speechless: different by design

The exhibition catalogue design for speechless: different by design captured the year-long process behind the interactive installations of six international artists and designers, of which I was one. We met with experts in neuroscience, cognitive, motor and sensory issues and explored personal connections to issues of inclusion, difference, accessibility and empathy. The title of the exhibition plays with the multiple meanings of the word “speechless,” and was inspired by the curator’s son’s language disability. In my chapter “topography” I discuss my own experiences with neurological disability, the process of making this book and installation.  

From the beginning, I wanted the physical book to be like a book about magic. A dark and mysterious cover, but when opened, the “how did they do that?” is revealed. I hope the warm, velvety texture of the cover and the storyteller’s sensibility of my typography creates a quiet curiosity, drawing the reader in,
Thanks to a very collaborative design curator, Sarah Schleuning, I was included in every aspect of the exhibition, including my own exhibition space for this book. The book pages were spread across an egg-shape room where visitors could relax and read in calming rocking chair, while wearing sound-blocking earphones and weighted blankets. Honoring the book in a quiet “de-compression” museum space was beyond my expectations as a book designer.
At the speechless opening, with curator Sarah Schleuning (left), and her kids, Zuzu and Vaughn. Photo by April Greiman, 2020