Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2021

Aeva Karlsrud
Simulacra Ambassador

The contemporary world requires young creatives to market themselves as designers and as individuals to gain employment as well as social capital. Postmodernity—which, according to media theorist Jean Baudrillard, is a form of hyper-reality, or a state in which signs and symbols that represent reality replace reality itself, has distilled personhood to a digital presence. As media has become social, every successful person has become an ambassador of their own “brand”: a mix of tangible symbols and intangible attributes. But how does one become an ambassador of self?

The trickiness of crafting one’s public persona is tied up with the task of figuring out who you are on the inside. Branding has become intimately personal, involving a simultaneous becoming and marketing of self. Simulacra Ambassador is a personal brand book that borrows from 1980’s media theory and aesthetics to address the contemporary intersection of branding and personal identity as they coalesce in navigating the professional and philosophical narrative landscape. Part reference manual and part self-help workbook, Simulacra Ambassador bridges the psychic gaps between the curation of the inner self and the public persona.

Simulacra Ambassador aims to dissect and diagram the ideals that we perpetuate in creative work and life as digital-age designers. It injects the branding manual with an element of the absurd, designed to both celebrate and question the designer’s conception of the ideal and the real as they unite under the modern (and morally ambiguous) hypothesis that authentic nature is a source of profit.

(Red)

Dotun Abeshinbioke

Darina Abuzarova

Sung Hyun (Julie) Ahn

Anisa Al Raisi

Hazal Aysel

Vivek Bajaj

Sunayana Bali

Elliot Bohlen

Madison Brang

Allison Bynum

Rachel Chang

Lilliana Checo

Jizheng Chen

Lena Chen

Mi Chen

Raghav Chhabra

Shreya Chittaranjan

Christopher Chu

Shenny Chuang

Calen Chung

Mae Craford

Chengcheng Cui

Rebecca D'Agostino

Dani de los Santos

Nika Diomidovskaia

Aira Dolfo

Maya Eapen

Yaron Erkin

Louis Falisse

Xiaoke Fei

Bernadette Figueroa

Shih-Ju Fu

Ana Furtado

Martina Gallo

Chenxi (Lisa) Gao

Sierra Glicker

Danielle Beatriz Go

Danni Gomez

QingYing (Mimi) Guan

Peiru Guo

Siyu Hang

Trudy Hoang

Will Howell

Annie Hua

Wallis Huang

Charis Huling

Sana Jamali

Aeva Karlsrud

Lake Kennedy

Byunghyun Kim

Destiny Kim

Yeji Kim

Zen Koo

Padmaja Kothari

McKayla Lankau

Hyunseung Maddie Lee

Jade Lee

Jiwoo Lee

Juna Lee

Victoria Lee

Emma Lepore

Scarlet Li

Sunny Li

Sohyunn Lim

Misty Lin

Stephanie Lin

Yu Tong Tiffany Ling

Lilian Liu

Phoebe Lo

Charlotte Lomas

Kevin Loumeau

Wen Hsin Lu

Dirm Luawo

Peiyun Luo

Youran Mao

Imani McIntosh

Rebecca Mesonjnik

Velimar Molina

Matilde Sofia Monti

Gavin Mullally

Syalsabila Karissa Munaf

Michael Mungai

Sanjana Navar

Katelyn Paik

Aileen Pan

Chanjoo Tiffany Park

Namjoon Park

Storey Pearson

Mariel Quadrino

Simran Rao

Felitasari (Tata) Rekso

Yasmin Rozmee

Rainier Salas

Julia Sams

Eva Serrano Reisner

Anvita Shah

Suditi Shah

Amal Shaheedi

Joyce Shi

Samantha Simotas

Claira Smith

Hyunji Song

Carolina Stierli de Abreu

Niharika Sundarigari

Rachael Tomaszewski

Tiffany Tong

Svasti Ujagar

Ariana Ushiki

Diana Victoreen

Yiqi Wang

Yutong Wang

Zheng Wang

Jasmine Wei

Savannah West

Summer Wojtas

Jacquelyn Wu

Ricky Xie

Connie Xu

Karrie Xu

Ellen Yang

Jacqueline Yang

Emily Yun

Monique Zeitouny Dayan

Cecilia Zhang

Cheryl Zhang

Claire Zhang