, and that a masters thesis should be DIRECTLY relevant to this goal.I suspect that this sort of project comes from the persistent (even at the best schools I've visited) demand on design students (even at the graduate level) to "produce", "make", "create", "sell"--even when their legitimate academic concerns have nothing to do with, or are even fundamentally opposed to, such demands.
Now then, while I think that while Andrew uses data as a way to inform the design (sometimes too much in my very humble opinion) many thesis projects i have seen instead use the data AS design - and it is just not.
Analysis as a means to a thesis is just not the right way to do it, especially when it becomes the thesis.
I'm still a firm believer in the romantic notion of academia as a place of autonomous praxis, a place where the borders of the discipline can be redefined, a place where we can struggle freely to find the ways to make the world a better place.
And I'm afraid that has very little to do with all that. Graham - having recently studied in Canada, the Netherlands(briefly) and now London, I can see a range of differences between their approaches.
And perhaps most significantly, I’ve learned a lot from an incredibly international group of peers.
I’m about to embark on a thesis project that I’m passionately committed to.
I think a thesis should be a process that does not neccesarily have a finished product at the end of it, but instead is interrupted sometime in May for a good look-over by some faculty, and then continues for as long as it needs to.
Where i attend school (RISD) the BFA students (like me) only do a 'degree project' which i think falls short of a thesis (the MFA students do a thesis) - it is in the end basically just a large semester project.
Obviously, I’ve also talked to them at length about my concept and how I plan to go about doing it, yet supportive as they are, I feel I don’t have much of a barometer with which to judge my proposal.
An interesting article in Emigre 64 written by Jessica helfland and William Drenttel addressed how it is now very much in vogue to imitate the graphic style of science, charts and tables and careful “scientific” documentation.