Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Hung Cam Thai

Reader 2

Juliet Koss

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© 2021 Allegra M Alfano


The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Good Design program (1950-55) had two goals: educate consumers and manufacturers about modern design and guarantee that modern design objects were available for purchase. This thesis explores the Good Design program through a qualitative content analysis of ninety-four newspaper articles pertaining to the program from the years 1949 to 1955. These articles, I argue, further legitimize the rhetoric of “good design” as espoused by MoMA to a wider public. However, due to their treatment of readers as consumers, the articles cannot diminish the effects of what Jürgen Habermas calls “cultural impoverishment,” as they do not allow the public to engage in critical discourse.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.