The New School Graduating Class of 2021 Thesis Highlights | Part 4

The New School
8 min readMay 10, 2021

Despite the immense challenges the past year has posed, the graduating class of 2021 has created work that inspires, teaches, and even challenges us. Leading up to The New School’s commencement ceremony on May 14, 2021, we’ll be highlighting their work and accomplishments so our entire community can continue to learn from and support their research and art practices.

Additional work from the Parsons School of Design Class of 2021 will be featured virtually throughout the summer. More information about this year’s Parsons Festival will be available soon.

Interested in checking out more work from this year’s graduating class? Click here for Part 1, here for Part 2, and here for Part 3.

Congrats, grads!

Maya Miriam Eapen

BA Communication Design, 2021

The influx of western influences and globalization in India have increased the popularity of English as a spoken language among the urban, Indian youth. English connotes status. As a result, many young Indian, including myself, have grown up without learning or practicing our mother tongues. My typeface, Bangalore Display, questions whether typography can change the attitude of the Indian youth and inspire them to learn and speak their regional languages.

Bangalore Display is a playful, and bold Kannada, (a South Indian Language), typeface inspired by the hand lettered street signs scattered across my childhood home, Bangalore, India. The friendly and bubbly style of the typeface intends to appeal to a younger demographic and make the language accessible to them. It is displayed on an interactive microsite that breaks down the nuances and stylistic choices behind the design. The typeface is accompanied by a type design compendium that documents my process of learning the language Kannada while designing the typeface. It includes personal reflections about experimenting with different materials as well as deeper conversations with type experts. By making the language accessible to young Indians, I hope the project inspires them to appreciate the beauty of Indian languages and encourages them to engage with their mother tongues.

Check out more of Maya’s work on her website and on Instagram @mayaaeapen

Marcos Echeverria Ortiz

MA Media Studies, 2021

“Where We Were Safe” is an ongoing interactive oral history archive that focuses on collecting memories about the lost and destroyed Salsa music places in New York City, such as ballrooms, clubs, record stores, and outdoor venues. By combining digital mapping and cultural memory, this project aims to reconstruct historical space and recover these sites’ heritage through a lens of social, racial, and cultural dynamics that fed the Latin experience in the 1970s.

Check out more of Marcos’s work on his website and Instagram @whereweweresafe

Misty Lin

BFA Communication Design, 2021

Nowadays it is difficult to have meaningful conversations with others. The pandemic challenged people to balance their personal life with their career work, all from their own home. This leaves us feeling drained and disconnected. We struggle to maintain the relationship we have with ourselves, along with the relationship we have with other people. Although sending a text message is an easy way to get in touch with someone, it lacks intimacy. Mail is a more intimate method of communication. There is a special feeling when opening the mailbox to find something specifically written for you.

As a communication designer, I want to create a website that combines the convenience of technology with the warmth of writing to someone mor personally. “To You” is a website that allows people to create their own postcards meant to be sent to someone. The user is able to select their own image to use, customize the postcard, and choose the prompt they wish to answer on the back. At the end the postcard is downloadable and can be emailed directly to someone. The goal of this project is to encourage people to communicate more often, more personally, and maintain the relationships they have with others.

Check out more of Misty’s work on her portfolio website and Instagram @misteakes

Felitasari (Tata) Rekso

BFA Communication Design, 2021

How do we see infrastructure from different angles? Infrastructure surrounds us, yet we don’t fully understand it. According to Oxford Languages, Infrastructure is “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.” From its definition, infrastructure can be viewed as the set of rules of a system or a game.

That’s where a workbook comes into play. A children’s workbook is set up similarly to infrastructure. They have a set framework for the questions that are answered within them. Additionally, the format makes the challenging topic accessible and approachable, while it highlights the problems and shows new possibilities.

My project, Infrastructure Workbook Jakarta Edition, investigates the topic through twelve workbook activities that focus on transportation, communications, energy, waste and water management. These categories make Jakarta up and are vital to keeping the city functioning, but common problems such as floods and traffic get in the way. This workbook will allow people to relearn their environment and become less ignorant. It will also showcase new ways of navigating and living in Jakarta, becoming more appreciative, and noticing the small details like the colors of signages and electrical transformers. Through better insight into a city’s infrastructure, people would better understand their living conditions and the system — becoming more critical of what has existed.

Check out more of Tata’s work on her project website, portfolio website, and Instagram @tatarekso

Christian Wilcox

BFA Dramatic Arts, 2021

“My short film “Emma Plays Polly in the Chelsea Girls” is a surrealist exploration in experimental filmmaking, inspired by the Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey film “Chelsea Girls”. The story follows Polly as she receives a tarot reading that manifests itself in the world around her. The film is a colorful trip filled with the aesthetics of the 1960s, as well as a score of an electronic classical suite. In a culmination of inspirations from films from around the world, the project is an attempt at establishing a creative stance on the role of the filmmaker.”

Check out more of Christian’s work through his instagram @peterpanwhat.

Peiru Guo

BFA Communication Design, 2021

“We live in a fast-paced communication environment with text messages and video callings, communicating through texting a few words and one sentence with fast responses. Fewer people are willing to spend time waiting for answers in the process of fast-paced communication, so it causes the phenomenon that people don’t cherish personal relationships. However, keeping our inner peace and calm is a communication attitude that we should hold. I hold a habit of sending postcards with my friends a few times each month to communicate our daily interesting things. I also write postcards when I travel and in some festivals to send blessings to my friends. We all enjoy the experience of the postcard and cherish our relationship. Therefore, I want to transmit the concept of slow-paced communication under the fast-paced communication environment, making people value the importance of waiting in social communication through experiencing a hybrid of traditional communication with digital technology: digital postcards.

It’s not a typical social communication app: postcards take time to be delivered. Users need to experience writing a postcard seriously instead of rushing text messages, and then waiting for the delivery of postcards. Users are encouraged to write a postcard that is worth the wait: recommendations for writing a long paragraph in a postcard are provided in the app for people who have never written a postcard. The concept of slowness is displayed in the time of writing and delivering the postcards. Unlike Twitter, Instagram, and many existing communication media, the app has nothing to do with people’s appearances, so there are no personal images in the profile, but more emphasis on slow-paced communications between two souls.

Challenging the normal fast-paced communication method, through slow-paced communication experience of spending time writing postcards seriously and waiting for the arrival of postcards in the app, people will understand that having communication with another person should be cherished and taken into serious consideration of the relationship between each other in the current social environment.”

Learn more about Peiru’s work on the app’s website or on Instagram here.

⁣Leading up to The New School’s Commencement Ceremony on May 14, 2021, we’ll be highlighting graduating student work and projects. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more work from our amazing graduating students! Congrats to all!

Have a thesis or final project you’d like to share? Submit it here.



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