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Design School Confidential by Lita Talarico, Steven Heller

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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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Job:05-11998/12412 Title:RP-Design School Con dential
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project brief
Sacral objects have extremely varied uses and
meanings in world religions. They have evolved
over time to their strictly defi ned present-day
forms. The development of sacral objects has
been largely left to craftsmen, with little critical
exposition by designers. Hence, the results are
often ornamental adaptations of legacy objects
that refl ect a period of time. A more critical eye
on the function of different religious objects is a
timely topic for media designers to engage with
beyond a pure artisanship.
project goal
In teaching digital media, technology can often
take the upper hand in dictating what gets de-
signed and with what means. The project goal
was to start from the other extreme, to focus on
meaning, history, and societal perspectives. The
goal was to employ principles of digital media
in rethinking religious objects, to try to distill
the essence of what digitality means—especially
today, where technology has yielded almost reli-
gious proportions.
project outcome
The working prototypes and artifacts have been
exhibited in several galleries and shows and have
appeared in different publications, stirring public
discussions on the subject.
Class: Digital Media Design
Level: Junior and Senior
Faculty: Jussi Ängeslevä and Joachim Sauter
Duration of Project: One Semester
Berlin University of the Arts
Berlin, Germany
9
Sacral Design
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iRosary
Student: Tino Dobra
For years, the rosary prayer has been losing its
signifi cance in folk piety because this kind of
prayer fails to appeal to younger people due to
its monotonous nature. Put a rosary interface on
an iPod, and you have a whole new audience.
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Î
Way of the Cross
Student: Jens Wunderling
This is a contemporary symbolic reconstruction
of the Passion of Christ in the form of a sound in-
stallation: When approaching one of the fourteen
stations of the traditional Way of the Cross, audio
les are played on an MP3 player hidden in the
wooden cross. News articles—for example, about
socially deprived people or help in time of need—
give a modern interpretation of the stations.
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iRauch
Student: Felix Hardmood Beck
The Catholic Church uses the media to send
a valid benediction “Urbi et Orbi” around the
world. iRauch allows absentees to be at the place
of the happening.
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Crucifi xion
Student: Markus Kison
The cross has become an abstract symbol,
while the events at the place of the cruci-
xion tend to be forgotten. The installation
intended for the side altar of a church, tells
these stories.
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Living Torah
Student: Jan Lindenberg
A reactive membrane is the communicating el-
ement between the Torah scroll and its reader.
Between the readings, the membrane’s orna-
ments spread dynamically over the Torah and
separates the holy from the profane.
the projects 61
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