Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Anais Missakian

Second Advisor

Lisa Scull

Third Advisor

Liliane Wong


Humans have an inescapable desire for rationality, structure, and order. We seek efficiency and certainty in our individual and communal lives. We have been encouraged to believe that most things are under our control until something strikes us and brings to consciousness the limits of our knowledge. It’s usually nature’s wild power that overwhelms our faculty of reason and reminds us of our limits. Philosophers called this sensation of overwhelm in the face of nature the sublime experience. In modern cities, surrounded by skyscrapers, we are reminded of our own technological achievements, while nature feels disconnected and distant. Yet, if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, even in urban environments, nature’s mysteriousness and ongoing transformation leads us to feel a full spectrum of emotions as it plays with our perception and imagination.

In my textile collection for interiors, I use the skyscraper and its straight, repetitive lines as an underlying reference to our own underlying structural laws and rationality, highlighting at the same time how its reflective and translucent surfaces mirror the sky’s endless and active transformation. With emphasis on materiality, form, texture, and color, my collection speaks to the phenomena observable in both universes—rigid, urban, man-made, alongside natural, transient, and vast—as a reminder that we and our achievements are part of nature’s power and that we are, in some sense “one with the world.”

In this thesis book, I narrate the profound effects of nature experienced by my grandmother and explore the history and philosophy of the sublime, as well the concept of rationalism. I also document my thesis collection, in which these concepts are physically manifested to act as reminders of our vulnerability and humanity.


View exhibition online: Luciana Iwamoto, Out of Bounds



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.