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Masters Theses

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Turning The Page: A Design Thinking Approach To Increasing Literacy Advocacy In West Alabama, Justin C. Walters Aug 2020

Turning The Page: A Design Thinking Approach To Increasing Literacy Advocacy In West Alabama, Justin C. Walters

Masters Theses

Through the problem/solution lens of design thinking, this research critically analyzes the promotional activities and materials used by the Literacy Council of West Alabama (LCWA) to determine their effectiveness in reaching both functionally illiterate populations as well as the fully-literate population aiming to work the advocacy front with this nonprofit organization. Qualitative data was gathered through the utilization of a web heuristic evaluation, as well as the evaluation of current marketing materials for LCWA; these insights were used to guide the design and creation of new print and digital marketing materials for the organization. Results of this research aimed ...

Food Packages That Make Choosing Better, Easy, Shelley Tate Garner Aug 2020

Food Packages That Make Choosing Better, Easy, Shelley Tate Garner

Masters Theses

Food packaging with persuasive design components and information can help us make better food buying decisions when it matters most- as we are scanning the grocery aisle. The correct packaging design could make it easy for consumers to determine a healthy choice from a lesser option and be attractive enough to sway decision making, thus leading to a healthier public. Research has been produced in many categories that relates to the dynamic of packaging design and its impact on buying and consumer response. However, no one study seems to bring together the most common elements that influence “healthy” choices at ...

Kofifi/Covfefe: How The Costumes Of "Sophiatown" Bring 1950s South Africa To Western Massachusetts In 2020, Emma Hollows Jul 2020

Kofifi/Covfefe: How The Costumes Of "Sophiatown" Bring 1950s South Africa To Western Massachusetts In 2020, Emma Hollows

Masters Theses

This thesis paper reflects upon the costume design process taken by Emma Hollows to produce a realist production of the Junction Avenue Theatre Company’s musical Sophiatown at the Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts in May 2020. Sophiatown follows a household forcibly removed from their homes by the Native Resettlement Act of 1954 amid apartheid in South Africa. The paper discusses her attempts as a costume designer to strike a balance between replicating history and making artistic changes for theatre, while always striving to create believable characters.

The Things Of Mind, Yini Luo May 2020

The Things Of Mind, Yini Luo

Masters Theses

My thesis research shows my thinking and reflection on environmental changes around me in the past and especially the past two years. Through the experience between the city and nature, my research has clarified my different perspectives and explored the expression and reproduction through the print media and glass media.

Things That Grew While I Looked At The Ground, Heather Mcmordie May 2020

Things That Grew While I Looked At The Ground, Heather Mcmordie

Masters Theses

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the role of fine arts in translating the complexities of natural systems. This particular body of work explores the relationship between printmaking and soil science—just one of the many possible relationships between arts and sciences—with a focus on salt marsh soil systems. Generating public interest soil systems and other hidden ecological systems can be difficult due to the opaqueness of language and concepts surrounding these systems and a perceived distance (physically or conceptually) from the general public. Printmaking—with its inherent multiplicity, mediation, and readability—offers opportunities for making the seeming abstraction ...

Rootless, Lilla Szekely May 2020

Rootless, Lilla Szekely

Masters Theses

This thesis is an attempt to understand the relationship of my art to nature and my sense of rootlessness. I have been imprinted by the places I have lived in yet disconnected from them as well. I am often situated on the 'other side' and as my perspective has learned to shift between the global and the local, between the outsider and insider gaze, I have come to describe this ability as being 'rootless'. I believe this condition is more common in America, the country of immigrants than anywhere else. Our memories are often re-told in the form of stories ...

Recipes, Camille Chew May 2020

Recipes, Camille Chew

Masters Theses

Ingredients and materials can be manipulated and combined to create something new-a transformation akin to alchemy. Vegetables are chopped and brewed into soup; clay is glazed and fired into sculpture; flour. sugar. butter and eggs bake into a cake; ink is pressed into paper to make prints. These processes are acts of magic that are performed in kitchens and studios every day.

After spending all day working in the print shop, I always feel most refreshed and contented once I've cooked a meal and sat down to enjoy it. This past year I began bringing baked goods to class ...

Storytelling In Arts, Lindi Shi May 2020

Storytelling In Arts, Lindi Shi

Masters Theses

People and narratives are the core of my art practice. Compared with only exploring the subject matter, I am more excited about the characters and narratives around it. My media gradually shifts from flat drawings or prints to installation, performance, and even explosions. Perhaps as a human myself, I like people a lot. There are always interesting stories where people go. The thesis discusses four stories, including an oral tale from my grandma, my personal experience, stories about bodies, and a story in the imagination. This writing reflects my research on the relationship between types of storytelling and various art ...

Barren: A Case Study Using Art In Religious Instruction To Foster Empathy By Providing Deeper Insight And Encouraging Contemporary Dialogue, Esther Hi'ilani Candari May 2020

Barren: A Case Study Using Art In Religious Instruction To Foster Empathy By Providing Deeper Insight And Encouraging Contemporary Dialogue, Esther Hi'ilani Candari

Masters Theses

This thesis draws upon a review of current literature related to the empathy-building potential of fine art and experiences of infertile women, especially those within Judeo-Christian communities, to build a case study for utilizing fine art to create stronger more empathetic communities. For this case study, the researcher utilized an online survey of infertile Judeo-Christian women to further clarify the specific needs of this minority group. Then she drew upon a broad array of current and historical literature and artwork to discern what cultural and theological trends may have framed infertility as a stigma. Using this information she then produced ...

Easily Read, Easily Forgotten: Reassessing The Effects Of Visual Difficulties And Multi-Modality In Educational Text Design, Rebekah Cochell May 2020

Easily Read, Easily Forgotten: Reassessing The Effects Of Visual Difficulties And Multi-Modality In Educational Text Design, Rebekah Cochell

Masters Theses

The graphic design of a book affects the way the reader receives and processes information. However, design is often focused on aesthetic principles and traditional wisdom, not taking into account how design aspects affect cognitive processes and educational outcomes. This thesis examines the efficacy of page design elements on educational outcomes, specifically disfluent fonts, handwritten fonts and multi-modal design. The traditional wisdom of typography has maintained that the faster the human eye can read a text, the more suited it is for reading materials. However, recent research suggests that disfluent, or difficult-to-read fonts result in significantly improved reading comprehension and ...

Meritpatch - Family Collaborative Activities, Jason Allan Crouch Apr 2020

Meritpatch - Family Collaborative Activities, Jason Allan Crouch

Masters Theses

There is no doubt that the modern family is very busy and disrupted by outside influences. Social trends and expectations have caused many families to become disconnected. There is research that points to overuse of technology as one culprit. Other research suggests that lack of spiritualism has negatively affected families. Regardless of the cause, it can be argued that the more disconnect within a family, the more likely it is for family members to experience negative social, emotional and/or health related issues as well as broken relationships. This study seeks to define family interactions and activities that support a ...

Meatspace, Nicholas M. Criscuolo Oct 2019

Meatspace, Nicholas M. Criscuolo

Masters Theses

“MeatSpace” is a group of related bodies of work including podcasts, prints and videos produced by working with simulation technologies such as “weak A.I.”, virtual reality, and 3d scans. Collectively the works explore how people relate to these technologies and how they relate to us. They share thematic or process-oriented sensibilities involving a series of rule-based steps that alternate between the procedural and the intentional. “Uncanny” is defined as strangely familiar. Something which falls in the Uncanny Valley feels wrong, but the reasons may be difficult to articulate. “MeatSpace” is an ongoing experiment to see where our own digital ...

Existence Stories, Althea Keaton Aug 2019

Existence Stories, Althea Keaton

Masters Theses

Existence Stories is an interactive activist art project that gathers personal narratives from people about the ways in which their lives have been impacted by the current political climate in the United States, particularly surrounding the 2016 Presidential election and its aftermath. The project harnesses first-person narrative and audience participation as tools for humanizing the “Other” and building connections between people through the act of sharing stories. As the project has progressed over time, it has evolved in multiple directions and come to incorporate a variety of media, primarily comics, animation, printmaking, and zines. The roles that reproduction, distribution, and ...

I Speak As One In Doubt, Margaret Hazel Wilson Aug 2019

I Speak As One In Doubt, Margaret Hazel Wilson

Masters Theses

A written thesis to accompany the M.F.A. Exhibition I Speak as One in Doubt. Blending epistolary format and visionary narrative, the artist addresses her complex relationship to her Catholic upbringing.

Fielding, Emily Tareila Aug 2019

Fielding, Emily Tareila

Masters Theses

Fielding is an ongoing exploration of place-making, spaces of learning and relationship building in formal and informal learning environments. The project is comprised of a series of events and workshops that are embodied, multimodal, olfactory and engagement-focused and a mobile cart that helps to facilitate these happenings both in and out of the formal gallery space. I regard my art practice as pedagogical, a blurring of art and life into intentional ways of being in the world; an experience of sharing practices with others and a form of what is regarded in institutionalized art as social practice. I find art ...

Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal Aug 2019

Design Your Career - Design Your Life, Joshua R. Beal

Masters Theses

This research investigates the current plague of unemployment and underemployment that nearly half of qualified individuals in the field of Visual Communications are met with after graduation. Students who major in this field dedicate a tremendous amount of time, money, and energy toward developing a broad skillset that resolves critical matters of communication through visual solutions. Research has demonstrated that despite conditions that are subject to ongoing change of economy, industry, and marketplace there are contributing factors that must be addressed to overcome un/underemployment regardless of circumstances. These include an underdeveloped network of professional contacts, deficiency in recognizing or ...

Heritage Sites, Leah Burke Jul 2019

Heritage Sites, Leah Burke

Masters Theses

A written thesis to accompany the M.F.A. Exhibition Heritage Sites, in which vignettes of the artist’s personal and familial narratives become a backdrop for examining themes such as global tourism, the notion of universal heritage, and questioning Puerto Rico as a postcolonial place. A two channel short video layers archival imagery with original material to examine the ways Puerto Rico has been represented and misrepresented personally and globally.

The Movement In Nature : Deep Missing, Missing You From Far Away, Chia-Chi Wu May 2019

The Movement In Nature : Deep Missing, Missing You From Far Away, Chia-Chi Wu

Masters Theses

The Movements in Nature

Soft waves, soft clouds, soft grass,

In the ocean, in the sky, on the ground. Mellow, smooth, satisfying,

No sharpness, no harm, just round circles.

Imagination of the mixture of the nature.

Throngs, Yinan Chen May 2019

Throngs, Yinan Chen

Masters Theses

Ceramic is an important element of my artworks. It is a material with strong bearing capacity, and at the same time, it is a tool with the attribute of nature and social function, for the similarity with humans can be found in it. Thanks to its characteristics, I am able to transform the forms, colors, and quality to complete my works. Collected from nature, carved with human hands, the clay is cultivated and my expectation of the outside world is satisfied.

Train Boy, Shannon Gross May 2019

Train Boy, Shannon Gross

Masters Theses

This thesis tells the story of the author's interactions with the hallucinatory figure of Train Boy.

Works And Process, Alex Hsu May 2019

Works And Process, Alex Hsu

Masters Theses

This thesis is a collection of furniture and objects that seek to embody the harmonious pleasantness of things through thoughtful consideration of their aesthetics, utility, and place. It reflects on the ownership and creation of objects and the role they play defining who we are. More specifically, it’s a reflection on how where I’ve come from and learning how to create have influenced these complex ideas. It’s a document that looks inward and serves as a manifestation of my developing process and its effects on my identity as a result. It grapples with my desire to create ...

Grid As A Frame, Young In Sa May 2019

Grid As A Frame, Young In Sa

Masters Theses

A grid is a type of framework applied to an area in order to articulate information through coordinates and units. Nowadays, the world we experience has become overwhelmed by digital displays. How can we perceive the different form of reality when both experience and our perspective are shaped by digital representation? What if our life continues in virtual topography where I can see my GPS location, or in a rectangular camera frame instead of on the spherical earth? I walk with my feet touching the ground and I see the landscape around me, but still, now, I navigate myself in ...

Mis Jarrones, Marco Sebastián Arroyo Hoebens May 2019

Mis Jarrones, Marco Sebastián Arroyo Hoebens

Masters Theses

This thesis offers an insight into the complex relationship between identity, memory and the creative process. A Q&A follows, designed to deepen the understanding of the self in different situations, places, cultures and design objects.

Apparently, memory has a leading role in triggering creative processes and this has forced me to do further research on my own past and on the objects that my memory retains. In the end, this “research on the self” has produced an interesting view on this particular creative process of designing.

The Moment Someone Opens A Book, A Venus Flytrap Is Tightening Its Cage, Chenlu Hou May 2019

The Moment Someone Opens A Book, A Venus Flytrap Is Tightening Its Cage, Chenlu Hou

Masters Theses

his thesis examines transitions as a form of transformation.

American Slavic : And Other Writings, Zac Banik May 2019

American Slavic : And Other Writings, Zac Banik

Masters Theses

My current cycle of work deals with the exploration, digestion and reinvigoration of traditional Slavic craft and material culture with goal of contributing to a contemporary design vernacular which eschews the idealization of Western-European forms and stands on its own: aesthetically discrete and externally respected. This line of inquiry arose from my own journey to understand myself as a Slavic-American; what it means to be such a thing; how to reconcile assimilation against perceived authentic identity and what value the voice of the diaspora can bring to the discourse of the old world. The outward mission of this project is ...

Externalized : Origins Of Aesthetic Motivations, Tim Miller May 2019

Externalized : Origins Of Aesthetic Motivations, Tim Miller

Masters Theses

My thoughts and behaviors are influenced by a compulsive disorder. Observing this, I’ve learned how much my outlook can be shaped by my own ritualistic patterns. I live with a heightened sense of awareness toward my particular compulsions which has shaped how I see the world. In this thesis writing and collection of designed objects, I am seeking to further explore my own experience with compulsive thoughts and behaviors, unpacking how they manifest in the day-to-day, how they direct my perception, and ultimately how they serve as a driving force behind my design process. By observing these tendencies and ...

In-Between Places, Jonah Fleeger May 2019

In-Between Places, Jonah Fleeger

Masters Theses

I am an emerging artist originally from Northwest Indiana. I attended a small boarding school called Verde Valley School, in Sedona, Arizona, which is where my love for pottery first started. I received my BFA in ceramics from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After college I was fortunate enough to find studio space and work at the Lillstreet Art Center, where I was a teacher, teaching assistant and glaze maker. Since then I have completed post-baccalaureate programs at The University of Colorado Boulder and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. This book is a presentation of myself ...

Awe-Struck, Emily Robertson May 2019

Awe-Struck, Emily Robertson

Masters Theses

Awe-struck is an exploration at the intersection of embodied and situated cognition, sight, sense-making and nature with an additional layer of artistic interpretation and emotional response. Adapting elements of Terrapin Bright Green’s biophilic design principles, this work pushes past the well researched benefits of incorporating nature into a designed space, to uncover an individual’s personal connection to an environment. The connection is multi-faceted—layered with observations of space, color and location, filtered through a lense of physical, philosophical and psychological reactions and then translated into an individual personal history. With a specific focus on wild spaces, where humans ...

Lateral Movements : In Multifaceted Time And Space, Jieun Kim May 2019

Lateral Movements : In Multifaceted Time And Space, Jieun Kim

Masters Theses

Orient, shift, calibrate, and soar—these four lateral movements provoke new ways of seeing beyond flatness: the single fixed point of view. I question the reasons and consequences of the dominant point of view and suggest interpretative and playful versions of possibilities.

The distribution of the internet and satellite photography has heightened the perception, interaction, and access to the world—time and space have become flexible. I use these tools deceptively to shift toward dynamic and multiple perspectives both in physical and digital space.

I create graphic environments into which people can enter, inviting people to maneuver in this multifaceted ...

Softweave, Annaka Olsen May 2019

Softweave, Annaka Olsen

Masters Theses

The contents of this volume are a weaving.1 The text lays parallel to a graphic design practice that emerges from research into computation, digital publishing and speculative design. I ask how we can change the structures of world building to become collaborative and ethical practices — resisting hierarchy and reclaiming agency in the spaces we occupy. By making soft modifications imbued with feminist praxis across a variety of automatic processes, softwares, feeds, and streams, this thesis explores ways to open up critical avenues of making in order to speculate on fluid futures that we can co-author.