Julia Lindpaintner
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MFA Thesis

A blog documenting my journey creating a Master's thesis towards an MFA from the School of Visual Arts' Products of Design program.

Utopia

This newspaper presents a speculative future state in 2075. I imagined a "utopian" state for the USA, where civic engagement is at an all-time high. Articles discuss the way prisons are being converted to schools, churches, and intentional communities, the fact that emotional labor is compensated, and celebrates that every company has B-Corp status. It's not that everything is perfect in the future, but it depicts a future in which government is more clearly on a path towards social justice. My classmate Karen Vellensky describes utopia not as a state but as a process: You can never arrive, but the value of the concept is in striving for it. I like this way of looking at it. 

The back page ad shows images of the newly renovated Riker's Island facilities that are now being marketed as living space for those interested in joining an intentional community. I tapped into my history designing for luxury real estate to bring this to life. The images are from Het Arresthuis, a Dutch prison-turned-hotel. 

This exercise was really fun and very useful. If I try to work backwards from this future state, I begin to see opportunities and objectives for design today. Could I make something that the Fully Informed Jury Association could use now that would get them on the path to being the National Fully Informed Citizen Association in my imagined future? Or should I focus on products that will support a more engaged citizenry—perhaps some kind of kit that allows people to co-create with government? Or maybe it's about taking back control of the justice system and changing dynamics in the courtroom; maybe a designated uniform for attorneys, clients, and jurors?