I was struck by two pieces of thesis advice this week. One was a suggestion that I explore other means of social interaction, such as a park bench that, by design, forces people to interact. Another said I should keep doing what comes so easy to me – paper correspondence – and make that a cornerstone of my project. Thus, the question is: to what degree should my masters thesis be about exploring new territory and how much of it is about digging deeper and making more official my passions?
I don't know how to make a bench. I could try, but I know that it wouldn't have the fidelity that I'd ultimately want and it would take me a long time.
But I do so much card-making and personalized treats already. Can I really make that a design thesis? Or do I need to get out of my shame of thinking arts and crafts are silly, and actually investigate how they can be a designed tactic for community-building?
Below is a little initiative I started at school, with the following three directions:
- Grab a heart card from the bulletin board and write a note to someone showing your affection. Add card to the envelope with that person's name. Should you sign your name? That's for you to decide!
- At the end of next week, everyone can pick up their mini envelope and have a heaving stack of love notes from your classmates. How lovely.