Calling on both ways of consumption and locally sourced juice, this prototype serves as a rebuttal to Coca-Cola, an imported American brand. The intentional use of the Coke bottle is a reflection on the sustainable practices of Uganda while also serving as a satirical stab at the brand’s ethics and globalization tactics.
Through dialogue that arose from piloting Branding the Brand, I discovered that many local aspects of Ugandan culture have been affected by the influx of globalization through American brands and culture. I specifically looked at two facets of Ugandan beverage culture for this iteration. A traditional beverage called Omubisi, which is a banana juice that originated in Central Uganda. It has become nearly inaccessible in restaurants and bars due to the monopoly of larger commercial brands like Coca-Cola. An additional local beverage I explored is known as Amuwala, which is the local brew. Amuwala is traditionally served communally in a clay pot that houses several straws for 10 or more people to partake in the brew.
Stemming from my investigative research and fieldwork while in Uganda, I further explored themes of individualism and collectivism through several rounds of material explorations. I interrogated Coca-Cola's bottle design of intended individualism through hacked collectivism by morphing and manipulating existing Coke bottles and the inherit functions of drinking from the bottles. Through the prototype Collective 6 Pack and further iterations of the Communal Coke Vessel, I pushed further what this type of collectivism and communality would look like by hacking the American, globalized brand Coca-Cola. The glass pieces were co-created with Ed Gibson of Ci Hot Glass Los Angeles.
Repositions power into the hands of Ugandan youth to express their perceptions, experiences and opinions of Coca-Cola by creating their own bottle labels in order to brand the brand. The vending machine serves a conversation object to dialogue about the newly branded bottles.
While in Uganda's capital city Kampala, I worked alongside and piloted my prototypes with the youth dance company, Batalo East. Their company combines both traditional and urban dance to encourage innovation, identity, confidence and career advancement in young people. Youth audience specifically because Uganda’s population is made up of 77% youth who are under the age of 30. They are the upcoming generation in Uganda and their insights on globalization, colonialism, brand models and cultural impact are valuable being as they are Coca-Cola’s target audience. This prototype interrogates the interpreted motives of the global brand of Coca-Cola through initiating dialogue amongst Ugandan youth around issues of colonization, imperialism, globalization and evaporation of culture.
Udefine is a speculative beer simulation that reflects through color the convolution tactics of the corporate beer industry.
Different shades of food coloring represent local characteristics and soda water stands in for beers owned by either corporate breweries, craft breweries or craft breweries owned by corporate entities. The food coloring added to the cups changes the transparent and unclouded hue to blue or purple, making it difficult for participants to determine what aspects of “local” are present within their beer. A participant begins Udefine by choosing from six bottles that have their brand labels concealed. These brands consist of two corporate beer brands, two craft beer brands, and two craft beer brands that are partially or fully owned by corporate brewers. By blindly choosing a beer, the participant pours it into the clear cup, tastes it and determines what aspects of locality they believe should be added. The local drops reference the nine views of local determined from research on Neolocalism. The participant can choose to add drops such as Non-Global or Transparent to the soda water in an effort to make the beer reflect their values of local.
“Neolocalism,” a term coined by James R. Shortridge in the late 1990s, is the conscious attempt of individuals to cultivate local ties, identities, and economies in response to the destruction of more traditional bonds to communities. According to later research by Dr. Stephen M. Schnell’s research, advocates of the neolocal movement interpreted the word “local” to mean far more than its dictionary definition. He discovered that there were nine views of local and defines them as follows: Non-Global, Transparent, Non-Corporate, Unique, Environmentally Responsible, Empowered and Self-sufficient, Community-building, Authentic and All of the Above. In this simulation, convolution—the confusion of local and non-local attributes—was registered when the participant revealed the brand and was surprised they added locality to a beer that they perceived as craft but was actually owned by a corporate brewer.
LOCAL AS NON-GLOBAL: an oppositional lens to globalization whereby
community members aim to continually cultivate locality within their own regions
LOCAL AS TRANSPARENT: if the community knows the individuals who produce that those producers are less likely to manipulate the system because they are held accountable.
LOCAL AS NON-CORPORATE: community members elevating themselves from anonymous players in the market by having relationship with local business owners.
LOCAL AS UNIQUE: a business’ sole purpose being centered on cultivating a distinctive sense of place.
LOCAL AS ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE: ensures sustainable best practices in order to improve the environment.
LOCAL AS EMPOWERED/SELF-SUFFICIENT: decision making and future planning rather comes from the members who inhabit the community.
LOCAL AS COMMUNITY BUILDING: enriching collectivity by deepening supportive relationships with neighbors in your community.
LOCAL AS AUTHENTIC: products have more of an intrinsic value when made by someone you know in your community.
LOCAL AS ALL OF THE ABOVE: a catch-all in that community members hold all nine views as their guiding force.
Your Local takes curating locality one step further whereby the actual ingredients of beer metaphorically serve as a tangible translation of Dr. Steven M. Schnell's 9 views of local. Typically, beer consists of 4 fundamental ingredients: Water, Yeast, Grains and Hops. This prototype enables a participant to fully curate the contents of their beer while reflecting the 9 views of local. By the consumer curating his or her own product, Your Local flips the capitalistic preordained notion of hegemonic mass production within the beer industry by highlighting the very nature of locality through the participants curation of the beer they consume.
Considering these 4 main ingredients, the participant chooses the most important views of local that they personally felt should be reflected in their beer. Additionally, the participant has the option to choose from a variety of ingredients such as Cocoa, Honey or Cinnamon that will serve as whichever remaining views of local are most significant in their beer.
Brewing is an extremely tedious and time consuming process. It requires a lot of preparation as well as time and task management. Everything from sanitization, measurements, temperature and timing are vital to the outcome of the beer. As a brewer, I learned you must be extremely detailed and attentive to the beer because the must minuscule things can greatly effect the overall outcome of the beer (i.e. contamination, temperature variances, etc.) The research, preparation, and actual brewing that went into this portion of the prototype took about 7 hours. After days 10 day, the next phase of this prototype is transferring the fermenting beer into bottles.
Thankfully, the bottling process isn't as strenuous or time consuming as is required for the initial brewing of the beer. Again, sanitization is important. What is extremely important in this portion of the prototype is that using gravity to you advance is key. I had to transfer the beer from the glass gallon jug to a bottling bucket and then transfer the beer to bottles. This portion of the prototype took about 2 hours. After 7-10 days the Your Local beer will be finished bottle conditioning and ready for consumption. The next phase of this prototype is to branding the Your Local beer.
In branding Your Local I wanted the beer label be text heavy in order to reiterate idea that this is what local tastes like. It additionally reflects the branding throughout the branded system of the 9 views of local curation sheets.
Modeled after the NCAA college basketball bracket, the Local Brewery Championship Bracket repositions how one could choose a brewery by thinking about locality through the lens of competition. Each bracket was created for and tested in two different regions of California; Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Within each bracket there are 16 breweries that are arranged similarly to the NCAA bracket by reflecting highest wins but instead are ranked by highest bbls (barrels) produced in 2015. Additionally, the participant can see who owns the brewery and where it is located.
Breweries within the Los Angeles bracket such as Anheuser Busch to Monkish face off and compete toward winning the local brewery championship. Similarly, for the Bay Area bracket's breweries reflected regionality such as Russian River and BJ’s Brewhouse. The prototype also featured a “Reasons for Elimination” section (red bars) where participants could choose from provided reasons such as “Too Corporate” or “Proximity.” Participants could also write down their own reasons for eliminating on the blank red bars. A consistent reason that participants wrote down for the winning brewery was “Personal Attachment or Affinity.” Within this prototype, I was exploring which breweries craft beer enthusiasts viewed as local and which were not local.
Who Owns Who? is a 52 card deck of ownership. Each card has a different craft breweries on one side but when you flip the card the true owner of the brewery is revealed. This prototype interrogated themes of ownership and ourness while additionally critiquing the sense of true authenticity versus manufactured authenticity that exists within both corporate and craft beer culture. Specifically, I was interested to see where craft beer enthusiast's loyalty lied upon the discovery of ownership and whether or not they would still support the brewery.
Using satire and subversion tactics, this prototype critically explicates the characteristics of selling and buying out, the illusion of choice, monopoly and colonialism that are present within the Mexican beer industry. There is a standard six-sided die and another die, which rolled at the start of the game, determines if players are either a corporate domestic or independent craft Brewery. Various street properties on the game board reflect the existing brewery and beer pub location of both corporate domestic brewers and independent craft brewers. The currency within the game is converted from Monopoly money to Mexican Pesos. The Chance and Community Chest cards oppose the notion that the corporate domestic brewers will inherently win the game. Additionally, the cards allow for each brewer to reflect on their positionality and how easy or natural it can be compromise within the industry.
Anjuli, RJ and I spent several weeks with residents of Jovenes, Inc., a non-profit organization that specifically provides housing stability for homeless, at-risk young men ages 18 to 25. The group of guys expressed an interest in Technology, which led us to integrating it into one of our sessions. They created their own circuits with an on/off switch that controlled an LED light to place within a a simple cardboard lightbox that I designed. We explored societal Labels that each of us have experienced and whether or not we identify or reject them. The lightbox served as a stage for all of us to display our labels, which evolved into rich dialogue and conservation. We each took time to reflect on labels, good and bad, we had experienced in life. Performance and the element of surprise became an integral part of interacting with the lightbox while each person presented their labels.
This speculative toolkit puts power into the hands of community members who are encountering social change. Highly satirical, this toolkit reveals the potential responses or notions within a community that is experiencing a proposal for change.
This prototype explores intimate regionalism by uncovering the vernacular language of urban art. Beginning with fieldwork in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Little Armenia, I photographed aspects of the area I felt were intrinsic to the voice of Little Armenia. Reoccurring themes were Armenian signage, distinctive architecture and street art. Focusing on street art within the community, I began sketching out ways in which dialogue could occur by introducing an intimate space within an urban setting. This space is portable and can adhere to existing structures such as metro, telephone, and streetlight poles. In naming the prototype, I used both the Armenian and English translation of Exchange. The line width of the typography is intentionally the same for both the translations of the word 'Exchange' in order to remove cultural hierarchy.
Alcohol has been used by several literary greats as a creative conduit. As a result, some authors have become alcoholics, which has had a detrimental and in some cases fatal effects on both their careers and lives. This handbound cocktail book showcases both the writings and imagined workspaces of 10 well-known authors, all of whom died from alcohol related deaths, paired with recipes of their go-to drinks.
Each glyph is structured coherently within the design constraints of the Perpetua typeface. For the photographic component, an architect’s scale is set in the context of a workspace. The poster carries the theme of twelve by displaying the glyphs on the scale and the body type of the poster is set to 12 point.
This is a bound collection of video footage and sound audio documenting both the Lander Pathfinder (1997) and Rover Spirit (2004) landings on Mars. It translates both video and audio into a tactile, physical form through screen captures and the visual translation of sound waves. The intentional pairing reveals the emotional connections and anthropomorphisms of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory staff.
This set of four typographic compositions derives from a chapter in Typography: Formation and Transformation: Introduction to Typographic Process by Willi Kunz. The typefaces were chosen from several type classifications such as Humanist Venetian, Didone Modern, Grotesk, Egyptian Slab Serif and Transitional. Fundamental aspects of typography such as alignments, hyphenation, rules, indent and exdent exist throughout each of the four typographic compositions.
This publication highlights some of my favorite attributes of West Coast culture: food, travel, music, art, design, and nature. The name Roam West was birthed from the notion of our founding relatives who set off to the West from the East Coast and Europe. The West presented travelers with a sense of promise, hope, and a curiosity for the unknown that was yet to be discovered. This publication demonstrate modern day examples of the frontier mindset through the artistic expressions, curiosity and gumption of those featured within its pages.