E-mail Blast Designs

We were asked to create some animated e-mail blast images for the exhibition dates, times, and opening reception. Here are some of the awesome e-fliers Fione designed. We ended up going with the first one, which you may see again in your inbox shortly!

Exhibition Installation & Postcards

This entire week has so far has been filled with us all working super hard setting up the finishing touches for Wabi Sabi. We came to class during Spring Break to document the Design Thesis class during the set up process. Awesome job to them by the way for spending their Spring Break perfecting their gallery spaces, it was well worth it! Today we also got out Wabi Sabi promotional postcards in the mail, and they look amazing!


Huge Thank You to all Who Attended our Fundraising Concert!


Photographs by Jenny Olynyk

We wanted to give the greatest of thank yous to everyone who was able to attend our fundraiser concert last night! It ended up being an amazing night filled to the brim with local talent! It was more than a success, and we’re happy to announce that we were able to raise $200 to help us with installing, designing, and preparing our exhibition! That’s amazing, and every dollar is sure to go directly to the production of our first design thesis exhibition, opening March 20, 2017. We would also love to thank the thesis class for coming up with the idea of hosting a such a cool fundraiser (I mean who doesn’t love good music and snacks, right)! We’d also love to thank the bands who took the time out of their days to come support our school, and most importantly, our thesis class. You all rock, quite literally, and we really couldn’t have dreamed up a better time. Hope to see you all when the show opens!

Check out the rest of our post for some more awesome photos and video of last night in case you missed it or want to relive it!

“I thought it was really an incredible experience being able to support one form of art with another. We’re all able to come together out of our love for just creating cool things.”
– Kris Khunachak



Fundraiser Concert for Mason Gross Design Thesis Exhibition

Come support Mason Gross School of the Arts’ very own Design Thesis class as they prepare for the first-ever strictly design focused thesis exhibition. The exhibition will be opening later this March, and this fundraising concert will help the students to create a beautiful first design thesis exhibition. So stop by and support the design thesis class while you listen to some great music by local bands, and there will be snacks!

Entry Fee is $5.00

March 6, 2017 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Civic Square Building
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ
Room 110

Lineup and Set Times:

Mtty from OK Friends – 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Travelers of an Empty Mind – 6:35 p.m. – 7:05 p.m.
The Slappys – 
7:10 p.m. – 7:40 p.m.
Mikey Butler – 7:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
The Daily J’s – 8:20 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.
Serious Matters – 8:55 p.m. – 9:25 p.m.
The Highschool Superstars – 9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Our Third (Practicum) Presentation

Today our specific groups (print, web, and media) worked on different iterations of ideas that could be used for Wabi Sabi. Here’s some insight into what our groups worked on today!

Our print group worked on concepts and themes we could apply to the logo and photographs of the artists, and making them into reality. We had three basic ideas, and we brought each of those ideas to the table today. One idea was to not use any student photos at all, and instead use photographs of nature.

Our next idea was to this time take the photographs of the students in the thesis class, and double expose them with photographs of nature. Wabi Sabi was then rendered as gold leaf to mimic the art of Wabi Sabi when people take broken ceramics and fill the cracks with pure gold. Thus being made more beautiful, even after being deconstructed or broken.

And our final idea was to keep the shattered nature of Wabi Sabi and portray it through the use of low-poly photographs. We took the photographs of the students and rendered them into low-poly vector graphics and implemented the same pattern within the Wabi Sabi logo to tie it all together.

In the end we decided on going with the third theme of low-poly, which then allowed our next two teams to get started on their own projects.


Our web team today came up with the amazing concept of taking the jagged geometrical forms and colors we used in the Wabi Sabi logo, and using it as inspiration for the main page of the website. The shapes will move erratically about the page based on the position of your computer mouse.

We also decided on a URL, wabisabi.show, which you most likely know about already.


Our motion team is currently working together to create motion graphics for both the website, but most importantly, the projection we’ll be showing directly outside of the exhibition space. It will feature the same concept of the moving geometrical forms along with the Wabi Sabi logo.

Click to Download Motion Example

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

“‘Greatness’ exists in the inconspicuous and overlooked details”.
– Leonard Koren

While working a bunch within the concept of Wabi Sabi and consistently creating and tweaking ideas for the exhibition these past few weeks, Atif coincidentally happened to stumble upon a book that couldn’t relate more to what we’re trying to achieve. It was definitely reassuring to see in text that others do in fact associate Wabi Sabi with Designers, alongside other creative professions!

The book describes Wabi Sabi through the following key terms: unpretentious, earthy, intimate, murky, simple, and irregular. Artists displaying Wabi Sabi within their work are oftentimes viewed as unpretentious and down to earth. Their works of art are intimate, and were created with emotion and purpose behind them. The term murky sounds off-putting at first, but author Leonard Koren simply uses it as a word to describe the coloration and earthy tones of Wabi Sabi. The designs are clean, all whilst still breaking the mold of popular traditions.

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
by Leonard Koren

Click for Amazon Listing

What is Wabi Sabi?

Quite literally, Wabi Sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

Wabi Sabi is also the title of Mason Gross School of the Arts’ first Design Thesis Exhibition. This show will include the works of the 2017 graduating Design Thesis class and will give viewers an opportunity to see a preview of the future of design!

A lot of thought behind the scenes was actually put into what the name of this years exhibition should be. As stated, this will be the first ever solely design focused thesis exhibition for a graduating class, so it was very important to try and focus on the concept of design and what it means to the students in the class. Alongside being fun to say, the term Wabi Sabi is something that can actually describe almost every aspect of design. Even something that isn’t scientifically “perfect” can still shine and be viewed as something beautiful. Design is all about trying new things, breaking molds, and, well, Wabi Sabi.

Our Second (Thesis) Presentation

At this point in time we all (the practicum and the thesis class) finally agreed upon the perfect name for MGSA’s first Design Thesis Exhibition; Wabi Sabi. It was time for us to start brainstorming the branding aspect of the name some more, so we all put our minds together into working out some unique ideas for what could be done with this name and the exhibition. These ideas were then also presented to the Design Thesis class, where we all agreed on the current logo for Wabi Sabi!

At this point we have a few ideas on where we can go forward with this logo and how it can be applied to various forms of print, web, and media, but that is something we will be working on more during our next class. Right now we have split our class up into three groups; print, web, and media. Each group will be focusing on their assigned aspect of design in order to efficiently and quickly put the finishing touches on the Design thesis exhibition! Below we’ve added some of the other original iterations, ideas, and concepts we came up with for the presentation today, if you’d like to get a feel for our process.

Next week we’ll be figuring out what we want to do with the logo and how we want to implement it into a theme.



What’s in a Name: Our First Presentation

When it comes to thesis exhibitions, for the most part, they only happen once in a persons undergraduate career. When designing an exhibition, it was very important for us as a team to come up with something we all would be proud of, and something the thesis class participating in the exhibition would be proud of, and relate to.

The first few weeks of class were spent brainstorming ideas for the name of this Design Thesis Exhibition. Atif kickstarted our thought process by creating a conversation around the word zeitgeist.

Zeitgeist – the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

We talked about what we believed would be the zeitgeists of 2017 when we look back on the year 10 years from now. What defines the time we’re living in today? We thought about VR, the internet, etc.

Eventually we also started to think about what describes designers, or art. And finally, we came up with, and narrowed our ideas down to, a good amount of potential names that we could present to the thesis class and gain their feedback on.

Here’s a list of those names we started with:

Ephemera[l] – things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time. Or items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

Pixellennial – the combination of pixel (a minute area of illumination on a display screen, one of many from which an image is composed) and milennial (a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.).

Sentient – being able to perceive or feel things.

Wabi Sabi – a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics constituting a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.

Once coming up with a list of a few name ideas that really stuck, we began the process of designing a set of logos around them for our first presentation to the Design Thesis class. We were each assigned to a particular name to work on, but we also had the flexibility to design some logos for other names if we had multiple ideas. Here were our first renditions: