Beneath the Surface – June 1, 2021
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What Are Some Forgotten Things?

By Ashley Anderson & Randa Hadi

Our visual essay responds to the question, “what are some forgotten things?” We ask this general question of ourselves (and each other) as a way to uncover ideas and themes hidden just below the surface. The process required us to visually communicate an idea, interpret, and respond to what exists on the page. It was an exercise in sharing but also listening with intentionality. The visual essay contains three points of view: Ashley’s, Randa’s, and the interaction of our two voices. This process has shown us what unintentional and intentional influences could look like.

Drawing from principles of conditional design, we initially decided on the structure of communicating but not the content; instead, we allowed themes to emerge organically through visual and written dialogue. The themes that emerged through making were time, power, privilege, perspective/perception, and the role of the designer. 

We communicated with each other through Miro, an online collaborative platform that allows users to manipulate images and text on digital whiteboards. We set up a shared board and individual boards to use as workspaces. The individual boards allowed us the space to write and reflect on each other’s contributions, while the shared board provided a place for ideas to come together. We chose to create individual boards to separate the initial intention of our contributions from each other’s interpretations. The result is a complex and multi-layered visual dialogue.

Figure 1. This visual dialogue responds to the question “what are some forgotten things?” using text, photos, and drawings.


Figure 2. Randa and Ashley’s points of view, fragmented and separated before coming together and creating a multi-perspective view in visual essay form.


Figure 3. Miro board setup with separate boards and the combined board in the center.


Ashley Anderson (MGD ‘20) is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University’s Master of Graphic Design program. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at NC State, where her research interest is in mediating existing art-based therapy interventions through design. 

Randa Hadi (MGD ‘20) is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University’s Master of Graphic Design program. She is interested in uplifting and sharing stories, especially ones that deal with underrepresented, marginalized, immigrant, and transnational identity.

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