A project about books for bilingual children

Project Background

We’re living in a world where multicultural families are becoming increasingly present in society and the constitution of them is more heterogeneous than ever before.

Since multicultural families are many and will be more, the relevance of this project is becoming increasingly relevant. With this is mind the project looks at understanding how to address the diversity that naturally exists within each family.

Recently i had the experience of trying to find a danish-italian book as a gift for a friend. When browsing the book store it soon became apparent that it’s almost impossible to find books that are out with the major trends. For instance it’s not hard to find spanish-english books as there is a critical mass of people across continents who need them and therefore already an existing and established market.

However even when looking at those bilingual books I was surprised how books aimed for children could lack so much personality or engagement - often they were merely a monolingual book translated in two languages. As a designer I was inspired by this vacuum and I saw the potential to explore new possibilities for books that have to contain two (or more) languages.

I soon found myself absorbed in the project, sketching ideas - I wanted this new type of book to be playful and interactive. To go beyond the existing model of bilingual books I wanted it to have the flexibility to switch between multiple languages in the same agile manor that bilingual people have when switching between their spoken languages in their everyday life.

Project Concept

b.book is a simple concept that in a single artifact has the ability to become a bilingual book for many languages through user customisation. Having the characteristic of a platform the b.book allows users to easily switch between languages whenever they desire while reading.

b.book is a low tech solution that is made from different modular pieces that are easy to assemble - by following a few lines of instruction, users can to put together their own customised book in a matter of minutes!