This Side This Side This Side Up: Installation

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    This Side This Side This Side This Side Up: An Alternative Approach to Social Design is my graduate thesis, completed for Pratt Institute's MFA Communications Design program. The thesis advocates an approach to social design in which design acts as neither problem solving nor critique, but as a catalyst that shifts perceptions and propels its audience to action. This divergent approach focuses on design as an experiential medium capable of disruption. Designing an intentional disruption of everyday life can alter or broaden a person’s perspective, instill empathy, and ultimately prompt a shift towards more prosocial behavior while still allowing the audience agency.
     
    The requirement to show my thesis in a gallery setting presented a challenge, since all of the projects I had completed for my thesis were designed to live in very specific contexts, none of which were remotely like a gallery. Putting these contextual designed objects in a gallery space would, for the most part, turn them into little more than curious objects or artifacts documenting something that had happened elsewhere. For this reason, my final project became an attempt to communicate the components of my approach to social design through form and interaction in a way that is contextually specific and relevant to the gallery setting.
     
    The meaning behind each concept is revealed through interactive or expressive typography, and this interactive typography lives on the exterior of several custom-built cabinets installed in the gallery space. Inside a few of the cabinets are designed objects that illustrate its corresponding component; these are the projects that can exist in context inside the gallery. In the other cabinets, however, there is a conspicuous lack of a project. These cabinets may contain minimal documentation of work, but their main purpose is to direct visitors to where the project has been installed in its actual context, outside of the gallery. This both preserves the work’s context specificity and acts as a commentary on the gallery space as one large cabinet of curiosity.