Conventional wisdom tells us that eco-anxiety—an indirect mental health impact of climate change—is preventing us from effectively responding to the threat of climate change. This form of anxiety is also marked by an existential worry about the future for oneself, children, and later generations. Karen Vellensky challenges this idea through her thesis, Good Grief: Inducing eco-anxiety as a call to climate action.
We are delighted to announce our Visiting Lecture Series lineup for the Fall 2017 season. Read more below about Chelsea Maudlin, George Aye, Andrea Steele, and Laura Forlano below!
Will Lentz master’s thesis Eating Together: Explorations in an Anti-Social Food System promotes a resurgence in the social value of communal eating experiences. In a time when isolation and independence are increasingly common, Lentz offers products and provocations aimed at bringing people back together over food.
Andrea Cameron’s master’s thesis, Playing with Firebrands, explores student agency in education. Inspired by the work of progressive educators and student-centered design, the motivation was to incorporate principles from progressive education into public education. The objective was to take the best practices in privatized education and make them accessible to public schools.
Information architecture is important to design because it provides the structural underpinning that makes clarity possible. Without thinking about structure, designers can make missteps that lead to things that look good, but aren’t actually good.
After five years of living with a back injury, Alexa Forney made a startling realization: her life with chronic pain was actually better than it had been before. Even more shockingly, her research made it clear that she was not alone.
In her thesis Digital Natives, Gahee explores designing technologies for children. She uses as her point of departure the notion that young children today "lack analog activities," as they spend most of their time using tablets and cellphones. She argues that existing products in the market are designed to be addictive—creating passive behaviors in children.
In her MFA thesis Dominion, Ailun Sai discusses the relationship between animals and humans. Through a series of design—including product design, experience design, and interaction design—Ailun encourages people to reflect on their role in the natural world and to question their perceived sense of superiority over animals.
"What Is Design, Now" is a series of no-nonsense primers defining and describing a breadth of contemporary design fundamentals. Written by faculty and friends of the MFA in Products of Design department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, the series attempts to demystify and make more accessible the essential toolkit and vocabulary of current design pursuits. Check back often for new additions to the series.
It's not as difficult as it may seem to build functional prototypes of high-tech product designs, once you learn basic electronics and microcontroller prototyping. It’s like sketching, but with hardware. Every product designer should learn a bit of circuit design, wiring, soldering, and programming in order to better understand the increasingly connected devices in our lives.