Political—flux dp

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Through my degree project, I explored the concept of home, and the social responsibilities of a designer engaged with his community, through three lenses. The first lens was ‘political.’

To quote my dp presentation, “Through a political lens—I explored what it means to be American. Are you considered to be American if you live in America? Or does being American require citizenship and legal status? Especially in today’s political climate, fear and hate have been instilled within our nation, and it has raised the question of what it means to consider America our home.”

What does it mean to be American? & What does it mean to be living in America today?

At the beginning of the semester, I had the desire to use my dp as an opportunity to work with people and organizations that I am interested in, and haven’t had the chance to work with prior. I first heard about Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island from Lucy (or from a mutual friend who told me that Lucy was interning there over the summer through the Maharam program). And throughout my senior year, I’ve seen an influx of DIIRI/RISD related programs and flyers. Then, out of the blue, Brandon (who later became one of my bosses and mentors at DIIRI) came to speak about DIIRI in one of my art history (Socially Engaged Art) classes.

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Long-story-short, I ended up doing an unofficial design internship/design volunteer with DIIRI, designing bilingual Know Your Rights pamphlets and the identity for the KYR campaign. (You may read more about this project on my website).

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The KYR project ended up consuming a lot of my time and energy throughout the semester, numerous iterations and receiving feedback from various perspectives and critics. I am proud to have designed something that was able to make such a significant, real-world impact. And at the end of the degree project, I questioned whether I would have been able to design a stronger identity/pamphlet had I only targeted the KYR project for my dp. And despite that, I do not think the project in its entirety would have been as rich without all the components of my dp. And I would not have felt as satisfied had I not pursued KYR or the other projects in tandem for my dp.

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Besides the KYR project with DIIRI, I had done some political postings. Including bilingual voting guides, postings about hope and inclusion, responses about inclusivity and ‘home’ in America. But these were all exercises that led to the KYR projects as the primary project of the political lens of my dp.

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The ‘political’ wall, presenting all the work from the political lens of my dp during the final dp presentation. KYR pamphlet and campaign identity (left). Message of Hope from President Obama (center). messages of encouragement and inclusion (right), bilingual voting guide (upper right).

More about the other lenses and my dp next week!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands
—Revelation 7:9, ESV

Finale(?) — Two weeks out from my DP Presentation

Today is June 10th, and it has been exactly one week since I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design (undergraduate, BFA Graphic Design). I wrapped up my senior degree project just a week prior to graduation, and since then it has been a whirlwind of events and happenings.

I found out the day before my DP presentation that I will be (am now) in NYC for the summer. I am currently working in the art department as a design news assistant for The New York Times. But long story short, I got caught up in figuring out housing for the summer (truly a blessing from God that I received this opportunity and subsequently found housing in the City on such short notice), and then my family came for graduation. I got to spend a little over a week showing them around Providence and RISD, and then I graduated and they flew home and I took a train straight to NYC. This has been my first week at The Times, and it has been an exhilarating and exhausting first week.

Anyways—long awaited DP update which I plan on wrapping up in my abundant spare time this summer. We had to create a one-minute trailer to promote our degree projects (see below), and I am also in the (painfully slow) process of editing photos and documentation, updating my website, catching up on sleep, etc.

In addition to the one-minute video, we were also required to design a process/reflection document detailing our discoveries, trials and failures, what we learned, etc etc during the DP process. Since I have been using this blog as a means of documenting my weekly process, I figured this would be an “easy” thing to quickly create. Of course, I was wrong. My own “design integrity” (more like procrastination and laziness) got in the way and I quickly became overwhelmed trying to design the presentation and preparing all my final deliverables for the critique. I ended up sending a last-minute SOS to Tom, requesting for an extension for the process book. Fortunately Tom was forgiving and understanding.

But now, I am two weeks out (and counting) from my DP presentation and I still haven’t designed (or really started) the process book. I was (am) hoping the summer at The Times would help me figure out ideas for layout and colors, etc (I had originally wanted to print the process book on newsprint—this was prior to learning about the opportunity at The Times). I met with one of the photo production artists at The Times on Thursday and he explained the process of editing photos and color correction for print. Sounds like a lot of work, and something I hadn’t seriously considered with in using this medium. (Another factor contributing to my laziness in terms of designing the book).

But anyways, I digress. I suppose in the meantime, and throughout this summer as I make updates to my DP, I will be using this blog to hold me accountable and to finish wrapping up the process book. I owe it to Tom who gave me the extension, and Tom said I owe it to myself.

That’s it for now. I am writing this from La Colombe on Lafayette. I feel like I have already overstayed my welcome (i.e. my $5 latte). That’s one of the hardest parts of being in the City—finding a place to work and use the bathroom.