Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Charlie Cannon

Second Advisor

Anthony Graves

Third Advisor

Robyn Stout Sheridan


Context Clues explores the tensions between identity and appearance, especially as it relates to queer identities and the bodies that carry them.

It assumes that identity and appearance aren’t always straight forward or line up in expected ways.

It aims to expose our discomfort about this uncertainty.

It explores how we look at and evaluate others; what we observe and what we fill in.

It compares how we look at others and how we look to others.

It critiques the absurdity of how people perceive and interact with each other, by putting them in uncomfortable scenarios and exaggerating awkward situations.

It examines how we learn to interact by observing others and how, like spies, we begin to decode identity.

It confronts social norms and etiquette around appearance-based assumptions and stereotypes.

This body further considers what it means to re-categorize people. While we tend to think of categories as fixed, these interventions force active participants to confront the tensions, along with the fluidity of, identity and appearance.



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