Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2020

Xingman Cheng
Understand Understanding

We live in an era of mass information. Our daily lives are surrounded by designs that communicate messages. Some designs are straightforward hence easy to apprehend, while some are ambiguous and puzzling that require more thinking to unfold. Nevertheless, there is one premise that they all share: In order to be widely displayed, these designs as message conveyors, must possess the certainty that they can be translated by the majority audience. But where does this certainty come from? Why are we capable of decoding a design and understanding its woven message? In order to find out the answer, I composed an interactive exhibition that explores the formulation of our thoughts, the logic behind them, and how is the logic practiced in our process of understanding. The exhibition showcases a short  film which breaks down our understanding through three aspects: perception, word and symbol, and context. It discusses our thinking logic through a lens of skepticism, and enlightens the viewer to revisit the presumptions in their thinking process.  As a designer, I believe it is important for us to understand how messages are communicated through media under various circumstances. We should understand our ways of understanding, so we can start to reconsider and question the ways we communicate information. It is our obligation to stay sane in this babel of mass information and arouse innovations to challenge the static thinking ways through unconventional designs in the near future.

Yehia Abouseif

Nia Acosta

Kamal Adisa

Sakshi Agarwal

Sejal Aggarwal

Lily Saeli

K.C. Amable

Sulamita Javier Balanutsa

Emily Baro

Emily Bergerson

Xiujie Bi

Sonja Briney

Kayla Van der Byl

Dahee Byun

Kimberly Chan

Krish Chandiramani

Militza A. Rodríguez Charr

Julie Yu Chen

Xingman Cheng

Habin Cheong

Kristen Chik

Paloma Corrigan

Misha Dhanoolal

Vicky Fan

Vincent Garcia

Cyril Gordon

Yangchen Maya Gruben

Maria Guardazzi

Gideon Gulko

Esra Gumrukculer

Aanya Gupta

Arani Halder

Bobby Hill

Jinghan Hu

Olivia Hunter

Sejung Hwang

Geddes Alexander II

Jyudeh Maximilian Russ Jarrett

Madison Jennings

Won Kyung Jung

Inga Kan

Suji Kang

Ayse Yaren Kaya

Prithi Khalique

Shanjida Kibria

Celine Kim

Seowon Kim

Suah Kim

Youjong Kim

Rasheka Krishan

Eli Lederberg

Grace Ledoux

Alicia Lee

Hyunseo Suzy Lee

Natashia Lee

Rachel J. Lee

Yoo An Lee

Tiffany Leung

Emily Li

Sinong Li

Qiyao Lin

Jiayi Liu

Sichao Liu

Morella Tovar M

Ares Maia

Sophia Marinelli

Julia McGillicuddy

Sanika Mehta

Eleni Mentis

Anthony Muchai Muiruri

Daniel Mullins

Meredith Nelson

Ruowen Niu

Catalina O'Connor

Hyun sun Ohm

Carolyn Olaguivel

Lorna Oppenheim

Kyle Palma

Anastasia Contos Papakonstantinou

Brendon Park

Jimin Park

LeeJun Park

Sanha Park

Tommy Park

Tunchanok Patana-anake

Sean Phan

Delaney Poitras

Vincent Privitera

Jhoenny Ramirez

Taylor Sade Raschillo

Zhen (Yoomi) Ren

Elizabeth Richards

Rachel Rudolph

Leoder Sanchez

Maria Sanchez

Simon Sciacovelli

Shreya Shah

Seth Sharbono

Cindy Shi

Mimi Shih

Avni Shivkumar

Arunima Sinha

Shivam Sinha

Jason Decker Sloves

Bailey Storms

Tingyu Su

Yuchen Su

Kelt Tobunluepop

Kiana Toossi

Shivani Toshniwal

Jeanette Tran

Valerie Trisnadi

Yi-Chieh Tsai

Manasi Vashi

Emil Waldron

Isabella Wang

Jingyi Wang

Yuzheng Wang

Sophie Westfall

Ellie Wolfond

Jiapei Wu

Andy Yang

Xinchen Zhang

Yujing Zhang

Evelin Susan Fung Zhong

Evgeniya Zykova