Student Work

  • Design and Technology (MFA)

    Michael Susol

    American Value($): A Civic Challenge

    With civics education in decline and political discourse guided by competing ideologies, there has never been a better time to advocate for a more informed electorate. American Value($) is an interactive multi-touch exhibit situated at the intersection of self-awareness, engagement and personal responsibility. It offers a unique opportunity for willing participants to literally step up to the challenge of taking the U.S. citizenship test in a public space. You are invited to collectively wager in the form of a donation to a relevant and worthy cause (e.g. The Wounded Warrior Project). By adding your own money to the pot, you increase the stakes for those who are willing to take the test. Whether you choose to play, donate or simply watch, you are participating in a social interaction that helps contextualize the importance of civic engagement. The notional and derivative values of citizenship collide as participants struggle to rationalize the symbolic dimensions of patriotism against the reality of their own civic knowledge. By designing the experience around our innate desire to compete (with ourselves and others), very real consequences can be associated with your actual test performance.