LOVELAND, COLORADO, 18 April 2011 — On April 7 Colorado State University’s (CSU) Office of International Programs hosted a three-hour iConji Communications Workshop. Forty students and faculty representing more than a dozen countries attended this highly successful, inaugural event.
The premise of the workshop is to engage participants in thinking about how they perceive their own identity based upon language, symbols, and art. This is deeply intrinsic to the ways in which humans see themselves, think, and communicate.
iConji is a non-spoken, pictographic communication system with applications for the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, and email, all available for free. In May of 2010, iConji launched with a vocabulary of more than 1100 pictographs. Designed to grow and expand through contributions by anyone in the world, the iConji vocabulary may include multiple, unique and culturally distinct pictographs representing identical words and meanings.
The iConji Communications Workshop began with an introduction to the history of iConji, and a demonstration of how to use iConji with Facebook. The principal inventor of iConji, Kai Staats, then provided a lesson on the structural elements of an iConji character and guidelines for character creation. Participants could choose from a list of words new to the iConji vocabulary or work with words of their own selection. Staats states, “Each participant was encouraged to present his or her drawings to the entire assembly. We asked questions, laughed, and were swept up in meaningful conversation. We all learned
a great deal, which was exactly what we had hoped for.”
The mission of CSU’s Office of International Programs is to help create and foster international activities supporting teaching, learning, research and engagement throughout Colorado State University. Megan Schoenecker, International Programs Assistant at CSU offers “The cross-cultural aspects of the event sparked interesting insights into image association as it varies from culture to culture. The event brought these differences to the surface, generated great discussion, and engendered understanding among the group.”
Designs created by the participants are now being digitized in order that each will become an active character in the worldwide iConji vocabulary. Artists’ names and a short story are included with each character.
Watch a video of the CSU iConji Workshop:
Learn about iConji Communications Workshops:
Learn about the CSU Office of International Programs:
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