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Constructing Personas

By Hali Pollard

MFA Communications Design, ’22

This book contains six personas loosely inspired by female archetypes in media. Through everyday performative strategies such as makeup, dress, and editing photos, a singular identity transcends and transforms itself in multiple ways, challenging the way we judge and place meaning on photos of others.

Realizing Social Media Profiles Through Designed Artifacts

The social media user profile is equated to a persona, a tool commonly used to make assumptions about a user’s behavior and experiences. This persona is a representation of the ideal, and social media are designed to embrace persona performativity by facilitating the construction of self-presentation in a metaphysical space. By reiterating often gendered acts, the body becomes an artificial gender over time, perpetuating societal norms and expectations that govern our bodies and maintain pre-existing power structures. Designing artifacts that construct personas in a physical form, we can challenge our understanding of identity and our participation in the power structure, and work toward reversing our behavior.