Forming Process: Design Through Layered Visual Systems and Multiple Collection Methods (2009) is the culminating synthesis of my MFA Thesis study. The following images are from the thesis document currently stored in the MFA Thesis Collection at Rhode Island School of Design Fleet Library.
Connect is an exploration of how family, friends and colleagues think about connection. The contributions were from people of different ages and occupations and demonstrated how we are connected to one another. This project challenges the viewer to contemplate how we move through a document and how we connect with it. Are certain pages more loved than others? Are certain connections more apparent than others? Although I developed a systematic approach of image placement and numbering for this project, the order in which the document is read is the decision of the reader. The ability to move through this book in a non-linear way allows for chance to create new connections, and ultimately exposes the deeper meanings embedded in those connections.
Mergers is an inquiry into the incestuous world of corporate America. It is also a study in pattern and identity. The website, theyrule.net referenced in Mergers, offers insight into corporate America. It shows links between companies through their Board of Directors. Did you ever feel like the corporate machine was somehow connected, and out to get you? Well, it turns out, it really is out to get you. This collection of patterns exposes the connections but offers a new solution by revealing these connected identities and giving them visual context.
Adaptation of Fit
Adaptation of Fit is a study of two different ways of writing in order to gain content for the graphic expression of a book. I began by extracting relevant points from the chapter, Goodness of Fit in Christopher Alexander's, Notes on the Synthesis of Form. By using these excerpts as guides, I was able to fashion the text to become my own. Beginning again with the Alexander text, I extracted words taken from a moment of pause. I then formed sentences which developed another narrative and began to fill in the spaces missing from the first endeavor. There were now two cohesive pieces of writing which supported my thesis ideas.
This exploration is the culminating project in my body of thesis work. It contains all the relevant components of my study (collecting, archiving, organizing and implementing) and yields a form which reveals the construction to the viewer.
I obsessively record to dos, and literally highlight items as a way to cross things off my never-ending lists (I still do to this day). By using a color system to represent my completed tasks, I unknowingly began mapping my thesis at the beginning of the Fall Semester of my final year at the Rhode Island School of Design and continued through the Winter and Spring. Doing this allowed me to record and see the change in my work habits throughout the year.
I then took this “to do” archive and expressed it through an animation. I concentrated my efforts on a regimented system of time-based animation, the structure of a calendar, and a piece of music, to express the varying cadences in the year. This unveiling of the process ultimately became the design solution.
What Did They Say? is a poster series in which six different newspapers from September 13, 1993, running a story about the signing of the Palestinian Peace Accord, provide the content to form a graphic expression. Two different organizational structures were used to reveal the most pertinent information to the viewer. One was the assigning of a specific color to each newspaper, the second was an over-printing system. Over-printing excerpts from each newspaper, in different colors onto a single poster, allowed for the most important messages to show through. But what was most interesting was trusting the merge of the two systems and inviting serendipity in the visual result.
This project was an exploration of two different ways of retrieving and archiving information about one travel path. The study began with a round trip journey, beginning at my desk in the Graduate Graphic Design Studio at the Rhode Island School of Design, and progressed to Room 12 in the Nature Lab building (on the RISD campus). These two locations were the places where most, if not all, of my thesis study occurred.
I explored this path from both directions by employing two different methods of image collection. Using the collected archive of images, I created two time lapse videos, which played simultaneously next to each other. This allowed the viewer to gather information about the places between the two points. An ambient sound pattern of footsteps provided pacing throughout the video and cued the viewer to points of interest throughout the progression of photos. Street sounds provided another layer of information about this specific path. Allowing the elements to interact with each other through an animated system created an unexpected narrative which revealed a well-rounded expression of the path.
In Memory Of... was a public art installation in Providence, RI, which used the vernacular style of the instant memorial to create awareness and curiosity about memory. Three secular memorials were placed in different areas of the city and provided pencils, paper, and a place to leave/make a memory. The memorials were meant to provoke thought about what it is to memorialize, and the goal was for the viewer/participant to remember. Memories were recorded, archived and returned to the boxes, which eventually disappeared from their respective sites. The physical memorial fades as memory does.
If you fall... was a collaborative exhibition designed as a reaction to dependency. Thirteen people collaborated in the design of the space, exhibit elements, printed matter, and a website.
Dependency is frowned upon in American culture. We are taught from an early age to declare our independence. This exhibition was a way to celebrate all the wonderful things that come from dependency. It turns out none of us can do it alone. We all depend on someone or something.