The Hapathetic Generation

Term of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Art

Committee Chair

Leigh Thomson

Committee Member 1

Edward Rushton

Committee Member 2

Tiffanie Townsend

Committee Member 3

Marc Moulton

Committee Member 3 Email


The Hapathetic Generation is a visual communication campaign specifically targeted at individuals born between 1982 and 2000. Research indicates that these individuals, known as the Millennials, are the most socially concerned demographic to date; yet they are also the least likely to involve themselves in solutions that address their concerns. One cannot help but wonder how a generation whose social concern is so well documented is also incredibly inactive in their efforts to affect change. Has this group become apathetic without realizing it?

If so, how can visual communicators expect to effectively encourage active participation in social issues if the demographic target is indifferent? The Hapathetic Generation investigates how visual communication can provide self-awareness among Millennials as it relates to the ability to recognize their apathetic action regarding social issues. The combination of satirical positioning, motion, branding, and online interaction provides Millennials the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of self, enabling Graphic Designers to communicate more effectively with this target and, over time, encouraging stronger efforts to impact positive social change.

Research Data and Supplementary Material


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