face2face postcard project
An OCAD orientation activity
Project year: 2012
Student non-coursework project
Exhibited in face2face Postcard Project (unjuried), September 4–14, 2012 at Transit Space, OCAD

What would happen if a new student who has already finished a semester is presented with a project for “student orientation”? It would impossible to unlearn what has already been taught in the first semester.

So that was what happened: A 5″×7″ postcard that asks the question: “What if a blind person received this?”

Indeed. What does it even mean for 2D artefacts such as this to be inclusive? That is a question we should all ponder.

The specific solution I have tried was to create a web site that describes the image on the front (which turned out to be not that easy). The address of that site was then both brailled onto the card for people who cannot see, and QR-coded for those who can.

face2face postcards were on display at the OCAD Transit Space (the corridor outside room 230 in the Main Building) from September 4–14, 2012. For more information about this particular card please check out ambroseli.ca/face2face/demarche-en.php
The print portion of the project, which is in fact the only required part. But “what happens if a blind person received a card?” Short of doing some sort of tactile graphics, the answer is of course “nothing.” So my idea was to create an accompanying website that describes the imagery on the card, and link the website with the card by encoding the website address in Braille.
The accompanying website. The correct version of the site (English or French) is loaded based on the viewer’s browser’s language settings, but the viewer is free to switch to the other version at any time.
Early notes
One of the first two prototypes: By the time these were made, some early sketches had already been done, as well as some experimentation, especially on the behaviour of the Braille slate and stylus
Final prototype: A 2:1 white area (a proportion that is found in many real Chinese paintings) was carved out, allowing the orange backing sheet to show through. At this new proportion the Braille was found to be interfering with QR code, which was a big problem as the brailling actually damaged the QR code (though the code still seemed to be scannable). A couple of options to resolve the problem were considered.
Final artwork: Two versions of the final artwork were made, one with the QR code and associated text moved up (the text was actually rewritten, not just moved), and the other with the Braille broken into two lines. Moving the QR code was found to be the cleaner solution.