Abbey Barlow D.O.S.D.

  • Tauira / Student
    Abbey Barlow
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    George Hajian, Katie Kerr

As the world is becoming ever more digitised and people are starting to live more of their lives online, many of our experiences are becoming less memorable due to a lack of diverse sensory stimulation.

The 3rd year design students of 2022, have gone through their studies mostly in lockdown and online learning. This has limited the opportunities for students to explore physical design outcomes and their ability to investigate different analogue approaches. As a result, the physicality of the making process was usually quite surface level. This lack of experience helped spark my research, in tangent with my love for creating experimental work, thus leading me to discover and share the concept of sensory design.

D.O.S.D is a publication that explores the concept of sensory or multisensory design, especially in a graphic design context. As someone who prefers experiencing books, rather than just reading them, it was important to create something interactive and engaging. The resulting publication is framed as a scientific report/ journal to encourage curiosity in the reader. Elements were taken from old diagrams and archives to add a scientific feel throughout the book.

Integral to the design and rationale of this project, the publication was handmade using many of the facilities provided at the University. The coil binding provided an unconventional way to fasten the different materials and encourage interaction.

Diverse production techniques such as cyanotype, screen printing, riso printing, foiling, over-glossing, metal etching, laser cutting and laser engraving were used. Alongside paper, materials like aluminium, wood, and velvet were utilised to create a tactile experience. Scents were also employed to add another layer to the sensory experience.

The project highlights these different printing methods and materials, explaining how their sensory perception of them can significantly impact how a design object is perceived, and most importantly, remembered. It welcomes the reader to be inquisitive, to touch, feel and smell the publication and not just interact with this publication visually.