Build on what I know?

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:

  1. 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!
  2. Repeat
  3. 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.