Interpretation in a world of interpretations

Often, misinterpretation in the present affects our ability to understand the importance of objects and actions in the past. It is this confusion that skews our concept of the vernacular through a projection of current values.

The vernacularization of actions and objects from the past has the potential to inform the present through narratives, not unlike the practice of future-making that is so entrenched in contemporary design. We are living in a moment where we have the tools to both reconstruct history and construct the future.

The awareness of present-day misinterpretation offers us the foresight to help future societies better interpret our values through a coherent understanding of the different actions, objects, and discussions that define our lives in the present—our vernacular. In response to this, we have created a generative system to elevate historical speculation by future generations. The system documents the relevance between the actions, objects, and discussions that permeate our lives at present, which will allow for richer stories of vernacular to be created in the future. The system is flexible and inclusive, allowing for multiple views and thoughts to collect in one place—a democratic database.

Human Centred Vernacular is the system within which we attempt to democratize the process of generating vernaculars by contextualizing current—and potentially significant—actions, objects, and discussions. The system accumulates and compiles potential vernaculars that can then be cross-referenced and assigned value by participants. Ideally, the system will be widely deployed to a broad range of audiences, with the goal of providing a more holistic picture of the current context in order to more accurately determine vernacular in the future.

It is important to note that because our individual feeds—social media, news, conversations, cultural references—provide the content and context for this collection of potential vernacular, there is the risk of producing an echo chamber effect. The system therefore becomes stronger not only as the number of people contributing increases, but also as their diversity grows.

Human Centred Vernacular was made in collaboration with Pantopicon for SITE Magazine.

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DoUC is a Toronto-based studio who design collaborative processes to create substantive experiences, visualizations, spaces and strategies.

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Pioneering Green Communities

The past two years of work with ReWilding and many of the communities around Lake Simcoe has been a huge opportunity for growth at DoUC. We’ve had the chance to contribute to exciting projects and activities, meet so many amazing people and most importantly, see the impact our designs have had on the community. These experiences have been rewarding for us in many ways, but it’s always nice (and humbling!) to receive some outside recognition.

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