Student Work

  • Integrated Design (BFA)

    Seung Mee (Judy) Lee

    The Ship's First Shape was a Raft

    Title: The Ship's First Shape was a RaftCollaborators from The New School: Intan Abdul Halim, Rolando Murillo, Cassie Ang, Nova Megantara, Nora Elmarzouky, Sara Minard, Maxime Coleon, Melissa LeoMedia: Plotter printed and mounted timeline (PDF), paper toolkits (PDF), video Description: This 2-year project was a three-way partnership between The New School (TNS), Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), and The Fortune Society (Fortune), along with Working With People (WWP). Drawing inspiration from Kay Ryan’s “We’re Building the Ship as We Sail It,” the project’s objective was to engage two grounding questions: “What does it mean to make a thing for ourselves?” and “How do we tell our own stories?” This meant that the collective determined what we would make as we got to know each other, rather than privileging one voice over another. This meant the design work had to be more reactive than proactive. This meant bias and preconceived notions had to be teased out and dealt with. This meant dealing with mismatched schedules and many simultaneously moving parts. We spent the first semester getting to know each other, the second semester identifying needs, the third semester prototyping chosen ideas, and the final semester polishing the final concept. After two years of work, we have gained unexpected friendships, expanded world views, and student-run cafés at Fortune and WHEELS. To arrive at this point, TNS students designed various tools to aid in the collective work. These tools grew out of observations, questions, and needs that emerged during this process. The samples here hope to offer a glimpse into the intricacies and nuances of this project through the actual artifacts and photographs of the contexts in which these tools existed.