Read a Place



Read a Place – spatial functions of language and readability of places




Organized by: SAPS, n.o., Prešov, Jarková 63
Venue: Červený kláštor, Slovakia (
Duration: 14. – 22. 6. 2014


Main activities of the Workshop:

Activities aimed at testing the potential of a place to be “read”, workshop on the elements which make places easily approachable by anyone, preparation of graphic suggestions of pictograms enabling anyone to understand the place they find themselves in. The idea is to join places and
people together, make them understand where they are and what they see without a written text. Thus even the visually impaired people can enjoy the places. The motivation comes from the text books for small children who acquire vocabulary and its written form on the basis of pictures they learn to distinguish and name. This workshop also intends to create a set of “pictures” – pictograms universal for any language or culture. Simultaneously we want to create a system of acoustic pictograms for the visually impaired people. To make the workshop even more attractive, we would like to use the pictograms in one particular place – the area of Museum of Červený kláštor (there are open-air parts as well), where they could be tested and afterwards serve the international visitors of the place.

Functional Literacy:

The this year ́s topic of literacy and the aspect of functional literacy has provoked discussions and we came up with an idea that combines the reading and writing skills with their practical use, bearing in mind the fact that we are talking and dealing with the adult learners. The adults need to understand the languages and thus the culture in shorter time and that is why the universality of pictograms can be seen as a useful tool to bring them closer to understanding of any place in any language or culture. Pictograms are not a new phenomenon and are widely and successfully used throughout the world, however, the uniqueness of this workshop lies in the fact, that the pictograms are used to describe a particular place which is frequently visited and that the visual forms are accompanied by their acoustic equivalents.


Equally important, the participants will participate on the creation of graphic designs for the pictograms and thus acquire new skills in this field. It is difficult to distinguish between the directly and indirectly involved groups, since we expect everyone who comes in contact with the idea or the outcomes to share his/her ideas with us. Direct target beneficiaries – participants of the workshop, their organizations and other staff members of our and their organizations. Here we speak mainly about the direct involvement in the workshop activities and the subsequent transfer of knowledge and experience. The museum of Červený kláštor, which shall benefit from the workshop outputs. Indirect target beneficiaries – clients of those organisations the representatives of which take an active part in the workshop. We can also speak of other museums or municipalities who express interest in the ideas and the results of the workshop. This groups also welcomes the inhabitants of the venue of the workshop and its visitors, who again, will benefit from the workshop outputs.


The workshop outputs will be further used in various ways. Firstly there are the graphic applications which can be used by anyone, since they will be accessible online. Secondly, there will be the reports from the working groups discussing the problem of reading and writing skills of the adults, universality of languages and cultures. Thirdly, some of the pictograms shall be prepared already during the workshop itself and placed in the area of the museum of Červený kláštor. Thus any visitor can see the workshop outputs and test its relevance and applicability. In addition, the museum will distribute evaluation forms to the visitors, who can evaluate the usefulness of the pictograms and give suggestions as to their betterment. Not to forget, the workshop outputs will be presented on the organizer ́s web-site and if doable, there will be a presentation (open to public) related to the concept of readability of a place and capability of people to write or rewrite it.