Project New Dawn


Project New Dawn is a multimodal speculative fiction project which speculates a future where the U.S. government exploits the immigration crisis to bolster its military complex and address recruitment challenges. This project envisions a dystopian political climate that is covertly racist, hidden under the guise of goodwill. It also depicts a military-centric future dominated by private interests as a reflection of unchecked capitalism. In this envisioned future, traditional norms of warfare and due process are just mere suggestions rather than binding principles.

Document Design
Graphic Design
November - December 2023
Photo Scanner
Pen and Paper
The Future

The second project in my Experimental Design course centers on designing objects from a specific "future" scenario, be it utopian or dystopian, to stimulate current discussions about the nature of that future and its desirability. This project aims to clarify for whom this future is designed, whether in favor or against them, the type of society that could emerge, its political and power structures, and the social and environmental arrangements within that society.

Digital Exhibition

The final deliverable for this project is a website. This "digital exhibition” can be a website for a fictional company or serve as a container for the story being told to include images and text that paints a cohesive picture of the future.


My ideas about the future were shaped by reflecting on current issues facing our country, particularly the immigration crisis at the southern border and the declining interest among Americans in joining the military, leading to recruitment shortfalls year after year. Looking at historical and current statistical data on immigration, military recruiting, and the complexities of the military industrial complex, the breadth of my research can be summarized into three parts:


I researched into the immigration procedures for non-U.S. citizens, exploring the timelines, necessary documents, and legal intricacies. This included researching the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, particularly how it was impacted by its suspension in 2017, and the experiences of those navigating this change.

Personal Military

Having served six years in the Army Reserve, I possess first-hand knowledge of military culture, training, legal frameworks, timelines, and customs. This personal experience provided a solid foundation for my research.

Military Industrial

I delved into the substantial financial investments made by the U.S. government in military spending. This involved examining historical data and trends in government dealings, particularly the lack of accountability among private military contractors, such as Blackwater.


In my project, I want to encourage the audience to critically assess government actions and its underlying intentions. The central question I want to evoke is: "Can we truly trust government promises, especially when they appear benevolent on the surface?"

I intend to foster a culture of inquiry, encouraging people to question, interrogate, and maintain a healthy skepticism, especially in light of historical injustices that have shaped the American consciousness.

My project also incorporates various artifacts to highlight the human dimension of these issues. I want audiences to perceive beyond mere statistics like recruitment numbers and immigrant border crossings, recognizing these figures as representing real individuals with their own lives, families, and emotions.

Website and Document Repository

My project was inspired by the themes explored in Alex Rivera's "Sleep Dealer." This science fiction film portrays a future where workers from developing countries connect to a global network to perform remote labor for the wealthy. It follows a young Mexican man who, in search of employment, becomes trapped in this exploitative system. I aimed to mirror this exploitation and dehumanization within a military complex, where unchecked and unregulated private military contractors execute the covert and sinister agendas of a dystopian government.

On the other hand, my project's delivery and presentation are influenced by Superflux's “Dynamic Genetics vs. Mann.” This work presents a future scenario where a corporation has gained significant control over genetic testing and surveillance, using a mix of physical installations, legal documents, and digital interfaces. This approach inspired the incorporation of legal documents as artifacts in my project to create a convincing and detailed narrative environment. This is reflected in my online repository of files, including password-protected documents, allowing viewers to explore the evidence, interact with it, and immerse themselves in the story's world.

The complexity of Superflux’s artifacts and their use of real-world scientific and legal language motivated me to pay close attention to the minutiae in my documents. This also comes after I realize that my project is more of a narrative—a slice of life from the future I envision—rather than a direct and explicit exposition of my speculations. This led me to focus on creating highly detailed artifacts to craft a vivid and realistic portrayal of the future. I also invested significant effort into researching redaction techniques, classification, and tagging methods used in government document archiving. A key source of inspiration was the cataloging style of the JFK files from the National Archives. I also examined the presentation of "leaked" documents on Wikileaks to inform my approach.

Screengrab from the movie Sleep Dealer by Alex Rivera.
Printed Strips of DNA code used in Superflux's Dynamic Genetics vs Mann (Credits:

I thoroughly enjoyed working on this unique project, an experience unlike any I've had before. My journey began with conducting research, which led me down a rabbit hole exploring the complexities of immigration processes and the military-industrial complex. The task then evolved into meticulously creating case files digitally, producing them in physical form, and subsequently modifying them digitally once more. This process has underscored my attention to detail, a strength I am proud to have honed throughout this project. I realized that when I am deeply invested and wholeheartedly believe in a creative pursuit, I am committed to executing it with precision, ensuring it aligns with my vision.

Going Beyond

Initially, I planned to include an audio recording of military radio chatter as an artifact. However, due to time and resource constraints, this artifact was omitted. In future iterations of the project, I aim to diversify the types of artifacts used, possibly incorporating audio and video more than just textual documents and photographs. If I were to develop this project further, I would also focus on enhancing the website and repository to intensify the sense of viewer intrusion, prompting the audience to feel an increased skepticism about whether they should be accessing the site. Additionally, my professor floated the idea of partnering with people in the film industry to potentially produce my project into a film. This is something I might be open to but have yet to consider.