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Masters Theses

Graphic design

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Body Of Work, Oliva De Salve Villedieu May 2019

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 ...


Standards, Rules, Setting, Robert Mcconnell May 2019

Standards, Rules, Setting, Robert Mcconnell

Masters Theses

Greetings. Welcome to Standards, Rules, Setting. This short preamble serves as a user guide to the material that follows. It is, essentially, a set of standards that govern the organization and progression of the various items in this publication.

Everything in this book has been conceived and constructed in line with the Graphic Design Thesis Book Protocol. As my body of work deals with the communication of messages and the manipulation of their governing conventions and norms, this publication — as well — has been organized along similar principles.

There are five types of components in this thesis book: sections, essays, lists ...


Groundwork, Marcus Peabody May 2019

Groundwork, Marcus Peabody

Masters Theses

This is hardly groundbreaking, but graphic designers

(or at least this graphic designer)

should gather up information first hand

(rather than waiting to be handed content)

using multiple points of view

(because design needs to be rooted in the broader world)

and then address the resultant multiplicity

(which is chaotic and confusing)

by charting a somewhat linear path through it

(because I have an editorial point of view)

while still acknowledging the underlying complexity

(because it's not the only point of view)

giving structure that is coherent with the subject

(because without structure you just have a pile of ...


Abjad Orientations, Mohammed Nassem May 2019

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 ...


Cosmosis, Angela Torchio May 2019

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 ...


Plenty : Wanting, Choosing,, Overwhelming Unloading, Christopher Cote May 2019

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 ...


Record : From Signal To Atmosphere, And The Spaces Between Silence And Noise, Amy Auman May 2019

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 ...


Let's Meet Over There / Eury Kim., Eury Kim May 2019

Let's Meet Over There / Eury Kim., Eury Kim

Masters Theses

Small communities that were once reliant on the land for basic sustenance progressively grew into large urban states. Our current cities manufacture items that are exchanged for other goods, by building factories that exploit resources from the ground. These commodities are providing much more than just food and shelter. Industry makes sustenance a secondary need to production by objectifying nature.

Italian writer Italo Calvino compares the weight of two Industrial Revolutions, depicting the first with “rolling mills” and “molten steel,” the second “with bits of information that flow” also noting that everything we “value for lightness quickly reveals … unbearable heaviness ...


Re-Creation : A Package Design For Daily Life, Wei-Hao Wang May 2019

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 ...


Lateral Movements : In Multifaceted Time And Space, Jieun Kim May 2019

Lateral Movements : In Multifaceted Time And Space, Jieun Kim

Masters Theses

Orient, shift, calibrate, and soar—these four lateral movements provoke new ways of seeing beyond flatness: the single fixed point of view. I question the reasons and consequences of the dominant point of view and suggest interpretative and playful versions of possibilities.

The distribution of the internet and satellite photography has heightened the perception, interaction, and access to the world—time and space have become flexible. I use these tools deceptively to shift toward dynamic and multiple perspectives both in physical and digital space.

I create graphic environments into which people can enter, inviting people to maneuver in this multifaceted ...


Softweave, Annaka Olsen May 2019

Softweave, Annaka Olsen

Masters Theses

The contents of this volume are a weaving.1 The text lays parallel to a graphic design practice that emerges from research into computation, digital publishing and speculative design. I ask how we can change the structures of world building to become collaborative and ethical practices — resisting hierarchy and reclaiming agency in the spaces we occupy. By making soft modifications imbued with feminist praxis across a variety of automatic processes, softwares, feeds, and streams, this thesis explores ways to open up critical avenues of making in order to speculate on fluid futures that we can co-author.


Hyperlink : Connecting Space, Time, Language, And Technology, Marie Otsuka Jun 2018

Hyperlink : Connecting Space, Time, Language, And Technology, Marie Otsuka

Masters Theses

This thesis constitutes a methodology for examining our use of systems and tools. We are constantly generating physical and digital residues, and tracing them can reveal an underlying syntax of structures that produced them. I work with these artifacts to highlight the capacities and constraints of language and technology, and what results is a transparency that draws us closer to the raw material. Once broken down into bare elements, new forms can then be resynthesized. Both critical and celebratory, this inquiry uncovers logical structures to reimagine means of making and to create alternate tools for thought.


Space, Junk, Brandon Olsen Jun 2018

Space, Junk, Brandon Olsen

Masters Theses

Space, Junk acknowledges and embraces the world as a chaotic and uncertain place. Graphic design often directly contrasts the messiness of humanity. Clean and ordered composition can conceal the muddled nature of a subject. The designer's role isn't to force perfection, but to create an aesthetic that accurately represents content. I place value on rips, smears, blurriness, and distortion as well as feelings provoked by variability. Through works created in multiple spaces (book space, architectural space, web space, etc.) this thesis focuses on finding worth in undervalued junk, using mess as a means to represent convoluted issues, and ...


Tiny Diasporas, Angela Lorenzo Jun 2018

Tiny Diasporas, Angela Lorenzo

Masters Theses

I see myself as a literary curator — I collect and sequence texts and images, both digital and analog, to reveal, connect, and construct narratives, resulting in shifting meanings and significances. Inhabiting this curatorial ethos, I investigate hidden subtexts, locating personal and collective relations to the margins and files marked “miscellany.” Working in books and installations, I engage with the inherited meanings of visual languages (form, typography, color, material, format) to open up well-worn narratives and craft new interpretations.

Tiny Diasporas is a primer to a design practice that borrows the form of an abecedarius, an alphabetical wordlist for learning the ...


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 ...


This Is Public Work, Nick Adam Jun 2018

This Is Public Work, Nick Adam

Masters Theses

This thesis positions graphic design as an integral form of public works.

T his is public work regards the causal relationship between graphic design and its publics as an opportunity to explore the formal maneuvers to enhance an artifact's visual codes. The idea is an experiential one: rich and meaningful form can lead to rich and meaningful experiences.

The designed artifacts of our world function across informational (effect) and emotional (affect) modes. The complexity of these operations take on an infrastructural role — what we see day-to-day shapes our experiences and understanding. The opportunity of a designer to practice in ...


Monument For Feeling : Notes From The Archivist, Melissa Weiss Jun 2018

Monument For Feeling : Notes From The Archivist, Melissa Weiss

Masters Theses

I’ve always loved the conjunctions unless, yet, however, although. Grammatical interventions, they subvert all things certain, rational, and indisputable, opening a series of syntactic doorways into new, undetermined possibilities.

The pieces in the Institute fo? Contempo?a?y Inqui?y’s archive function like those conjunctions. They refuse and destabilize easy categorization, pointing, like a rhizome, toward a thousand different possible pasts — and just as many futures.

To be clear, the Institute fo? Contempo?a?y Inqui?y does not have a physical site. It is a network of psychic locations materialized through its archive. It is, in other ...


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 ...


Haunt : Casual Surrealism, Cara Buzzell Jun 2018

Haunt : Casual Surrealism, Cara Buzzell

Masters Theses

This thesis aims to define, observe and create a feeling of surrealism through a series of design gestures. The process began with a question: If I, as a designer, immerse myself in a subculture that I have no interest in, will I become a fan of it? To attempt this, I created systems and tools to deeply investigate each subculture. I observed and recorded what I experienced. As a case study, the haunted attraction community captured my attention. I went to their conventions and took classes in the crafts of “the haunt.” While immersed in this community, I started to ...


Field Guide : Collected Studies Of A Symbiont, Jennifer Livermore Jun 2018

Field Guide : Collected Studies Of A Symbiont, Jennifer Livermore

Masters Theses

Field Guide is a collection of studies that explore how symbiosis relates to graphic design. These studies investigate how visual language constructs — and is constructed by — ideas about nature.

As a manipulator of language and imagery, I borrow the ecologist’s methods in order to make sense of our relationship with the natural world. My techniques include observation, collection, mutation, framing and recombination. I use these methods not to celebrate them, but to expose their subjective nature.

I approach visual language, technology, and our ecological home as an entangled set of ideas rather than estranged categories. My work investigates how ...


Placefulness, Ellen Christensen Jun 2018

Placefulness, Ellen Christensen

Masters Theses

Graphic design has been referred to as a tool of inquiry — a method of thinking visually. Design can polish, beautify, hierarchize, eliminate, prioritize, propagandize, or disseminate. Using spatial inquiry as a primary mode of investigation, I argue that graphic design is also a process of attention and care. How can graphic design be a tool of expansion and inclusion?

By encouraging spaces of attention and listening within the built environment and virtual worlds, we can think critically about power dynamics, interiority and exteriority, and subjectivity and objectivity. Within this phase of late capitalism, I focus on leftovers, scraps, and the ...


Anachropomorphism!, Carson Evans Jun 2018

Anachropomorphism!, Carson Evans

Masters Theses

Folks, the Truth is hard to know—if can be known at all.¹ Conventional Western wisdom tells us: stick to the facts. (I’m looking at you, Enlightenment.) We privilege the written word as an objective and reliable vehicle for communication. Useful, yes, but we over-rely. I counter with this: bodily performativity and purposeful inaccuracy that produces, paradoxically, narrative accuracy. These methods roil in our gut or tug at our heartstrings—instead of recoiling, we should embrace them.

I like to unpack “the stories we tell ourselves,”² our personal and societal mythologies, with a particular eye to how ...


Identity Production, Boyang Xia May 2017

Identity Production, Boyang Xia

Masters Theses

What are we talking about when we talk about identity? People are likely to define themselves in terms of what is relevant to their time and place, in other words, context. This indicates that identity is not a fixed definition, but more of a malleable construction; it develops its attributes via context. I am constantly recalibrating the relationship between the two. Context is ubiquitous, unnoticed, coexistent and interchangeable. Identity is reflexive, fragmented, shapeable and fluid. Identity Production explores and unveils how identity is adapted and manifested in contemporary conditions, as well as its external validation which paradoxically defines this indefinable ...


Our Measured World : A Poetic Translation, Minryung Son May 2017

Our Measured World : A Poetic Translation, Minryung Son

Masters Theses

Twenty-seven years alive. Sixty-one inches tall. One hundred forty-nine days abroad. How many more units would it take to describe me? What value is derived from this quantification? What quality of understanding does it offer? As human beings, we are constantly measuring our lives and implementing systems of standardization. Throughout history, measuring systems have served as frameworks for our comprehension and navigation of an increasingly complex world. This thesis approaches measurement as a means of revealing and processing this complexity of human experience rather than one that merely simplifies and distills. Through the lens of graphic design, my translation of ...


Frame-Work, Drew Litowitz May 2017

Frame-Work, Drew Litowitz

Masters Theses

We view the world through a series of frames: contexts, mediators, constructs, oversimplifications. We place frames around things to isolate them and better understand them — to control them and define a context for our audience: magazines, book covers, wayfinding, signage, graphic overlays, subtitles, logos. These frames label, augment, enhance, and explain things for us. They also become habitual frames of mind, granting us fluid access to familiar subjects through consistency and reliability.

But how does the time we spend inside these controlled, reductive frames affect the way we interact with and interpret our realities? What is left out of the ...


Content-Aware : Investigating Tools, Character & User Behavior, Llewellyn Hensley May 2017

Content-Aware : Investigating Tools, Character & User Behavior, Llewellyn Hensley

Masters Theses

Content—Aware serves as a platform for investigating structure, corruption, and visual interference in the context of present-day technologies. I use fragmentation, movement, repetition, and abstraction to interrogate current methods and tools for engaging with the built environment, here broadly conceived as the material, spatial, and cultural products of human labor.

Physical and graphic spaces become grounds for testing visual hypotheses. By testing images and usurping image-making technologies, I challenge the fidelity of vision and representation. Rooted in active curiosity and a willingness to fully engage, I collaborate with digital tools, play with their edges, and build perceptual portholes. Through ...


Space As A Practiced Place, Elizabeth Leeper May 2017

Space As A Practiced Place, Elizabeth Leeper

Masters Theses

This thesis examines and retraces ways in which graphic design is fundamentally concerned with relational space, and tests spatialized theories, methods, and potential for praxis.

My practice investigates the relational qualities and dimensions of graphic design at three distinct scales.

1. Spatial logic (format) within a design object [Design space, book space, format, structure, sequence, counterforms, etc. (authority structure vs agency of user) within the design].

2. Spatial relations (sequence) between participants across a network. [Space to hear & see each other; to relate and connect].

3. Space within the world (circulation) [Space as composition, product, relational; not container, not fixed. Power and agency ...


Otra Vez : Hierarchy As Designer, Jordyn Alvidrez May 2017

Otra Vez : Hierarchy As Designer, Jordyn Alvidrez

Masters Theses

Methods of hierarchy are often represented in graphic forms. They shape our world into subjective places/spaces of belonging or oppression. The need for order is a human condition. There is constant tension between the utility of ordered systems against the manipulative and ultimately subjective manner in which they are created. Where there is a system, there is a story. The narrative the hierarchy tells is just as crucial to me as the mechanics.

I position myself within various hierarchal systems as a way to understand the logistics of their becoming, but also, to manipulate (or justify) my cultural and ...


When It Won't Fit : A Book About Containers, Procedures, And Transformations, Bo-Won Keum May 2017

When It Won't Fit : A Book About Containers, Procedures, And Transformations, Bo-Won Keum

Masters Theses

This book is a container.

The perennial challenge of the graphic design brief is such that it is always dictated by the conditions of the container it must fill. A 24 x 36 printed poster; a 48 footwide billboard; a tiny (or large!) exhibition space; a 200-page book. Sometimes, the forms that we are asked to produce are flexible, depending on the content, the client, and the situation, and if we are lucky, we are able to mold the format to the content. The likelier event, however, is working with a form that is fixed, or a system that is ...


Design Syncopations, Mary Yang May 2017

Design Syncopations, Mary Yang

Masters Theses

Design Syncopations is an inquiry into space and intervention. Central to this work, is the orchestration of scenarios to prompt visual, auditory, and physical engagement. My background as a musician strongly informs this practice as I borrow from and disassemble musical structures—time, rhythm, composition, and counterpoint. Through designed prompts and invitations, I incorporate musical themes of chance and improvisation, setting up programs, altering spaces, and interrupting existing conditions. Working at the intersection of sound and design allows me to conduct audience-led musical performances, reprogram gallery spaces, and collaborate with artists and musicians. The ensemble of works adds up to ...