To start of the day of the third annual MFA Products of Design Thesis Presentations, aptly named "T3IRD", program chair Allan Chochinov welcomes guests, families, and simulcast viewers, discusses the unique thesis protocol of the MFA program, and talks about "how the number 3 is special across all human endeavor." Enjoy!
Product and Experiential Designer Belen Tenorio’s thesis, Re-Mind, explores productivity, and re-evaluates Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder in the context of a quick-fix society that too eagerly medicates individuals.
Products of Design MFA graduate Panisa Khunprasert’s thesis, Hereafter, uses her role as a designer to create products and services that enable us to externalize grief in an empowering and beautiful way. The world of bereavement—in a contemporary society which does not talk about death or grief—is fertile ground for design.
The objective of Adem Önalan’s master’s thesis, Vakit: On the Elasticity and Subjectivity of Time, is to reframe our relationship with time—identifying opportunities that lead people to spend time well—from recontextualizing time, to slowing it down through meaningful, memorable life experiences.
The evening of March 2, 2012 will be remembered by Tahnee Pantig as one of the most violent and intimate evenings of her life. On that evening, she was physically assaulted in front of her home. After the assault, Tahnee was faced with a compelling question. “I asked myself, ‘had I somehow contributed to the conditions where this man felt the need to steal from me?’” This feeling of guilt drove her to use her thesis as a way to reconcile and understand the circumstances which led to the events of that evening, and compelled her to research these themes in her masters thesis, This Great Violence.
Not more than 50 or 60 years ago, the idea of "disposable" did not exist; the physical objects in our lives were intended to be with us for a lifetime...or longer. Today, the convenience of disposability in the United States has become the status quo, and everything from packaging to electronics to even large-scale items like appliances and furniture are now considered throw-away. Spurred by our imperative for constant economic growth, our consumerist culture is having a detrimental impact on our environment. Judy Chi’s master thesis, Permanism: Towards the Obsolescence of Disposable Furniture, looks to reengage people with the physical products in their lives as "objects of permanence."
Products of Design MFA graduate Souvik Paul’s thesis, Unbound, seeks to empower individuals with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), and to tackle some of shortcomings in treatment paradigms for SCI. His thesis journey began—violently—two weeks before his arrival at Products of Design in the fall of 2015. While driving her SUV down a California freeway, Souvik’s close friend, Carina, was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer and paralyzed, sustaining a spinal cord injury in the T2/T3 vertebrae. When visiting her in the hospital, Souvik saw how painful her adjustment to life in a wheelchair was. Believing in the power of design to help his friend, Souvik used his thesis as an opportunity to investigate how design could assist people with spinal cord injuries to recapture their sense of agency and identity in the face of such massive physical and emotional trauma.
This year, the students of the MFA Products of Design took home 3 different honors in this year's Core77 Design Awards! The recognized work spanned multiple categories—from Interaction Design and Service Design to Furniture and Lighting. Check them out below, and click to see the complete projects on Core77!
Products of Design MFA graduate Oscar de la Hera’s thesis, Finding North, plays at the intersection between Western, “social interventions”—such as help from friends, family or professionals—and Eastern, “introspective interventions”—such as yoga or meditation. The work aims to help individuals who have recently suffered emotional trauma transition to a more hopeful, happier, and healthier state of mind.
In order to become more brave and confident, MFA Products of Design student Eden Lew embarked on a year-long experiment to become a better designer by learning the ways of a criminal mastermind.
In her thesis, Masterminds and the Art of Misbehaving, Eden’s definition of a criminal mastermind alludes to the romanticized sector of criminals—including burglars, con men, hackers and heist planners. They are con artists who persuade victims into giving up money and valuables. They are craftsmen and tinkerers who decipher the mechanics of systems in order to later break them down. They are hackers who write inventive code to go around highly-secured firewalls, and drug cartel kingpins who run businesses as effectively as CEOs of major corporations.