Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015

Brittany DiPeri

Two thirds who suffer from mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders, do it in silence, as they fear rejection or judgment. Affirming their fear is the chronic misunderstandings the general population has of mental disorders. There have been attempts of confronting this problem, such as social media campaigns, to promote communication. However, while these campaigns have noble motives, many who suffer from mental illnesses have difficulty communicating their thoughts. This issue leaves people feeling alone and discouraged, amongst other disheartening emotions. Highstrung is an exploration into inciting empathy from those who don’t understand through experiencing frustrations, restrictions, and anxiety by means of symbolic devices, such as rules and aesthetics. The format of board games was chosen, as games require participation with others. Highstrung’s rules are comparable to the mental rules that might control a person’s life and does not allow players to make any choices. This game is not meant to be fun, it is meant to be a challenge. The geometric, cube-based design messes with perception, as this project aims to change perception. While those attain understanding, participants with anxiety disorders can feel at ease within the familiar environment of gaming and reassuring tips within gameplay. Highstrung is an experience and a tool, not a form of entertainment. Ultimately, life-changing conversations can proceed due to newly acquired knowledge and changed outlooks. With this game, awareness can be raised, thus opening doors to continue the attempts of ending stigmas of mental health and encourage support for everyone who suffers.

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