Assra Tajbhai, Fatima Mohammed, Bham Nikita Govender, Ssanyu Sematimba
Unity in Diversity
The world is made up of different cultures, ethnic groups, beliefs, and religious systems, but we are united by our diversity. Diverse groups in society live by unified morals and values: love, joy, honor, peace, and truth. With these values in mind, we have tried to create a language that unites, celebrates and glorifies diversity, but is still able to communicate the core fundamentals of each diverse group.
Natural water molecules inspired these fluid symbolic forms. Comparing water to ideological morals and values is the basis for every diverse group. Different water groups (molecules) represent different principles of life; Love –> Ripple, Joy –> Waves, Honor –> Waterfall, Peace –> Cascade, and Truth –> Meander. These principles are united to form one holistic core-featured symbol. By combining the eight symbolic elements derived from different languages, the symbols become interchangeable, forming a united yet diversified encompassing language.
“Unity in Diversity” is not only the title of the project, but it is in many facets the representation of this – on the first glance – contradicting idea. The conceptual setup appears initially quite straightforward, with the visualization of five words: truth, joy, honor, love and peace. Each of the five words are visualized by a composed “fountain” of eight elements. The eight single elements communicate a visual translation of the word in eight different languages/cultures. In this construction, the symbol “TRUTH” is built by the following languages: Yiddish, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Bengali, Xhosa, and Zulu. In addition, the designers successfully incorporated the water element, which unifies humans in each of their symbols. The five fountains are designed with refinement and a delicate fusion of sub-symbols offering a unique and coherent visual language. Each symbol is distinctive yet follows one aesthetic idea.
As much as the language expertise of the international jury allows, the symbols are capturing the idea of truth, joy, honor, love or peace in each cultural context. “Unity in Diversity” was created by a group of four young designers from diverse cultural backgrounds, all studying in South Africa. The contribution of four personalities who are reflecting their own culture, but still managing to unify the visual appearance of the symbols, is another brilliant achievement of intercultural visual communication demonstrated in this work.