WITH is the collective thesis work of Bárbara Abbês, Rogier Bak,

Rachna Batra, Jonathan Frey, John Hallman, Jeannette Hodgkins,

Xiaoping Ma, Amanda Sepanski, and Diego Zaks.


How does design interact with society? With individuals? With itself? WITH is the 2014 Communications Design MFA Thesis exhibition at Pratt GradComD in New York. Through a variety of media, this exhibition invites the visitor to explore the impact of design on people, technology, and culture as a whole.

The work of WITH attempts to highlight, measure, and critique the ways in which design both mediates itself and utilizes the practices from a variety of other fields. An interdisciplinary approach ties the group’s work together and links it to current sociopolitical issues. Areas of interest include technology, parameters, geopolitics, society, decisions, relationships, and offers potential responses to these pursuits. This research and process are given form and translated into practice.


“This is work that collectively occupies a wide and unpredictable topography: the politics of space, the promise and dangers of abundance and constraints; our eyes, brain and bodies on technology, the pleasures of chance and our role as enablers, storytellers, citizens,” adds Alex Liebergesell, director of the MFA program. “From the visible peaks of contemporary practice to the hidden valleys of seemingly tangential ideas — there is this, communication design which explores new interstices between people, places and things.”