Newspeak// New International Language// Speculative design
Language Tower is a project about Newspeak. Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party's construct is classified as "thoughtcrime".
"The language follows, for the most part, the same grammatical rules as English, but has a much more limiting, and constantly shifting vocabulary. Any synonyms or antonyms, along with undesirable concepts are eradicated. The goal is for everyone except the Proles - the working-class citizens of Oceania - to be speaking this language by the year 2050. In the meantime, Oldspeak (current English) is still in common usage with Newspeak interspersed into conversation."
The aim of the project was to create a new language entirely. I was interested in the way many Asian languages are written; in characters. Japanese and traditional Chinese, for example, both work with characters for words instead of seperate characters for each letter. The Japanese language even combines two characters into one for the word crying. (Water and face.) I wanted to create a language that would cross the barrier between Asian languages and Western languages. I wanted to create icons out of our Western alphabet.
This is why I created the Language Tower. The Language Tower is a tool to write the new language. The tower consists of slots in which you can slide letters. If you lay in a word and look at the tower from the top you will see the character for that word. Language Tower takes a significant part of each language and combines it into a new one.