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with myself

Saadia Kardar
OCAD University, Canada
Social Impact - Photography / Print / Illustration / Graphic
Category Semifinalist

With myself: An interactive task based exhibition that encourages and challenges individuals to spend time on their own.

with myself is the title of my undergraduate thesis work. With myself is an interactive text-based exhibition that allows individuals the chance to reflect on the time they spend on their own. The works in this exhibition also challenge people to undertake social tasks that are commonly done with another individual or in groups i.e. going to the movies. With myself is completely text and task based so that people may construe their own ideas on the work and fill out information that relates to themselves. Every project has been screen printed with the exception of one piece. The reasoning for this physical application is to address the unique nature of an individual and the way they choose to spend time on their own. The goal of with myself is to open up dialogue on the distractions of today and the social stigma attached to undertaking “shared” tasks with yourself. 
Body of Work
My final body of work is an accumulation of print and material to create a space for people to interact and challenge themselves to spend time on their own. With myself consists of a series of take aways which will encourage individuals to reflect how often and where they spend time on their own. Each black print piece has been duplicated over 500 times in order to generate interaction from as many people as possible.
On Your Own is in the form of a checklist, there is a bold title at the top which poses the question, “What have you done on your own?” I chose to make this a checklist so that individuals will be able to physically check off places/activities they’ve done on their own. 
Date Yourself is a piece that encourages people to make the time to spend on their own. The front of this piece prompts people to pick their idea of a fun and enjoyable date. There are common options listed to choose from, i.e. going to dinner, seeing a movie, exploring a park. After this they are prompted by a small arrow at the bottom to turn the print over. On the back is a bold statement saying “Date Yourself”, below that I have provided space for a time a date to make a date with yourself. 
A Reminder are stickers I have designed with the name of my exhibition. With myself will serve as a reminder to individuals to actively spend time on their own. 
A Task consists of 30 different tasks printed on small slips of square paper, which are loaded into an acrylic dispenser. People are invited to take a task from the dispenser then challenge themselves to complete it on their own. The prints are stacked in a specific order so that no two people will receive the same task. 
Reflection is a poster made from mirrored acrylic. There is a quote written by myself engraved into the back which says, “Why should the thought of being on your own stop you from doing what you want?” The goal of this poster is to challenge the social stigma of doing “shared” activities on your own. 
Distraction is a poster series created by silk screening and laser cutting. There are four clear acrylic posters that have been silk screened with a text heavy background. The background text was generated using the filler text lorem ipsum and random article headlines found off of my Facebook newsfeed. I chose to use lorem ipsum to illustrate the amount of time individuals spend on social media platforms as a filler during the day. There is a quote written by myself that has been laser cut into the four posters. I chose to laser cut this because I want to encourage people to take time away for themselves and cut into the distractions of life. 
My journey through with myself was lengthy and informative. I chose a topic that did not easily lend itself to a specific project outcome. I was challenged as both a person and a designer. I started with visual and written research on my topic. From there I had to create three design proposals within the 2D, 3D and 4D categories. After ending up with 9 proposals I was to choose my strongest and find my direction from there, this was the end of my first semester. During my break between first and second semester, I participated in a work in progress gallery show. This gave me the opportunity to get additional feedback from people outside of my educational environment. This experience not only changed my perspective but allowed me to gain insight on the most important aspect of my project, interaction. Going into my second semester I decided to execute my final print work through the screen printing process, a print making technique I learnt in the first semester. This proved to be the most rewarding and challenging task I have taken on in my time at OCAD. Using my observations from the gallery show I decided to create a space for individuals to experience my work in, I designed and built an alternate flooring and a table which would hide my prints. Finally, to bring everything together I decided to flip the orientation of my exhibition, rather than having people walk up to my work they would have to walk into it and become a part of it.

View project on Behance