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Masters Theses

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Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal Aug 2019

Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal

Masters Theses

This research investigates the current plague of unemployment and underemployment that nearly half of qualified individuals in the field of Visual Communications are met with after graduation. Students who major in this field dedicate a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy toward developing a broad skillset that resolves critical matters of communication through visual solutions. Research has demonstrated that despite conditions that are subject to ongoing change of economy, industry, and marketplace there are contributing factors that must be addressed to overcome un/underemployment regardless of circumstances. These include an underdeveloped network of professional contacts, deficiency in recognizing or ...


Making Common, Elaine Lopez May 2019

Making Common, Elaine Lopez

Masters Theses

Making Common sets conditions for communication around cultural diversity and inequality. Through my practice, I create new ways to share, honor, and celebrate the stories that have been neglected for too long due to white supremacy, patriarchy, and other forms of structural oppression. I create immersive graphic design experiences that challenge people to question and expand their worldview. This methodology models an alternative way for designers to work towards a more just society


Among : A Series Of Enactments, Joel F. Kern May 2019

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.


White Noise, Chris Cohen May 2019

White Noise, Chris Cohen

Masters Theses

White Noise investigates moments when white supremacist ideology injects itself into the conversation about American Identity and American History in an attempt to co- opt those definitions and control the conversation. The exhibition considers the effects of this identity crisis on American identity, white identity, American history, and family unity. The exhibition looks at these issues through the lens of the Virginia Historical Markers program, Civil War Re-enactment, contemporary white identity politics and supremacy, monuments, educational history museums, and the artist’s personal narrative about white supremacy as it relates to his own sense of loyalty and connection to his ...


A Case Study Of The Edwards House: How A Community Fought To Preserve Their Cultural Heritage, Carolyn Grace Klima May 2019

A Case Study Of The Edwards House: How A Community Fought To Preserve Their Cultural Heritage, Carolyn Grace Klima

Masters Theses

This study examines why an architecturally significant, Queen Anne style mansion in Downers Grove, Illinois was demolished even though citizens valiantly tried to save it for one year. With all the information available in the form of books, journals, websites and videos concerning historic preservation, why did the citizens of Downers Grove fail to save this historic gem? Academic literature shows the significance of historic preservation from economic and sustainability standpoints. Communities have used historic preservation to revitalize main streets across America, and large corporations like American Express and Walmart have supported historic preservation. Unfortunately, architecture is the most fragile ...


Motherhood Story Project: Transforming Societal Perception Of Mothers Through Portraiture & Storytelling, Andrea Caresse Lewis May 2019

Motherhood Story Project: Transforming Societal Perception Of Mothers Through Portraiture & Storytelling, Andrea Caresse Lewis

Masters Theses

In our modern western culture, there are two drastically different views of motherhood. Society often paints mothers as women who give up on their bodies and careers to pursue a life of seemingly purposeless identity. While the reality is that women devote their entire being to the growth and development of a new human, continuing the very concept of civilization as we know it. Because of this dichotomy and plurality of worlds, mothers often feel ostracized, alone, and completely unprepared for the new journey they have embraced. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the realities of motherhood and ...


Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez May 2019

Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez

Masters Theses

The second leading cause of death for the ages of 10-24 is suicide, a statistic that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows has steadily risen since 1999. Although it is seldom spoken about in mental health circles, an enmity seems to exist between Christianity and modern psychology in regards to mental illness and how it should be treated; this enmity could be preventing helpful Christian-based principles from being shared with the at-risk population while simultaneously excluding Christians from a conversation they need to be a part of.

Interestingly, further research shows that the at-risk demographic overlaps significantly with ...


Exploring The Enneagram Through Visual Aesthetics: Profiles For Personal Home Décor, Sarah K. Casmass May 2019

Exploring The Enneagram Through Visual Aesthetics: Profiles For Personal Home Décor, Sarah K. Casmass

Masters Theses

The home is an environment that is the prime center for self-expression, personal sanctuary, and solace. On a psychological level, the home is a representation of the individual and, therefore, that individual should identify and find pleasure in their personal home space. Decorative art has long provided visual solutions for our innate desire to accentuate our spaces and express ourselves. However, there is a need for a connection between the visual arts and the augmentation of our basic psychological needs through home décor. With countless resources available for an individual to become more self-aware, there is a deficit in the ...


The Utilization Of Visual Design Systems To Promote Higher Levels Of Learning In Educational Environments, Keenan Sultanik May 2019

The Utilization Of Visual Design Systems To Promote Higher Levels Of Learning In Educational Environments, Keenan Sultanik

Masters Theses

Traditional higher education environments have changed very little in the last hundred and fifty years, while technology has advanced in nearly every other area of society making each more productive and more capable. This study identifies key aspects of a comprehensive and universal visual learning system that incorporates a more holistic approach to design and interactivity in educational environments. The desired effect of this is elevating classroom learning to higher levels as defined by Bloom’s Taxonomy. In this thesis, I have collected and explored empirical and observational data to examine the relationship between effective learning environments and the use ...


Advancing Film Through Art & Design: A Study Of The Influence That Film And Fine Art Have On The Independent Film Market, Jamall Rashaud Mcmillan Apr 2019

Advancing Film Through Art & Design: A Study Of The Influence That Film And Fine Art Have On The Independent Film Market, Jamall Rashaud Mcmillan

Masters Theses

The Influence of Graphic Design and Fine Art in Film is a exploration into the impact that an investment of the arts has on film and more specifically the independent film market. Most independent filmmakers have to develop their productions with little to no budget. In doing so they must work to create a marketable film to the best of their ability. There in-lies the issue; they are doing it to the best of “their” ability. The issue that is in focus with the notion of ability is that a major component that is left out of the equation to ...


Visuals In Music Promotion: Developing An Effective Visual Marketing Campaign Within The Musical Brand Of The Bluegrass Genre, Grant Cochran Apr 2019

Visuals In Music Promotion: Developing An Effective Visual Marketing Campaign Within The Musical Brand Of The Bluegrass Genre, Grant Cochran

Masters Theses

The American genre of bluegrass music is a style of music that is not widely commercial and is not supported by large promotional budgets. This thesis researched historical and current visual designs for the promotion of bluegrass music. A research survey was also conducted to determine what kind of promotional design would most effectively appeal to fans of the genre. The results of that research survey was applied to promotional materials that are to be made available to a newly started bluegrass music festival.


The Sandman: The Artifice Of Comics And Power Of Dreams, Nathan Teft Apr 2019

The Sandman: The Artifice Of Comics And Power Of Dreams, Nathan Teft

Masters Theses

Neil Gaiman’s Vertigo Series The Sandman is an exceptional artistic endeavor. From “Preludes and Nocturnes”(1988) to “The Wake” (1996), Gaiman worked alongside a team of talented artists and graphic designers to produce an indelible work of revisionist mythology. This thesis will attempt to establish the framework by which our modern literary canon has celebrated classical Western myths while relegating graphic or visual forms of literature or outright neglecting comic myths altogether. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics will frame the discourse for pictographic analysis of Neil Gaiman’s mythological revisionism of Milton’s Paradise Lost in Season of Mists ...


I Speak As One In Doubt, Margaret Hazel Wilson Jan 2019

I Speak As One In Doubt, Margaret Hazel Wilson

Masters Theses

A written thesis to accompany the M.F.A. Exhibition I Speak as One in Doubt. Blending epistolary format and visionary narrative, the artist addresses her complex relationship to her Catholic upbringing.


Existence Stories, Althea Keaton Jan 2019

Existence Stories, Althea Keaton

Masters Theses

Existence Stories is an interactive activist art project that gathers personal narratives from people about the ways in which their lives have been impacted by the current political climate in the United States, particularly surrounding the 2016 Presidential election and its aftermath. The project harnesses first-person narrative and audience participation as tools for humanizing the “Other” and building connections between people through the act of sharing stories. As the project has progressed over time, it has evolved in multiple directions and come to incorporate a variety of media, primarily comics, animation, printmaking, and zines. The roles that reproduction, distribution, and ...


Heritage Sites, Leah Burke Jan 2019

Heritage Sites, Leah Burke

Masters Theses

A written thesis to accompany the M.F.A. Exhibition Heritage Sites, in which vignettes of the artist’s personal and familial narratives become a backdrop for examining themes such as global tourism, the notion of universal heritage, and questioning Puerto Rico as a postcolonial place. A two channel short video layers archival imagery with original material to examine the ways Puerto Rico has been represented and misrepresented personally and globally.


The Spark Of Recovery: Artistic Methods That Generate Dialogue And Reduce Stigma In Families Affected By Mood Disorders, Adara Jensen Dec 2018

The Spark Of Recovery: Artistic Methods That Generate Dialogue And Reduce Stigma In Families Affected By Mood Disorders, Adara Jensen

Masters Theses

Mood disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder negatively affect family dynamics, often resulting in trauma, antipathy, mistrust, and the breakdown in communication between the individual suffering from mood disorder and members of his or her family. The impact of mood disorder on family members impedes recovery for the person suffering from the disorder as well as the health and well-being of the family as a whole. Even emotionally healthy families suffer from the subsequent pain, trauma, isolation, and stigma. The project proposes a solution to broken or inhibited family communication: the engagement of all family members in healing ...


Technology And The Printed Book: Pursuing A Holistic Human Experience With A Sacred Text, Rachel Dugan Dec 2018

Technology And The Printed Book: Pursuing A Holistic Human Experience With A Sacred Text, Rachel Dugan

Masters Theses

There exists a sort of gravitas attached to a book that is printed and bound by hand that gets lost on the production line. When holding a hand-printed (or hand-written), hand-bound codex next to a mass-produced book, there is between the two a visible and tactile difference in quality and harmony between form and content. With the modern technological advancements now available, how can the craftsmanship and beauty — the gravitas — evident in books of the past be replicated in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, harmonious in message, and reflective of the present time? As objects, books are designed to ...


Growing A Healthy Childhood: The Value Of Cultivating Young Minds Through Gardening Using Design, Sarah Hoyt Dec 2018

Growing A Healthy Childhood: The Value Of Cultivating Young Minds Through Gardening Using Design, Sarah Hoyt

Masters Theses

This research analyzes the effects of introducing gardening as an educational and developmental tool in early childhood. Research includes an in-depth exploration of the benefits of gardening regarding physical, mental, and social health. Furthermore, the research studies why parents do not already implement gardening. The thesis delves into the power that artwork can have as a call to action. The thesis concludes with a visual solution that is intended to draw out a desire for parents of young children to introduce gardening in their home.


A Natural Circus, Cecilia Plasencia Jun 2018

A Natural Circus, Cecilia Plasencia

Masters Theses

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have no interest in controlling and manipulating matter to my own heart’s content. I’m rather bored of rigidly perfect geometries and sentiments. Rather than controlling materials I allow them to do as they please. I capture their moment of revelation, and allow them to speak for themselves. I realize this process of making demotes me from creator to conduit, but I’ve noted that the materials have a far more unique and intelligent message than I could ever imagine.

So, I listen to matter. Matter has one very good friend ...


Journey Through The Wasteland, Songlin Li Jun 2018

Journey Through The Wasteland, Songlin Li

Masters Theses

I started planning this book at the end of last year, because I had to write it for my thesis, and also because I saw this as an opportunity to create, like making artwork. But the difference is that this does not look like my usual art, being only a book comprised of words and images.

From the end of last year to the beginning of this year, I experienced a terrible spiritual disillusionment and was caught in a cycle of depression and anxiety. Even though I was prepared to write this book last fall, I only really started in ...


Ouroboros, Christopher Dove Drury Jun 2018

Ouroboros, Christopher Dove Drury

Masters Theses

Art is communication.

Objects are for making and giving.

Life is to be loved with others.

I work directly and swiftly with material to mark time and labor.

This is a pathway to resolve suffering, to be present.


Very-Asian Variation, Nicholas Oh Jun 2018

Very-Asian Variation, Nicholas Oh

Masters Theses

Nicholas Oh is a Korean American Artist currently working in Providence.

Oh graduated from San Francisco State University and he is currently a graduate student at Rhode Island School of Design.

He focuses on creating clay sculpture and mixed media installation that deals with race and identity as a Korean American in America.

Oh has done residencies at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan and Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado and has shown at Mills College Art Museum in California, Milwaukee Art Institute in Wisconsin, American Museum of Ceramic Art and Pence Gallery in California.


On The Edge Of Being, Zoe Gross Jun 2018

On The Edge Of Being, Zoe Gross

Masters Theses

On the Edge of Being represents a focused exploration of clay, craft, femininity, fragility, and self-care. The title is hopeful. It represents a certain radical gentleness with myself and with my work. It reminds me that as hard as I try, there is always room to grow and improve. It is also a bit of a joke with myself; I am rarely satisfied.

I began this body of work as a way of rejoicing in the tamped down impulses of my early artistic career. I wanted to infuse my work with magic: color, texture, pattern, flowers, frills, lace, kitsch and ...


Castles In The Sky, Iva Milovanović Jun 2018

Castles In The Sky, Iva Milovanović

Masters Theses

I was born and raised in the city of Belgrade. From the 1950’s till the beginning of 1990’s it was the capital city of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. From the 1950’s until the 1980’s Yugoslavia experienced a financial and thus architectural boom. The president Josip Broz Tito financed construction of WWII Memorials to demonstrate the strength of the socialist republic throughout the Balkans. These giant memorials, along with most of the architecture of Belgrade from that time, were built in brutalist style. Brutalism signified power, progress and a forward moving country.

However, when I ...


Talking To Computers, Jen Spatz Jun 2018

Talking To Computers, Jen Spatz

Masters Theses

A popular belief amongst UX designers is that the more voice user interfaces (i.e. Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant) speak and behave like people, the more functional they will be. But, conversational mimicry is not the only way a screenless computer can communicate information. The scope of sounds humans can interpret, manipulate, and make is broad. This project seeks to identify ways designers can mine this domain for interaction cues that promote a deeper understanding of digital content and the systems that deliver it.


For A Better Normal : Fostering The Informal Sector In Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico, As A Pathway For Economic Stabilization, Jonathan W. Melendez Davidson Jun 2018

For A Better Normal : Fostering The Informal Sector In Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico, As A Pathway For Economic Stabilization, Jonathan W. Melendez Davidson

Masters Theses

For a Better Normal is a proposal to aid informal produce vendors in post-hurricane Puerto Rico. The project takes the shape of a toolkit that facilitates the creation of a cooperative buyer’s club. This cooperative not only provides vendors with the opportunity to create sustainable businesses, but also acts as a pathway to formalization. The outcome of this thesis becomes a case study for how to re-think the potential of the informal economy in relation to the Island’s economic crisis.


Four Projects, K. Sarrantonio Jun 2018

Four Projects, K. Sarrantonio

Masters Theses

This thesis gives an overview of the author's inspirations and art practices and specifically surveys four projects that launched video projection work. The simple descriptions of the projects are accompanied by silkscreen prints taken from stills of the work.


Reading Rooms, Jinhwa Oh Jun 2018

Reading Rooms, Jinhwa Oh

Masters Theses

Reading rooms examines a set of three conditions for diverse modes of spatial reading. These conditions originate from three common terms: object, space, and performer, which I have subjectively defined through my thesis work. I hope to clarify my own design methodology by examining these terminologies through the thesis process.

I regard printed media as independent objects which have physical qualities: material, texture, volume, and depth. My practice emphasizes physical forms as architectural structures which can be transformed and evolve through readers’ interpretations of the objects. The true communication with my physical work can be realized by touching, moving, and ...


Constellations, Maria Rull Bescós Jun 2018

Constellations, Maria Rull Bescós

Masters Theses

In this book you will find a collection of projects that both reflect and simultaneously reinvent my personal way of seeing the world, which I consider to be a space that is complex, diverse, and in continuous transformation.

Graphic design is the lens through which I examine and understand this complexity, and it is also the medium through which I translate this huge realm into navigable systems of ideas, tales, forms, and experiences.

I have been inspired to produce my own systems in response to those I discover through actively observing my environment (territory), reflecting upon my personal background (origin ...


In Exchange, Anna Mcneary Jun 2018

In Exchange, Anna Mcneary

Masters Theses

This thesis parses the dynamics of emotional labor in personal relationships. By bringing softness, connection and exposure to the viewer’s body in the form of tactile experience and wearable sculpture, this book and the installation that it accompanies provide a physical lens through which to consider the challenges of reciprocity and the emotional experiences at that are at stake in a struggle for balance and mutuality in relationships.