Damiano Gui earned his first degree, cum laude, in Modern Literature at Padua University, focusing on cinema. Meanwhile, he taught himself video-making and design skills, winning first place in the local prize, at the Padova Short Festival in 2008, then the international ‘MINI Space’ calendar competition in 2010. He worked as director and editor of TV and Web advertisements for the Matì company in Bologna, and Shellrent in Vicenza, and as a graphic designer for the student magazine Conaltrimezzi in Padua. In 2010, he entered the Visual and Multimedia Communication Masters programme at the Faculty of Design and Arts, at the Università Iuav di Venezia, focusing on interaction design.
Whispering Reeds is an interactive system, accessed by a mobile device, through which people can "plant a reed" anywhere in Venice to record their thoughts and sensations, and can listen to the "whispering reeds" of others. The application lets the user express their emotions and share them in a light and poetic way, leaving virtual points around the city to be discovered and listened only by another user.
Whispering Reeds creates the ability for users to express their poetic feelings, inspired by the city of Venice. Participants might feel more comfortable in sharing their emotions, like anonymous whispers. The project was inspired to answer the human need described by the ancient myth of King Midas. According to the myth, the king’s barber had sworn to tell no one of his terrible secret; that the king’s hair hid a pair of huge donkey ears. The weight of the secret oppressed the barber, so he dug a hole, where he whispered the secret inside, and then covered it up. From the hole, grew a thick bed of reeds which, with every breath of wind, murmured, "King Midas has donkey ears!" 'Whispering Reeds,' represents a living and organic archive, and an access system into people’s emotions, secrets, and thoughts.
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator was used to create all the graphics, including the logo, buttons, and the backgrounds of the application. Adobe Indesign and Adobe Acrobat was used while designing the layout of the public presentations and personal documentation. Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects were included when editing and working on post-production of the video demonstration. Adobe Lightroom helped when organizing the photo documentation of the process. Adobe Bridge aidied in switching files between programs, and Adobe Flash was used to sketch the interaction.
Adobe Acrobat Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard, Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom