After some distance yesterday, I’ve decided to work on the following points in order to strengthen my thesis argument. The intent of my adviser’s email was to help defend my thesis topic and area of interest. So how do I make my thesis Bulletpoof? How can I use joy to not only strengthen, but to defend, against the haters??
My mission this week is to resolve the following:
1. Draft a clear definition of the word joy, without using the word joy. If anyone has suggestions on this, I’m all ears. I keep hearing this suggestion, and while I think joy is different to every person, and there’s no one size fits all definition, I will create one. So that is step one.
2. I’m debating reworking my abstract. Here’s been my working abstract statement:
In my thesis, I’m investigating the power of joy and delight to grow as a designer and creator.
I like this statement because it identifies in one clear sentence what the hell I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. I don’t want a paragraph-long abstract statement. I want one sentence, and I think this one works. So, as a compromise, I will rewrite a “Abstract, cont.” section, and write a new “Justification.” I was thinking about substituting the word “play” for “delight” but I don’t like the way that works in my thesis title. I like joy and delight together, and play adds another element that I’d have to substantiate, and my thesis isn’t about “play” per say.
I also need to remove all questions from my abstract section(s). At this point, I shouldn’t be asking questions, I should be answering them!
3. Rework my delimitaions (what my thesis is not). As much as I hate to redo yet another section, I do like how Rebecca had simple short statements. No explanation necessary. I’d like mine to work in that way. I’m also debating removing my personal views on typical MFA politics (my distaste for tired academics and over conceptualization). I found my old roommate’s blog, and I think he sums it up better than I could,
“Why can’t design be irreverent, funny yet practical. Sometimes I wonder if most designers mainly design things for their peers (that small group of people you went to art school with that always get-it because they’ve been soooo institutionalized) and not for the public in which they might serve.
Why do designers have to be soooo goddman pretentious? High and mighty? Elitist?”
I want my thesis to be emotional, irrational, and above all things, personal. I feel a greater connection to work created in that way, and I believe there are others that feel the same way. Why can’t design be open, honest, and simple??
But the GREAT thing about doing a thesis, is that I get to do whatever I want. This is all about my view on design. Take it or live it. Like joy, it’s an opportunity.
4. Make my bibliography heavier. It was suggested that my bibliography needs to be of more weight and substance. I was told design books and Ted talks are not good enough sources for a thesis. Ok, so maybe I need find more readings, but when watching a Ted talk, attending a lecture, or conducting an interview with the actual artist, how is that not valid? Does it have to be published in a book to be true? Sounds like a question for my pal Brenda. But, this isn’t a battle I’m interested in fighting, so I’ll bite the bullet, and move on. I have bigger fish to fry!
In closing, since we’re on the subject of being bulletproof, I’ll leave you with the wise words of La Roux: