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Autism Spectrum Disorder

A Latina Experience

Print

Book Design

Book Fabrication

Illustration

Typography

Overview

Intersectionality is important when understanding neurodiversity. They say that when you meet someone with autism, you have only met one person with autism. This expresses the individuality that comes with the autistic experience. Life experiences combined with specific symptoms produce a unique experience to a neurodivergent individual.

 

The importance of telling my personal experience through ASD through my intersectionality is to highlight the value of considering individual differences when seeking diagnosis or help with mental health issues and disorders. This project explores my intersectionality as a Latin American woman with ASD and how it has molded my experience with neurodiversity. As a Latina I do not fit neatly into typical criteria for diagnosis of ASD as the original criteria was based on the white male experience. This project emphasizes the importance of understanding personal intersectionality in order to unlock a clearer understanding of why I experience ASD the way I do. Although this project is very personally based, I hope that it can open doors to other minorities by encouraging them to understand their own intersectionality in correlation to mental health as I have found my experience to be healing and eye opening. This project highlights the lengths that still need to be reached to fully understand ASD as our understanding of ASD is continuously growing.

Tools

Wide Format Printing

Photoshop

Illustrator

InDesign

Cricut Vinyl Cutting

Book Making tools

Method

This thesis project explores my experience of ASD through 15 poster visualizations. These posters are sorted in the following categories to explore my intersectionality; ASD as a Latin American, ASD as a woman and ASD with special interest as a symptom. These categories are important to look at individually as they contribute to my personal experience with ASD as a whole. The special interest symptom is important to my individual experience as someone with ASD because symptoms can be experienced differently based on intersectionality. Each of the categories has 5 visualizations.

Click the images below to see their context

ASD as a Woman

ASD as a Latin American

ASD with a Special Interest as a Symptom

Accordion Poster Book

12 x 16" Hardcover
11 x 15" Interior Pages
Printing
Book Binding

Below are images of the poster book which I made for my degree project. The posters can flipped through like in a conventional book or you can open it up to see the entirety of the 15 posters.

Large Poster Prints

22 x 30" posters
Print
Wide Format Printing
Vinyl cutting

For my visualizations I created 5 large printed posters. I have at least one large poster for each category. The posters include a holographic sticker of a teletubbie thus anchoring the stand alone posters back to the project as a whole.

Ugly Design

These visualizations are explored using the ‘ugly’ design aesthetic. Ugly design or oftentimes referred to as design brutalism and anti-design, is notorious for defying the traditional rules of design. It is meant to give a visual strain and inflict a certain amount of difficulty to the viewer. This is done through highly saturated and acidic colours, bold text and lack of hierarchy. In essence, this aesthetic is a visual headache. 

 

Design brutalism is popular in web design as early websites had raw and unfinished looks. Anti-design is also notably seen in rave and concert posters from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Design Brutalism also inflicts feelings of nostalgia as these visuals mirror the past visuals of the 70s - 90s. These posters purposefully defied and opposed traditional ‘good design’ to establish a rebellious attitude which was reflective of the music and rave culture. In addition, these rave and concert posters would display visual elements to represent drug culture. To visualize drug culture, these posters would use vibrating, and highly saturated colours to represent and simulate psychedelic experiences. Ugly design has also been recognized to be more carefully received by viewers because the intense visuals pull viewers in as they make sense of the content.

 

I felt that the ugly design aesthetic was perfect for these visualizations as they express qualities of anxieties with a whimsical nature. In addition, the bombastic characteristics demand the attention of the viewer. So even though as a first impression ugly design can be recognized as a ridiculous eye soar, it is actually a strategic approach to start a conversation.

Teletubbies

In these posters you will see several depictions of a teletubbie. A teletubbie is an alien creature famously seen in the kids show called Teletubbies. Teletubbies are bipedal aliens with a cat-like appearance. They have screens on their stomachs and a unique antennae on the top of their head which differentiate them from other teletubbies. Each teletubbie is uniquely coloured. Did I mention they’re adorable?

 

I found myself illustrating teletubbies for fun during the winter break. I thought they were unique character designs. I began drawing teletubbies with different patterns, antennae, colours and features. Purley for fun, I enjoyed finding new ways to illustrate them.

 

I used the teletubbie as a motif of self representation throughout my posters. I wanted an alternative to using pictures of myself because I cringe looking at my own face. I also found the fact that I illustrated the teletubbies myself a more intimate experience. This bizarre yet cute creature fits within the whimsical and unconventional traditions of ‘ugly’ design. The fact that teletubbies are aliens also felt appropriate as this project deals with several themes of alienation with my mental health journey.

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