Student Work

  • Design Studies (MA)

    Kate Moyer

    Untitled: Designing the 'You' of 'I' to Make and Unmake a Self

    Design speaks a universal, but also diverse language of perceptual objectivity. Human experience and sensory play is crucial to design’s acceptance, but this acceptance has become mobile through its availability and invitation of the individual to choose for him or herself. Today, we are given a universal kit of recognition, as well as an invitation for possibility, empowering users to organize and arrange the unanimous parts as desired. The 21st century “product” of self is allied with the effects of neoliberalism and its shift in everyday perception of temporality, subtly yet forcefully altering the previous notions of identity and construction. This thesis focuses on the auxiliary and the explanatory to illuminate what is embedded in the words self and design, as well as specifically question the assumptions they generate. The current academic discourse accepts Herbert Simon’s definition of design as the means to “take existing situations to preferred ones.” But why should this only be implemented in the sense of a formal design conversation? Taking an existing situation to a preferred one is a necessary polarity between any self and any design’s subjective and objective qualities circulating between the truisms of humanity. Humans have always needed to take situations of thirst, hunger and fatigue to preferred situations of survival. Therefore, the desire to professionally construct an artifact for others to consume, and the self’s desire to consume water, food and sleep are both desires of preference and should be reexamined on an equilibrium.