Political—flux dp


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.


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).


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.


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.

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


Week 4 Update – Snow Day!

The only written response I’ve seen thus far: ‘Home, let me go home.’ 15 West

The response from the second posting was very sparse. Many people tore off the quotes tagged at the bottom, but not many people (except 1?) wrote filled in the blank. I am not sure what the third posting will be…the second wasn’t as ‘successful’ or insightful as the first. However, it prompted me to design a survey that would solicit more of a response from people directly.

Promotional social media I made and spread on facebook

If you have not already, please fill it out through this link: https://goo.gl/forms/riQnGxSRocFlVAMO2

I got over 100+ responses! I still need to figure out how to translate the answers and analyze the data collected. I think I might push this and the illustrations of the houses further for Unbound (RISD’s printed book fair in April).

Ruth and I started our collaboration! Back-and-forth memory prompted postcards. I just received her response to the first postcard I sent, today.

Ruth’s first response

I made some progress on the posters describing the various directions of the Christian journey–prompted by my ISP advisor, Cyrus, I split the posters into four, one for each direction. I worked on the distance read this week and still need to decide and design/compose with more smaller text, and consider the 2 other reads (half-way, and close-up read). I am also deciding between dark-grey text on light-grey background, or light-grey text on dark-grey background. My illustration friends prefer the top row, and my GD friends suggested the bottom.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 10.41.08 PM
Thumbnails of the directions posters

Tomorrow (Tuesday) our usual DP meeting day, is a major snow storm day in Rhode Island. Our meeting was canceled. I have other small projects I am working on, including: progress on NUA UNO (hopefully launching next week with Mel and Kah), a mini illustrated zine on the houses I’ve lived in, second meeting with DIIRI this week (fortunately the Know Your Rights workshop tomorrow is reschedule, so hopefully I can make the new day/time), Sanctuary’s new Discipleship class meeting this Wednesday morning, I have some new forms and content to work with.

I had a nice conversation over lunch with Jenice about our time at RISD, RISD Homegroup, and our current projects. She left me with the followign bible verse as a word of prayer over her this week, I can resonate a lot with it too:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8, ESV

Many Meetings Later – 2nd Posting

The second posting – Home, ___________ home.

This morning, I awoke thinking it was Saturday. (It’s Thursday). I got out of bed, fortunately early, and posted 42 new postings around campus. This second posting was designed, and is intended, to solicit more feedback from viewers, while also maintaining a take-away tear-off. The postings read “Home, _______ home.” prompting people to fill in the blank. At the bottom of the posting there is a quote about home and little tear offs. There are four different quotes, making for four different postings that were distributed across campus.

I tried to have more strategic locations for the postings this time around – taking into account areas that weren’t as successful from the first posting last week, and hitting areas that I didn’t get to in the first posting (i.e. 15 West). It is disheartening to see some have already been taken down (15+ hours later), and some that have disappeared or been blown away. Many have the tear-offs torn-off, but none (that I’ve seen at least) have any writing in the blanks. It may be because I didn’t attach a pen to the posting.

Besides that posting, I finalized a template and idea with Ruth for our postcard/memory/nonlinear narrative collaboration. I will be delivering the first card to the mailroom tomorrow morning. I wrote about the dried plums from Asian Star Market.

The rest of this week has been many, many meetings and talks, and emails and interview coordinations. We had our second and final homegroup connect meeting on Monday, Kah, Mel and I met during NUA to discuss NUA UNO on Monday, DP section on Tuesday, yesterday (Wednesday) I met with Brandon from Dorcas, and today (Thursday) I went to the AIGA KnowHer talk featuring Leta Sobierajski.

Leta Sobierajsk, KnowHer AIGA Rhode Island series – slide where Leta described her work experience/dislike of for her old jobs.

The homegroup connect meeting was good, it felt long. We had a good intensive reading of the word and a look at community.

In-depth studying of the word at Homegroup Connect this week.

Meeting with Brandon from Dorcas (DIIRI) went really well. He is very supportive of this experience being something we can both benefit from, and he will have me working on a Know Your Rights-based project starting next week: Thursdays 9am–12pm. The meeting lasted over an hour (not including sharing a 20minute bus ride back downtown together), and I got to meet with Susan, the director of communications and receive a tour of the building. I am excited for this project, they really appreciated the voting guide I designed and they believe something similar for the Know Your Rights campaign would be really helpful for their clients. There is a presentation on Know Your Rights on Tuesday, which I hope to attend after DP.

I feel like I have a lot to do, but also a lot in the works and a lot of material to work with. I know there will be plenty to get my hands dirty and busy with this weekend. Though my mind is already in weekend mode apparently.

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
Psalm 32:8, ESV

2nd Meeting – 1st Posting


1st Political Posting made and distributed across RISD and Brown. Small text reads: ‘No matter the color of your skin, your religion or creed, your sexual identity or preference, ‘where you are from’ or ‘who you are’… You are American. And you are home. This is our land.’

This week we met in pairs with Tom–May and I presented our first week’s work and discussed the progression of our ideas. Tom had some really insightful feedback describing the ‘Buddhic field’/’higher mind.’ It was a lot to process, but very interesting. I can see direct parallels between that and even what we discussed at Homegroup Connect last night with Sanctuary. The idea of stepping outside of one’s own mind and into the realm of the spiritual – trusting God, and being immersed in the process and God’s plan and not our own way of thinking (me extrapolating with a Christian perspective).

I presented my mind-map and new concept for my degree project, and I feel a lot more confident about project now. The idea of home and identity being in flux, and engaging in socially responsible design through the community in Providence. It satisfies my desire to be engaged with the community, and to really maximize my remaining time in this community. Tom also brought up the idea of designing for a greater community than just the client–which made me think about one of my early ideas of design as a civil service, or graphic designer as civil servant. After speaking with Albert from NEA and Grace, I really feel more confident in this direction. When else will I have the opportunity in my profession to so full-heartedly pursue design for social good, and activist/socially engaged design?

I am in email communication with Brandon from DIIRI, and sent a general email to Amos House. I am hoping to be connected with these new communities, while maintaining my work with NUA. Hoping to iron out that schedule as well. I hope I am not biting off more than I can chew.

1st Political Posting – at Brown University

I made my first political posting today, based off of the song This Land is Your Land, and inspired by the current political climate and the hate-crime that happened at RISD recently. Hoping to spread a word of encouragement and hope. Of course it is hard to truly gauge the “success” of such a project, but I think this quick making exercise will be fruitful for my process and help keep me making and thinking about my topic. I printed 50 posters, and they were posted across RISD and Brown’s campuses. May had the suggestion of having them available as a digital file too, so people can print and make them themselves. I think that is a great idea, and I’d love to have an archive of files I can share as a part of the ‘end product’ for my Degree Project.

I am excited for the direction I am taking, and God be willing, we will where see where this goes. The three directions I am taking my DP can be summarized as:

  1. political postings
  2. religious encouragement
  3. nonprofit activism

Of course they are not mutually exclusive, and they will all inform each other. I hope I can balance this with my other studio and ISP.

The posting had little tear-offs, which read: ‘You are loved.’, ‘You are accepted.’, and ‘You belong here.’

‘And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.’ Luke 1:23, ESV