Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015

Abstraction/ Specification
Joan Koo

We order our perceptions to make meaning. This project seeks to uncover the ways that particular orderings—what we call interpretations—create a variety of meanings. Three text-based experiments investigate how design affects the elasticity of written narrative language when its content has been partially abstracted. The intention is to push written language just before it renders nonfunctional in order to expose the limits of narrative comprehension and retention. This discovery is important in obtaining a better understanding of how much detail is necessary for information to make sense to the average individual. All three experiments borrow diary entries from Anaïs Nin, remove certain grammatical forms, and replace them with deliberate blanks. These spaces introduce abstraction to the text much like Mad Libs, where individuals are prompted to fill the blanks with their own words. This generated content transforms the diary entries from person to person, creating new meanings in the text while also shedding light on how individuals interpret fragmented information in a way that helps them to create meaning. Results are documented in a final research book of textual observations and analysis. In the future, the project can be expanded to explore other aspects of language, such as the visual and aural. The questions behind these additional studies expand to how individuals interpret media in varying ways in order to create meaning. Designing at the threshold of productive and nonproductive ambiguity turns these modes into mediums of manipulation; obtaining a better understanding of the limit of ambiguity creates the opportunity to curate information cognizance in any shape or form.

Carolina Acosta

Carina Adijanto

Kathryn Adkins

Rosa Antonieta Andia Pastor

Che Ying Au

Nadia Bakst

Kevin Ballon

Tess Barber

Mercedes Beach

Trey Bedingfield

Evan Bender

Jan-Luca Berger

Liz Bergesch

Gabriel Berrios

Bianca Rose Bono

Zoe Sarah Bortz

Margot Bravi

Harlie Brindak

Stefania Brusatin

Shamma Buhazza

Daniela M. Casado

Edgar Castro

Dahye Chang

Alicia Chen

Jiayi Chen

Taylor Childers

Sanjana Chimnani

Yerang Choi

Caroline Chriss

Gregory Conte

Rafael Cordoboa

Gina Marie Costa

Karen-Cristina Cruz

Rachel Darmody

Amanda DeGiuseppe

Brittany DiPeri

Dariel Ben Dominguez

Phoebe Feng

Mark Foss

Lindsey Frazier

Anais Freitas

Amanda Goldstein

MaryAnn George

Camille Gervais

Sarah Gonzalez

Jessica Griscti

Anissa Hanley

Christa Herchek

Albert Hicks IV

Deja Holden

Mu-Ti Huang

Cari Hume

Zachary David Hurley

Anushae Hussain

Nicole Ignacio

Lama Kaddura

Sul Kim

Ji Hyun Kim

Hyerin Kim

Sunghoon Kim

Green Kim

Felicitas Kofler

Joan Koo

Hannah Kramer

Taiji Kuroda

Jasmine Lam

Alex Lardaro

Liberty Leben

Victoria Lee

Jayne Lee

Stephanie Leone

Crysta Leong

Sara Li

Liza Littlefield

Christopher Lucero

Huy Luong

Briana Lynch

Rachel Mak

David Marte

Nelle McDade

Kelly Merole

Marie Mhina

Riho Mineta

Regina Morgan-Muñoz

Ayla El-Moussa

Baki Mumkaya

Summer Myung

Caroline Newton

Sofia Oom

Adrian Ortega Pedraza

Rusbeny Pichardo

Maria Putri

Auriel Rickard

Nancy Rivera

Simone Roark

Emalis Robateau

Hussain Salahuddin

Benjamin Sands

Ariel Saura

Taleen Setrakian

Wren Sieber

Phuong Tran

Hilary Tunstall

Ujvala Abirami Vemparala

Gosbinda Vizarretea

Claudia von Hillebrandt

Marcus Washington Jr.

Jocelyn Wu

Jasmine Yacoub

Brenden Ying

Horin Yip

Christelle YuanYuan Zhang

Katie Zheng