My name is AskaMukuti. Pronounced: \ahs-kuh\ ; \moo-koo-tee\. I'm from California, or the Bay. For freelancing and other inquiries, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My senior thesis took the form of an interactive pop-up shop that displayed three different frame styles for participants to try on and purchase. The social commentary behind the designs was implemented in the shop's interactive elements, so viewers could understand the themes in layered ways. The installation was completed in four sleepless days of lasercutting, plywood shopping, spray painting, and fingercrossing.
My thesis was an eyewear brand made to confront the social and cultural problems that people of various backgrounds face on a regular basis. The brand is named WOKE because it's a slang term that explains the sense of enlightenment, or opening of eyes to the injustices and inequalities that affect specific communities. Since this is a contemporary term, I wanted my brand to target youth culture in its product and identity design. The lenses, frames, and packaging were all lasercut into three different styles.
I designed an identity for a fake skateboard company, after a hand-lettering workshop inspired me to paint the local phrase, "hella wack" onto a canvas. I used Norcal's skate culture and old school sign paintings as design influences, since I grew up around both. I incorporated the brand's typography, patterns, and colors on 'swag' items like stickers, totes, and posters.
For this school project I had to choose a controversial organization or company, and design a response expressing my opinion of the organization's most problematic issues. I picked American Apparel because its overly sexualized advertisements and offensive CEO (who has since been fired) made me question the pro's and con's behind the company's business decisions. I knew I wanted to make a book, so I decided to create my own version of a seasonal catalogue issue.
During my job at my school's Mugar Library, I had the project of making a poster for the much-anticipated Thanksgiving break. I decided to embrace the holiday's traditional foods by cutting the type out of turkey sandwich meat, and piping pumpkin purée and cranberry sauce onto my roommate's cutting board. I loved making this poster, but I don't think I want to manually kern turkey letters again.
My university's Mugar Library is open for 24 hours during finals week, so the designers made posters promoting this. I decided to use type to represent what it feels like to be up for 24 hours. Being awake for that long can make one feel slightly delusional, so I experimented with various ways to reflect that 'it's-4am-and-I-hate-myself' kind of feeling.
FOR A FRIEND
My friend's birthday was approaching, and I decided to get her a banana recipe book as one of her gifts because she loves anything banana-flavored. I looked everywhere and couldn't find any recipe books that didn't look outdated or had interesting recipes. So I did some research and put together a simple banana recipe book that features common foods like banana bread, but also fried plantains from Southeast Asia, and beauty masks containing skin care benefits. I had fun making this book, and I learned a lot more about bananas in the process (maybe it's just me, but I didn't know ice cream could be made from blending frozen bananas).
To kickstart the semester of pre-thesis projects, my professor assigned a two-week editorial to get us thinking about our design influences and interests. The book had to be at least 100 pages, but it couldn't have any images or color. Under these constraints, I decided to reflect my identity as a biracial minority, and the ways in which my experiences inform my design choices. The text I used comes from various news articles, social media posts, and video transcripts.
For this side project I made a pencil holder using the box of a Japanese snack called Chocobi. Chocobi was (and still is) popularized by a well-known cartoon character who eats the same chocolate cookies in a TV show that I watch. I used the original Chocobi box as the pencil holder's base, and attached a zipper to make it both decorative and useful for all my pens.