What do you want from me?
I want you to laugh, I want you to smile, to get lost in the moment of joy even for just a moment. I want you to travel your own journey, to delve into the unknown and find yourself and your purpose. To discover you had the power all along to reach the goals that really matter to you. I want you to realize you matter, that you are powerful.
What was the biggest insight, learning from expedience?
I found my purpose. I make delightful things, and that’s amazing. This thesis began through intuition and has been a journey to discover my place in the world. It was really, really hard, and that’s okay, because that moment near the end where everything clicked into place – that moment of remarkable was worth the struggle.
What is next for super?
This is a body of work indented to be impactful in peoples lives, to move the needle on their self-efficacy and sense of agency. I want to continue that, weather it be in the form of a touring show or individual object. I think that throughout the rest of my design career I will be striving towards delight and joy in my products and art using learning’s and insights from this thesis.
This has been a challenging process. For whatever reason, at every opportunity to be super I fell short. This began to perpetuate to the point that even when I won small battles I saw only failure. I fell into the same cognitive traps that I was reading about. Though in the midst of that confusion, I began to find myself. I had to become lost in order to better understand my path. This was my process. I ensured I did not fall completely by maintaining certain structures across each of the subsections. The models and methods created from those before me. While every journey is different I was able to take refuge in these structures and maintain forward momentum.
The first of these structures was that ideas and experiences take many forms. These forms are shaped by views of context, stakeholders, needs and opportunities and influenced by advancing technology, economics, media and societal structure. The definition for the word “products,” as outlined in Allan Chochinov’s Masters of Fine Arts program Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts encompasses an array of outcomes. Product is used as a term to describe objects, systems, services and interactions that emerge from multifaceted design processes. The benefit of framing outcomes as such ensures that the offerings and end results remain flexible, adaptable and relevant. The idea of a flexible definition of outcomes and offerings is important to the methodology of this thesis, especially when the vessel of theory is experience. Recognizing that a product will carry with it a set of consequences is also essential. This thesis has been instantiated through a series of deliberate lenses. Each lens surfaces different urgencies involved with the “super” topic, and each carries its own set of consequences. The lenses have been, and continue to be, a way-finding system, and a large component of the core methodology. It is through these lenses that I was able to arrive at a product of design for Super.
The product and making section of this thesis is founded upon models established by designers Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa and exemplified by Milan Metthey and Andrew Friend. Videography, curation, furniture design, literature, speculative objects, retail products and immersive environments are the tools and languages of the modern-day designer. The methodology of this thesis involves utilizing these very tools, focusing primarily on speculative object experience and performance art, which in particular play to strengths and skills gathered throughout my upbringing, industrial design education and my aspirations as an artist. Speculative object experience and performance art are both very powerful experiential devices, in that users are able to interact with them physically and emotionally.
For the most part I reach my audience digitally, through video or blog. Video is fast becoming recognized as the lingua franca of design. The ability to very quickly and efficiently present information and convey emotion through video makes it a particularly attractive method for reaching a vast digital audience. Platforms such as Pinterest, Tumblr and other living blog services enable participants to dig deeper, see the process and understand evolution of thought. These two mediums are particularly powerful when used in tandem. These tools allow access to such a wide breadth of communication opportunities like never before in the field of design.
The many hats a modern designer must wear allow integration, investigation and espionage into areas designers have previously had no place being in. Design itself is beginning to be recognized by the greater public as not just style and decoration, but rather as a vehicle for understanding, synthesis, problem solving and behavioral change on a micro and macro scale. Design might not save the world, I realize that now, but I will never stop believing that people, using it well and for the right reason, can help lead the changes that will.