SOMArts Gallery filled with family, friends, and faculty as the graduating Design seniors glowed with pride at seeing their final thesis projects. Students celebrated on the eve of their graduation at the reception for What’s Next, an exhibition of BA thesis projects from students in the Design program.
During their final semester, the 27 senior design students completed a thesis project of their choosing. Each student formed their own framing questions, set their own deadlines, and researched their topics to execute complex designs. With this creative freedom, projects took on 27 different forms and focused on 27 different topics. Projects ranged from animations on the Asian American experience and clothing made from biodegradable fabrics, to board games that enable players to work together for a common goal and sculptures demonstrating the male gaze. It was as much an exercise in creative process, as it was an exploration of personal interest, bringing together students’ unique abilities with their passions outside of design. The final step was installing their pieces into SomArts Gallery, a well-regarded San Francisco institution.
After having been open to the public for the week, the What’s Next reception invited family and friends of the Design Program to see the final projects. With a playlist curated by the students themselves playing in the background, the entire gallery was filled with chatter and laughter as students mingled with faculty, classmates, and alumni. Students were eager to show their projects to their families and friends who arrived for graduation the next morning. It was an opportunity for design professors and faculty to see how their students’ had refined their skills, interests, and visions over the four years. For graduate Casey Moylan, the experience of having her illustrated zines in a gallery was exciting and affirming, “Seeing how people reacted and connected to something I had put so much time and effort into made the whole experience worthwhile. It felt really good to have my project so well received by both people I knew and didn’t who were experiencing my project for the first time.”
Click through the Gallery below to sample some of the 2018 senior projects: