Products of Design MFA Student Willy Chan’s thesis, entitled “Alive: Comforting Your Food,” questions the farming industry’s practices, concentrating specifically on the humane treatment of livestock and the organic certification process. Willy supports the argument that organic certification does not always ensure the humane treatment of animals on our farms, and that there should be different form of assessing a farm’s practices.
On May 8th, 2014, the inaugural Masters Thesis Presentations, F1RST, took place at the SVA Theatre in New York City. Friends, faculty, colleagues, family and fans took part in the celebration, where 15 students presented their thesis projects. View all the projects here, and enjoy snapshots from the day below!
On May 8th, 2014, the inaugural thesis presentations from the first graduating class of the MFA Products of Design program took place at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan. The opening Keynote was delivered by Douglas Rushkoff, cultural and media critic and author of last year's Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. A short chat between Douglas and Allan Chochinov, chair of the MFA program, closed out the opening section prior to the students taking the stage. Enjoy the keynote above.
Turkish designer Rona Binay’s MFA Products of Design thesis entitled, ‘COEXIST, Mixing with Urban Wildlife’ studies the relationship between city and nature through the lens of urban wildlife. A seeming contradiction, Rona’s embrace of urban/natural was triggered when she discovered footage of a coyote playing with a bottle on a frozen pond in Central Park. (Another fascinating example of urban wildlife is the peregrine falcon, which nests on high-rise buildings and bridges within the city.) Rona acknowledges that cities not only serve as living landscapes for humans, but also provision as habitats for many different species.
Charlotta Hellichius’ thesis, “Whateverest,” investigates the landscape of apathy and agency. She positioned it as an exploration into her own shortcomings, and an attempt to understand why she “can’t care about everything.” Charlotta set out to understand and explain why certain behaviors are integral, while others fail to become equally as important. Whateverest is about how to overcome the “whatevers” that we face in our everyday lives, and explores the landscape of apathy, harnessing personal agency, and designing for our cognitive limits of engagement.
Products of Design MFA student Cassandra Michel’s thesis titled “Five+: An Exploration of Mindful Experience Through the Lens of Sense,” started as a question of happiness and how happiness is achieved. She began by conducting research, discovering the philosophy of Mathieu Richard who proposes that happiness is a skill that is cultivated.
Products of Design MFA student Matthew Barber's thesis, entitled “The End.” looks at the shifting landscape of death and dying in today’s society, and the consequences of living an increasingly digital life. Matthew chose to tackle this subject after observing the effects of his grandmother’s passing from dementia. "I think this thesis really began back in 2011,” he reflects, “I saw my family struggling with my grandmother’s passing and thought that there must be a better way. I wanted to understand why this was so hard on us."
Instead of looking at traditional patient-driven solutions, Matt began by looking into design solutions based on the patient’s extended family and friends. He saw an opportunity to investigate the terminally ill, but more specifically, the things and the people that they leave behind.