MFA Graphic Design Thesis (2022)

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MFA Graphic Design Thesis Show (2022)


April 13 – 29, 2022

Faye G., Jo, and James Stone Gallery


Graphic design is a frame for content and ideas. It is a focused lens with a clearly articulated point of view; as a device and approach to content, graphic design determines what is made visible, shared, presented, and communicated. The design methodologies developed in the MFA Graphic Design program at Boston University shape meaning, produce knowledge, and consider the act of framing as a critical tool.

Graphic design is a framework. As an essential supporting apparatus that makes communication accessible and engaging, graphic design occurs across a myriad of ever-changing platforms and mediums. From print to screen to immersive physical installations and augmented reality, from the time-tested formats of the past to the innovative technological platforms of tomorrow, evidence of graphic design’s presence is pervasive.

Graphic design is work. The practice of design is a synthesis of conceptual thinking and invention combined with physical labor and craft to achieve a specific desired outcome. Designers labor, spending countless hours on iterations, revisions, consultations, and refinements, sometimes taking a project completely apart and starting over. The work is not solitary but is a response to—and collaboration with—a range of stakeholders, always with an audience in mind. This exhibition is work: a collaboration and collective effort of a remarkable group of designers from China, the Dominican Republic, India, Palestine, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. It presents original work by eighteen individuals, brought together through a unified expression and concept. This talented cohort reframed each piece of work in this exhibition for this site, this precise space and time.

This exhibition is a worksite. The gallery becomes a place of activity, where work is produced and presented. Graphic design in this context is both made visible and displayed, providing a glimpse into the larger bodies of work each designer generated over the last two years. Each designer embarked on a course of shared and individual study; identifying and refining visual and critical approaches to graphic design production, research, and inquiry. They’ve shared knowledge, theorized, prototyped, and supported each other, providing advice, insight, and inspiration.

And it is here on this site, in a gallery inflected by nods to the conventions of construction worksites, that the public can engage with new directions in contemporary graphic design. This space becomes a location to invoke questions—about design’s relationship with reimagined book forms and distribution channels, social media, the metaverse, cultural identity, aesthetic style, memory, talismans, abstraction, material culture, experimental typography and form-making, tools, pedagogy, limitations, failure, wellness, mental health, and much more. The collection of thesis work shared in this exhibition demonstrates engagement across disciplines and diverse areas of practice and promises to be a foundation for sustained professional practice.

Kristen Coogan
Associate Professor of Art, Graphic Design

Christopher Sleboda
Associate Professor of Art, Graphic Design

Thesis Website

See the work of the 2022 School of Visual Arts Master of Fine Arts Graphic Design Thesis Show



Featuring work from 2022 MFA candidates in Graphic Design, Painting, and Sculpture at Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts. Published on the occasion of the 2022 Boston University CFA School of Visual Arts MFA Thesis.

Designed by MFA candidates Chuck Gonzales, Chen Luo, Reshma Vijayan, Jaylen Wang

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