Thesis II is provides the context for the second half of the year-long thesis project, and builds from Thesis I to provide students with support to continue researching, designing, prototyping, and writing their thesis projects. By the time students reach Thesis II, they are fully engaged in their area of inquiry, have gained expertise in their topic, and have generated a large quantity of design work-from design gestures and discursive design concepts, through primary and secondary research, design strategies, prototypes, systems, and potential business models. Thesis II brings all of that work to fruition, focusing the student on a set of final design deliverables, a process document, and the written and oral thesis presentation.
The work performed in this class represents a culmination of the MFA program. It will therefore be oriented not only toward completing a major project, but also embodying the knowledge and strategies students have learned during the past two years. The objectives of the thesis are manifold-from rigorous process and execution to comprehensive documentation and dissemination-but the ultimate goal of the thesis is to help the student become a powerful, confident, and capable design thinker, maker, and leader. The thesis provides the context to become expert; to engage with a specific sphere of the professional world; to establish contacts that will be long lasting; and to make a significant contribution to the world of design that will be a point of pride for both the student as well as the department and school.
This class will be conducted as a seminar with student updates and presentations followed by group discussions. There will be periodic lectures. The class will be supplemented by students’ individual meetings with their External Thesis Advisers selected during Thesis 1.
Students in this course will come away with a set of tools to:
- Adhere efficiently and rigorously to a schedule for completing the thesis
- Sharpen researching and writing skills
- Sharpen oral presentation skills
- Sharpen critical skills in offering commentary on the work of fellow students
- Work as a group in determining and executing the final presentation format for the projects
- Reconcile the objective demands of design engagement with the students’ personal point of view
- Create a final set of process documents, prototypes, and written and oral documentation
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition
The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
Selected TEDTalks for insights into condensing, clarifying, and presenting specialized information to a diverse audience