As Kosovo Albanian Masters student Edon Muhaxheri publishes his thesis on a forgotten Albanian alphabet from the 19th century, we speak to him about re-imagining it as a digital font and why keeping historic designs like this alive is so important.
Design Week: How did the idea for your thesis project come about?
Edon Muhaxheri: I came to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, US to study illustration practice, which is a programme for already developed illustrators. The course allows them to experiment within their existing field so I ended up focusing on mechanical toys, which before electricity was invented were known as automatons. It is really amazing to see how the toys operate as they don’t use any electricity, you just wind them up and they are able to go through a set of movements. For example, the ones that still exist in museums today are capable of writing up to four poems and drawing four images. I challenged myself to design an automaton that could write something in Albanian, and since they were very popular in the 1800s, I wanted to make a connection with Albanian literacy from this period.
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