MFA Graduate Research Project | Katt Marshall, Florescere: a poetic pop-up book

MFA Graduate Research Project | Katt Marshall, Florescere: a poetic pop-up book

Katt chose the Communication Design program at KU after attending a campus tour for a family member. Walking the halls of Sharadin, it hit her this was a welcoming place, and she felt called to create. Katt’s path is varied, from junior designer up to art director at a magazine to pivoting into marketing, R&D, and sales at two other family-owned businesses. Currently, she is landing on her feet after a significant move from the East Coast to the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. Holding onto her dreams of owning a glass art studio, she works towards creating with Aloha. 

Florescere, means to bloom and grow. As you progress through the book you are presented with Katt’s interpretation of learning about empathetic joy and growing in strength by it. Her presentation invitation is a flexagon which reveals a total of four printed faces when unfolded. See the entire invite in her video.

What is empathetic joy? It is a feeling you have when someone tells you a success, and you feel happy for them without jealousy. For instance, a struggling student telling their professor about their “ah-ha” moment that pushed their project to completion or a co-worker getting a promotion they’d been working towards. That happiness puts you in a positive state of mind and spreads throughout your day. 

How does this apply to the design field? First, it is being open and receptive to where people are at in their lives. Designers are listeners, problem solvers, and creators. Without empathetic joy, there is a loss of connection on both sides of the project. 

Why a poetic pop-up book to explain this? A poem allows the reader to approach the work with an open mind. Which develops into understanding as the reader applies their interpretation. Pop-up books bring wonder and visual interest to the writing, encouraging the individual to sit with the work longer and contemplate the meaning behind the words.

More Work by Katt


A typographic family inspired by the childhood creative tool Lite-Brite. With a retro feel, there are multiple options to choose from.  

Blackwater Arts LLC 

The rebranding of my glass art and design business, with a 5 year business plan, presentation for investment, and website. 

Where Do You Stand? 

A triptych that questions the viewer on where they stand in the fight to shatter the glass ceiling. Are you in the way of someone, are you considering, or are you actively engaged in shattering the ceiling?