Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2019

Introduction

E Roon Kang, Director
YuJune Park, Associate Director

We are proud to present here the Communication Design thesis work of the class of 2019. Once again, students have come from around the world and across the country to spend four years engaging with design, the university, and the city. They depart into a world that holds unexpected treasures and challenges, but with optimism about the role of design in a global context. We present here not a selection of the work, but rather a comprehensive catalog of what they have accomplished in their final year of study.

Each year brings new approaches, methods, and techniques, fueled by new influences and desires. Each year also brings a set of questions that reflect the specific students’ concerns and environments. Many of the themes this year are perennial, such as language, technology, and identity, but certain shifts are evident. Technology has by now shifted from being a graphic design tool to being an extension of the human, with a much more central presence in almost every human interaction. Following from this is an anxiety about what it does to memory and mind, and enthusiasm for how it can augment increasingly global communication and commerce.

The often generic aesthetic of the web also leads to new questions about how specific voices, histories, and culture can be given form, and whether there are pure forms we can rely on to build visual systems. This year has also brought a new awareness of how design shapes communities, even at the scale of cities, which design impacts both by giving form to urban stories and shaping urban communications. Rather than being a set of projects meant solely for consumption in the “next thing,” these projects stand as an archive of thousands of conversations about what matters to these specific students in New York in 2019.