A Creative Inquiry: How Context Affects Design is my final thesis for my Master of Design
to read the full paper please visit
The following thesis explores how creating work in a non-traditional art space can change the perceptions of that environment and the work itself. This essay is intended for exhibition designers, installation artists, design educators and museum/gallery directors. Using various methods of design, I create work with the intention of bringing joy, humor, nostalgia, and reflection while simultaneously studying how context affects audience perception
and response to this work. I create installations that act as interruptions, disruptions, and interventions to the spaces that go unnoticed and are considered mundane. I find inspiration in the opportunity that these informal, everyday spaces provide for a spontaneous response. The implications of this research will offer new and novel approaches for designers, artists, and employees of museums and galleries to rethink how their exhibitions are affected by the space that surrounds them. This thesis will also inspire future designers and artists to see how their work can change and adapt to its surroundings. The context of the work questions where design and art merge and I argue that in the future of exhibition design, these two disciplines are interchangeable. This change in cultural context asks how the same imagery showcased around the world in different environments and global contexts changes its narrative based on its location and audience. I created a series of pieces in the public realm—some small scale, some large—to explore how much I could change the perception of an environment and provoke audience reaction. The work culminated in a collective project where I asked creatives all over the world to create contemporary outdoor galleries. This allowed me to play with context on a global scale.