From Roots to Routes;
Exploring Motif Design as Representation of Cultural Adjustment
Following Immigration Arranged According to the Visual Language of the Persian Rug
The path to immigration is associated with cultural adjustment to the new setting as a process of emotional fluctuation over time. The goal of this thesis project was to visualize the experience of cultural adjustment process of a sample group of Persian immigrants in Canada according to the visual language of the Persian rug. Since the Persian rug, as a cultural object, has the potential to narrate peoples's lives, feelings and experiences, it is an appropriate information system through which to visualize the experience of immigration. The outcomes of this study are innovative forms of the Persian rug as a visual representation of a sign system which enables viewers to observe the visual narrative of the emotional life of Persian immigrants in Canada as semiotic phenomena. In this study, emotional reactions of sample participants throughout their cultural adjustment process were examined through a questionnaire. Subsequently, the data gathered was visualized to create a motif for each participant through a specific system. The motifs were arranged according to the traditional set-structure of Persian rug design. Three modalities of data visualization were chosen for the outcomes of this study: sculpture, animation, and sound. The attempt to superimpose the Persian rug with information that represents the story of immigration experience provided a context for me to express my creative role as a designer to move flexibly from one subject sphere to another, shape old things by relating them to something new, and work to the limits and transmit information in both effective and affective ways.