Never.Zone is the culmination of my research and interest as a graduate student at SAIC. Originating as an exploration into vexillology, the study of flags, I eventually broadened my scope, but kept the format. I quickly became fascinated with how such design systems carry culture, complete with the desires and fears of a people. My natural inclination towards science fiction led me to imagine a visual system for a future, hypercultural society; a society experiencing such rapid breakdown and reclamation that images themselves become permeable and iterative in an attempt to keep up.
I chose to represent culture through three points: costume, flag (group identifier), and location. The formal qualities of the installation are borrowed from visual merchandising, created with industrial materials. It should be said that a large amount of visual inspiration came from my experience moving to Chicago for this program. The sensation of passing through the seemingly ubiquitous construction zones (tarped, fenced off, and tented with scaffolding) into the glossy wealth centers of the city is something I unconsciously mirrored in my piece.
To complete this project, I learned digital textile printing, sewing and garment construction, and mocking up installations in 3D software (Unity).
Early low poly Unity3D mockup, sent to the curator to illustrate my concept.
Early flag concepts. These are mashups of elements from flags all over the world, using common elements such as colonial cantons, stripes, and stars. My goal was to collage the flag elements as far as they can go beyond flags, while remaining recognizable as flags. These images were digitally printed, replaced with an approach to flags that is more collage-based, and then reused for garment fabric. This object/image lifecycle is central to the heart of this project.
Concept illustrations for garments.