Message from the Program Director of Integrated Design

To The Class of 2021 of Integrated Design Majors:

I am thrilled to welcome you to the online exhibition of “Emergent Reflections,” which celebrates the thesis work of Integrated Design students in the class of 2021. Integrated Design is built on a shared understanding that the transformative power of collaboration and designing with one another, can lead us through complex and uncertain times.

The impacts of the ongoing pandemic, unfolding racial and social unrest, a fraught US Presidential election season and the rise of anti-Asian violence, have all been a prevalent presence this academic year. Our students are experiencing this particularly uncertain time in human history at a moment where they are also celebrating the culmination of their academic work across four years. Graduating from college deserves a space for optimism, hope and joy and so those are the main goals for this exhibition. But the tension between the celebration and the apprehension of our collective human moment, is palpable. For this reason, the title chosen for the exhibition “Emergent Reflections,” recognizes the call for optimism and personal contemplation amidst a shifting global landscape.

In her book Emergent Strategy, adrienne marie brown writes, “In the framework of emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. Existence is fractal, the health of the cell is the health of the species and the planet.” Within this exhibition you will see how each student is considering emergent topics ranging from mental health and well-being, food insecurity, gender inclusivity, adaptive clothing, the role of the contemporary artist, sustainability and the environment and human rights among many others.

I would like to extend gratitude to leadership in the School of Design Strategies including Cynthia Lawson, Mark Randall and Associate Director of Integrated Design Andrew Shea. Special thanks to our Program Administror Molly Davy and all members of the SDS operations team. I’d like to thank my fellow thesis faculty colleagues Scherezade Garcia, Amy Andrieux and Chat Travieso who have been incredible colleagues in supporting our students. And finally, a heartfelt thank you to the class of 2021 for their amazing resilience in the face of countless challenges and for their unwavering support of one other through the most extenuating of circumstances. This sense of optimism has been transformative.

With deep appreciation,