Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Katie Macey 

BA [Hons] Visual Communication Design

Hi! I'm Katie, a multidisciplinary designer from Dublin. I enjoy creating bold and playful design across both screen and print. My main interests include brand identity, illustration, typography and art direction. I love using bright colours, experimental image making and strong copywriting in my work. I have enjoyed exploring all aspects of design during my time in IADT and I'm excited to continue to expand my skillset post graduating.

Project Description

Literacy rates and the number of people reading are declining rapidly as many people have stopped reading due to digital distractions and mindless scrolling. Today, 90% of people on public transport use their phones during their journey. Additionally, over 70% of Irish workers spend more that 30 minutes commuting daily which is often regarded as wasted time.

StoryLine is an app that aims to encourage public transport users to utilise their travel time in a more productive and meaningful way by reading curated short stories or chapters from a novel. By offering an alternative to time usually spent mindlessly scrolling on social media, the app encourages users to enrich their minds and make their commute more enjoyable. This provides a refreshing break from passive consumption, putting magic into the mundane.

The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of ‘Girl Power’

My thesis analyses the concept of ‘Girl Power’, a strategy aimed at promoting adolescent female empowerment. I examine the aesthetically focused consumerism now synonymous with ‘Girl Power’ and how what started as an idealistic approach to promoting independence among young women was hijacked by the marketing industry. I chart the origins of ‘Girl Power’ from Riot Grrrl which helped ignite Third Wave Feminism in the 1990s through a mix of punk rock, politically themed zines and activism. I investigate how the concept was expropriated by the marketing industry to promote conspicuous consumption as a feminist act. This was simply the creation of a fake feminism that betrayed the core principles of ‘Girl Power’ by linking the act of purchasing to women’s liberation. Finally, I assess more recent efforts to reclaim the concept from profiteering marketers in order to provide a path to empowerment for a new generation of young women and how this is again being frustrated.