Week 11—Crunch Time

Anina’s definition of home (left): static, vs. my definition of home (right) dynamic. Sketch by Anina.

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

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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.

Collaboration with Ruth
Collaboration with Anina

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.

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I spent two hours typing the outline and abstract.

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.


Week 7 — done!, progress, new beginnings, on-hold & unsure where to begin

at RISD Unbound!

*Written the day before Week 7 meeting for DP

This weekend was RISD Unbound—hosted by the RISD Library, GD, and Illustration departments. I tabled with Olivia, and fortunately our table was stationed in the GD Commons. It was a bit quiet at times, but overall it fun. It was nice to see people in the community, and I made pretty good money (not nearly enough to break completely even, but I managed to sell all of my NUA charity prints!). We were caddy-corner to the NUA table, and many NUA students were tabling in the ISB. Honestly, just glad last week’s long-haul of preparation is over. I don’t think I have the stamina to do the spring student sale.

Many people read and commented on the Dwelling zine, they found it compelling (not-enough-so to purchase it per-say) but the reception of my work was positive. Anina Major came by and read the zine, we chatted briefly. She mentioned her thesis is about Home and the ‘feeling of belonging’—aka my DP! Hopefully we can get coffee and talk about our ideas sometime. Besides that encounter, lots of other friendly faces from NUA, RISD, Brown, etc. James and Ben (from GD) commented that they liked my Inventory sheet design (Ben mentioned that that was the best piece on my table).

I went on a ‘vision journey’ on Friday to Roger Williams conservatory—essentially I spent a couple of hours roaming and reading the Bible. And in sustained prayer. It was really nice to align myself more to God for an intentional period of time, in an environment I am not often at.

Feeling encouraged by Anna and Mitch’s critique last week, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for more posters promoting faith. I have some sketches and ideas and worked out a composition for the first poster in a triptych about: Faith • Hope • Love.

Rough sketches for Faith • Hope • Love poster series (religious lens)

The first poster, Faith, is playing off of Matthew 17:20 and will be a large composition that is perforated with pieces that can be torn off. It’s large format (roughly 40″ x 50″?), and I hope to have a test print to show in the small group critique tomorrow. Making work about my faith has been rewarding, presenting about it, can be challenging.

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Faith poster — each module will have Matthew 17:20 (religious lens)

Earlier today I got lunch with Do Yun, and we caught up and discussed ideas for a collaboration. Her DP is about Mapping and expanding data visualization and making it more nontraditional and visually compelling. I approached her with the idea of using the survey results to map where people ‘are geographically living’ vs. where their ‘home’ is. But I told her I don’t want it to be so one-sided in favor of my ideas/topic. We are planning to have our first kick-off brainstorm Wednesday, so she can present some ideas to her section on Thursday.

Ruth sent the next postcard—I think keeping that collaboration weekly is a good pace.

NUA is closed until further notice. I felt like a fish out of water this afternoon. Really makes me realize how much of a part of my schedule and routine is centered around NUA, and how much I miss it when I’m not there. NUA Uno will have to be postponed for now.

I mocked up the first draft for the Family Preparedness Plan (as a part of the KYR campaign for DIIRI). There is so much more information to cover in this pamphlet, including additional forms to have people fill out. I am unsure of how to tackle all of it in a cohesive form. Brandon won’t be there this Thursday, so I can present my ideas and sketches to Susan and show her what I’ve been working on so far.

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First iteration of the Family Preparedness Plan pamphlet for DIIRI (political lens)

I find myself having difficulty describing my DP in a concise way—and I need to begin thinking about how to synthesize all the information and work that I have done cohesively. It is important for me that the work I make and present is accessible, comprehensive, cohesive, and concise. (Asking for a lot). But I don’t want to have to over explain myself—I want the work to speak for itself and for the connections between the there lenses and the entire scope of the DP to be evident. I hope to ask Tom for some direction with this tomorrow. On how to synthesize it all together.

For tomorrow (1pm meeting with Andrew and Tom), I will be presenting:
— Family Preparedness Plan and updated KYR pamphlets for DIIRI (political lens)
— Faith poster and idea for Faith • Hope • Love poster series (religious lens)
— Update with Ruth and start of ideas with Do Yun (social lens)
— Questions for synthesizing the project as a whole, and moving forward

Maybe the reflection document/process book/thesis book? can be the synthesis??

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
—Matthew 6:34, NIV

Week 2 Reflection

written precisely two hours before Week 3 meeting

Slides for my week 3 presentation

I just finished writing out the notes for my presentation in section this week for my degree project–I am so amazed with how fast everything is going and how busy the semester already is. Juggling DP, job applications, sleep, and catching up with people (and sleep), has been a bit of a challenge.

However, I am enjoying my DP topic and the work I am making, even though the topic is still very broad.  Everything seems to be falling in to place–and it is exciting to have God lead and be so present in the work I am making. I am also enjoying working with many different types of people and sharing conversations and being inspired by other people’s experiences and insights. I have a lot to say–but also not.

Here’s a “brief” recap of where I am with my projects up-to-this-point:

Quick Exercises

*I’m not Amerian [sic], but I’m still home. This place isn’t just for Americans.

First posting was made last week–seemed to have a positive reception, of course some locations are more effective than others. There were some comments written on two of the postings about the connotations of ‘American’ and the song used–this is ‘Native’ land, not colonial land. It has made me think a lot about what it means to be American, and will feed a lot into my next posting.

Brainstorming on the term ‘American’

Made some quick origami explorations of language (Spanish and Japanese) through poetic form making.


First draft of poster – overcomplicated and will be simplified

Making progress on the posters about the Christian journey–finding home, creating family. Funny how interconnected everything–grace of God. Serena helped a lot with refining the design, and Cyrus had a great idea of simplifying the poster and making it a series of four, one for each direction: upward, inward, outward, and together. I like that idea and will get to work on that.

I have my first interview/meeting with Dorcas tomorrow!

Mel, Kah and I had our first group meeting about NUA UNO, and we divi’ed up the roles and are getting it started! I am excited to see it unfold.

I met briefly with Emily to discuss collaboration at church on Sunday–hoping to meet with her in person to see the work and discuss further our ideas.


A lot going on! But it’s all exciting. Hopefully the feedback from the presentation and critique in section will be good today. Here back from me soon.

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:15–17, ESV


“Design has to work. Art does not.” – Donald Judd

Judd’s famous design quote was brought up in critique which made me feel all sorts of ways. Today’s critique and final presentations made me feel similarly exhausted. Seeing all the amazing work that was made is one thing, but questioning the boundary between art and design and if it needs to be defined. I don’t think Judd’s quote is all encompassing or always true. Obviously things like this are open for interpretation.

Today I presented the final collaborative installation and we had final critique in section. Our guest critic was Emily Rye from the Design Agency; my Type I teacher last fall and where I had interned over the summer last year. It was great to have her see my work now and, with her knowing my background before, she was able to give in-depth feedback. The installation was fun; or it seems like they had fun making it.

Critique was very constructive. The hard-work was recognized, the integration of Japanese and English in the zine was commended and pleasing, but there was a lot of criticism, confusion and contention over different elements of the project. I had too many concepts going on and the use of Japanese was confusing. I don’t think I did the best job explaining everything, I didn’t really know how to introduce this project to be honest. It has been a crazy ride with a ton of learning and iterative making; I definitely struggled pulling it all together into a final conclusive form or statement in the end.

Continue reading “一人です。”


wip_webProgress over the weekend. This weekend felt really relaxing and productive. I woke up Saturday morning, dawned with the idea for the final zine. I cranked it out and assembled 25 copies (10 full color and 15 bw), using up the remaining grey and pink I had left. Incredible I bought the pack of grey vellum from paperworks thinking 500 was way too much; glad I used it all (but also extremely depressing how I spent ~$50 on printing alone with that).

Continue reading “一人一人”