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Masters Theses

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Full-Text Articles in Art and Design

A Case Study Of The Edwards House: How A Community Fought To Preserve Their Cultural Heritage, Carolyn Grace Klima May 2019

A Case Study Of The Edwards House: How A Community Fought To Preserve Their Cultural Heritage, Carolyn Grace Klima

Masters Theses

This study examines why an architecturally significant, Queen Anne style mansion in Downers Grove, Illinois was demolished even though citizens valiantly tried to save it for one year. With all the information available in the form of books, journals, websites and videos concerning historic preservation, why did the citizens of Downers Grove fail to save this historic gem? Academic literature shows the significance of historic preservation from economic and sustainability standpoints. Communities have used historic preservation to revitalize main streets across America, and large corporations like American Express and Walmart have supported historic preservation. Unfortunately, architecture is the most fragile ...


Motherhood Story Project: Transforming Societal Perception Of Mothers Through Portraiture & Storytelling, Andrea Caresse Lewis May 2019

Motherhood Story Project: Transforming Societal Perception Of Mothers Through Portraiture & Storytelling, Andrea Caresse Lewis

Masters Theses

In our modern western culture, there are two drastically different views of motherhood. Society often paints mothers as women who give up on their bodies and careers to pursue a life of seemingly purposeless identity. While the reality is that women devote their entire being to the growth and development of a new human, continuing the very concept of civilization as we know it. Because of this dichotomy and plurality of worlds, mothers often feel ostracized, alone, and completely unprepared for the new journey they have embraced. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the realities of motherhood and ...


Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez May 2019

Animal Heads: Exploring Christian Themed Solutions And Mental Health Through Comics, Mariannette Oyola-Perez

Masters Theses

The second leading cause of death for the ages of 10-24 is suicide, a statistic that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows has steadily risen since 1999. Although it is seldom spoken about in mental health circles, an enmity seems to exist between Christianity and modern psychology in regards to mental illness and how it should be treated; this enmity could be preventing helpful Christian-based principles from being shared with the at-risk population while simultaneously excluding Christians from a conversation they need to be a part of.

Interestingly, further research shows that the at-risk demographic overlaps significantly with ...


The Utilization Of Visual Design Systems To Promote Higher Levels Of Learning In Educational Environments, Keenan Sultanik May 2019

The Utilization Of Visual Design Systems To Promote Higher Levels Of Learning In Educational Environments, Keenan Sultanik

Masters Theses

Traditional higher education environments have changed very little in the last hundred and fifty years, while technology has advanced in nearly every other area of society making each more productive and more capable. This study identifies key aspects of a comprehensive and universal visual learning system that incorporates a more holistic approach to design and interactivity in educational environments. The desired effect of this is elevating classroom learning to higher levels as defined by Bloom’s Taxonomy. In this thesis, I have collected and explored empirical and observational data to examine the relationship between effective learning environments and the use ...


Exploring The Enneagram Through Visual Aesthetics: Profiles For Personal Home Décor, Sarah K. Casmass May 2019

Exploring The Enneagram Through Visual Aesthetics: Profiles For Personal Home Décor, Sarah K. Casmass

Masters Theses

The home is an environment that is the prime center for self-expression, personal sanctuary, and solace. On a psychological level, the home is a representation of the individual and, therefore, that individual should identify and find pleasure in their personal home space. Decorative art has long provided visual solutions for our innate desire to accentuate our spaces and express ourselves. However, there is a need for a connection between the visual arts and the augmentation of our basic psychological needs through home décor. With countless resources available for an individual to become more self-aware, there is a deficit in the ...


Advancing Film Through Art & Design: A Study Of The Influence That Film And Fine Art Have On The Independent Film Market, Jamall Rashaud Mcmillan Apr 2019

Advancing Film Through Art & Design: A Study Of The Influence That Film And Fine Art Have On The Independent Film Market, Jamall Rashaud Mcmillan

Masters Theses

The Influence of Graphic Design and Fine Art in Film is a exploration into the impact that an investment of the arts has on film and more specifically the independent film market. Most independent filmmakers have to develop their productions with little to no budget. In doing so they must work to create a marketable film to the best of their ability. There in-lies the issue; they are doing it to the best of “their” ability. The issue that is in focus with the notion of ability is that a major component that is left out of the equation to ...


Visuals In Music Promotion: Developing An Effective Visual Marketing Campaign Within The Musical Brand Of The Bluegrass Genre, Grant Cochran Apr 2019

Visuals In Music Promotion: Developing An Effective Visual Marketing Campaign Within The Musical Brand Of The Bluegrass Genre, Grant Cochran

Masters Theses

The American genre of bluegrass music is a style of music that is not widely commercial and is not supported by large promotional budgets. This thesis researched historical and current visual designs for the promotion of bluegrass music. A research survey was also conducted to determine what kind of promotional design would most effectively appeal to fans of the genre. The results of that research survey was applied to promotional materials that are to be made available to a newly started bluegrass music festival.


The Sandman: The Artifice Of Comics And Power Of Dreams, Nathan Teft Apr 2019

The Sandman: The Artifice Of Comics And Power Of Dreams, Nathan Teft

Masters Theses

Neil Gaiman’s Vertigo Series The Sandman is an exceptional artistic endeavor. From “Preludes and Nocturnes”(1988) to “The Wake” (1996), Gaiman worked alongside a team of talented artists and graphic designers to produce an indelible work of revisionist mythology. This thesis will attempt to establish the framework by which our modern literary canon has celebrated classical Western myths while relegating graphic or visual forms of literature or outright neglecting comic myths altogether. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics will frame the discourse for pictographic analysis of Neil Gaiman’s mythological revisionism of Milton’s Paradise Lost in Season of Mists ...


The Spark Of Recovery: Artistic Methods That Generate Dialogue And Reduce Stigma In Families Affected By Mood Disorders, Adara Jensen Dec 2018

The Spark Of Recovery: Artistic Methods That Generate Dialogue And Reduce Stigma In Families Affected By Mood Disorders, Adara Jensen

Masters Theses

Mood disorders, such as major depression and bipolar disorder negatively affect family dynamics, often resulting in trauma, antipathy, mistrust, and the breakdown in communication between the individual suffering from mood disorder and members of his or her family. The impact of mood disorder on family members impedes recovery for the person suffering from the disorder as well as the health and well-being of the family as a whole. Even emotionally healthy families suffer from the subsequent pain, trauma, isolation, and stigma. The project proposes a solution to broken or inhibited family communication: the engagement of all family members in healing ...


Growing A Healthy Childhood: The Value Of Cultivating Young Minds Through Gardening Using Design, Sarah Hoyt Dec 2018

Growing A Healthy Childhood: The Value Of Cultivating Young Minds Through Gardening Using Design, Sarah Hoyt

Masters Theses

This research analyzes the effects of introducing gardening as an educational and developmental tool in early childhood. Research includes an in-depth exploration of the benefits of gardening regarding physical, mental, and social health. Furthermore, the research studies why parents do not already implement gardening. The thesis delves into the power that artwork can have as a call to action. The thesis concludes with a visual solution that is intended to draw out a desire for parents of young children to introduce gardening in their home.


Technology And The Printed Book: Pursuing A Holistic Human Experience With A Sacred Text, Rachel Dugan Dec 2018

Technology And The Printed Book: Pursuing A Holistic Human Experience With A Sacred Text, Rachel Dugan

Masters Theses

There exists a sort of gravitas attached to a book that is printed and bound by hand that gets lost on the production line. When holding a hand-printed (or hand-written), hand-bound codex next to a mass-produced book, there is between the two a visible and tactile difference in quality and harmony between form and content. With the modern technological advancements now available, how can the craftsmanship and beauty — the gravitas — evident in books of the past be replicated in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, harmonious in message, and reflective of the present time? As objects, books are designed to ...


A Natural Circus, Cecilia Plasencia Jun 2018

A Natural Circus, Cecilia Plasencia

Masters Theses

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have no interest in controlling and manipulating matter to my own heart’s content. I’m rather bored of rigidly perfect geometries and sentiments. Rather than controlling materials I allow them to do as they please. I capture their moment of revelation, and allow them to speak for themselves. I realize this process of making demotes me from creator to conduit, but I’ve noted that the materials have a far more unique and intelligent message than I could ever imagine.

So, I listen to matter. Matter has one very good friend ...


Journey Through The Wasteland, Songlin Li Jun 2018

Journey Through The Wasteland, Songlin Li

Masters Theses

I started planning this book at the end of last year, because I had to write it for my thesis, and also because I saw this as an opportunity to create, like making artwork. But the difference is that this does not look like my usual art, being only a book comprised of words and images.

From the end of last year to the beginning of this year, I experienced a terrible spiritual disillusionment and was caught in a cycle of depression and anxiety. Even though I was prepared to write this book last fall, I only really started in ...


Ouroboros, Christopher Dove Drury Jun 2018

Ouroboros, Christopher Dove Drury

Masters Theses

Art is communication.

Objects are for making and giving.

Life is to be loved with others.

I work directly and swiftly with material to mark time and labor.

This is a pathway to resolve suffering, to be present.


Very-Asian Variation, Nicholas Oh Jun 2018

Very-Asian Variation, Nicholas Oh

Masters Theses

Nicholas Oh is a Korean American Artist currently working in Providence.

Oh graduated from San Francisco State University and he is currently a graduate student at Rhode Island School of Design.

He focuses on creating clay sculpture and mixed media installation that deals with race and identity as a Korean American in America.

Oh has done residencies at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan and Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado and has shown at Mills College Art Museum in California, Milwaukee Art Institute in Wisconsin, American Museum of Ceramic Art and Pence Gallery in California.


On The Edge Of Being, Zoe Gross Jun 2018

On The Edge Of Being, Zoe Gross

Masters Theses

On the Edge of Being represents a focused exploration of clay, craft, femininity, fragility, and self-care. The title is hopeful. It represents a certain radical gentleness with myself and with my work. It reminds me that as hard as I try, there is always room to grow and improve. It is also a bit of a joke with myself; I am rarely satisfied.

I began this body of work as a way of rejoicing in the tamped down impulses of my early artistic career. I wanted to infuse my work with magic: color, texture, pattern, flowers, frills, lace, kitsch and ...


Castles In The Sky, Iva Milovanović Jun 2018

Castles In The Sky, Iva Milovanović

Masters Theses

I was born and raised in the city of Belgrade. From the 1950’s till the beginning of 1990’s it was the capital city of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. From the 1950’s until the 1980’s Yugoslavia experienced a financial and thus architectural boom. The president Josip Broz Tito financed construction of WWII Memorials to demonstrate the strength of the socialist republic throughout the Balkans. These giant memorials, along with most of the architecture of Belgrade from that time, were built in brutalist style. Brutalism signified power, progress and a forward moving country.

However, when I ...


The Bird's Eye View, Ipek Kosova Jun 2018

The Bird's Eye View, Ipek Kosova

Masters Theses

How can we make sense of the borders between destruction and construction, between matter and ourselves, at the same time? How habitable is a border? How does sound echo and vibrate on the border? Are borders a space of segregation or dialogue? Where is the border between our brain and our own voice? Between the transparent and opaque? Between the paint and the floor? Between the receiver and transmitter? Between the eye and the tear? Are borders monuments of extinctions of human contact?

The self defines itself as bordered and limited. The moments where destructive events seem like a ruin ...


Haunt : Casual Surrealism, Cara Buzzell Jun 2018

Haunt : Casual Surrealism, Cara Buzzell

Masters Theses

This thesis aims to define, observe and create a feeling of surrealism through a series of design gestures. The process began with a question: If I, as a designer, immerse myself in a subculture that I have no interest in, will I become a fan of it? To attempt this, I created systems and tools to deeply investigate each subculture. I observed and recorded what I experienced. As a case study, the haunted attraction community captured my attention. I went to their conventions and took classes in the crafts of “the haunt.” While immersed in this community, I started to ...


Tiny Diasporas, Angela Lorenzo Jun 2018

Tiny Diasporas, Angela Lorenzo

Masters Theses

I see myself as a literary curator — I collect and sequence texts and images, both digital and analog, to reveal, connect, and construct narratives, resulting in shifting meanings and significances. Inhabiting this curatorial ethos, I investigate hidden subtexts, locating personal and collective relations to the margins and files marked “miscellany.” Working in books and installations, I engage with the inherited meanings of visual languages (form, typography, color, material, format) to open up well-worn narratives and craft new interpretations.

Tiny Diasporas is a primer to a design practice that borrows the form of an abecedarius, an alphabetical wordlist for learning the ...


Placefulness, Ellen Christensen Jun 2018

Placefulness, Ellen Christensen

Masters Theses

Graphic design has been referred to as a tool of inquiry — a method of thinking visually. Design can polish, beautify, hierarchize, eliminate, prioritize, propagandize, or disseminate. Using spatial inquiry as a primary mode of investigation, I argue that graphic design is also a process of attention and care. How can graphic design be a tool of expansion and inclusion?

By encouraging spaces of attention and listening within the built environment and virtual worlds, we can think critically about power dynamics, interiority and exteriority, and subjectivity and objectivity. Within this phase of late capitalism, I focus on leftovers, scraps, and the ...


Field Guide : Collected Studies Of A Symbiont, Jennifer Livermore Jun 2018

Field Guide : Collected Studies Of A Symbiont, Jennifer Livermore

Masters Theses

Field Guide is a collection of studies that explore how symbiosis relates to graphic design. These studies investigate how visual language constructs — and is constructed by — ideas about nature.

As a manipulator of language and imagery, I borrow the ecologist’s methods in order to make sense of our relationship with the natural world. My techniques include observation, collection, mutation, framing and recombination. I use these methods not to celebrate them, but to expose their subjective nature.

I approach visual language, technology, and our ecological home as an entangled set of ideas rather than estranged categories. My work investigates how ...


Anachropomorphism!, Carson Evans Jun 2018

Anachropomorphism!, Carson Evans

Masters Theses

Folks, the Truth is hard to know—if can be known at all.¹ Conventional Western wisdom tells us: stick to the facts. (I’m looking at you, Enlightenment.) We privilege the written word as an objective and reliable vehicle for communication. Useful, yes, but we over-rely. I counter with this: bodily performativity and purposeful inaccuracy that produces, paradoxically, narrative accuracy. These methods roil in our gut or tug at our heartstrings—instead of recoiling, we should embrace them.

I like to unpack “the stories we tell ourselves,”² our personal and societal mythologies, with a particular eye to how ...


Domestic Disorientation, Marisa Adesman Jun 2018

Domestic Disorientation, Marisa Adesman

Masters Theses

At the center of all human life is the idea of ‘home’, and although this notion has persisted across time, the specific ideas and meaning of that word have changed significantly across the millennia. We are now in an unprecedented time of rapid change and social, economic and political upheaval, and from where we stand now, it is important to explore what ‘home’ means to us today, at both the individual and collective level.

The domestic space of the home, and the rooms within, represent a politicized site vis-à-vis gender, and these gender dichotomies are perhaps most prevalent in the ...


Really Clean No Problems At All, Christina Johnston Jun 2018

Really Clean No Problems At All, Christina Johnston

Masters Theses

Soap made with a single hair from someone you kind of know.

Porcelain vessels that seem to bubble up with anxiety from the inside.

A blanket made from surveillance footage of an intimate moment on a car.

When we use these objects, it’s hard to say if we’re touching another person or not, or if they’re sensual or synthetic.

This book presents a collection of domestic objects titled Really Clean No Problems At All. This collection focuses on post-digital culture’s increasingly dissociative relationship with bodiliness, intimacy, and hygiene.

This collection alters objects that live in our ...


Curious Things, Allison Davis Jun 2018

Curious Things, Allison Davis

Masters Theses

Curiosity fuels progress. It is what pushes us forward individually, as well as collectively. It allows us to make sense of the world and those that are in it. The problem is, we are in the midst of a curiosity crisis whereby our sensitivity to the physical has drastically diminished. Curious Things sheds light on our detachment from our surroundings and explores how ‘embodied curiosity’ can foster our need to know, experience, and explore. Through curious observations and unexpected encounters captured by others, this thesis argues that the use of distinct object forms and visual aesthetics can be viable solutions ...


Memory.Zip, Yu-Hsing Wu Jun 2018

Memory.Zip, Yu-Hsing Wu

Masters Theses

I want to turn the unintentional “digital traces” we leave on the Internet into a tangible format so that we can be more aware of the traces we are making. To do this, I have created a series of physical objects that capture those digital traces. My hope is that this series will eventually reflect our relationship with these traces and how we feel connected to the people we care for today.


Letsqube, Biniam Assegid Kebede Jun 2018

Letsqube, Biniam Assegid Kebede

Masters Theses

Letsqube is a platform that enables groups of friends to easily collect and pool money towards communal events, gatherings, and purchases.

Individuals find their friends on Letsqube and then agree on a budget for an event, gathering, or group purchase. Letsqube handles the finances by automatically debiting a set amount from a user’s bank account on a predetermined schedule.

Letsqube encourages people to get together, provides accountability and a schedule for contributions, and handles the finances in the background so that groups of friends can focus on enjoying their time together.

Making time to get together with friends regularly ...


Cosmic Whatever, Cement Gardens, Luminous Shade, Winifred Vaughan Jun 2018

Cosmic Whatever, Cement Gardens, Luminous Shade, Winifred Vaughan

Masters Theses

My work is an assemblage of disciplines, reductive processes, and accumulated materials interpreted with a painterly quality. Slipping away faster than we can grasp, the unrelenting forces of time propel us forward. Memory fragments our chronologies, transforming our existence into a collaged fabric. Layered transparencies allow the three chapters of this thesis, Cosmic Whatever, Cement Gardens and Luminous Shade, to bleed into each other turning them into composed cycles. These unlikely combinations permit freedom to experience a narrative that is both vast and intimate.


Capes Make The Man, Khalid Mezaina Jun 2018

Capes Make The Man, Khalid Mezaina

Masters Theses

‘Capes Make The Man’ is a project that provided me with the opportunity to grow as a designer and an artist. Over the last two years at RISD, I’ve frequently asked myself questions about my place and role as a man in the United Arab Emirates, and what awaits when I move back after graduating. Using personal narratives and cultural symbols from home, I bring to life the archetypes I carry as a mature masculine – my king, warrior, magician, lover and dancer. The end result is a series of bold, wearable capes, resembling stage costumes worn by pop stars ...