Perception Of Poverty

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Traditional graphic design and marketing rely heavily on visuals as a form of communication. The heavy use of visuals in our communication has led to an over stimulated market, resulting in a challenge for designers to capture an audience’s attention. Multi-sensory integration overcomes this challenge by integrating more than one sense. Multi-sensory integration within the context of communication is more effective and memorable in my opinion, because it compliments the core message through multiple senses. The integration of additional senses within the field, particularly olfactory in my opinion, would help enhance the overall communication and user experience.

According to National Bureau of Economic Research, the United States suffered a significant decline in economic activity resulting in a recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. Following the recession, many United States citizens faced unforeseen financial crisis, sudden loss of income and housing foreclosure. As a result of the crisis, many families and individuals found themselves experiencing new poverty. New poverty is the state(condition) of unforeseen homelessness caused by financial crisis, sudden loss of income and housing foreclosre.

The facts, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, currently in the United States there are 643,067 people experiencing poverty on any given night; roughly 22 of every 10,000 people are impoverished. Of that number, 238,110 are people in families and 404,957 are individuals, 17% of the impoverished population is considered “chronic” and 12% of the impoverished population is made up of veterans.

The objective of this thesis is to use multi-sensory integration to explore the dichotomy of those affected by the United States recession. The intention is to allow viewers to experience new poverty, which consists of families and individuals who experienced unforeseen financial crisis, sudden loss of income and housing foreclosure, which resulted in unforeseen homelessness.


Daniel R. Skrok

Master of Fine Arts

Computer Graphics Design MFA Program

School of Design

College of Imaging Arts & Sciences

Rochester Institute of Technology

Committee Members:

– Daniel DeLuna, Associate Professor, School of Design

– Shaun Foster, Assistant Professor, School of Design

– Loret Steinberg, Associate Professor, School of Photographic Arts & Sciences