Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Ayako Takase

Second Advisor

Paul Soulellis

Third Advisor

Yellow Jackets Collective


This thesis concerns itself with centering the experiences of Asian Americans in order to better understand the complexities of the Asian American diasporic experience. The title of this thesis, 苦儿, roughly translates into English as “bitter son,” and is phonetically pronounced in Mandarin as “queer.” It lives directly at the intersection of these identities — Asian, American, Queer. This body of work is an act of making space and taking up space in an institution and discipline that has not largely been concerned with minority identities, or when it has, it has been misguided and prone to tokenism. It is a call to current and future designers to identify their role as community members inside and outside of design.



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