My thesis development has come a long way since the beginning of the quarter and I am so glad I took this course before my grad review. Initially the thought of developing and researching a thesis topic was very overwhelming. I had research topics within design but could not form an idea of a written thesis for such a visual program. The projects, exercises and discussions have been an enormous help it getting me moving in the right direction and have even inspired some new directions in my research direction. One of the things I enjoyed most was conducting the interview. To be able to connect with a designer working and creating the things that inspires you is really amazing. Listening to their process makes you look deeper at their work – you begin to see the references that inspired the design and the details that a broader audience may have missed. Hearing about the map that served as the background for the Army uniforms was great. Had I not read about Justin LaRosa before and interview him, I would have just seen it as a map. Now I know the historical significance of it and what it meant to the players and the students of West Point.  I have also enjoyed seeing the topics of my classmates evolve and being inspired by their process and approach to research.
I am excited to continue my research and further develop my topic. Since sports based design is an area a plan to pursue professionally, I want to keep a well documented record of all my findings so I can share the experience with potential employers and designers who are working in this area.

GRDS 761 Visual Presentation from Britt on Vimeo.


GRDS 761 Week 2: Don’t force it

I must admit I am feeling quite anxious about my thesis. I have so many subjects and areas that interest me it has been difficult focusing on a topic and then delve into deeper discussions on the selected topic. I have been working to narrow down my list of interests based on suggestions from the unit 1 and 2 note – History and sports-based design. In the next phase I am working to breakdown the topics with these 2 areas particularly history as that can cover a vast amount of topics. Before I started this course I began thinking about what a Graphic Design thesis consisted of. I have asked friends who have gone through graduate design programs (Industrial Design and Architecture) but they could only tell me they completed a semester or yearlong design project. An MFA thesis has more layers. Like any curious individual I then turned to Google to find answers. After reviewing the infographic from unit 2 on how Google is run on algorithms and processes search results I laughed at myself.  The unit points out something I already knew, but often forget – “the human brain exceeds these algorithmic methods in its ability to make random associations.” This means I can make more unique associations in a topic that will help me generate additional routes of inspiration and information for my thesis topic.  I did come across a few articles over the summer that attempted to breakdown some general considerations:

  • Think of something you feel really passionate about – something you like and would want to discover.
  • Pick a topic that is somehow related to your future career
  • Stay updated on what is going on in the design world

History is a deep interest and passion, but I am looking to pursue a career in sports design so I a feeling a little conflicted about the direction I should take. As I think about the qualities of each I begin to wonder if they can be combined. Sports design and teams in particular have very rich histories. There is a designer here in Charlotte that completed a self initiated design project for the Carolina Panthers. He imagined what their brand would look and how it would have evolved has it been established in 1955 instead of 1995. He uses historical references is the visuals based on the culture of each decade.

Matt Stevens – Daydream Rebrand: Carolina Panthers Hidden History

I like the research behind  the visuals. I know whatever I decide to pursue would need to encompass more than a cool design. This week I plan to sit down and use the mind map approach to see what connections the share. In doing this I am hoping for a little serendipity to reveal something new. I won’t force myself to nail down a topic, instead I will apply method that will encourage new possibilities and ways of view the subjects or even their similarities.