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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 ...


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 ...


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


Interface Philosophy, June Yoon May 2019

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 ...


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.


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 ...


Looking For, Dylan Hurwitz May 2019

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 ...


The Person-Less Portrait, Katelyn Ledford May 2019

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 ...


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.


Spontaneous Laughter, Laughter Without Reason, Evan Gilbert May 2019

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.