Integrate–Assimilate

Immigration at its core poses many challenges to those who commit to it. While these challenges may remain unseen by those who have not ever experienced it, they build every moment of existence of an immigrant’s life. Identity being at the center of those challenges, consumes the mind of an immigrant. How can one seek individuality while being forced to integrate into a society with major value differences compared to one’s origin? These issues are even more intensified when the immigrant’s point of origin is perceived—socially or politically—as one of significant conflict or exotic. With the recent global immigration crisis and simultaneous terrorist acts, the fear of foreign nationals has manifested itself in various forms in media. This very fact has automatically given rise to discrimination and hatred against certain group of immigrants being associated with the current catastrophic economical and political situation. It has yet made the integration process even more complicated for those foreign nationals in this already-segregated society. One has to go through many stages in order to find oneself integrated into this new socio-political environment. Our work visualizes this very transition and metamorphosis by getting use of language and typography as significant signs of major cultural differences.

Integrate-Assimilate gives the typically 2D medium a new sculptural life and reinterprets the familiar forms of letters, as objects—stringing together ten (100x70cm) sheets to create a cavernous path between two custom letter forms morphing into each other. The trailing sculpture is cut from within to create narrow pathways through the center, yet the outer edges remain crisp. The piece hangs at eye-level and incorporates light and space just as equally as the material form and yet it appears voluminous despite the airy composition.

In Collaboration with Renata Graw and Pouya Ahmadi

Exhibited at Chicago Design Museum

Cover photo credit: Renata Graw

Slider Photo credit: Chicago Design Museum

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