In an educational landscape, teenagers benefit from active learning over passive learning. New Light is a typographic project that attempts to recontextualise the story of Inferno through the medium of an interactive exhibition space. Throughout the exhibition, participants are presented with three major areas where they can engage with the ideas and content behind Inferno. Functionally, the works call on untraditional methods of literary education, such as physical engagement and the use of digital technology. Youth vernacular is activated in the spaces through expressive semiotics and the voice of rebellion rings throughout the exhibition. For the reluctant reader, their experience with these aspects of the exhibition may spark new interest and increased engagement in reading. Ultimately, the exhibition encourages participants to view literature in a new light.

SPACE ONE: invites participants to move through 9 sequential banners. Each banner houses a single word used by the author to describe each level of hell that he travels through. In accordance with the research, participants are able to physically interact with the banners by passing through them, as demonstrated in the working prototype on page X. The semiotics of each banner encourage participants to visualise each of the words in their own way.

SPACE 3: Participants are invited to reflect on how parts of Dante’s inferno make them feel, then share their thoughts by graffitiing them on the typographic INFERNO sculpture. This works to build a shared sensitivity to the emotions and ideas that reading can give one.

PRIMARY RESEARCH: Most of the brands presented use typography to express clear attitudes that resonate with youth expression. It is evident that breaking the rules and principles of typography can directly translate to the youth’s desire for anti-establishment and freedom.

However, this should be done in moderation, as an attraction device rather than teaching method (potential for face of identity rather than body copy). Furthermore, posing simple aesthetic challenges can work to evoke the audience’s curiosity, developing a deeper sense of interest and brand loyalty. Interactive typography is also seen as effective in calling the audience to contribute, providing them with a sense of importance and creating clear content engagement.

SECONDARY RESEARCH: Use of sensory elements, semiotic typography and accompanying visuals is a viable direction for engagement and increased understanding. It is also clear that digital technologies present new platforms for re-contextualising literature that may have enhanced engagement with the youth of today. Interactive experiences in both physical and online environments also proved to be beneficial frameworks for engaging students’ reception of classic literature.

© Maximilian Bufardeci 2023
(Temporary Website)