose to use, they uncover different areas of the text that expose sequences with different meanings, thus rendering each interaction unique. This negotiation that arises within the designed piece and the audience creates the experience itself, a design avenue that has been (and will continue to be) at the forefront of my explorations.

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Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 6
‘Blessed Parenthesis’ is an explorative project & interactive installation, a result of Sabina’s fascination with the space created between a piece of design and its audience. Their studies have led Sabina to explore and speculate on the interactions which take place in that space. ‘Blessed Parenthesis’ challenges traditional notions of user experience by focusing on the participants’ physical presence as the vital element within the designed interactive experience.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic DesignView pdf
The third volume of the research collection that supports this project, titled Visual Summaries, explores the creation and development of “Blessed Parenthesis”, and features conceptual drawings, notes and documentation of the materials employed. Pictured: the third chapter divider of Visual Summaries 1, printed on tracing paper and G.F. Smith Neenah Environment.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 5
The culmination of my Final Major Project consisted of an exhibition showcasing the installation, as well as the interactions that could happen within that space once an audience was present. The exhibition housed the print-based installation, the supporting research and documentation collection titled "Visual Summaries (Vol. 1, 2, 3)", and information sheets.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 4
An example of audience interaction, as well as a glimpse of the contents of Visual Summaries 1 and 2.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 3
The interactive element of the “Blessed Parenthesis” installation, with the change in the ink’s colour, and the revealing of the quote underneath.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 2
An example of the navigation of Visual Summaries. Visual Summaries 1 is a text-based publication, whilst Visual Summaries 2 is purely image-based; the two volumes should be navigated in conjunction. Visual Summaries 3 is a separate publication which showcases the process undertaken in order to complete the project, and the creation and development of the installation.
Sabina Oțelea | Graphic Design 1
The cover designs (front and back, overlapped) of Visual Summaries 1, laser-engraved and cut. The Visual Summaries collection is printed on a combination of G.F. Smith Neenah Environment and Gmund Lakepaper Blocker.