Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

Kamila Ortiz
Byproducts After the Anthropocene

The Industrial Revolution catalyzed a new way to produce goods on a global scale. The energy and materials used during this process have been unsustainable, causing changes in our Earth. Humans produce, consume, and dispose of different materials on a daily basis. With those products are byproducts: an incidental or secondary product made in the manufacture or synthesis of something else. These byproducts have merged with our natural and constructed environment. Geologists have researched and assigned a new name for the era we now live in: the Anthropocene.

The plastic bag is a symbol for the range of byproducts that now exist. By focusing on this material, the viewer will be able to form a more obvious recognition with what is constantly taking over our environment. Byproducts After the Anthropocene transforms the plastic bag from trash into a tool needed for human survival after the Anthropocene in a humorous critique. This thesis suggests new ways to survive our catastrophic impact. Presenting the plastic bag as a survival tool to withstand the rapidly changing environment will bring the catastrophic concept of climate change closer to our reality. The exploration of plastic material, in the form of a book, allows the user to have an intimate reminder of the impact of this material. The larger format posters are a public announcement to instruct and visualize how our bodies can interact with plastic in the future. This thesis sheds light on the opportunity to give these products and their byproducts new purpose.


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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17