Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Jacqueline Johnsson Graphic Design

Infrastructural Patterns

Publication Design
Type design

My thesis investigates how infrastructural systems become visible through patterns. I observed and documented these patterns on walks, on drives, and through satellite imagery. Infrastructure is often thought about in terms of the physical networks that facilitate the flow of resources; however my thesis argues that local, national, and global standards produce another kind of infrastructure, one that transforms the built environment into templated spaces. My multidisciplinary process is chance-based, experimental, and iterative. The print, digital, and sculptural forms that I have made this year attempt to highlight and question these rather ordinary and often mundane aspects of our everyday life.

I’ll end this introduction with a Mark Wigley quote that significantly influenced my thesis work. What Wigley says about the role of the architect can also be applied to the role of the graphic designer (I’ve paraphrased the quote below):

“[Graphic design] is a set of endlessly absorbing questions for our society rather than a set of clearly defined objects with particular effects. Graphic designers are public intellectuals, crafting forms that allow the others to see the world differently and perhaps live differently. The real gift of the best graphic designers is to produce a kind of hesitation in the routines of contemporary life, an opening in which new potentials are offered, new patterns, rhythms, moods, sensations, pleasures, connections, and perceptions. A graphic designer can embed the possibility of a rewarding detour amongst all the routines, a seemingly minor detour that might ultimately change the meaning of everything else. The graphic designer crafts an invitation to think and act differently.”