Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Fine Arts

First Advisor

Thomas Moddeen

Second Advisor

Levi Hammett

Third Advisor

Diane Derr

Fourth Advisor

Michael Wirtz


Our interactions with objects build cultural codes, reflecting lifestyles, values, and identities beyond functional expectations. With open connectivity in the contemporary consumer environments, we have access to homogenized material cultures not only for daily activities but also for ceremonies and rituals to mark important events, such as birth, marriage, and death. What will happen to our cultural codes and diverse traditions when various cultural norms meet, exchange, clash, hybridize, and evolve?

In this research, globalized material cultures were investigated to discover metaphoric comparisons, to formulate conceptual frameworks, and to develop informed design, which can address evolving cultural conditions appropriately, in comparison with commercialized goods.

Considering we often ritualize sequential stages of life course or challenging events, but rarely divorce, I explored the socio-cultural norms of marriage and divorce in the current social construct to anticipate globally evolving divorce phenomena.

My thesis focused on relatively unknown material cultures in ritualizing divorce by combining speculative design with semiotic, hybrid, idiosyncratic approaches to communicate desirable future scenarios for the emerging multi-cultural context. This research aims to explore how artifacts and rituals can help people cope with transitional events and how design practices can provide meaningful and reflective material cultures.


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