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Bridging Dimensions: A Robotic Art Project, Samantha Miller 2019 Union College - Schenectady, NY

Bridging Dimensions: A Robotic Art Project, Samantha Miller

Honors Theses

Spanning the divide between the humanities and STEM has been a pursuit of my undergraduate experience. In my senior project I seek to relate these disciplines through the creation of “automated canvases.” Resulting is a series of robotic art pieces that automate the opening and closing motion of Turkish map folds. These map folds then present a series of paintings displaying a tone of the uncanny and references to parallel universes. Utilizing robotics in my project allows the paintings to push further into a third dimension than normally possible. Providing literal motion to my traditionally two dimensional work requires consideration ...


Barriers: An Exploration Of Architectural Structures As An Indication Of Wealth And Socioeconomic Status, Lisa DeMoranville 2019 Union College - Schenectady, NY

Barriers: An Exploration Of Architectural Structures As An Indication Of Wealth And Socioeconomic Status, Lisa Demoranville

Honors Theses

I decided to explore the barriers and limitations of wealth through an investigation of architectural structures, focusing on popular industries and institutions on which our society commonly depends. I have noticed that places such as hospitals, schools, grocery stores, and restaurants differ dramatically depending on the neighborhoods in which they were located. This topic sparked my interest after living in Lima, Peru for a month, as I was able to observe the developing economy and dramatic division of wealth among the population. Certain questions about the divides and differences within a society and its culture started crossing my mind; not ...


Overstimulated - An Immersive, Multimedia Art Installation, Quinn Devlin 2019 Union College - Schenectady, NY

Overstimulated - An Immersive, Multimedia Art Installation, Quinn Devlin

Honors Theses

This thesis provides the explanation, inspiration, research and progression of an immersive, multimedia art installation that emulates the idea of a “sexual dystopia.” It explores how our dichotomy of inadequate sex education and hypersexual, gender-based media is resulting in a dystopian sexual reality for women in particular. The work portrays a future world in which sexual and fertility technology is so advanced and accessible that real men and women no longer interact. As a result, women and objects become one in the same.

Female literary icons are over-sexualized to suggest that porn-culture is a by-product of a historical framework that ...


Altered States: Creative Arts, Virtual Reality, And The Human Condition, Sophia Gebara 2019 Union College - Schenectady, NY

Altered States: Creative Arts, Virtual Reality, And The Human Condition, Sophia Gebara

Honors Theses

Virtual reality (VR) is a medium that is cutting-edge and novel, creating fully immersive experiences for diverse audiences. Able to fabricate endless opportunities of hyper-realistic scenes, virtual reality provides a specific kind of space for self-reflection and empathy that no other medium can match. VR can take the viewer to the night of the shooting of Trayvon Martin, or next to families trying to survive the genocide in the Nuba mountains of Sudan, or even alongside a NASA scientists atop a sheet of ice in Greenland measuring the rising sea levels. This thesis explores the discourse and critical commentary surrounding ...


Fifth Aeon - A.I Competition And Balancer, William M. Ritson 2019 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Fifth Aeon - A.I Competition And Balancer, William M. Ritson

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Collectible Card Games (CCG) are one of the most popular types of games in both digital and physical space. Despite their popularity, there is a great deal of room for exploration into the application of artificial intelligence in order to enhance CCG gameplay and development. This paper presents Fifth Aeon a novel and open source CCG built to run in browsers and two A.I applications built upon Fifth Aeon. The first application is an artificial intelligence competition run on the Fifth Aeon game. The second is an automatic balancing system capable of helping a designer create new cards that ...


Meta Me On An Ecstatic Walk With Hansel And Gretel: A Reflection Of Dispensed, Reclaimed And Reframed Existence, Laura White 2019 University of Massachusetts Boston

Meta Me On An Ecstatic Walk With Hansel And Gretel: A Reflection Of Dispensed, Reclaimed And Reframed Existence, Laura White

Critical and Creative Thinking Capstones Collection

This synthesis revolves around a rendition of Hansel and Gretel, in which I am exiled from innocence through the chaos of life. I recollect my breadcrumb clues in the form of thoughts and beliefs that I have held for as long as I remember. The breadcrumbs lead to open-ended questions about habits of mind for meaning making. My process of self-examination uses an adaptation of Action Research and I connect my current life to where I began using an Intersecting Processes analysis. I observe and document the unfolding of my life while studying it, using self-expression and thinking made visible ...


Among : A Series Of Enactments, Joel F. Kern 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Among : A Series Of Enactments, Joel F. Kern

Masters Theses

AMONG captures the practice of a constructionist designer, one who oscillates between the characteristics of typography, multi-materiality, and spatiality yet does not attach solely to the physical or digital. The fundamental principles of this practice include open platforms that foster generative collaboration through modular systems. AMONG straddles the borders of graphic design, environmental design and social sculpture. At its core, this practice encourages new ways of connecting communities.


Plenty : Wanting, Choosing,, Overwhelming Unloading, Christopher Cote 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Plenty : Wanting, Choosing,, Overwhelming Unloading, Christopher Cote

Masters Theses

We seek well-being from products and fall prey to the media that promotes them to determine our wants and needs as equal. Consumption becomes an obsession. At some point we accumulate so much that we feel the need to organize or cleanse what’s overwhelmed us.

To highlight the aesthetics of consumption, advertisement, and brand proliferation, I turn their tactics against themselves. Plenty: Wanting, Choosing, Overwhelming, Unloading explores, points out, embraces, and edits the complexity we live within. With the hope of better navigating the abundance of consumer choice and its visual bombardment, Plenty tracks and exposes the cycle of ...


Re-Creation : A Package Design For Daily Life, Wei-Hao Wang 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Re-Creation : A Package Design For Daily Life, Wei-Hao Wang

Masters Theses

This thesis grows out of my observations of and inquiries into daily scenes,+ which are wrapped within what I am calling a package. The human mind often puts daily encounters into manageable packages to facilitate interaction with them. This process, however, makes us dull or neglectful. Looking into daily scenes allows me to unpack these packages and reflect on ubiquitous objects, notions and actions so that I am able to see them anew. To me, it offers a break from the habitual responses in life.

Re-creation: A Package Design for Daily Life intends to create a similar occasion for my ...


Cosmosis, Angela Torchio 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Cosmosis, Angela Torchio

Masters Theses

Cosmographies deal with the order of nature. They are general descriptions of the universe, and this thesis is a cosmography, dealing with visual content, constraints, and the complexity of symbolism.

Visual experience is dynamic, interrelated, and inherently tied to a value hierarchy. On a micro level, design is my way of understanding the world, while on a macro level, it is a tool to generate new perceptual structures for engaging with, not merely seeing, design.

The work is based on the idea that multiple symbolisms are inherent to all things, and these symbolisms will shift based on context. Cosmographies are ...


Spontaneous Laughter, Laughter Without Reason, Evan Gilbert 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Spontaneous Laughter, Laughter Without Reason, Evan Gilbert

Masters Theses

What is the function of humor in today's society? What is the role of the comedian in increasingly clownish times? How does humor challenge power structures in contemporary life and art? How can painting deploy these methods in an effective manner?

The archetype of the trickster has appeared in myth and literature around the world for many centuries. In all instances it represents the disruptive side of the human imagination, a being that lives outside the rules of conventional behavior who seems to have hidden knowledge or secret understanding of how society truly functions. The archetype of the trickster ...


Addicts Of Nostalgia, Samuel Robert Campbell Drake 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Addicts Of Nostalgia, Samuel Robert Campbell Drake

Masters Theses

In this thesis, I will reflect on issues of nostalgia through a series of work based upon the landscape where I grew up. I discuss how my paintings stage themes and negotiate criticality towards memory. The writing analyses my engagement towards the collaging of documentary and fictional sources: and how my paintings seek to dispel legibility and embrace slippage. Alongside discussions of personal experiences, I talk about the relationship of distancing in my practice, concerning tangible and geographic detachment. The thesis expresses my adoration for the history of British painting, and my efforts to internalize its traditions. Moreover, this investigation ...


Body Of Work, Oliva de Salve Villedieu 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Body Of Work, Oliva De Salve Villedieu

Masters Theses

This yellow book filled with short stories, indexes, and a bright body of work, is a little bit rebellious, a little bit scandalous, but mostly self-indulgent. It is an invitation to release, unhinge, and get, consensually, tied up. Here graphic design is not a thinking tool, but rather an attitude—a desire to engage and skew. It is a place where affection translates into practice and lifts an eyebrow to modernism. The work is one of contrast; it contradicts and plays. By excavating simple systems for complex reasons, it deconstructs the fundamental primaries of graphic design and recontextualizes them by ...


Interface Philosophy, June Yoon 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Interface Philosophy, June Yoon

Masters Theses

During a Grad Studio II crit in the spring of 2018, I presented my project Measurements of Space and Time (page 132) and right after I finished, someone said, “This is like interface philosophy.” I didn’t even know what that meant, but it just felt right. At that very moment, I knew Interface Philosophy would be the title of my thesis.

Interface Philosophy was built as much as it was written and designed. Its function is to define “interface philosophy.” To describe interface as a meeting point for communication; philosophy as a cognitive reasoning of structural patterns. What I ...


Abjad Orientations, Mohammed Nassem 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Abjad Orientations, Mohammed Nassem

Masters Theses

This thesis investigates verbal and visual language through a lens of translation, queerness, and diaspora . Looking at graphic design as a reconciliatory space , I make use of its formal and typographic systems as devices to tell stories , examine cultures , and negotiate conflicting principles .

Abjad Orientations is a process of shifting the focal viewpoint to reorient myself and/or my audience and allow for a closer probe of our cultural reality . My eclectic identity as a Queer , Muslim , multilingual Arab living in the United States drives the form and content of my design inquiries to reconcile one or more aspects of ...


The Line That Splits, Zahra Jewanjee 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

The Line That Splits, Zahra Jewanjee

Masters Theses

The body of work I have created since beginning my MFA has been informed and impacted by my research into various inter-connected subject matters: subcultural spaces, the behaviours of crowds, micro and macro and territories and systems. These have been the philosophical and conceptual rationale of my studio practice. Meditation on these concepts is an important part in the preliminary stages of my process and the praxis of my studio work has been to interpret and implement these ideas. In many ways, this process suggests its own direction. I had no exact endpoint in mind but wanted to be driven ...


The Person-Less Portrait, Katelyn Ledford 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

The Person-Less Portrait, Katelyn Ledford

Masters Theses

In an age of digital technologies, contemporary portraits look different than their predecessors did. Portraiture does not have to continue to rely only on the idea of physical likeness, even though that is generally how portraiture is conceived. Through our virtual lives, we build new versions of ourselves, gain an abundance of information, and consume technological visuals. These newfound engagements and understandings shape the portraits we build of ourselves and of other groups at large. In my painting practice, portraiture is a way to explore the contemporary landscape around me as a woman and a painter who engages in digital ...


Looking For, Dylan Hurwitz 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Looking For, Dylan Hurwitz

Masters Theses

We live in a time in which toxic masculinity continues to run rampant, and in which sexuality continues to be demonized. When it comes to models of loving and living as a queer person, it often feels that there are two options- the politics of queer sexual liberation, of new conceptions of relationships and intimacy, or homonormative, assimilationist politics.

My work for this thesis explores this range, and aims to work against toxic masculinity and the shaming of sex. I think about the abusive relationships I’ve experienced as connected to larger systems of violence—systems which threaten our sense ...


Where We Are : Where We Thought We Were Going, Nathan Prebonick 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Where We Are : Where We Thought We Were Going, Nathan Prebonick

Masters Theses

In this thesis I will discuss ideas of place, space and repurposing as they relate to my paintings. By tying these ideas back to specific hometown sites, I will trace the evolution of ideas back to their genesis to provide context for the aesthetics of the work. I reference the texts of Robert Smithson and Tim Cresswell, who wrote about transitive notions of place, as well as David Joselit, who’s “Painting Beside Itself” essay focused on painters concerned with the question of how painting enters a network. I hope to use these texts, in conjunction with personal descriptions of ...


Record : From Signal To Atmosphere, And The Spaces Between Silence And Noise, Amy Auman 2019 Rhode Island School of Design

Record : From Signal To Atmosphere, And The Spaces Between Silence And Noise, Amy Auman

Masters Theses

Record is both a noun and a verb. Its meaning shifts through pronunciation, beginning with our cognitive interpretation and then emerging as a translation that we project from our mouths. This thesis book is an artifact, or record, of the past two years of artistic inquiry. My work, however, lives through movement in time—it records my impulses. This thesis is merely an open archive.

A range of stimuli competes for our conscious attention. The signals we choose to notice emerge from the periphery of our atmosphere, which includes everything from noise to silence. I use design to amplify and ...


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