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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

[phonetcard] - vom Wort zum Bild
HBLA für künstl. Gestaltung

[phonetcard]—vom Wort zum Bild is to be seen as standing for variability, interlinguistics and internationalism. It uses language—phonetics—as a key to a multilingual society. The goal of the project was to develop a way of teaching design that would be language-sensitive, intercultural, and use multimedia. This kind of instruction was not only to focus on tolerance but also on learning techniques such as how to look things up, research and compare them. The students were shown how multilingualism can be meaningfully examined and applied in designing things.

Confrontation with networked contents and the mediation of communicative skills were to contribute to their understanding of the world.

The assignment was to collect homophones (words which sound identical, but have different meanings) from different languages, to relate them to each other and visualize their communicative contents with the aid of photography and the computer. Students of many different language backgrounds could contribute words and these opened up new worlds of meaning, which could then be related to those familiar to them. By using the languages of foreign-language students and their parents, so to speak, as a natural source of material, the instruction was not prone to methodical artificiality.

The task—to find similarities in the diversity of human languages—made language a field of experimentation in which the powers of all those participating joined forces, and so encouraged multiplicity, creativity, imagination and the guts to stand up for one’s own special qualities.