Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2013

Rachel Cutler
My Fellow Americans
Rachel Cutler
My Fellow Americans

‘I am an American.’ What does this statement mean to you? How is it being portrayed to the rest of the world? Can you steer clear of a muddled, lengthy answer? Now check with your neighbor. Do they have the same answer? Probably not. This country is anything but simple. There is no easy explanation as to what an American can identify with culturally. Today we are struggling with the stereotypes that have been thrown upon us and find that they clash with the pride that exists in America itself. In this way, our identity has become confusing. We the people... used to know exactly who we were. We weren’t embarrassed, or ashamed to say ‘I am an American,’ and we certainly did not let other countries define our identity for us. We were a ‘Take It Or Leave It’ group of united individuals, and proud to be that way. American culture has experienced a shift in definition. It’s hard to pinpoint when, or why. We now have a desire to hold on to the past in order to try to maintain a sense of cultural self. Too much has changed since since the writing of the constitution. The same ‘retro’ designs do not cut it and the government designs have been in place since the beginning of the U.S. True, they represent a part of America, and have their purposes, but what is there that truly shows today’s America? It is time to focus on where America as a united people is presently and where it is going. The past should not be the sole foundation any longer. Through design, our current and future identity can take its place. I want nothing more than to be able to declare ‘I am an American,’ and be completely confident, knowledgeable, and proud in doing so. Let this be the first of many things that the American people can agree upon when it comes to the identity of this culture.

Evon Coleman
Kids in Disguise: Happy Lies & the Lesson of Truth
James Czyz
Whereabouts NYC