The Wave: New Methods Supporting Grievers

MFA Collaborative Design Thesis | 2024

Adobe Illustrator | InDesign


In Western Culture, most associate grief with the loss of a person and less with abstract loss such as divorce, career change, or loss of safety. Likewise, the grind of daily life influences processing time and how one manages their grief in the context of social norms. As a griever seeking alternative methods for processing grief, how does one employ playful practices as a tool outside the traditional processing tools? The Wave examines the intersection between individual experience, temporal influences, and societal expectations and asks the question, “how can collaborative design help build a holistic alternative grief method to better support individual grievers?” This thesis explores the dynamic nature of grief through play and the creation of serendipitous narratives as a dialogic tool for processing difficult emotions associated with grief. Whereas current grief models provide limited tools and perspective in processing loss, design can expand possibilities for how individual grief and lived experience is reconciled with societal expectations.