Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Maura Kelly Graphic Design

Empathy Blindspots

Fine Art
Interface Design
Publication Design
Social Advocacy
The Subconscious

I’m often caught thinking about all the things I don’t think about, but at what point do those thoughts become thought about thoughts? How can my blindspots become what I see? As a communications designer, much of my job is to make generalizations and educated guesses at user experiences, however something about this seems weirdly invisible. As if I’m creating a world in which I don’t exist, I can’t be perceived by the user. I do not agree with this way of designing, and I’d like to challenge the design industry to create more transparently. Designer invisibility does have an effect on how people interact with our designs, and I would like to explore to what extent it is effected.

With design visibility, comes the understanding of bias, which is impossible to completely eradicate and an irrelevant contradiction of human made design. Through my thesis I hope to experiment with the ways in which the creator, the designer, can be seen to the users. I aim to grow the design industry to be more empathic, loving, caring, more personable. Without a clear understanding of who created what, and their histories, we aren’t able to be fully conscious consumers, users, aware of our choices.