Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2018

Maxine Joy Almendra
Maxine Joy Almendra

While Filipinos make up one of the largest Asian ethnic groups in America, they are often referred to as the “invisible minority.” This is a result of hundreds of years of Western colonization and the absence of Filipinos’ own cultural history in American textbooks.

My thesis, Kultura, is a collection of projects that explores Filipino-American history in print and digital form. Each project in Kultura aims to educate young Filipino-Americans about historical events and aspects of Filipino culture they did not know about before. Young Filipino-Americans can get these projects in a Kultura Box by signing up on the Kultura website and receiving it in the mail. After experiencing the box and learning from the different projects, they can submit their own personal history to be featured on the website.

By designing the Kultura projects in different forms such as pins and small booklets, I communicate the serious topics of forgotten history in a more friendly and shareable way in order to target a younger audience. The mix of traditional Filipino colors and motifs contrasted with modern typefaces and mediums expresses the link between Filipino history and current Western culture.

With Kultura, I hope to make visible the many accomplishments and struggles that Filipinos have faced throughout America and remind Filipino-Americans of the indigenous culture that once existed. By sharing this cultural history, future generations of young Filipino-Americans can reclaim their identity and start to write their own history for years
to come.






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