Adrift with a Draft: Graphic Design & the Poetic Potential of Technology
RISD Graduate Thesis Book


More than ever, we’re confronted with bottomless archives of information, seemingly infinite systems, and vast natural and social landscapes. While the internet has triggered inconceivable advances in the ability to generate, organize and deliver more information than ever before, it’s also made it more difficult to access that information on a personal level.

We are creating content and adding knowledge at a pace that far outstrips our ability to make sense of it, and the result is complexity of content that we don’tand can’ttruly understand. So how do we approach systems that operate on an inconceivable scale?

I think there’s an opportunity for us, as designers, to abandon attempts at precise understanding or perfect explanationand instead, to open up access points. To take something complex or fundamentally unknowable, and to make it accessible on a human level.

This thesis suggests a design approach: to step back from the creation of new content, and instead to use what we already have. To filter the stream through the simple acts of collecting, selecting and sorting. To insert small obstructions in the overwhelming flow, and to observe and reflect on the content that pools up around them.