Thesis: Freegan Found

Created: 08/19/12
Last Edited: 03/08/13
Senior year thesis exhibit examining a subset of our culture known as freegans and the way they contribute to waste reduction in American society.
  • Freegan Found
    Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Project, December 2011
  • Most people know next to nothing about the hidden world of dumpster diving for food, also known as freeganism. Articles about freeganism treat it like a fad, when really it is just a way of surviving for many people living in urban areas.

    In order to educate viewers new to the topic, I wanted to create a bright, inviting, contemporary visual space that has a large scale and allows a viewer to enter and take it all in at once, then focus on the smaller pieces one by one. Favoring a digitally drawn style that mimics hand-crafted print works of the Push Pin Studios from 1950's and 60's, I chose this as a historical reference because the culture of American mass consumption began in that time period. I drew the large font and the sticker fonts by hand because it was important to have a human touch to a very human subject.

    Excess consumerism is the cause of many problems. Our country has so much wealth that its surplus is considered garbage, including edible food. On the other hand, there are so many people that go hungry every year that it doesn’t make sense to make waste of something that is not really trash. The recent economic problems all over the United States have left many more people without a steady source of nutritious food. It is ruinous to use so much water, pesticides, fertilizer, and arable land to produce food, only to throw most of it away.

    For this exhibition, I am most concerned with accessibility and legibility, but also experimentation. Multiple textures and shapes rendered in an intentionally hand crafted style are extremely important to the message. In conclusion, my primary intent is to explain, inform, and move viewers to think about how they treat food and food waste, and to make a lasting impression that perhaps convinces them to try their hand at freeganism.
  •  Exhibit View 1: Entry
  •  Exhibit View 2: Full frontal
  •  Exhibit View 3: Closeup
  •  Individual stickers
    The idea behind the stickers was to create labels to place on reusable bags and containers to notify those receiving the food that is in fact "freegan found."
  •  Exhibit View 4: Closeup of stickers

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