ABSURD INTELLIGENCE: Explorations of the Unconscious

ABSURD INTELLIGENCE: Explorations of the Unconscious

Xumeng Mou considers herself lucky to have been born a daydreamer. Growing up in an environment that valued so-called rationality and objectivity over fantasy and creativity placed her natural inclinations at odds with outside expectations. This inner conflict led her to explore the human mind and to examine whether daydreams should rightfully be considered “barriers to success.”

INVISIBLE TETHERS: How Time and Memory Shape Products and Places

INVISIBLE TETHERS: How Time and Memory Shape Products and Places

Arjun Kalyanpur’s master’s thesis, Invisible Tethers, posits that people are connected to one another through time via shared experiences and history with objects and places. Initially driven by a personal fascination with time, it was not until a trip to California that his thesis began to take shape.

AN APPLE CIDER A DAY: Re-envisioning Packaging and Promotion for Saratoga Apples

AN APPLE CIDER A DAY: Re-envisioning Packaging and Promotion for Saratoga Apples

As part of her semester project in Design for Sustainability and Resilience, first-year student Sowmya Iyer chose to re-design the packaging and promotional strategy for a local, farm-based business in Upstate New York called Saratoga Apple. Her goals were to use design to help the business educate its customers around the topic of local farming practices, along with enhancing the user experience for customers visiting its tasting room.

JUSTICE BY ALL: Revitalizing Civic Engagement in the Judicial System

JUSTICE BY ALL: Revitalizing Civic Engagement in the Judicial System

Julia Lindpaintner’s thesis work was inspired by her own experience of serving on a grand jury in Manhattan during the summer of 2016. It profoundly changed her understanding of the judicial system, and in particular, the way she saw her role in it. “My mental model shifted,” Julia states. She further explains, “Instead of seeing the judicial system as an autonomous force over which I had no influence, I felt viscerally the way in which we, as citizens, are collectively responsible for the system and the outcomes it produces.”

AWE AND ASTONISHMENT: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic

AWE AND ASTONISHMENT: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic

Josh Corn’s master thesis, Awe and Astonishment: Wonder in the Age of Democratized Magic, aims to inspire wonder and awe through the design of products, services, and experiences. Josh asserts that the door to people’s curiosity and wonder is closing due to the evolution of technology. Josh states, “science pushes on to understand the world around us and as technology continues to innovate, we have seen a diminishment in the value we place on the unknown and the mysteries around us.”

FINDING THE WILD: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability

FINDING THE WILD: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability

Jenna Witzleben’s Master’s thesis, Finding the Wild: A Visceral Approach to Sustainability, explores an alternative future trajectory—“rewilding”—and how physical and emotional reconnection with our natural environments can inspire lifestyles of environmental stewardship.

What Is Design For Social Impact?

What Is Design For Social Impact?

Design for social impact is the practice of interrogating systems—institutional, economic, social, political, interpersonal—in order to define opportunities for change that give voice to those who has been disenfranchised or marginalized by design. In essence, this field of study provides a methodology for examining domains of power through Socratic inquiry, structural and systems-based design thinking, and solutions-based design making.

EYE POSTURE: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

EYE POSTURE: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

Eye Posture is a striking photographic series – created by student Chris Rand, to raise awareness of the ill posture that New York City commuters maintain habitually while looking at their cell phones. This series emphasizes the risks of the behavior that people willingly participate in for an average of 2.8 hours per day during their daily commute.