Graduate 2016: An animated film about cardiac massage

Education and students

How do you get more people to intervene to help prevent someone from being one of the 3,500 Danes who die from cardiac arrest every year? The designer Sofie Holm Larsen’s KADK graduation project is a solution to this very problem. In an animated film she portrays the instructions for cardiac massage.

What is your graduation project about?
My graduation project is to encourage more people to administer cardiac massage. About 3,500 Danes a year die from cardiac arrest, but many of us still do not intervene: partly because we are afraid of doing something wrong and do not know if it is cardiac arrest. In a graphic and illustrative animated film I portray the instructions for cardiac massage in a new way, that conveys the highly factual, highly serious topic with a simplicity and poetry, which are both eye catching and appeal to both our reason and our emotions.

The animation shows things we do not usually see: for example, the symptoms of cardiac arrest and mouth-to-mouth procedure performed by a woman. The intention is to create a new and motivating story about administering cardiac massage. The animated film is designed to work in public transit areas for an audience on the move: for example on suburban trains and buses­.

What would your graduation project mean for society, if it were realised?
Before I embarked upon the project I had no idea how to administer cardiac massage or what a difference you can make by intervening if you witness a cardiac arrest. My hope is that the project, if realised, would help raise awareness on the subject and give others the courage to intervene and help save lives. I think that, by conveying such a serious topic in new ways, we can raise greater awareness about how we can help each other as civilians, and that we are able to overcome some of the barriers that restrain us today.

What is your strength as a designer?
My strength as a designer is that I am curious and good at communicating. I have a creative approach to the challenges I face and I am passionate about communicating in forms, words and images that relate to a variety of purposes and people.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
When I look back over the last five years as a student, I think I have developed immensely. I have been pleasantly surprised by all the options my discipline offers. And I have encountered fascinating cultures and people. I hope that in five years’ time I can look back on my first years as a graduate in the same way.

Right now I am working as a graphic designer and illustrator on a newspaper, where I enjoy working in a printed medium, while also helping to develop several digital stories and vivid images. I see myself working more in this field in five years’ time and working with the graphic medium in all sorts of formats and expressions.