Trevor Campbell

Visible Cities: Exploring Local Urban Storytelling Through Public Exhibition Design

photo of an art gallery installation with Visible Cities hanging on the wall

In this thesis, design was used in public exhibition to critique modern city branding practices and explore accessible, affordable, and temporary methods for visualizing locality in public space. This was demonstrated through five speculative case studies which situate first-person narrative in urban space in order to visualize aspects of locale and create a canvas for subsequent future narrative. The public exhibition of this work created a temporary public commons that acted as a site of discourse for this work and its extensions. This thesis interrogated two crises of modern urban citizenship: the ways in which identity, experience, and locality are appropriated by visual manifestations of capitalist urban narratives, and how this action devalues and impedes unique, dynamic citizenship. Located at the intersection of design, sociology, and urban theory, its work explored how localities can activate personal narrative through public design.

Wendy Wong, Supervisor
Rob Gill, Advisor

Afarin Nasseri

Studying the Cultural Duality of Young Iranian Women Through Semantic Differential and Visual Representation

stylized outline drawing of veiled women with writing superimposed over them

This project looks at young Iranian women (aged 18-25) through the lens of visual culture through semantic differential studies and my personal experience. The goal of the project is to investigate aspects of the cultural duality of young Iranian women through graphic design, storytelling, analyzing contemporary visual culture in Tehran, and unique semantic differential research. The analysis informs explorations of narrative structure to represent how young women in Iran spend their time and connect each other in spite of the currently restricted regulations, and how they are shaping/discovering their identity within the reality of cultural duality. This project investigates issues that address questions around the lives of young women in Iran. It seeks to establish a better understanding of the reality of young Iranian women sub-cultures and tends to communicate to a Western audience who may not be informed and educated by Western media.

David Scadding, Supervisor
Khatereh Sheibani, Advisor

Christine Chiou

Investigating the “Blurry” Territory of Graphic Design: A Look at the Simultaneous Realities of Illusions within the Moiré Effect

composite image of four design renderings side by side

This thesis examines how designed artifacts can present two simultaneous realities within static and motion typography through an investigation of motion and depth perceptual phenomena. The deceptive nature of optical illusions revolves around conflicting realities, inducing a sense of ambiguity. This thesis incorporates the ambiguous nature of illusions in the mediation of visual messages within graphic design practice. The research constitutes the employment of optical illusions in visual arts, specifically in Optical Art, and graphic design. Particular focus is placed on the moiré effect and its applications, which hugely inspires the visual investigation. Each of the projects establishes a parallel with the contradictory state of illusions, forming a visual rhetoric in the depiction of multiple realities within elusive truths. These “blurry” territories within graphic design present a self-reflexive tool for both designers and their audience in becoming observers of themselves and a conscious awareness of how they perceive the world.

Angela Norwood, Supervisor
Paul Sych, Advisor