Fall 2017 - Spring 2018


(225 pg book & exhibition) 

Thesis Project


This project is meant to drive understanding of other cultures, how we communicate physically in relation to that, and explore how we perceive and interpret body language in different ways. The publication and relating materials allow you to reflect on your own body language and how your culture has an influence on that. 


Body language is often tied to culture. Within different cultures there are certain tendencies of how the people of that culture may be expressing themselves. It also has to do with emotion because often, there are cultural tendencies in the way that people express their emotions and how outwardly expressive they are about it or not. Our body language is one of the most truthful forms of communication. Many of us are often unaware of our own body language and how our postures and movements can be perceived in different ways depending on the circumstance. Having such a strong tie to culture and cultural upbringing, many of the interview questions attempt to unravel this and peel back some of those layers. 


Throughout all the interviews, I asked my participants about what they can observe about how people interact on public transportation in places they have lived and travelled. This is because public transportation is a good place to observe cultural tendencies in body language, how openly people interact and other various things such as appropriate proximities when standing next to another person.


Throughout the book I wanted the images to be a main focus, therefore I kept the body text in the same place and very standard, whereas the images are left more dynamic and different depending on the page. Some of the images in a few sections incorporate humor because of how that person was percieving a specific
body language. 


At the end of the process for this project, what really stood out was how a lot of this has to do with how people perceive things and how it can also be perceived differently for different people depending on your cultural upbringing.


After seeing how so much of this has to do with intereractions and how people perceive them I decided to make my exhibition space also more interactive and make is a space for people to respond and write down and display what they percieve about a particular body language.


Culture is deeply rooted in the boundaries of expressing emotion and which is expressed through our body language. I intend to examine the relationship between culture and body language and the way it is expressed and interpreted. In this I will give way to new avenues of understanding these elements and their implications as well as demonstrate how our body language is grounded in context.

Chosen Concept - Story Telling

  • Use storytelling as a way to engage with the topic in a narrative based way

  • Storytelling can take on a very personal aspect and directly speak to cultural upbringing and it’s influence

  • Reading stories from a first person point of view can provoke greater understanding and reading it from that perspective can help people see things from other people shoes

  • Combine written and visual storytelling 

  • This would involve connecting with people and their cultural upbringing

  • Deliverables: Collection of personal stories from very different people in a book/publication and an exhibition with a relevant interactive component.

Process From Fall to Spring

  • Initial Research into the chosen topic.

  • Secondary Research

  • Defining the thesis

  • Primary Research - This included sending out a preliminary survey in which I got answers from someone from China, Peru, Iran/Pakistan and the Philippines. 

  • Examining Precedents & what is already out there in relation to this topic.

  • Highlighting Design and Research Objectives. (research was ongoing)

  • Mindmapping & Ideation

  • Coming up with lateral concepts to present this thesis. (Chosen concept above)

  • Mood boards - Putting together preliminary mood boards & concept mood boards.

  • Creating a Swot Analysis & Gantt Chart for the project

  • Storyboarding & Sketching of Initial layout ideas

  • Typographic Exploration, Color Exploration, Layout Exploration, Image Exploration

  • Finding Participants and conducting Audio Interviews which were later transcribed

  • Photo Shoots of Participants based on interviews

  • Putting it all together with the chosen layouts, colors, and typography

  • Creating interactive exhibition collateral & Exhibiting the final publication in the exhibition