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graphic

A nti-Thesis design

bullshit


Week 1 E m o t i o n a l S tat e : M o t i vat e d Me n t a l H e a l t h : S t a b l e


Let’s start from the beginning.


Annnnnnnd.... GO!

-----Students.

As we rapidly approach the start of the new semester we encourage you to start thinking about your thesis.

Our goal is to start the semester with the wheels spinning.

That said, we wanted to ask you for two things; first, we would like you to show up with your portfolio on the first day of class. If you do not have a finished portfolio, you should bring a PDF that shows off some of your more recent/favorite pieces.

Secondly, you should bring a list of 5 of your interests within the field of design (i.e.. editorial, motion, identity, interactive, etc) along with a list of 10 subjects that your would like to explore within those given areas of interest. These subjects can be as broad or as narrow as you like, but should be compelling enough to engage with for a whole semester. Consider what forms you might start to explore within your given field and subject, and how those forms might play out as a considered body of work within the context of this class.

Hope the summer is going well, we are excited to get started, Frank and Brendan.


THESIS

Find a topic you are passionate about that can sustain a body of work for 15 weeks.


What am I passionate about What interests me

Nothing Let’s work backwards What is every thing I hate What are my pet peeves This shouldn't be hard


I hate everything P e t pee v e # 4 / O v e r - p a m pe r e d pe t s

The idea of covering your pet in jewels, diamonds, and furs has always escaped me. I've always considered having a pet a privilege. From the purchase of the pet itself to its food, shelter, and health care, Americans spend around $52 billion on their pets per year.

If just the maintenance of a pet costs so much, why must your pet be wearing a Coach collar? It doesn’t. That is actually ridiculous. There are human beings that still can’t afford the basic necessities to live and you are spending ridiculous amounts of money on a frivolous dog collar ? ? ?


O r i g i n a l Thes i s P r o p o s a l

Observation

The Evolution

Humans and animals have coexisted through-

of Pets as

investigated in terms of the human benefits of

Commodities

surrogacy, and loneliness reduction.

out time and their relationship has been

physical and mental health, stress relief, child

However, celebrities and those of high social standing have demonstrated an increase in spending on their pets exponentially on goods such as designer pet furniture, expensive custom breeds, diamon-encrusted collars, and spa treatments as a means to serve the needs of the owner rather than the pet.


Question

Exploration

Conspicuous consumption is defined as the

I will examine how pets have become a

ostentatious display of goods and services

commodity to reward the owner with status,

motivated by a desire to impress others with

prestige, and acceptance through conspic-

the ability to pay particularly high prices for

uous consumption in American culture.

prestigious products.

- -> A F o r e v e r 2 1 f o r P e t s

Spending habits become the means to obtain acceptance in society. Thorstein Veblen defined four components of commodities as status symbols. First, the active choice of conspicuous consumption; second, the knowledge of cultural capital; third, the ability to afford the product; and fourth, visibility of the commodity to others.

I intend to question how the functions pets serve in our lives have evolved over time from one of assistance, to companion and friend, and now to one of a commodity.  


F ee d b a c k

-----

Hey Michelle. Sorry for being a bit slow in getting back to you. Here are some thoughts from me:

1. I think your writing is pretty good and well reasoned. That is a definite plus.

2. I think your topic seems timely; it gets at the zeitgeist. That is always good.

3. I am not sure that "pets" is broad enough as a point of discussion to sustain an body of work. I like the notion of conspicuous consumption, in general, but the very specific example of "pets" seems limited. Isn't the notion of consumption something that is super far reaching and ranges from the kinds of food people eat, to the clothes they wear, to the animals they keep at home? I think a "pet" project makes sense as part of a larger commentary on consumption, and is a good, ridiculous example, but I do not think it is quite strong enough to be the only example.

4. What do you think?

All best. Frank


Now what ?????


Week 2 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : M o t i v a t e d / c o n f u se d Me n t a l H e a l t h : S t a b l e


research research research


T o o k a s t ep b a c k

and started looking at conspicuous consumption on a broader scale

--Went to the library, checked out 10 books

Notes The term "shopology" deals with the idea of consumption: how it defines and answers who we are. What we buy gives us social definition; therefore, we essentially buy into a lifestyle or social group. The book outlines ten different lifestyles we consume: cuteness, quaintness, coolness, romantic, zaniness, futuristic, deliciousness, natural, glamorousness, and cleanliness.

Humans naturally have an underlying desire to buy cool things. Our fears and insecurities are exploited by advertising causing us to buy crap we don't need because we care about how others perceive us.

- -> W H AT DO I DO W IT H a l l o f T H I S


Execution ideas 1/

Brand a mall—LOL malls are scary places

2/

Visual displays based on aesthetics of consumerism

3/

Single serving website that curates items to maintain a certain lifestyle


F ee d b a c k

----None of this is negative enough

“What if you took $1000 and spent it and documented it”

“What if you dressed up as the quintessential black person and went to Harlem and documented it”

…… What


research


Week 3 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : a n x i o u s / c o n f u se d Me n t a l H e a l t h : s o m ewh a t S t a b l e


What is design What is life What is sleep


Le t ' s t h i n k m o r e b r o a d

Rationale behind Thesis Comfort through materialism Happiness measured by objects Life cycle of objects Emotional currency Self identity in possessions Planned obsolescence Social acceptance / Conformity


How is this a project What is graphic design ----

IDK N E RVOU S BR E AKDO W N Te a r s we r e she d

First Realization The ideas surrounding my thesis have already been researched and studied for years. The only way I can make this into a project is if it becomes a social experiment or personal exploration.

Wait, but really How does this become a project


More Execution Ideas 1/

Photo-essays documenting different social groups

2/

Documenting different representations of wealth

3/

The World’s Most Expensive Book

- ->

The Worlds Most Expensive Book 1/

Created a survey

2/

Made a shitty website for the survey

3/

Sent survey to over 200 people

4/

Could not yield as many results as desired

5/

Survey results did not meet my expectations


Re v i se d Thes i s

I am examining the idea of conspicuous consumption and how what we consume gives us social definition. I want to examine how people identify themselves through physical possessions by determining the monetary and social value of these objects.

In doing so, I will be creating “The World's Most Extravagant Book� by documenting what people consider to be their most extravagant possession.


Extravagant purchases.com


F ee d b a c k

----

Is a cat really an extravagant purchase? Keep collecting more data Design the survey website Second project proposal


Sigh


Week 4 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : f r u s t r a t e d / d i sc o u r a ge d Me n t a l H e a l t h : t ee t e r i n g o n i n s a n i t y


I don’t know what I’m doing Fuck...


W H AT DID I DO

1/

Continued survey

2/

Don’t know shit about web design

3/

Tried getting strangers to take survey

4/

Started crying in the middle of the street

5/

Went to 5th Ave to observe shoppers - -> pe o p l e s t a r e d . I F E LT J UD G E D .


Skyped with mom, tried to hide my stress—didn't want to worry her. Why did I think I could get away with it? She noticed that I was being really weird.

Moms know everything. “Michelle, you have lost all color in your eyes. I've never seen you like this. Are you ok? You're really worrying me.”


My mom has a bad history of anxiety attacks that have ended up with her in the hospital. She thought that I might be going through the same thing and was concerned about my mental health. She told me to see a counselor.

Re a l T a l k f r o m M o m

1/

Consider restarting your thesis

2/

Consider doing a mediocre project to get through the semester rather than stressing out about doing a perfect project

3/

You have a good body of work—it's ok if you don't get portfolio pieces from this semester. Just enjoy senior year.

4/

If you want to take a semester off, that's ok. Your health is what's most important


c r i e d f o r t h r ee h o u r s .

I DON ' T KNO W W H AT I ' M DOIN G .

I DON ' T H AV E A P RO J E C T.

I F E E L F RU S TRAT E D T H AT I S TAY U P ALL NI G H T T H INKIN G AND G E TTIN G NO W H E R E .

I W ANT TO Q UIT S C H OOL .


Class: Your project isn’t valid


A A

N N

KK

M

R R EE

N N N BBB


DDD

W W

AA A A L L

TT OO

EE Me n t a l B r e a k d o w n


Week 5 E m o t i o n a l S tat e : f r u s t r at e d / D E P R E S S E D Me n t a l H e a l t h : m e n t a l b r e a k d o w n


THIS IS SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING. I WANT TO QUIT SCHOOL. IF I'M NOT DOING GRAPHIC DESIGN, THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF BEING HERE. WHAT IS GRAPHIC DESIGN? I DON'T EVEN KNOW ANYMORE.


I’m straight up miserable.

C RI E D F OR 2 4 H OUR S . C OULDN ' T BR E AT H e . F ULL- ON ANXI E TY ATTA C K . I ' M P U F F Y.


Re a l T a l k f r o m P ee r s

1/

You’re almost done, just finish and graduate

2/

What would you do if you quit school

3/

----

Ok, How do I s o l v e m y p r o jec t ? ? ? ? ? A S L ; LKU W IO E J F


Possible solutions 1/

Using one constant object for survey - -> BOOK O F I P H ON E S

2/

Other option: Categorizing all the useless shit we buy—things that dispose of all function


Re v i se d Thes i s

I am examining consumption and the relationships people have with their possessions.

Updated Project List 1/

World's Most Extravagant Book - -> r ee x a m i n e t h i s i d e a

2/

Portraits of the iPhone

3/

Useless Crap Catalog


Week 6 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : d ep r esse d / u n i n sp i r e d Me n t a l H e a l t h : NOT G OOD


Gross, sick as hell. Vom everywhere. Why is there so much snot. My sickness is stressing me out. I’m falling behind. I think I might be dying.


FE VER VOMIT FE VER VOMIT FE VER VOMIT


W H AT DID I DO

1/

Went to the Natural History Museum, Met, and Central Park to interview people about their iPhones. This sucked. Ugh. Why won’t people just talk to me.

2/

Went to Bed Bath and Beyond, went through every aisle of the store categorizing necessary and extravagant objects

Updated Project List 1/

Bed Bath and Beyond book: uses a spectrum that measures how necessary (basic/useful) or extravagant (stupid/useless) a product is

2/

iPhone book: I’m interviewing 50 people questioning whether or not they think their iPhone a luxury or a necessity

3/

The World’s Extravagant book Goodbye - -> t h i r d p r o jec t ? LOL Z


Re a l T a l k f r o m F r e n d a n

Is what you're doing, helping you get to where you wanna be when you graduate?


Slap in the face: What do I wanna do with my life?


Week 7 E m o t i o n a l S tat e : u n m o t i vat e d Me n t a l H e a l t h : b i p o l a r


Re l u c t a n t ly d i d s t u ff

1/

Went to the MOMA and Apple store to interview about their stupid iPhones

2/

Took two steps back with Bed Bath and Beyond book

Re v i se d Thes i s

Uh... Idk. Something with iPhones and knives I guess. What am I doing? Who knows? Not I. What is the point of all of this? ...


This sucks. Feeling bipolar. I am happy and fine when I’m not working on senior thesis. But the minute I sit down to work on anything, I am depressed. I have settled on projects that I am not passionate about. Just trying to get through the semester, but am uninspired and unmotivated, which really sucks. - -> t e a r s & m o r e t e a r s


The worst part is that I hate that I hate what I’m supposed to love doing. It feels super shitty. This is senior year. Why am I not enjoying it more? I give up.


^k


Week 8 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : d ep r esse d Me n t a l H e a l t h : u n s t a b l e


Mid-Semester Mini Survey


c l a ss t o m o r r o w .

-----

n o v 11

As we discussed last week, tomorrow in class you should be prepared to present your work in a finished and considered way. I was using the term mini-survey last week; you should be able to show us how and why things are shown the way they are shown.

This is not about pinning things to the wall with a tack.

Also, there is the fact that you guys should be able to show us a schedule which details what happens from now until the semesters end, as well as your correspondence with your hopeful mentor.

It is a lot, but it is all worth it. I am excited for you guys to blow the hair off the top of my head.

Brendan is also excited, but for different reasons.

Oh yes.


LOL Z wh a t d i d i d o

1/

Was supposed to have two projects done...

2/

Had an embarassing mock-up of one book

3/

Printed out some other bullshit ???

4/

It’s embarrassing how bad my work is

I don’t want to show my shitty work, but here’s proof that I did something? >


F ee d b a c k

----

This looks like you hate your project. ^^^ y es , t h a t i s a cc u r a t e .


Week 9 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : d esp a i r Me n t a l H e a l t h : o v e r i t


* * l e t s d r i n k o u r s o r r o ws a w a y * *

tequila tequila tequila wine whiskey whiskey whiskey whiskey


Fuck this shit. Losing my shit.

C UT O F F 7 IN C H E S O F MY H AIR W IT H A UTILITY KNI F E * MULAN S TYL E *

H AD A H I S S Y F IT

KNO C K E D OV E R C H AIR S

C RI E D UND E RN E AT H A TABL E

C OLL E C T E D a j a r o f t e a r s


I DON ’ T UND E R S TAND W H Y I ’ M DOIN G ANY O F T H I S

T H I S I S N ’ T G RA P H I C D E S I G N

W H AT I S G RA P H I C D E S I G N

a s d f ; l k j l k s d fj k j d k a ; s l k d fj

u ghhhhhhhhhhh


Week 10 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : s l u gg i sh / m o r o se Me n t a l H e a l t h : i d o n ’ t e v e n k n o w


Re a l t a l k f r o m F r a n k

Go find happiness and get your shit together.


Did not find happiness. It was nowhere to be found. I looked everywhere.


Did not get my shit together.


Week 11 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : o v e r whe l m e d Me n t a l H e a l t h : r ec o v e r i n g


NO P RO J E C Ts NO T H E S I S NO G RA P H I C D E S I G N


I don't wanna be depressed anymore. It's too depressing. I just want to enjoy what I'm doing.

U G H W H AT DID I DO

1/

Freaked out about how I still don't have a project with less than a month left for school

2/

Wrote a 15 page paper on why I hate everything - -> M a d e i t i n t o t h i s “ p r o cess b o o k �

3/

Began to write down my thoughts on the iPhone

Updated Project List 1/

Bed Bath and Beyond book (70 pages)

2/

iPhone book (70 pages)

3/

Anti-Thesis book (this shit) (100 pages)


F ee d b a c k

-----

This makes me feel like shit, which means it's a good piece of graphic design. - -> I m p o se P OV o n o t he r p r o jec t s


Week 12 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : s t r esse d Me n t a l H e a l t h : d e l i r i o u s


W H AT DID I DO

1/

iPhone: I input everything into my iPhone showing how what we use it for is relatively trivial/frivolous. I need to fix some of the photos because the file got corrupted.

2/

Anti-Thesis book: Tightened up the grid so it wasn’t complete vomit on paper. It’s going to be spiral-bound like a sketchbook.

3/

B, B, Beyond: Hasn’t changed yet, but I’m going to insert more writing in the same voice as the other books. I’m reconsidering the accordion fold. Although, it gets my point across, it just looks very clunky and non-functional as a product. Hmmmmm.

Content and design will be finalized for next week. Leaving the last week for production.

BOOK S BOOK S BOOK S


C o r o n e r ’ s Rep o r t

Death by Books Death by Thesis


Week 13 E m o t i o n a l S tat e : f u c k i t Me n t a l H e a l t h : d e a t h i s n e a r


OM G OM G OM G

No time left till survey


M a d e a sche d u l e a n d a to-do list for surve y

S u b seq u e n t ly s t a r t e d d ay d r i n k i n g .

Happy Thanksgiving!


Design Print Bind Repeat Design Print Bind Repeat


Week 14 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : ON E D G E / S TR E S S E D Me n t a l H e a l t h : D E T E RIORATIN G


I hate thesis. I’m just gonna do a dumb ass branding project like everyone else next semester. Why is graphic design so shallow?


Some bullshit The c r a z i n ess o f s u r v e y a n d f i n a l s wee k i s m a k i n g m e v e r y a n x i o u s a n d o n e d ge . I r e a l ly w a n t e d t o k i l l e v e r y o n e t o d a y, b u t I o p t e d f o r a n i ce - c r e a m cake inste ad.

H a v e n ’ t s l ep t i n f o u r d a y s . I ’ m g o i n g t o c o l l a pse .

W a i t, I ’ v e b ee n t o P a pe r P r ese n t a t i o n 4 x t h i s wee k . I h a v e t o g o a g a i n t o m o r r o w . I t h i n k t he l a d y k n o ws me now.

I c r i e d i n t he b a t h r o o m d u r i n g c l a ss t o d a y. I fee l l i k e I h a v e n ’ t d o n e a n y t h i n g a l l se m es t e r . I a c t u a l ly g i v e u p.

M y s u r v e y w i l l j u s t b e a n i n s t a l l a t i o n o f v o m i t.


Six outlets on my survey wall means I’m going to have a laser light show, fog machine, and possibly a live DJ.


Week 15 E m o t i o n a l S t a t e : # ROAR Me n t a l H e a l t h : ge t m e o u t t a he r e


Idk how surve y’s going to turn out o r wh a t m y f i n a l p i eces w i l l LOOK LIK E OR I F I ’ LL E V E N S URVIV E . B u t I n ee d t o f i n i sh t h i s b o o k , s o I ’ l l j u s t p r e t e n d t h a t I f i n i she d v i c t o r i o u s ly.

#ROAR


s o n g o f t he se m es t e r ( p r o b a b ly p l a y e d 2 0 0 0 + t i m es )

I got the eye of the tiger, the fire. Dancing through the fire. 'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar! Louder, louder than a lion. 'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar!


1 5 wee k s l a t e r . . .

I still hate everything.


Why I’m depressed, hate everything and want to drop out of school. ^^^^ W H AT A DRAMA Q U E E N


Anti-Thesis Book