Differentiation and Equality


Designed by Noeleen Doheny at Freelance

Categories: Identity / Exhibition

Industry: Cultural

Tags: Typography / Interactive

When I moved to Sweden, I had many forms to fill out in order to fit into the Swedish system. Although I was seeking acceptance, I noticed a spike in my patriotic levels. I became intrigued by our need as humans to feel equal to our neighbours while simultaneously having a desire to differentiate ourselves from one another.

Under the group title ‘Design as Exploratory Practice’, I exhibited this work in the Gothenburg City Museum, as part of Design Open Week, in November 2017.

The work is based on the Swedish personal number system; which discards all traces of a person’s socio-economic background or physical appearance and makes everybody’s identity equal in measure but unique in combination. The 11 adjustable number wheels can be used as an interactive educational tool to engage, inform and typographically represent the variety of cultures present in Sweden today. The wheels feature 110 unique digits. The fonts chosen were based on the Swedish population break down. 83% of the fonts were Swedish designed, to represent those born here. The remaining 17% were designed abroad to represent the majority of Swedish inhabitants born overseas. When the user inputs their personal number, differentiation occurs in tandem with equality.