What is Nostalgia?


‘What is Nostalgia?’ is the culmination of my work during my MFA in Graphic Design.

This project examines what we bring with us in migration. We collect memories, stories and objects, making connections between them and forming the basis of nostalgia.

This work culminated in an exhibit in June 2019, displaying boxes of nostalgia from people who had migrated from different countries. In each box was an object that sparked their nostalgia, an image connected with it and the story behind it.

I set these against a recreation of the tiles in my Maltese grandparents’ house, the backdrop to many of my childhood memories and nostalgia. The typography is derived from mosaics in the Manhattan subway, where I spent my teenage years. These are visual elements I brought with me through migration.

A big part of this project was the design exposition, thinking about ways to exhibit this work and combine informativity with interactivity, pushing the boundaries of our two-board degree show space.

“As we move and migrate through space and time, we collect stories and mementos, continually forming our identities through associations or recollections. These elements contribute to our nostalgia, something unique to everyone based on individual experience. These boxes contain the nostalgic objects and associated stories of people who have migrated here.”