Thesis Capstone 2022

Capstone 2020

Welcome to the Graduate Exhibition & Experience Design Thesis Capstone 2022!
The adjudication of the students' work will take place in person on Dec 9th, 12–5:00pm with a celebratory Evening Reception at 5:00pm.

Exhibition and Experience Design 2022 MA Candidates

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Zuzanna Zmijewska-Walczak

Judges: Sign-up for Zuzanna

Thesis and Project
The Art of Being

Zuzanna - Poster

91% of post-millennials report facing emotional challenges associated with stress, depression, and anxiety, and are seeking forms of well-being, particularly in self-awareness, life affirmations, and community. The study of TikTok's ease of access and micro-communities can be used as a modality to amplify the positive psychological aspects of the whole-person approach to wellness. This can occur via fostering empowerment through the eight dimensions of wellness, allowing people to feel safe in the exploration of mindfulness practices. Community-driven wellness can be harnessed by designers and drive spatial experience, creating opportunities to further connect post-millennials to inner healing and well-being.

Client:  BetterUp 

Venue: Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

Audience: Primary: Gen Z  | Ages 10-25 
Secondary: Rechargers + Explorers | ages 18+
Tertiary: Experience Seekers | all ages

Natalie Henson

Judges: Sign-up for Natalie

Thesis and Project
Borrowed Memory

Natalie - Poster

Immersive virtual experiences and games have been shown to build self-efficacy, perspective-taking, and empathy in participants through devices such as avatar-like embodied experiences and collaboration within the environment. Increased fluidity between virtual and physical worlds presents two potential opportunities within exhibition design. First, layering immersive experiences into physical designs can promote perspective-taking and collaborative behavior. Second, engaging in perspective-taking and collaboration with audiences throughout the design process can increase inclusivity in layered virtual and physical spaces. This approach can remove barriers to understanding viewpoints that conflict with one’s own perspectives, create opportunities for museums to engage meaningfully with new audiences, and promote deeper understanding among community members.

Client: Coney Island History Project 
Sponsor: New York State Council on the Arts
Collaborator: Wevr Labs

Venue: Coney Island Boardwalk

Audience: Primary: South Brooklyn Residents  
Secondary: Young adults and teens
Tertiary: Tourists

Emily Schmidt

Judges: Sign-up for Emily

Thesis and Project

Emily - Poster

The COVID pandemic may be the most challenging crisis many leaders in the work world have faced. It has profoundly changed the landscape of our work culture and dramatically shifted how organizations operate, and leaders lead. The new post-pandemic norm affects employees' social bonding, trust, productivity, loyalty, and collective mental health. Movement Synchrony measures the mutual influence that occurs in interpersonal interaction. It has been proposed to embody the quality of relationships. Exhibitions can provide a solution for leaders by incorporating the advantages of Movement Synchrony and putting forth new perspectives including flexibility and adaptability, and promoting naturally occurring happy hormones: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphin.

Client: Gallup

Venue: St. Ann’s Warehouse, Dumbo, Brooklyn

Audience:  Primary: Leaders  
Secondary: Their employees  
Tertiary: General public

Gracie Woelkers

Judges: Sign-up for Gracie

Thesis and Project
EXIST; Existential Provocations

Gracie - Poster

Existentialism is the exploration of one’s own existence and has the power to provoke insight for purpose and meaning in life. Through the use of scale and orientation, solitude, and emotion, designers can translate into space the existential concepts of freedom, individuality, and authentic choice that lead to reflection of one’s own relationship with the world. Multisensory environments that follow this format and allow for personal interpretation can stimulate an existential sense of personal responsibility, therefore encouraging prosocial behavior.

Client: NASA & Psychology Today
National Science Foundation (NSF)
New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)

Venue:  Bryant Park

Audience:  Primary: 18 - 25 year olds; emerging adults, people who are busy on the day-to-day and have a hard time stepping out of their own lives and bubbles
Secondary: 30 - 40 year olds; adults settling down
Tertiary: 50 - 60 year olds; adults in midlife

Hansa Hatrote

Judges: Sign-up for Hansa

Thesis and Project
Endgame: A Race against the Climate Clock

Hansa - Poster

The devastating impacts of current and emerging technology on our environment demand a deeper look into how people think about its role in climate change. A comprehensive understanding of metacognition reveals how humans conceptualize complex environmental crises. Sustainably designed ‘phygital’ experiences that harness these strategies and incorporate metaverse technologies can model climate-conscious practices while blurring the line between physical and extended reality experiences. This is vital as we explore the new age of digital media.

Client:  Nike Move to Zero

Venue: Gansevoort Plaza, New York City

Audience: Primary: Technology enthusiasts, environmentalists, and Nike loyal customers
Secondary: Experience seekers and explorers

Hua Wen Kao

Judges: Sign-up for Hua Wen

Thesis and Project
The Moment: The Color in You

Hua - Poster

An uncomfortable psychological state resulting from negative emotions diminishes our well-being.  Sensory perception is a bridge to human emotion and reaction, impacting our body and mind, and allowing for greater awareness of emotional states. Experiential design harnessing sensory perception is an immersive storytelling atmosphere that leads people to stay in the moment with uncomfortable emotional connections and start a journey for growth and self-healing.

Client: The Art Therapy Project

Venue: Vanderbilt Hall inside the Grand Central Terminal

Audience: Primary: Employees in New York City
Secondary: Tourists around the world

Jace Son

Judges: Sign-up for Jace

Thesis and Project
Hong-Yeon: Red Thread of Fate

Jace - Poster

Cognitive impairment can affect the daily lives of older adults, yet the early signs often go unnoticed, which can increase the risk of later developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Immersive experience design can help to raise awareness and build empathy for people suffering from early cognitive impairment leading to dementia. Experiential, emotive, and informative environments with social action elements can foster empathy for those suffering from cognitive impairments, as well as present opportunities to build awareness of the importance of cognitive training for early detection.

Client: NSF (National Science Foundation) & AFA (Alzheimer’s Foundation of America)

Venue: Brooklyn Museum

Audience:  Primary: Family caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Secondary: People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Tertiary: People who have a fear of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and want to prevent the disease

Jaipreet Uppal

Judges: Sign-up for Jaipreet

Thesis and Project
Multiverse: A Journey Through Infinite Parallel Dimensions

Jaipreet - Poster

The Multiverse theory suggests that our universe, which consists of billions of planets, stars and galaxies, may not be the only universe that exists. The theory proposes that parallel universes have unlimited possibilities, such as other regions existing in the same space time as that of our universe, but they are disconnected permanently from our own pocket universe, and within each of them the laws of physics are different. By integrating the ideology of the multiverse theory into designed environments through enhanced sensory experiences and altered perceptions, designers can create stimulating experiences that are transformative for visitors.

Client:  PBS

Venue:  Park Avenue Armory

Audience: Primary: Young Adults Gen Z- Millennials
Secondary: Adults Gen X- Boomers
Tertiary: Kids Gen Alpha

Jami Sparano

Judges: Sign-up for Jami
Please Note: Time Slot - 3:00 completely filled

Thesis and Project
Sound Playground

Jami - Poster

Sound has the power to impact human consciousness on neurological and psychological levels, thus altering our lives more profoundly than we readily acknowledge. Particular sound waves, or frequencies, at the core of soundscapes and musical compositions, influence thoughts, feelings, and expression in ways that directly inform how people will engage with the world around them. By understanding the relationship between sound frequencies and human consciousness, experiential designers can harness the effect(s) soundscapes have in fabricated environments and how they can be composed in order to affect the quality of group dynamics, enhance learning outcomes, and aid in audience wayfinding.

Client:  Museum of Science Boston & National Science Foundation

Venue: Museum of Science Boston

Audience: Primary: Massachusetts 4th-grade students following the state’s Science & Art curriculums that introduce properties of sound and music 
Secondary: Families and caregivers with children
Tertiary: Boston tourists looking for a way to stimulate their visitor experience 

Jenny Hsin-Yi Chang

Judges: Sign-up for Jenny
Please Note: Time slot - 1:00 is completely filled

Thesis and Project
Where the Wild Things Are: Return to The Wild

Jenny - Poster

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people experienced an increase in anxiety, depression and decreased wellbeing as a result of the inability to have meaningful connection with others in the prolonged social isolation. Shared experiences, as a key element to forming interpersonal bonds, can be created in remote settings by:

a) creating a sense of shared time and place through synchronous multisensory media, 
b) providing opportunities of quality interaction through enabling multimodal interpersonal communication, and 
c) catalyzing the bonding effect through the inclusion of emotional eliciting elements.

By harnessing the power of shared experience in remote settings, brands and museums will be able to increase the interest level remote audience has for the content, prolong and deepen the remote engagement, and be prepared for the future audience that will increasingly rely on remote and virtual means to experience the world.

Client:  Harper & Row, Warner Bros, Coalition to End Loneliness

Venue: Hybrid – Physical Traveling Exhibition + Virtual Mobile Game

Audience: Primary: Families    Secondary: Young Adults (18-35)

Jose Campos Gomez

Judges: Sign-up for Jose

Thesis and Project
Step Up. Make your best move!

Jose - Poster

Exhibition and experience design is one of the least environmentally friendly industries. Some pop-up experiences are made to last only for a short time, creating a lot of waste that negatively impacts our planet. However, an architectural theory known as a timeless design could create a framework for changing the aesthetic approach to battle the waste. This concept could ultimately help designers to conceive experiential structures that last longer thanks to modularity.

Client:  Google Sustainability

Venue: Piazza Castello Square, Turin, Italy

Audience:  Primary:  Parents with children (7-13)   Secondary: College students

Joseph DeLaunay

Judges: Sign-up for Joseph

Thesis and Project
Conservationism: Give & Take

Joseph - Poster

With increasing access to personal devices and technology, people have a higher demand for digital stimulation for enterainment and education. Cognitive load theory illustrates the importance of physicality (called the human movement effect), and the importance of working memory, for information retention. The increase of newer technologies has users engaged with multiple digital sources at once more than ever before. By employing more interactive technologies, alongside traditional media, designers can craft exhibits that satisfy a tech-savvy audience while encouraging longer-lasting retention and understanding of the subject matter at hand. 

Client: National Science Foundation

Venue: American Museum of Natural History

Audience: AMNH current audience, Tech-savvy young adults, Scholars

Lyka Williams

Judges: Sign-up for Lyka

Thesis and Project
Encoded: Terms + Conditions Apply 

Lyka - Poster

Generation Alpha is the first cohort of digital natives fully born and growing up in our technological data-driven society. As they lacked the ability to consent, there is a blurred notion of their expectations of privacy. As this demographic rises in age and cements itself as the world's newest consumers, the retail industry must quickly evolve to offer a novel approach to consumer-brand connections while balancing their desire for autonomy. Experiential design that incorporates and prioritizes consumer choice via hyper-personalization will cultivate long-term brand loyalty amongst this new generation.

Client: Black Market Flea x Mozilla x Firefox

Venue: The High Line 

Audience: BIPOC  
Primary: Gen Alpha   Secondary: Gen Z   
Tertiary: Tourists and visitors along the High Line

Sarah Felter

Judges: Sign-up for Sarah

Thesis and Project
Roaring Elephants

Sara - Poster

History can feel impersonal and unrelatable as it focuses on the logic of culture rather than the people within them. Through immersive technologies, community memory can be collected and expressed within a new form of archiving. Through immersive technologies, community memory can be collected and expressed within a new form of archiving. This allows for an experience where visitors understand the nuances of memory.

Client: Latino Public Broadcasting

Venue: St. Mary’s Park, South Bronx

Audience: Primary: 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos in the South Bronx   Secondary: Residents of the South Bronx

Ali McNamara-Marsland

Judges: Sign-up for Ali
Please Note: Time Slot - 1:00 completely filled

Thesis and Project

Ali - Poster

Listening to music releases endorphins in the brain that give us a heightened feeling of euphoria, while also leading to an increase in divergent thinking, a major component of creativity. Designers who wholly understand this phenomenon can more purposefully facilitate divergent thinking. In a world that has become stagnant in our willingness to implement nuanced solutions, this increase in creativity can lead to the individual and collective exploratory problem-solving that is needed to address the issues we are faced with.

Client: Dolby

Venue: Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse

Audience: Primary:  Creators, Thinkers, Problem-Solvers  
Secondary: Millennials & Gen Z