The third, and final, lens of my degree project was a social lens, through which I explored what it means to be a designer engaged with his community; both in the context of Providence and RISD.
As I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my degree project, I thought about how I could I take this project and time and use it as an opportunity to further the work I have been doing outside/inside of RISD and to collaborate with other students and people in my community. Although the core “thesis” of my dp (loosely) defines it as an exploration of home through three distinct lenses—by no means were any of the projects or explorations mutually exclusive. That being said, the labelling of the lenses was more of a means of me providing a framework and structure for the work I was making during my degree project.
For the social lens, I released a survey on social media asking my network (and my friends’ extended network) questions about what home means to them, in terms of geographic location and personal sentiment. One of the projects that crossed-over from my ISP and my DP was an illustrated zine about all the homes I have lived in since I was born through spring 2017.
I mention this zine, because it led me both to the survey and to working with Anina, a mfa thesis student who was doing her thesis on the topic of home. While my definition of home is dynamic, her perspective was static: her home in the Bahamas. Anina and I first met at the Haystack Art School Collaborative in Maine in the fall, and it was great to be able to reconnect before we graduated. We had some really rich conversations about our work and the its relation to the concept of home.
I also collaborated with Ruth and DoYun, two of my dp peers in graphic design. With Ruth, we did a postcard project sending nonlinear memories and messages back and forth to each other in relation to home and identity. DoYu and I worked on a visual mapping of 25 objects we each brought in and made relationships intermixing and arranging in different compositions.
Lastly, I used the social lens as a means of reevaluating and refocusing more energy on my role as an artist mentor at NUA. That community is honestly so warm and incredible. I feel so blessed to have been a part of it, and for the impact it has had on my career as an artist/designer/human-being; not just artistically but socially.
Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’
—John 4:13–14, NIV
Yesterday was the Sanctuary Cities panel discussion in the evening; I volunteered (or was looped into volunteering) in the set-up and tear-down. The three KYR pamphlets (English, Spanish, and Portuguese) were printed and made available at the table in the entrance.
The discussion was good, I have it recorded, but I felt too sleepy and out of it from staying up making the translations and branding the night before. Brandon and Susan mentioned that there weren’t many people of color who came, and were surprised the audience weren’t outwardly upset with the Mayor. I am not in-tune enough to the nuances of the discussion, but overall the discussion made me feel better and worse about the situation. It has made me realize how glad I am organizations like Dorcas exist, but they are largely understated. As much terror and anxiety the current presidential administration has instilled in the nation and the American society/politics at large, it has been encouraging to see people step up and local governments and grassroots organizations step-up. I was happy to see the three pamphlets available in a number of languages.
Ruth and I also were able to finish up the collaboration for the most part (though there are still some nuances such as the legend that need to be made, and the pins that need to be glued). Here are some process photos:
I have also been working on the branding for KYR. I want to have some final deliverables to give to Brandon and Susan. This could potentially be my last meeting with DIIRI this week. Unless I volunteer to work more during the next two weeks. I just can’t do Thursday’s anymore. Susan sent me another email asking for World Refugee Day button designs. I suppose they would want to get the most out of me before I graduate. It all feels like a lot. I understand nonprofit organizations would be like to use their active volunteers as much as possible. Feels like I am running dry.
I wonder how far I could have taken the campaign if I had done my DP solely about KYR, but I am glad overall that I did the complete exploration.
Tom was very encouraging the last meeting, and I made some fine-tuning to the Hope booklet (hopefully one last time), and also the religious study works. I “only” need to finish up the video, start and finish the process book, make the presentation, finish up the collaborations… and set up the final critique presentation.
He has planted eternity in the human heart.
This week has been pretty intense. And I’ve been feeling sick again. After the Monday/Tuesday rush I am breaking down again. I told Pastor Sarah I am interested in baptism this coming week, and Pastor Andrew reached out today. But then hasn’t responded. Huge is offering the visual design internship again. A lot of loose ends.
God I pray You’d be with me and guide me this coming week and into final critiques next week. I cannot believe how fast things are happening. I know You have a plan, and I trust You will be with me. I pray Your will be done.
It’s really crunch time now. Tom sent an email to us earlier today (Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 14th currently) assigning us our time slots/rooms. I requested to go first, and fortunately, there didn’t seem to be much contention for that spot. I will be presenting at 10:00am on May 25th in Room 210. Tom also sent us an attachment with all the things we will need to have that day—the presentation, abstract, reflection document, evaluation, one minute video, etc. etc. It’s all happening so fast!
Ruth and I sat down together for some time to work on the collaboration. It took us an hour or two alone to set the grid of the postcards, but we are finally at the stage of putting the pins and the strings together and connecting the concepts/ideas. It looks really great so far (in my opinion!). But of course, things take longer than expected. We arranged to have another working session on Tuesday.
Do Yun still hasn’t replied to my messages requesting the images of process documentation… I’ve similarly procrastinated working on our collaboration. Anina and I are set to meet Wednesday?
I ordered some lighter text-weight Mohawk super fine paper from Alex at Paperworks and will pick that up tomorrow after my ISP meeting and test the Hope booklet. I’m feeling a lot better about it.
I want to make some graphic standards and branding boards for the KYR campaign—hopefully in time to present to Tom on Tuesday (that’s what I’ll work on tomorrow, Monday).
Besides that…I made some edits to the abstract (making it more concise). I will need to start working on the pecha kucha and the video.. I’ve been procrastinating it because I’d like to have more finished projects to use images from. But that shouldn’t be stopping me. I need to start that reflection document and the evaluation also. The latte will be straight-forward, but the former will require some time/thinking. I cannot believe the weekend is over already. Time is flying.
At church today, Pastor Andrew mentioned that next week they will be doing baptisms. Although Homegroup is under the impression that I am not, and I haven’t told anyone otherwise (I don’t know why I don’t), I told Pastor Sarah that I want to be baptized (or confirmed? confirmation?). I feel convicted. Everything has been so challenging and draining lately. So up in the air. And the only constant that I’ve ever had, though I haven’t always been consistent in my relationship with Him, is God. It’s exciting to think. Sunday will be the baptism, Monday will be the ISP crit, Thursday the DP review.
From this point forward, 2:11am Tuesday morning. Monday was a long, good day. The last day of NUA mentoring, which makes me sad. I am glad I got to see Lia and Aly though, and to meet Carla (who will be studying graphic design at RW University next year!) and to work with some other students on block printing. Cannot believe how fast these two years at NUA have gone.
Earlier in the day, Susan (from DIIRI) emailed me the Portuguese and Spanish translations of KYR and after NUA (and Olivia’s show), I got to work on translating the designs. In theory, (and most of the application itself) it’s easy, but there are always little hiccups. Spanish and Portuguese are much longer in word length than English. And I of course do not know how to make proper line breaks or anything. I think, visually, they look good? Or OK at least. I just emailed them to Brandon and Susan (at 2 am LOL). I also worked on the branding of the campaign itself to present to Tom tomorrow. I want to have graphic standards and final deliverables I can hand off to Brandon and Susan that would be helpful for them to continue the system and build off the identity when I am gone (soon). Tomorrow is the Sanctuary Cities discussion panel which I and the KYR pamphlets will be present for.
For DP—I am also hoping to print the Hope booklet tomorrow morning (got the paper from Paperworks this morning), and to show a new abstract. I had this idea for the video (in the shower) to use the illustrations of the houses from the Dwelling zine and to make the promotional 1 minute video more abstract and less literally what I will be showing in critique. I think it’s a good/valid idea.
I was flipping through my old work, I have so many iterations of KYR, and I found the first version. And, my goodness. It is so bad. Compared to the current version. I cringe. I cannot believe I showed the early iteration to companies in interviews…
I am definitely feeling the final push and fatigue.
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
God, I know you have a plan for me. And I know You will and can carry me through this week. I pray You’d be with me and keep me healthy and strong, and aligned to You. Trusting You, and knowing that You are God.
We printed 100 (English) versions of the KYR packet! After revision upon revision, the centered version was the one that Brandon and Susan both agreed upon, the others they denoted felt less like a cover page (which Tom had mentioned also). I believe PinPoint is currently working on translating the English copy, and Brandon and Susan are hopeful to have at least the Spanish translation finished and complete for the Sanctuary Cities panel discussion on Tuesday (which Brandon looped me into volunteering for). At least the 100 English KYR pamphlets will be there, first opportunity for user testing!
RIP to the small logo I carved out. I think it will still come in handy as I further develop the brand identity in the following weeks. I want to have some final deliverables to give to Brandon and Susan in case they want to use it for future events and workshops pertaining to the Know Your Rights campaign.
Ruth and I also met on Wednesday (after having a mini-DP section outing on the West side), and discussed the final output of our postcard project. I think we came up with a rather interesting end-form. We are going to map the postcards out and draw connections with string between different topics and ideas. We are meeting on Sunday to make progress on it, but in the meantime we are gathering materials and reprinting the postcards. We figured we will have the visual mapping and also the actual postcards for people to handle and interact with. Here’s an image of me plotting the postcards, the documentation came in handy! However, the whites are not pure whites. I need to improve upon my lightroom editing skills…
I had dinner with Hazel last night and we talked about school and future plans. I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work that has to come to fruition in the coming weeks, and the uncertainty with post-graduation plans. My body is being worn thin and I was sick yesterday. After I presented my work in Type in Motion, I went home and slept.
I am concerned that I don’t have enough output for DP, even though I know I have been putting out work every week. I suppose it’s just a matter of presenting it well. I think I will be doing a pecha kucha style presentation the day of the crit, putting parameters on my work will help me be efficient and help streamline the process. I am working on the 1 minute video, and have rewritten my abstract from last week (Tom mentioned it was too long, which I have a tendency for doing).
The ISP presentation is two weeks from now also, everything is culminating at once! It will be helpful not having work study and type in motion, however.
I still need to bug Do Yun for those documentation photos, and follow up with Anina about meeting next week. Things are happening fast!
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with you body.
—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
^ a very pertinent and timely verse I received this morning. My sin and idolatry have led me to disrespect my body and not take care of myself, consequently a disservice to God and a selfish sin. I apologize. And I need to be better about taking care of myself, Jesus bore it all on the cross and I owe it to Him. Speaking with Cathy this morning was really a time of healing and mutual (I at least hope) stress-relief.
Time is going by so fast! There are so many things to do, and so little time.
This past week, I made some edits to KYR and also to the Hope booklet, and have spent most of my DP mindspace working on the final deliverables and documenting projects. The final deliverables for DP are as follows:
— 1 minute video promoting your DP
— written abstract to be handed-out during your DP presentation
— DP presentation (for day of the critique)
— process book
KYR is chugging along, and (in my exhausted opinion) the design is almost done! We are having it translated in other languages right now through DIIRI. The only thing still up for contention, is the cover (I believe). Hopefully Tom and Conrad’s feedback will be insightful. I know Brandon, Susan and Jessica are wanted for it to be done soon. Spanish copy is due next Monday I believe? During the Sanctuary City panel discussion
This weekend, I documented all of the postcards Ruth and I have collaborated on thus far, edited the photos from Do Yun and my collaboration, and documented/edited Anina’s spoons. I have arranged to meet with Ruth on Wednesday in the afternoon to discuss our collaboration and final deliverable, and Anina and I will be meeting next week (after this week). I was able to catch Anina just as I was wrapping up the documentation in her studio. We shared a nice chat and she’s willing to sit down for another discussion and a-go at the book design now that the photos are taken and edited. I still need to document the Our America show, though. I’ll do that tomorrow morning.
This evening, after meeting with Cyrus for my ISP in the morning and the second to last NUA session, I worked on writing my abstract and an outline of what I want to present for DP. It’s a lot. I think I will need to condense and edit the information down, or just speak quickly. It is a testament to the work I’ve done this semester, the conceptual thinking, but I can only hope the deliverables can live up to the theory, and that I am able to articulate and communicate the richness of the exploration in the presentation itself.
With two showcases/presentations coming so soon, it’s a bit overwhelming. ISP showcase (May 22nd) and DP presentation (May 25th). The postcards for the ISP showcase came in the mail today, and I purchased the envelopes from Paperworks this morning. Alex will be giving me a deal on the Mohawk paper for the Hope booklet (thank you, Alex!). And I am trying to wrap up most of the production-y side of things for both so I can focus on the presentation and visual design of the room, etc.
I was watching the DP presentation videos just now, and I was… (not to be offensive) but unimpressed? I don’t know. The videos seem very vague and abstract. Minimal. Maybe it’s because I’m taking type in motion right now, I’m extra critical? Or maybe because I assume a lot of effort needs to be put in it (not that the videos I watched didn’t have a lot of effort!). But it helps alleviate some of the pressure I suppose. Thankfully, type in motion ends this week and I can use that time in my schedule to work on the 1 minute video (1 minute is long!). Cyrus liked the animation I made of prensa, he said he was touched and his mother would be too. Sometimes he is overly kind in his critique.
We will be meeting with Tom in one-on-one meetings tomorrow. Because I missed last week, I hope he is not overly expectant for an abundance of new work. I do believe I have put in a lot of thinking and effort, but I am always unsure when ‘enough is enough.’
Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
—2 Corinthians 6:10
Pastor Sarah gave a really great sermon on friendship on Sunday; and it really spoke to a lot of things that have been on my mind. Mike struggled with it a lot during service, and it was a challenge for me to be a good friend (ironically) to him, but God pulled through for me. He always does. She also spoke about how our culture, both religious and not, has a lack of imagination for intimacy that is not sexual. And I found that really profound. I suppose one could argue we have “platonic relationships” but even then…
Writing the outline and abstract made me realize how much more seriously I take my faith now, and the impact centering myself on Christ in all areas of my life, especially my work through my DP and my ISP, have had on my life. Maybe Joanna is right in encouraging me to pursue baptism. I pray God that you would reveal the answer and that your will would be done.
I continue to search for the right opportunity for future employment; and am expectant that God has a plan. I interviewed again today but am still holding out for an email I was expecting last week. More and more people ask the proverbial question, I am not offended or anxious to answer. But it would be nice to know.
Time is moving really fast and my brain can’t keep up. This past week was a blur. We had a guest critic, one of Tom’s previous students–Conrad, who gave a lot of insightful feedback on our works. We met in pairs, but my partner was absent. I even followed up with Conrad via email and he has been very supportive and great with responding with lots of insightful criticism and feedback. Especially on the KYR pamphlet. Some of the feedback I got last week:
–KYR edits (see below)
–”design an experience for the viewer” — not just passive
–bring people in, make it interactive
–relationship of time and visuals — play with time
–design for experience
–make the reading experience of the hope pamphlet more accessible and poetic
–design the stimuli
–what does it become? exercise that leads into something (collab with DoYun)
–temporal in visual design
–dialogue with the patterns
–shift the experience of the conditions
It was a long and constructive critique with Tom and Conrad last week, and to be honest, I was exhausted after it. I took the next day off and went to Boston. I spent some time working, sending emails, and I attended the Future History AIGA talk with Doug Scott and Scott Stowell. Scott Stowell actually came and gave the same lecture at RISD this evening (May 1st), without Doug. I feel like the lecture in Boston was more insightful, (maybe because I was seeing it for the first time), and I enjoyed the Q&A with Doug and Scott. They spoke a lot about their perspectives on design and what it means for design to be a social activity. Especially after seeing Scott present again this evening, it has made me realize how much my experience at Open last summer has shaped my perspective on design and who I am, as a designer, today.
After DP on Tuesday, I had a phone call with Epsilon and was offered a full-time art director position. I will be touring the office tomorrow (and missing this week’s DP meeting, fortunately Tom is supportive and willing to meet with me later in the week). I also ran to attend Andrea’s thesis presentation at Brown. Her talk was really inspiring, and if she is able to condense months of research into one, 15-minute slide-show presentation so eloquently (and well-designed!) presentation, it gives me confidence and encouragement that everything will be okay for DP.
After Tuesday and Boston, I rushed back to PVD to get work done for Thursday’s DIIRI meeting. I presented the latest version of the KYR pamphlet and the branding to Brandon, Jessica, and Susan. They were all very encouraging and excited! Their feedback is always a lot more congratulatory than Tom or Cyrus’ (and sometimes I need that). Though I do feel their impending sense of need/immediacy that I feel like is being prolonged in the design process. Jessica mentioned that the tone should be “affirmative” and not stress or anxiety inducing. Which is helpful.
I have been shifting the design so much recently. I sent a new email to Conrad and then met with Cyrus this morning for my ISP and got his feedback on it too. I hope to shoot an email to Tom tomorrow. It’s hard because each person will see a different iteration that isn’t the same that I presented to someone the day before. I.e. Cyrus will see version A on Monday, then Tom will see version B, and then DIIRI will see version C, etc. But I am very fortunate and grateful to have people who are so invested in the project with me. The design has shifted a ton and it looks leaps and bounds better. And is changing every day. Here’s a sense of how many versions I’ve designed thus far (and this only abbreviates how many files there actually are!):
Besides that, I’ve been making edits to the ‘hope‘ booklet. Despite the conversation I had with Alex (at Paperworks), Conrad and Tom both fell for the Mohawk paper. My fault for showing it. It’s expensive, but as Conrad and Tom both mentioned: more of an entry point and more evocative than the speckled paper. I am hoping to finish it up on the Amtrak tomorrow.
On Friday, I had dinner with the Career Center staff and breakfast with Grace and Deborah. Time is flying so fast! I am needing to make time with the people I care about seeing/catching up with one last time. Saturday and Sunday were blurs of work and allergies. It’s officially spring! This past weekend I invested a lot of work in my ISP with Cyrus, but not as much work into DP. Though there is some overlap.
I spent a lot Thursday and the weekend organizing for my ISP showcase, which will be happening the same week as DP presentations. It will be on Monday, May 22nd (DP will be on the 25th). I am fortunate to have Emily Rye and Jane Androski from the Design Agency come as guest critics, along with Cyrus (and Lucy said she is interested and wants to make time to see it!). I am excited but overwhelmed.
I still need to edit DoYun’s photos and figure out how to synthesize that information, I sent another postcard to Ruth but am still awaiting her reply. I was very late in sending it to her last week. We soon need to document and figure out how to present the project for the final critique. Anina: I still need to go in and document the spoons. Hopefully I can arrange a time this week.
I am slightly bothered (and relieved) that I will be missing DP this week. Tom is meeting with the entire section briefly to discuss final wrap up in the coming weeks, and Paul sent an email sending the specifics for the video we need to create for the final showcase. It’s all happening so fast! I need to figure out how to synthesize and present all the work I’ve been doing.
Susan (DIIRI) sent an email requesting some button designs for World Refugee Day, I wonder if that means they went with my postcard design? And for the copy of the KYR pamphlet which keeps changing. I told her I’d hope to have it this Thursday.
Many things culminating at once! Time flying by. I can’t believe its May. We have our final NUA artist mentor meeting this Wednesday, and the semester is quickly coming to a close. I don’t know how it’s all going to get done. God be with me. Joanna and I met earlier this evening (9pm) to discuss pursuing baptism at the end of this month. She is feeling very convicted, and I hope to have encouraged her. She has such a heart for God and it is really inspiring to share our walks and friendship together. I am less convinced, but am hopeful. I know God has a plan, and I hope to pay close attention to it and to be attuned. I am excited and hopeful for the future He has in store.
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worshipand said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
I finished Luke and John, and have decided to go back to reread the book of Job. Joanna really encouraged me saying she sees/hears the Holy Spirit speak through me whenever we meet and share about our walks to one-another. I am honored and touched to be able to share some of God’s love onto her, as she is such a beacon of light and hope in my life.
Pursuing work about my faith both for my ISP and my DP has been really challenging but exciting. The final showcase(s) will be testament as I have to publicly speak about how its influenced my work and how its integral to it and to my identity as a Christian.
This week I made some progress and had some meetings, shared some meals and good conversations with friends and made some lead-way on collaborations.
–Collab with DoYun (Social)
–Meeting with Anina (Social)
–Hope booklet (faith • hope • love) (Religious)
–DIIRI Update (Political) — progress
–Ruth collaboration (Social) — idea for final collaboration
^ me making notation of what I did this week in preparation for the blog post
I met with Anina Major and shared a cup of tea and good conversation about her thesis and my degree project. We are both exploring the theme of Home, her in relation to her static definition, as the one place she grew up in, and me as a dynamic definition of something that is always changing. Home as a journey, as she described it. We had a good conversation and spoke about doing a collaboration with the ceramic spoons she had made. Funny how Haystack brought us together last year and now we are brought back together for this final culmination to our RISD careers.
I am still making progress on KYR for Dorcas. I went to volunteer last Thursday, ready with the branding boards and new directions to show them, but neither of my bosses were there. After 2 hours of almost falling asleep, and then finally getting some work done, I left early. Cyrus is helping me refine the typography and it is making ways and means to become the best that it can. Cyrus mentioned how being a designer means you have to be a writer/editor/reader, and to shape language in a way that is visual and makes logical sense. I hope to have an even stronger version to show tomorrow.
After small group crits last week, Ruth and I met to discuss our collaboration and the final form. We are going to do two more weeks of passing back and forth and then collaborate on a poster/documentation to present for the final critique.
Do Yun and I took our photos based on the 25 objects we had gathered last Wednesday, and are in the process of editing the photos. After 5 hours of shooting, the editing process seems a lot smoother, though less tactile. We are considering a collaboration on some “design” form of the photos, i.e. a poster or some sort. But we shall see.
For my religious lens this week, I worked on making a hope pamphlet, incorporating short narratives from the bible on the topic of hope. I am also steering my ISP into works about religion and Christianity. I lost my prayer journal today, but I am hopeful I will find it.
A lot is happening right now and this blog post does not really do justice to all that is going on, but I only have 26 minutes until it is Tuesday. Lots happening, things moving in the right direction, I hope.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.And you know the way to where I am going.
–John 14: 2–4
Oh! Also, I had birthday dinner with Aneudy at Mokban tonight. It was really fun catching up with him and making/spending that time. NUA was quiet today. The annual event was last Friday, I didn’t stay long.