For this thesis, I intend to identify subject matters that reflect my interpretation of modern, relevant accounts about the world. Through research into the chosen subjects, I will gather related data and observations. This information will be processed to formulate relationships and narrative. Such graphic displays of information for these stories will be my inspiration. My interpretations will be further realized visually through my design process. Archetypes of the proposed furniture or object will be chosen based on the potential relationship between them and the chosen narrative topic. Visual abstractions and patterns will emerge from inspiration derived from the topographical depictions or visualized data. The outcome will be a body of work that includes functional objects that depict a deeper context communicating topical narratives and connections through multi-dimensional data visualization. My goal, for the resulting pieces, is to stimulate mindful serviceability as the user engages with a utilitarian object. Thematic cartographies document information and reflect our perceptions of the world we inhabit. Furniture and objects can be embedded with narrative and become tools of such communication. In addition to utility and narrative, furniture also speaks about the identity of the person who chooses to buy and live with it. Similar to fashion choices in clothing or accessories, furniture can express our social status, worldly viewpoints and individual or group ideologies. Furniture and household items can serve a conventional function and simultaneously impart added context to it's intended utility, interaction or activity. This supplementary context elevates our connections with the object, the world and those around us. Human beings have recorded stories, relayed instruction, and transferred knowledge since our primitive beginnings. Images and language have chronicled information, history and legend. Initially, graphic visualization was presented as geometric diagrams to record such things as the positioning of stars for navigation or maps documenting early exploration. In previous centuries, documenting the exploration of the world was the prominent cartographic topic-du-jour. I believe the current, post-industrial revolutionary counterpart is the story about our utilization and consumption of this very same world. With my furniture pieces, I hope to bring these realizations into our daily consciousness through functional objects that panegyrize the natural resources we utilize. By incorporating geographic formations and research data into dimensional forms, I hope to spark a consciousness about our relationship and interactions with the planet and it's other inhabitants. Using handmade objects as a universal form of communication, I intend to expose unseen narratives while challenging the ways in which we understand the world around us.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Furniture design--Themes, motives; Furniture design--Technique; Information visualization; Visual communication; Consumption (Economics) in art; Food consumption--Pictorial works

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Tannen, Richard

Advisor/Committee Member

Buck, Andy

Advisor/Committee Member

Shellenbarger, Jane


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NK2399.2 .M37 2013


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes