Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2024

Ceremonies of Absence: Exploring Intangible Loss Through Visual Monuments
Yi Song

Grief and loss are universal experiences that profoundly shape our lives. Past experiences can establish emotional connections between different people’s memories. People often struggle to acknowledge and address intangible loss due to life change because we tend to think of loss in finite terms, mainly associated with death and dying. However, we overlooked how it can also involve adapting to major life shifts.

Ceremonies of Absence takes the form of large-scale installations composed of translucent film strips of varying lengths, which symbolize the measurement of time and carry text and symbolic images representing individual narratives of loss. The installation serves as a communal space for reflection and remembrance, inviting viewers to engage with varied experiences of loss.

Each strip seeks to visualize the myriad forms of loss we encounter throughout our lives, whether it be the loss of a relationship, identity, or opportunity. Through visualized text, imagery, and conceptualized time, this installation commemorates memories associated with both tangible and intangible losses people experience throughout life, thus providing individuals with a sense of connection.

In addition to the monuments, portable kits are distributed to enable individuals to create personalized commemorative devices, intertwining their own memories with broader narratives of collective loss.

Through these design interventions, the project aims to confront and reframe the discourse surrounding grief and loss by exploring their multifaceted nature and the importance of ritual.

Sera Aksoy

Faye Arranz

Shravani Bagawde

Han Bao

Iryna Baran

Zein Bdeir

Victoria Beyrard

Anna Blyumenkrants

Tatiana Boccone

Megan Brill

Andrea Chang

Longcan (Hugo) Chao

Jolene Chen

Yu Tung Chen

Yuntong Chen

Loki Chow

Hong Jet Chua

Erin May Cochanco

Janet Delavan

Gayoung Do

Fang Dong

Julia Du

Manan Dua

Colin Elmer

Millie Faber

Siyao Fang

Noah Farjani

Hina Fernstrom

Leslie Fonseca

Sarahi Garcia

Amanda Guo

Charlotte Hailstone

Jieun Han

Mary Hatcher

Elliana Hau

William Hsu

Olivia Hu

Grace Huang

Jung Hwangbo

Krishika Jain

Yoo-Jin Jang

Janice Ji

Wenjie Ji

Eneya Joshua

Yung Ching (Aurora) Juang

Maya Kalinowski

Jasmine Kan

Nabeeha Khalid

Palakh Khetrapal

Jessie Kil

Hope Kim

Hye Yoon Kim

Jenny JaeMin Kim

Lindsay Kim

Aarya Kini

Claudia Kok

Vidhi Kontham

Themis Kung

Hoi Man Kwok

Katherine Lam

Camille Le Bars

Haylee Lee

Minjae Lee

Stacey Lee

Chenxiao Li

Vivian Liu

Sarah Ma

Rosie Mai

Kamryn McKenna

Haley Moore

Graeme Mounsey

Syrus Mow

Viviann Nguyen

Chloé Nini

Smitee Oberoi

Talita Ozkok

Surya Pande

Shruti Pathak

Kelly Peng

Aayushi Pitta

Zoey Poole

Kiara Putrilia

Anjali Raju

Rand Rivera

Virajini Sanghai

Sofia Santana Arrezola

Noor Selim

Anna Sham

Lakeisha Esthetique Sharonina

Carly Shelton

Mengqi Shen

Vanessa Shimon

Alex Vinicius Silva

Arjun Sivaprakasam Thamilarasan

Hajin Son

Yi Song

Alexander Soukakos

Aarya Srikumar

Hannah Suh

Yuka Tamura

Cynthia Huiwen Tan

Sidhya Tikku

Raquel Trevino

Sophie Tsang

Gianna Waldron

Haotian Wang

Yi Wang

Yichen Wang

Yingjie Wang

Victoria Winter

Sage Won

Sora Wong

Shiyao Wu

Tong Wu

Qian Xiang

Faith Xue

Tong Yu

Helen Zhang

Jinyi Zhang

Yixiao Zhao

Yufan Zhao

Haiyu Zhou

Yining Zhou

Feiya Zuo