Major Department

Art, Studio


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Lynne D. Lanning

Thesis Mentor

Jeremy Swanston


Horace Miner has a classic comment on anthropology: “to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.” The comment demonstrates a way of thinking as a social scientist: always step back and reflect from another perspective. I find this quote helpful to spark creativity for an artist as well. Art is about seeing through the surface of “familiar” and catch “the strange” in the everyday lives. Thus, for this honor project, I introduce “An Emergency Outsider Kit,” which is a “tool kit” that makes one a temporary outsider under any circumstance and, therefore, boosts his or her creativity through thinking outside the box. I was inspired to make “An Emergency Outsider Kit” when I was completing another project. Through the project I made familiar objects into art pieces that are interestingly strange. The idea came to me as I analyzed the cultural origins of these objects and found the fascinating aspect under their seemingly simple outlook. I began to cultivate my creativity by seeing things from new perspectives. Therefore, I introduce this emergency kit that allows its users to find “the strange” from the things they are most familiar with. To select items inside the emergency kit, I started from the senses that help us with forming cognition. I put a set of headphones and a playlist and named them “evoker headphones” that can associate the environment with music and moods. For visual stimulation, I put a kaleidoscope that encouraged users to see the abstract and composition in tangible objects. After considering the sensory input, I started to think about changing the behavioral pattern and being inspired by unexpected situations. Thus, I designed a Tung Shing almanac with “dos” and “don’ts” suggestions. Lastly, I thought about identity and self-consciousness as a mirror that reflected things around us. And I put a mask that temporarily keeps the users away from their daily identities. The project enables me to combine visual communication with packaging design. To better explain the purpose of this “emergency kit,” I developed a series of verbal and visual instruction, including the illustrations illustration, general introduction, and guidance sheets for each item. This procedure also allowed me to reflect on the ultimate goal of graphic design: to present information in a more efficient method. I gained better understandings on the concept of hierarchy and visual presentation.


Graphic Design, Creativity, Branding, Packaging

Total Pages

1 image


Copyright © 2018 Yijie Wu