Grad Research

Aggie Toppins
www.aggietoppins.com

Aggie Toppins is an MFA candidate in graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She enjoys using design to clarify complex information and deliver ways for people to express and exchange their own ideas. Aggie has nearly 10 years of experience working for companies in Cincinnati and Chicago. She received her BS in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati in 2003.

Statement of Research
Participation builds meaning through collaboration and generates unexpected form through rule-based actions. Active audiences contribute content and engage each other through the work. Participation blurs the lines between maker and user. By co-creating, people interact with the work and shape messages as they would a conversation.

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Template Zine

This publication examines life as a template-based experience. It makes fun of contemporary trends toward “prosumerism” and “interconnectivity” by presenting them as ideas that sometimes dehumanize rather than empower.

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Implied World

   

In this work of collaborative mapping, participants charted all the places they had been using map dots, markers, and a projection as a guide. When the projection was shut off, the resulting form related personal experiences to finite space.

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Sightseer

        

(profiled in Participate, p. 111)

This is a concept design for an online community of budget travelers. People organize their travels and contribute to a knowledge base that benefits the whole community.