Undergraduate Senior Capstone
In May of 2020, I presented my capstone project, an exploration of waste as subject, concept, signature, and material. I was interested in viewing trash as a record of human passage, and examining what people value by highlighting with what they don’t.
The result was a series of 20 designed and handprinted “packages” encasing cast concrete “products,” all stamped with a date approximately 300 years in the future.
Early packaging concepts and prototypes

Final die-cut and printed packaging

Packages included invented languages and symbols for imaginary future product standards

The back of each package is filled out by the hand of a fictional artisan

The Process
In the middle of the semester, all students were sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without access to printing studios or equipment, and with most businesses in lockdown, I had to do a lot of last-minute problem-solving. The final packages are a layered result of hand-stamping, hand-die-cutting, and embossing, most of which involved custom-made or improvised tools. This process gave the printing on each package a unique, handmade quality, in addition to a faux aged effect.

Improvised at-home printing process, influenced by screenprinting techniques

Custom stamp, inspired by Japanese hanko

Rudimentary "printing matrix"

Finished Object
This project unites my affection for multiple design disciplines: it begins with digital design, is printed with a two-dimensional method, folds into three-dimensional packaging, and houses a three-dimensional cast object.
Waste was useful as material and not just as concept: the aged newsprint and clear acetate windows were both repurposed from found materials.
Option 1: Grid on shelves
Option 1: Grid on shelves
Option 2: Grid on single shelf
Option 2: Grid on single shelf
Option 3: Immersive installation for a "museum from the future"
Option 3: Immersive installation for a "museum from the future"
Gallery Proposal
My proposal for the gallery evolved from a simple shelf display into an installation for a fictional "museum from the future," an immersive experience meant to involve more conventional branding and experiential design solutions, as well as an extra layer of narrative.
Additional features for the installation concept included promotional museum buttons and "how-to" brochures for visitors to take home, and an instructional video looping on the wall.

"How to Make Your Own Trash Compactor" instructional video

Final Installation
After the gallery opening was cancelled due to COVID, the senior art show moved to a virtual format. The final result was documented through photos in my own garage: an installation of a fictional maker's workshop, with some molds packaged and some in progress.
Artist Statement
Recollections began as an exploration of the unwanted: the useless; the ugly; the ubiquitous. 
It evolved to become a documentation of the present, so that tomorrow may make sense of today. It is nostalgia, packaged and price-tagged: the accruement of value with the simple advancement of years. It is self-preservation – economic as well as anthropologic. It is daily survival, and a longing for the eternal.  
It is the democratization of the market: consumers-turned-entrepreneurs cashing in on their native disaster, the detritus of grand machinations that everyone and no one is responsible for. It is the irony of advertising, the dissonance between what’s outside and what’s inside. It is industry recognized for what it always was: evidence of humanity.
Materials: products (found objects, Portland cement), packages (ink-stamped newsprint, acetate)