Speak On It & Thinking Made Visible - CODAworx

Speak On It & Thinking Made Visible

Client: Kent State University

Location: Kent, United Arab Emirates

Completion date: 2018

Project Team


Shane Allbritton


Peter Bernick-Allbritton

Architect / Project Manager

Michael Gonzales



A composition of color-stained wood letters representing movable type printing, a process leading to the democratization of knowledge, ‘Thinking Made Visible’ and ‘Speak On It’ symbolize this immeasurable contribution to human history. Kent State holds the largest collection of letterpress letters.

Today, letterpress printing is in a full revival, reflecting an expression of a society demanding one-of-a-kind goods in an era of endless, identical reproduction. Beneath the vintage patina of letterpress goods is a digital reinvention that elevates Gutenberg’s creation into the full embrace of modern technology. It is with CNC technology that these works are created conflating the resolve of mass communication and evolving methodologies.

Representing the visual communications program, the title ‘Thinking Made Visible’ is derived from legendary graphic designer Saul Bass’s quote “design is thinking made visual.” Various sized letters, all with a history to reveal, they are rotated and pieced

Characterizing the core of the communications department, ‘Speak On It’ visually depicts audio sound waves composed of vertically stacked columns of wood type. The formal columns rise and fall as the letters appear to be in continuous motion, creating a visual rhythm of voices.


The goal was to represent two separate departments within Taylor Hal; Communications & Visual Communications which shared a lecture space. The two works would occupy the same space and need to work together as a whole.