Penguin Shape     Brief     2021     

PENGUIN SHAPE is an application built around the idea of creating an online space where Young Adults can share, explore and create their own stories. The brief tasked by Penguin and D&AD was to ‘reimagine the role of reading, books and authors in young people’s learning experience’. The application is comprised of 4 features, Feed, Shape, Explore & Moods.

The Feed feature allows users to share their activity, a space where users can share books they’re passionate about, interact with other authors and artists, discussing literature and the arts or other important issues like mental health and racism.

‘Shape’ - the apps key feature - is where users can create their own stories: Journey through a mystical land with fantastical beasts or take a trip back in time to live amongst the Ancient Greeks. The adventure is yours to choose. Using the intelligent AI of AI Dungeon, you can make your own stories with friends - or utilise prompts to further your story. Shape will then bring the user a curated list of Penguin books that they might like. The Shape feature showcases excerpts taken from the text, alongside comments from friends, artists and authors.

Linked with a student's secondary school or college account, books with a high engagement will then be directed to the respective school’s Library system, along with the ‘Nudge’ feature where students can express a particular interest in the book.

The Explore feature will make often inaccessible works available at the fingertips of young people - putting the voices of often unheard groups of people at centre stage. Perhaps an individual wants to find more stories relating to their experiences living life as a disabled POC or another, their childhood growing up struggling with their gender identity. On this feature, sections like ‘Mental Health Matters’ or ‘Raising Black Voices’ put all of these books representing marginalised groups of society easy to access.

The Moods feature is a space where users can interact with their favourite artists and authors. Feeling Gloomy? Listen to Philip Pullman’s - Not So Dark Materials. Feeling Curious? Listen to Reni Eddo Lodge’s - Why I Want To Talk About Race. Each Playlist will involve readings from authors or artists of their favourite texts, music and their own stories. This section is a secure space where Mental Health can be celebrated and explored, making the discussion of the topic less stigmatised in the next generation.