Designer + Artist Statement
DESIGNER + ARTIST STATEMENT
As a designer in the twenty-first century, I have a responsibility to approach design solutions that consider the role of ethics and social responsibility. My work has always revolved around making connections visible through transdisciplinary methods of making. Currently I have been focused on how design thinking with a socially driven agenda emphasizes the value in human connection. As a maker and contributor to the visual culture, I strive to create work that strengthens meaningful relationships between people, the environment and design.
Through the nature of connections and the rich complex interconnectedness that make up systems, we find ourselves positioned in a place subconsciously. I explore these connections, systems and network theory in an attempt to understand how these relationships construct the social and cultural environment around us. I then look at how this affects behavioral patterns of living. I explore the results through various methods of visualizations.
My current thesis research looks into how communities network in an effort to sustain a place. Specifically, I am focusing on the Athens, Ohio community economic network of exchange that has contributed and constructed the unique culture and social behaviors of this place. I am designing a case-study of Athens that visualizes the network of people working together. Through ethnographic and narrative research, along with oral history interviews, I am telling the story of place. More importantly, this research is showing how people connect with one another and how they connect resources to the people. To me, the largest impact of change begins through localized efforts of community awareness. My research explores ways to inform and engage the public on understanding how places and people network to remain viable.
This project is a prototypical venture that identifies a human networking system that can be applied to other communities. The results become an amalgamation informed by transdisciplinary methods of engagement where the process of design thinking is evident. My work connects and extends the intersection of art and design. Both disciplines have changed the way I perceive the world and in return have helped me to change the way others perceive the world.