Meredith Felt

January 26, 2012
Meredith Felt
Thesis Proposal 
Version 2.0 

On average, Americans can identify only 10 plants, but can recognize 1,000 corporate brands. It is the corporate brands that are, in large part, contributing to a crisis of over-consumption. Over-consumption results in environmental degradation, poverty, exploitation, low self-esteem, the well-being of children, hunger, the rise in obesity that is at its highest level in history and much more. Despite these issues, consumerism is running uncontested because it is so central to many economies. It is important, as designers, that we do not let consumerism run uncontested, that we do not promote the consumption of more than necessary.

How can we effectively bring attention to and work to resolve the buying and spending virus that we are caught up in? In an effort to answer this question, I intend to explore the ways in which the recognizability of corporate brands can be used as a way to fight against them. I will be testing the idea that the use of imagery inspired by the brands themselves will cause viewers to immediately connect to the pieces and upon inspection or second glance, grasp the actual informative message about the issues induced by that corporation. This project is an exercise in recontextualisation with the goal of informing the audience of various problems and how they can be part of the solutions. The end result will be an intriguing poster series and a possible web application with a strong but clear message: over-consumption is dangerous.

Do Good Design, David Berman

The Graphic Imperative, Massachusetts College of Art and Philadelphia University

Adbusters Magazine, The Big Ideas of 2012

No Logo Documentary, Naomi Klein

The Merchants of Cool Documentary, PBS

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