Thesis Making

How do you start “making” for your graduate thesis in design? It was actually a somewhat difficult task. Sure, you may find that thing that interests you (for me it’s lost historical places in San Francisco) but then how do you start to make? It can be a bit paralyzing, especially if you get caught up in what the final outcome should be.

In my thesis research and development semester, our teacher offered us a methodology for making, to get us to jump off that tentative cliff of “where do I start?” With our thesis ideas freshly hatched we came up with five related key concepts (a few words that would supplement our main idea) and then just started drawing, and drawing. And drawing. We drew those key concepts twelve times, for a total of 60 drawings. Then we brought them into the computer, vectorized them, and combined them through various steps. Then we combined again. And again. Then we did this whole process over again with found images. Then we combined the vector art with the images. Then we combined again. Then we whittled down. And through this system we developed three posters.We wrote meta statements to incorporate in our posters, getting us ready to start the writing process that will come with thesis as well.  We then screen printed those posters, taking them through yet another system of sorts.

This method of “free drawing” and making without over-thinking it has been really helpful for me. Yes, in grad school you have time to draw absently and not really know your outcome, but this methodology of making is something I hope to carry with me through my whole career. It’s good practice for drawing, thinking, and exploring.

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