Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Luke Steele 

BA [Hons] Visual Communication Design

My name is Luke Steele and I am interested in concept driven design and communication. I enjoy history, humour and obscure ideas and love whenever I get the chance to apply my design education to bring concepts like these alive. I like working in teams and collaborating with others when designing. I am passionate about typography, layout and art direction and utilise my strengths in these areas in order to deliver unique and bold designs focused on user needs.

Project Description

Using sound and pattern recognition technology Birdy can identify any bird species by focusing your phone camera onto the bird and hitting record. The bird is identified in real time by Birdy. The species of bird you spotted, along with your location is then uploaded to a database that can be accessed by anyone doing research or conservational work on birds.

Europe is home to over 530 different species of birds, Birdy categorises them by habitat to make it digestible for its users. This makes each user's experience unique as they can earn points and badges in each habitat and distinguish themselves by becoming masters of mountain, garden, marsh, estuary, shore, ocean, heath, hedgerow and moorland. Birdy features weekly challenges that can be tailored to suit specific conservational needs or objectives that might be of importance.

Reporting bird sighting is a helpful way people can contribute to conserving and protecting wildlife.

The app also functions to teach people how to identify birds for themselves giving the user key insights into what makes each bird unique.

‘Freak’ A Way Of Presenting Difference

This dissertation examines the concept of the ‘Freak Show’ and how individuals with unconventional bodies or abilities were portrayed by the media throughout the 19th and 20th Century and up until today. It examines the development and progression of the portrayal of these individuals within the media and entertainment industry and how the individual performers have adapted to the shift in public opinion of what is deemed ‘acceptable’ as entertainment.

Drawing from theories and opinions of a range of professionals within the areas of anthropology, law, culture and literature this dissertation examines and compares how the concept of the ‘freak show’ originated and developed over the last 200 years and conclude that although there have been advancements in understanding and education around disabilities there remains a strong link between the American Travelling Freak Show of the 19th and 20th Century and media today.