Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

YoungHee Ryu
Play

How can play transform a space? The word play is normally associated with children but could be just as appropriate for adults as it is for kids. Everyday spaces that we tend to pay no attention to and seem boring can be transformed into playful spaces. This is how I came to my thesis project of re-introducing the fun in our environment to create a sense of play. I achieve this by documenting how neon- colored shapes can activate the spaces inside the Parsons Building at 2 W 13th Street. I decided to use the Parsons main building because of its familiarity. Spending almost every day for four years inside this building, I realized that I was never interested in the environment apart from the entrance lobby. This is due to the institutional look of the interior with everything being either white, black, gray, or red. I decided to insert neon-colored shapes into the building to transform this ordinary space into a playful one. Through photography, these shapes interrupt as well as interact with the environment to alter our perception of this space. These shapes play with our perception of imagined space and real space. Using photography to flatten the foreground and background, these shapes almost look fake and photoshopped. The florescent quality and the simplicity of the shapes transforms and activates the neutral interior environment. These photographs were then be sequenced and arranged in a book to create a strong visual narrative. Words that best describe the experience are curiosity, unexpectedness, and delight. I hope the surprises revealed through this photographic journey will capture these qualities.


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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17