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Knock on wood, a visual code for your bucket list



knock on wood is a reflexion about the difference between living and lasting. Accept the ephemeral and life’s delicacy, and consider that thinking about death is just clarifying what really matters to us. Its aim is analyzing the list of things to do before dying for a group of people that differ in their life stages.


The code works this way: the diameter of the oakstick is referred to the age and there’s a colour for each of the eleven kind of wishes. the categories are the followings: activism, travel, sport, sex, love, health, learning, impossible actions, work, nature and spiritual. Moreover, one of the ends of the stick represents whether the person is afraid of death or not.




‘knock on wood’ is an expression used to put off the evil and attract good luck. Its origin comes from pagan cultures from the old times. Trees were thought to be settled by nature spirits and people often joined them to their rituals and worship. People normally touched wood wishing to get good luck to achieve something. Therefore, one mentioned this wish to the tree before the first slight knock on the bark, immediately came the second knock that meant ‘thank you’. Somehow the sound produced by the knockings avoided that bad spirits may listen the speech and interfere with it. The knocked tree was an oak, as it was the tree that always received the bolt lightnings and it was believed to be some god’s dwelling.


The project’s research method started with surveys answered by 230 people. Through this inquiry all formats and ways of representing these lists were analyzed, and also a big database of wishes from the people who answered.


Oak, the tree that the pagan cultures of the old times knocked to get good luck

Oak, the tree that the pagan cultures of the old times knocked to get good luck


On the other hand, several posters have been made from a determined group of people from different life stages. It’s a little sample of 5 different profiles from the 230 respondents.


This is Lis, she's 4 years old. She's a Preschool student and these are her wishes:

This is Lis, she’s 4 years old. She’s a Preschool student and these are her wishes:


How is this constellation of wishes generated?
At first, the aim to achieve in the title is the most important one for the person of the survey, it’s the wish that told me the story about him/her. The colour of the bottom of the picture is related to the kind of wish associated. This personal goals are arranged by rows in order of mentioning and in columns depending on the topic. This way everyone will get their own constellation. Down in the left, we find the name of the person, point which gathers all the wishes, ordering them and generating the code that we find on the stick. On the backside, the person’s figure is presented on the poster.


Lia's detailed bucket list

Lia’s detailed bucket list


Lia's main wish: "To have a canary"

Lia’s main wish: “To have a canary”


Reading code

Reading code


Finally i designed a structure for every person, in which the height makes reference to the person’s own one. This way it can be included in an exhibition that disposes the series, pictures and infographic sticks, giving the whole mean to the project. The pro of designing the display individually, allows the exhibition to be distributed in a different way adapted to the space.


Each structure has the described person's height

Each structure has the described person’s height