Ciara Uysipuo

Breathe / suffocate

Class of: 2024

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Cigarette, elastic cord, thread

Faculty: Eva Perez de Vega

Prompt: Designing with the senses for a changing climate. Create a wearable structure exploring and understanding the utilized materials’ relationship, significance and impact on our senses and the environment. Consider whether the environmental implications of the design are positive or negative, what lasting impact it may leave on the public and how it tackles sustainability in design.

The negative impact of smoking on one’s health is known by everyone (common fact / knowledge), but no one stops to consider what the environmental implications are. Plastic pollution is a popular subject when we talk about saving our planet but often the contribution of cigarettes is disregarded with no one addressing it. Alongside, a lot of us choose to ignore the growing issue of air pollution, ocean pollution, global warming, climate change etc.

Thus, I chose to produce a cigarette mask presenting the suffocation of not only our planet but our own health. The distinct tobacco scent intrigues the audience in a way that a solely visual piece cannot by aiding the visual aesthetics and uniformity powerfully communicating my message by evoking shock and or disappointment prompting the audience to reflect and take action towards being more environmentally conscious.

This “designing with the senses for a changing climate” project drove me to recognize how our everyday actions play a role in the globe’s pollution and climate and how we, as artists, designers, and creatives, have the responsibility of taking care of our planet and pushing for environmental change.