Pratt Institute School of Design

Post-truth era, polarization, and Discourse by Serendipity
Xinyue Nie
This thesis addresses the phenomenon of users’ ideological polarization under the context of misinformation on mass communications, which is associated with “confirmation bias”, “filter bubbles”, and unbalanced power from different groups. We are in the “post-truth” era, in which the information is decontextualized and disseminated at incredible speed. It discusses what are the factors of ideological polarization, and how we can respond to minimize the ideological polarization. .
Interactive Video “Seems”Trailer.
Telling the story of controlling and being controlled, a video-based expression to explore an interactive way of creating serendipity and discourse among viewers. Through choosing the options in the video, the ending of the video is personalized for each viewer.

“Seems”User Flow.
Different options will lead the viewers to the different narratives, constructing a metaphor that people receive the information from the Internet by their own confirmation bias.
The Scene From The Video “Seems”.
The Scene From The Video “Seems”.

The Scene From The Video “Seems”.
The moment that character starts reading the newspaper leads to the transfer of the plot. The images in collage style represent the element of “individuals”, ”barrier”, and “propaganda force”.

Conceptual Installation”Fragmented Reflection”.
Experimenting the form of discourse, the physical space is a factor to create serendipity narratives. The direction of the participants’ sight determined that they would only sense a fragmented part of the whole picture on the top, constructing a metaphor of an individual's “subjective truth”. Discourses would take place in this space naturally to converge the complete picture.

Satirical Product Design ”Jointer”.
This project is a design response to people’s visceral thinking and behavioral reflections. It is a fake news generator app that enables users to collage symbolic elements to fabricate fake news within a minute. It is a satirical response to awake users’ awareness that the cost of fabricating fake news is to follow straightforward templates but will create unintentional results.
Satirical Product Design ”Jointer”