1. Side B


Turn, flip, or rotate. The 2024 Boston University Graphic Design MFA Exhibition embraces the metaphor of “Side B” to examine the process of making without traditional constraints. The B-side of an album has historically represented an opportunity for musicians to experiment, offering a place for less predictable tracks and unique compositions. In the hands of the graphic designers featured in this exhibition, “Side B” becomes a driving methodology for creating experimental work, deep cuts, new ways of thinking, and different ways of making. The concept symbolizes a willingness to defy expectations, explore uncommon tools, and present a multifaceted expression of craft.

The twenty-five Graphic Design MFA candidates whose work appears in Side B come from across the United States and China, as well as from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. The thesis exhibition is collaboratively conceived and mounted by this graduating cohort and is a significant public-facing outcome of their studies at Boston University. Each graduate thesis explores different themes and conceptual frameworks, showcasing methodologies and ways of making that emerge from each individual’s practice and respond to the contemporary graphic design landscape. Through their individual thesis research, this talented group uses graphic design to produce and interrogate visual and material culture: engaging with technology, tools, and new platforms, seeking opportunities for collaboration and community engagement, and theorizing about graphic design’s future.

Side B pulls this work together in one venue, encouraging an inclusive approach to design and suggesting that visual communication is a multifaceted discipline made stronger by multiple perspectives. By embracing a porous and flexible understanding of graphic design, emphasizing its complexity and the many factors present in current practice, the 2024 GD MFA designers celebrate the promise of the B-side and the possibilities that unfold when working on the flipside.