Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

John Caserta

Second Advisor

Douglass Scott

Third Advisor

Alicia Cheng


Graphic design has been referred to as a tool of inquiry — a method of thinking visually. Design can polish, beautify, hierarchize, eliminate, prioritize, propagandize, or disseminate. Using spatial inquiry as a primary mode of investigation, I argue that graphic design is also a process of attention and care. How can graphic design be a tool of expansion and inclusion?

By encouraging spaces of attention and listening within the built environment and virtual worlds, we can think critically about power dynamics, interiority and exteriority, and subjectivity and objectivity. Within this phase of late capitalism, I focus on leftovers, scraps, and the historically unpictured to experiment with methods of interruption and connection.

In Placefulness, I take on the role of the radical cartographer 1 in order to map landscapes of imagination and amplify under-projected narratives. Through examination and recombination of often invisible lines of inclusion and exclusion, I draw attention to historic and local multiplicities of experience in order to advocate for a more just future. By interrupting the dominant narrative signals of historic ‘place,’ Placefulness prioritizes an immediate sense of the lived and local.



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