PROVO — For a long time, Alexi Bullock, a senior in the graphic design program at Brigham Young University, says she noticed that the women in her life wanted to create successful homes but that the stereotype of the traditional "homemaker" didn't fit with their lives.
“The word 'homemaking' is so stale and boring,” Bullock said. “It’s not working with me and my generation. It’s not that it’s not important; it just needs to be expanded and rearranged a bit.”
Bullock said that the word "homemaking" has a certain connotation that her generation didn’t relate to, so she decided to come up with a new concept of taking care of the home and created the term "domaign."
An exhibit featuring Bullock’s concept is on display on the third floor of the Harris Fine Arts Center at Brigham Young University through May 30.
"Domaign" comes from the Czech word “doma,” which means home, and “ign” from the last three letters in design.
The idea for domaign came to Bullock in the fall of 2011, when she was working on a paper for school that got her thinking about what homemaking really meant. She said she started to see a disconnect between how the mass media have historically portrayed homemaking and what exists in real people’s lives.
Bullock’s father, David Politis, said the media have portrayed the homemaker as a woman in a dress and pearls, who spends the whole day working to keep the house clean and perfect for when her husband comes home from work.
“The idea of the stereotypical homemaker is broken,” Politis said. “Making a house into a home today is more than just cooking and cleaning.”
Bullock decided she wanted to re-brand homemaking, and gradually this idea grew into domaign. She came up with seven supporting principles of domaign: design, finances, health, housekeeping, personal improvement, relationships and time management.
“I needed to find categories that would be somewhat fluid,” Bullock said. “Each home is so diverse, so they kind of need to flow into each other.”
For example, Bullock said the idea of cooking could fit into health, finances or personal improvement, depending on the person and their goals.
“The purpose behind each of the tasks you do is what determines which category it goes into,” she said. “The purpose is to help you design the perfect place for you."
With domaign, Bullock said, it doesn’t matter your circumstances, culture, gender, age or marital status. It’s about what’s perfect for you.
The exhibit at BYU opened May 16 with a “death party” for homemaking. Guests were invited to wear black to say farewell to what Bullock sees as an outdated word.
Around the outside of the exhibit, black and white posters from the ’50s and ’60s featured advertisements catered to the stereotypical homemaker. “RIP” was stamped across each poster in bright red letters, and red markers were available for guests to write on the posters why they thought this idea of homemaking needed to rest in peace.
Inside, the exhibit showcased Bullock's seven supporting principles of domaign. A display about design showed how one living room could be rearranged and decorated for different events. Another display on health showed how two meals with the same calorie count could be dramatically different in health and quality. A third display on relationships had a chart the guests could follow to see how they view relationships and what they could do to improve.
More information can be found at designaperfectlife.com.