Robin Friedman is a creative multimedia designer interested in how design can challenge inequalities and promote a more just society. As an honors student at The College of New Jersey, he pursued a BA in Interactive Multimedia with a minor in Communication Studies. Robin is a quick learner who is skilled in user experience (UX) design, coding, and research.
The "Identity Multimedia Quilt" is an interactive tapestry of multimedia "patches" that raise awareness for the spectrum of nuanced identities and stories of LGBTQIA+ people.
While there are many things that I have learned along my own journey, discovering my gender and orientations has been an important process for me in becoming who I am. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher in some capacity. Through curating the multimedia patches that make up the quilt, I have been able to learn and share in others’ personal journeys. Now I am helping them express their identities and passions to the world through the Identity Multimedia Quilt.
As a queer-identified person, many of whose loved ones are also LGBTQIA+, I often hear similar stories with the same themes. (A small subset of these narratives are represented in popular media.) But I know that not every LGBTQIA+ person has an identical experience, and I wanted to tap into the experiences that make each person’s life unique.
Solution:The Quilt is intended to fill the unseen gaps in popular narratives that involve queer, and otherwise non-cishetero people, by drawing on the often-overlooked aspects of being LGBTQIA+.
Making the Quilt involved networking, collecting contact information, putting out calls for submissions through personal and scholarly networks, and then following up with everyone regularly through the semester.
Concurrently, I sought a platform that would allow me to feasibly create an accessible experience. I considered Unity but struggled to find resources on building accessible games and apps using it. Instead, a website was my ultimate choice. I had to learn some PHP to get my website to function how I needed, as well as find plugins to customize the tools on WordPress.
I planned the logo and general design on paper. Everything always starts on paper! Development involved consulting documentation on the WordPress Developer website as well as forums on general PHP syntax.
I added the content contributors submitted to my password-protected webpage for the Quilt as pieces came in. When it was all put together, I lifted the password protection and officially launched the IMQ website! Contributors (and my thesis advisor) got the first peek.
While I wasn’t able to perform any interviews face-to-face, working fully online didn’t disrupt my workflow on this project. Instead, I was able to hold my interviews over text and on Discord and FaceTime calls.