Writing Samples


Please click on coloured links below to open PDFs.

DOES MODERNIZING MEAN WESTERNIZING? Western Views of New China’s Graphic Design: 1998-2008- Beijing Olympic Sports Logos in 2008. Presentation: Globalization and Asia, Research Working Group, Annual Conference, MacMaster University, May 2015. Peer Reviewed.

macmaster_talk_200_2015 (Slide show)

mcmaster_may_2015_script (Script for slide show)


“Hybridity In Transnational/Transcultural Design: extending the visual design language in education.” Presentation: Royal Graphic Designers 1st Education Conference ,2013 

Hybrid visual languages can meet the needs of North/South and East/West design education, without compromising the inherent strengths of either.
We are all acutely aware of how interconnected we are, as we make ‘the global turn’ into the 21 century through our shared economic, political, technological and ecological interdependencies. Or, as cultural globalization media professor, Marwan Kraidy points out, we have come to the place of “Hybridization, or the cultural logic of globalization” (obviously a reference to Jameson’s notion of “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”). For the purposes of this talk, I will use the concept of transnationalism, based on the creation of socio-cultural links that reach beyond nation-state borders, largely because of the speed and interactivity, of social networks that have formed. As for transculturalism, the term will mean “involving, encompassing, or combining elements from more than one culture, or more personally ‘seeing oneself in the other’.
Hybridity In Transnational/Transcultural Design: extending the visual design language in education


BOOK REVIEW:“An Introduction to Design and Culture: from 1900 to the present” by Penny Sparke, Third Edition, 2013. Tsinghua Design Magazine.

In Sparke’s closing arguments of her latest and third 2013 edition, she maintains 21st century design has become an “agent of change,” serving a “formative function” that personifies and transmits multifaceted belief systems, messages and values. Consequently, design activity now embodies and transmits socio-cultural content. The vocation is a major working component and player in the vibrant process of constructing today’s way of life and our surroundings. What is more, in the historian’s view, not only does design effectively mediate between multinational corporations and international consumption patterns on the planet, but is earning worldwide design recognition as a major humanitarian at the beginning decade of the 21st century.

P Sparke Book Review

The Hawaiian Language: Ho’i Ana I Ke Kuma (Back To The Source)
Unpublished, 2013

“ Language shift is characteristic of low-prestige languages… speakers abandon the minority language for the dominant language, either involuntarily,through political coercion from the state, or voluntarily, to improve their economic prospects.”
-James A Walker-

This paper will pursue the rise and fall of the Hawaiian language brought about by varying socio-historical, economic, geographical, and institutional support. It will explore the forces and circumstances on the Hawaiian language shift to English as a first
language, and its subsequent status or prestige diminishing to a second language, and after that becoming an endangered one. Lastly, this paper will trace the recent revival of the Hawaiian language, as well as its current statewide maintenance as shared first
language with English.



Seeing Is Believing: Reflections on Video Oral Histories with Chinese Graphic Designers: PDF, Peer reviewed, 2006. 

Journal of Design History Vol. 19 No. 4, © The Author [2006].
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Design History Society. All rights reserved.

Journal of Design History Journal


Losing In Translation? A Look at the State of Chinese Design Development: Link
Design-Altruism, Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008


Losing In Translation 2: Graphic Design in Hong Kong and the Peoples Republic of China: Link
Design-Altruism, Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008


Does Modernizing Mean Westernizing? : PDF (2)
Changing Views of New China’s Graphic Design, 1998-2008
(Unpublished Master’s Thesis, Fall 2009)
Master’s Major Research Paper
Master’s Major Paper Illustrations


NOTE: all documentary photographs taken by Catherine Ishino, unless otherwise cited

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