Ohio University Graduate Class of 2014
unplanning: by design
Hind’s Thesis Abstract:
“Can spontaneity be part of a plan?
In creative processes, it could be one of the most valuable strategies we have. This research explores the value of letting go of control in the process of making; it embraces the intelligence of randomness, chance, and apparent nonsense. Human invention is often the result of noticing the outcomes when something goes wrong. Unplanned events can, at times, lead to more desirable results than planned events. This is the essence of creativity. To explore these concepts, I conducted inquiry through both generative and documentary processes. First, I created random visual experiments using simple tools and repurposed materials. Natural elements such as light and gravity affected both process and results more than I had predicted. These observations led me to pay attention to seemingly insignificant details in my everyday life. I began to document mundane occurrences in the places I inhabit in my day to day life: shadows moving on surfaces, reflections of light on metal and glass, liquid solutions interacting in a clear drinking glass. I organize still and moving images in an attempt to share the details of my process. Publication of this research speaks to the importance of cultivating creativity through observation and experimentation. This is valuable to consider in this time where rigid planning is considered essential for achievement.”
Arrajehi, Hind, April 2014
Michelle’s Thesis Abstract:
“The word frame often brings to mind a wooden device around a picture, or a process of creating structural support in engineering. In fact, framing has a lot more to do with daily life than most people can imagine. In social science, this concept is known as the social frame. Social frames include external cues that influence everyday human behavior. They take various forms, which involve customs, standards, rules, and even tangible objects. When it comes to making choices, most individuals are more susceptible to these cues than they would like to believe.
This thesis addresses social framing as it pertains to overconsumption. In particular, it argues that seemingly benign food containers, such as paper cups and dinner plates, can have a considerable impact on human eating behaviors.
Scholarship within the fields of nutrition, psychology, social science, and cultural history informs the investigation, along with comparative analyses of social norms over time. Presentation of the research unfolds through writing, photography, and multimedia installation.
Social framing lays the foundation for serious health consequences across the United States. The framing that pervades convenience-food establishments is contributing to an obesity crisis of epidemic proportions. Since obesity is the cause for irreversible, systemic health problems, the growing portioning of food is an acute threat to individual health and well-being. Understanding this complex mechanism is a key step toward studying social frames and mindsets that influence behaviors and seriously impact our human community.”
Ensch, Michelle, April 2014
Luxembourg, now USA, Ohio
Stacey’s Thesis Abstract:
“What meaning does a letterform hold? Some letters convey meaning on their own, while others must to be combined to form words and sentences. What if letterforms combine yet still seem to have no meaning? What if they combine and you are the only one who cannot understand them? Letters and words, devoid of meaning, are a familiar sight for many of us. In the United States alone, one in five people are affected by Dyslexia.
While dyslexia is a familiar term, most people have misconceptions about it. Dyslexia involves cognitive processes — including the interpretation of graphic symbols, such as letterforms. According to the American Psychiatric Association, an individual diagnosed with dyslexia is considered learning disabled. There has been productive activity in the research of dyslexia by both medicine and the social sciences, with a focus on answering the question, “What is wrong with the dyslexic learner?” While this type of work is important, dyslexia must be appreciated as a learning difference rather than a learning disability. It is this line of questioning that informs my research.
Through manipulation of dynamic typography, I have created environments that offer artistic interpretations of the dyslexic experience. Immersed in distorted moving text, viewers must grapple with the frustration of trying to decode meaning.
By offering people opportunities to experience forms of otherness, we can begin to shift the conversation about dyslexia. The notion of dyslexia as difference has value in a culture that tends to emphasize dyslexia as a disability or disorder. Viewing dyslexia as a difference can provide a critical foundation for understanding, inclusion and support for individual thinking styles—in the classroom, workplace and other institutions of our culture."
Stewart, Stacey, April 2014