Empathy + Identity + Environment:
In my thesis, I will repurpose concepts of self advocacy1 and explore how the environment can impact identity and the perception of “others”. I will emerse myself within these groups and seek to understand their identities beyond a strictly academic setting. I will implement deep empathy into the research process and craft a methodology which functions as a potent tool for advocacy across all graphic design mediums and audiences including: corporate, non-profit, and as a tool for activism, which is of deep personal interest to me.
By deeply emersing myself into these environments, I will play within the rules of the subcultures they represent. This is in contrast to the more traditional models of maker-sender-receiver. I will instead, seek to inject deep empathy into the design methodology in effort to create a message that communicates more honestly and resonates more universally.
This universality will lay down the foundation to create a new graphic design. A graphic design that maximizes empathy and encourages inclusivity by having the designer work as collaborator and facilitator from a place of truer understanding.