Honors Projects


Pick Up a Habit is a physically interactive experience that demonstrates the relationship between the strength of habits, their perceived priority levels, and the availability of mental space through a series of tote bags differing in weight, available space, and appearance. Through examining the bags and comparing them to others, a better understanding is gained of the effects that habitual actions have on their thought processes, and a person can more effectively evaluate and adjust their own habits.

Habits are behaviors or actions that have become automated due to repetition. People often desire to form habits to make parts of their lives easier to focus their limited time and energy on more important tasks. Many theories relating to habits from the 19th century operate on the general understanding that the human brain has a maximum capacity for what it can process at any given moment. Habits allow a person to complete a task without having to consciously remember the process and react to it. The stronger a habit is, the less focus it requires, and the less a person focuses on what they are doing, the more their mind can explore other ideas. There are also several comparisons made across literature in these studies likening habits to textiles; the two share repetition, the ability to express oneself, and adaptability. The tote bags utilize these shared characteristics to illustrate the relationship between habits and a person’s mental capacity.

The design of each bag is determined by the results of a survey administered to adults measuring habit strength and level of importance for seven desirable habits: exercising, reading books, going to bed before midnight, eating fruits and vegetables, saving money, flossing, and eating breakfast. The amount of available space in the bag is determined by the strength of the habit, with a greater score resulting in a greater usable space. Weights are added in the bottoms to reflect the level of importance. Viewers are strongly encouraged to pick up the bags and experience these varying properties.


School of Art


Art – BFA in Graphic Design

First Advisor

Jenn Stucker

First Advisor Department

School of Art

Second Advisor

Janet Ballweg

Second Advisor Department

School of Art

Publication Date

Spring 3-17-2018