The Center for Sensibility: Towards Critical Graphic Design

"The Center for Sensibility: Towards Critical Graphic Design" was my thesis project produced in 2013 at Texas State University.

Read in detail about my thesis on The Gradient, the design blog of the Walker Art Center.

For the culmination of my MFA in Communication Design, I examined graphic design as a mode of self-propelled investigation. Through self-reflexivity and critical means, I sought to demonstrate the design discipline as one capable of expressing independent thought and of working in productive disregard of established notions of design practice. I used design as a mode of inquiry into other creative domains to yield productive and latent potentials. Yves Klein, a post-WWII painter, provided inquiry and parallels to a critical design practice. I explored immateriality in two ways: 1) as a research-based process (the “doing nothing” aspects of design like researching, writing, editing, etc.) that enables me to bring new ideas to my practice and share them with others; 2) as immaterial design, forgoing a designed artifact for a designed experience, that permits a community (the School of Art and Design) to participate in my project. Inspired by relational design, I sought to eliminate disciplinary boundaries of the school to permit a cross-disciplinary dialog about graphic design. In the end, my project revealed the design discipline’s ability to examine its boundaries, to productively inquire and imagine outside its own context, and to share ideas and permit participation; it showcased design’s wonderful malleability to function beyond designed artifacts and to embrace different modes of working. My favorite aspect, the installation provoked participant’s own thoughtfulness and critical thinking.