New York, NY   
Design Exploration
2020 — 2021
In my investigations into ethnicity and nationality, I focused with particular interest, on intersectionality, particularly on the intersection of overlapping identities battling one another, suppressing one another in hopeless pandemonium, a battle that would end, when I did.  From the perspective of an individual whose ethnicity and nationality are not synonymous to one another, I investigated the meaning that fundamental narratives take on in building a culture, an identity, and an understanding of the world. 
I found value in the idea of origin points and foundations, explorations of what lies at the core of culture, and I strived to investigate the circumstances at which a culture and its individuals, develop and one-day become compromised, when dealing with the loss and gain of cultural knowledge and philosophy. These overlapping themes of dilution of identity, the colonization of origins, and cultural transfiguration of fundamental narratives, culminated towards a key concept and question that I am prepared to focus on for my thesis.

“What happens when the origins of our identity become diluted? As our cultures are co-opted by the mainstream, do we ourselves give into this erasure of our own identities?”

As the mainstream Western-centric world battles issues of cultural appropriation and gentrification, it is obvious that these inner-mechanisms of our society are the results of centuries of colonization and the ramification of biased systems functioning to solely benefit those that fit the rigid criteria of white, hetero, and male. In the lens of intersectionality, I focus more on the roles of intersectional people, traversing new territories of identity, their preservation, their reinterpretation, their origins, and their futures. 
In a society that indoctrinates intersectional individuals with Western (often white) ideologies and pedagogy, what parts are we playing that give into the erasure of our own cultures, identities? What is the line between assimilation, preservation, and transformation?

I am utilizing my own experiences and the experiences of others to investigate what it means to participate in cultures, for those whose identities span many labels, while also extending my research into modern issues of intersectionality. My hope is that my design output will both be educational for those who may be empathetic but ultimately not privy to this dynamic, and cathartic for those who are struggling to find a midpoint between the identities and the self.