Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Rivera,
En-yeh: Negotiating Cultural Identities through Design
By 2050, Hispanics will constitute 30% of the United States total population. Guided by the concept of interculturalism, design has the potential to create and transform narratives that incite dialogue, interaction and negotiation between Hispanic American immigrants and the dominant culture. Designers create artifacts (objects, visuals, etc.) and spaces (cities, places, etc.) influencing the cultural identities of individuals and groups. My methodology consists of collecting visual and written language, related to my own constantly evolving cultural identity. By combining these languages with the principles of inter-, I will create and transform them into new narratives relatable to the Hispanic American population. These narratives should incite conversations about how physical daily lives are reflected through digital platforms and viceversa. I intend to create projects in which the Spanish and English languages intertwine, encouraging a dialogue between cultures. As a result, there will be balanced negotiations that propose new intercultural strategies within cultural identities, while also proving design's influence in the their evolution.
Deviation, the study of identifying the “norm” and finding an alternative answer, is worth examining because it questions the validity of the status quo, broadens cultural perspectives, highlights developmental processes and provokes new understandings and actions. This thesis explores deviation as a design methodology, its application, as well as the essential role it serves in guiding designers into thinking-away-from-the-norm.
The cultural meanings and representations posited by the media are greatly shaped by binary structures. As a part of the media, graphic design can be used to create a methodology to communicate the fluid nature of identity and rebut the importance of binaries — thus “queering” design.
Feeling At Ease With Uncertainty: Play as a Design Mindset Embracing Uncertainty
Because of its vagueness and unpredictability, uncertainty is an undesirable element in a modern Western society driven by logic and efficiency. However, I see uncertainty as a part of our daily lives. It is a given environment rather than a temporal phenomenon that turns on and off. This thesis proposes play as a design mindset that embraces uncertainty in the design process.
The ability to create and publish content is becoming exponentially more accessible, redefining what it means to be a maker. This expanding field of generated content consists of amalgamations created through multiple processes of combination, reduction, sampling, remixing, and appropriation, as well as new forms of content in constant development. Through my research and formal experimentation I focus on an investigation into how—and how well—community is created through the interaction with designed systems of making and the individual contributions of new media artifacts.
Locations in Space, Recontextualizing Personal Environments
Recontextualization can be used as a design methodology and an effective communication device. When used successfully, recontextualization can offer insight into a subject matter through the designer’s process of appropriating, recycling, and reinterpreting. With a focus on the recontexualization of the urban environment I inhabit, I carefully observe patterns and dissect the visual vernacular of New York City to create narratives that encapsulate and explore ideas of ownership, authenticity, and place.
Eduardo Palma Díaz
Los Igualados, la Rosca y la Malicia
Through the exploration of the interdependence of culture, language and memory from a historical perspective, design is able to provide meaningful opportunities for social critique and self-reflection. Taking Colombia as a main case study and using cultural memory as an entry point, the purpose of this thesis is to study the role of language in the development of civil conflict, and also language’s potential as a way of configuring strategies that favor scenarios for social reconciliation.
This Side This Side This Side This Side Up: An Alternative Approach to Social Design
Communications design needs an approach that is neither problem solving nor critique, but a catalyst that disrupts perceptions and propels its audience to action. The dominance of human-centered, problem-solving design is limiting when we act as if it is the only viable model for design that deals with social issues and interaction. Critical design is an insufficient alternative: it involves discussion, but no mandate for action.
A divergent approach is to focus on design as an experiential medium capable of disruption. Designing an intentional disruption of everyday life can alter or broaden a person’s perspective, instill empathy, and ultimately prompt a shift towards more prosocial behavior.
The New Anomalies: Transmission, Glitches & The Technological Sublime
We’re surrounded by systems, devices and machineries generating heaps of information. As technology continues to be dematerialized towards a state of perfection, the information is increasingly transmitted as a seamless aesthetic. Our visual reliance on technology points to a dark future of perception.
The anomalies happening in technological transmissions reveal this reliance and a unique aesthetic dynamic. By looking closer at technology through the focus on the inbetween, the latency and the “space” between sender and receiver, we as visual designers can intervene to explore the digital mechanisms, manipulate the transmitting pathways, and create new forms of aesthetic anomalies.
Nothing Something: A Design Research on Message Delivery Communication
Delivering messages is the role in communication design. An overload of messages is everywhere in our society. Ways in which messages can be received and be made sense of by people becomes difficult and hard. We see messages without receiving them. Inspired by the definition and theory of silence and sound, this thesis uses the analogy of sound transmission with message delivery models, in order to introduce a new option for sending and receiving messages which will encourage people to question and criticize what they see every day.
Make Believe: 1 Corinthians 15:51
My thesis ultimately seeks to free the human imagination to the possibilities beyond what could be, and how it can shape things to come. In its totality, a hermeneutic approach between writing and design may result in a more inventive, comprehensive, and emotionally resonant design experience and built around the strength of a magical realistic storytelling structure. By encouraging designers to ideate, reinterpret, and utilize processes across the disciplinary boundaries of writing and design, the intersection between the two creates a space where magical realistic literature endows design with a capacity for richer, speculative design fictions. The resulting narratives can act as catalysts for discussion, and perhaps function as guiding instruments in encouraging the audience to re-imagine our realities.
May 12th – June 12th
Reception: May 15th
6pm – 9pm
Pratt GradComD Gallery
144 W. 14th Street, 7th fl.
New York, NY 10011