Why take this up as a thesis?
As I talked about in my first post, the problem space of personal transportation and the driving experience is relatable experience for me. It's one I am solving starting from my own experience as well as friends and family who have similar backgrounds.
But before I talk directly about the topic, it makes sense to point out the role of thesis in the IxD program and in my education as designer.
I came to the program fresh out of undergrad interested in solving problems through design by way of diverse approaches and perspectives. Or basically, I just wanted to get out of defined mediums and executions before considering the contexts and variables of the problems, (ie. using the right tools for the right problem). Although in some cases graphic design is the right tool, I felt trapped by the point of view that had been ingrained in my education prescribing this for every problem. I had found myself defining and redefining graphic design practice and theory in order to align with the problem I wanted to solve, and after a short time I was able to bobulate out of it a direction that led me here.
Being that grad school is an opportunity to pretty much own and control my time and work in way I may not have the opportunity to do so in afterwards, my deliberating of a topic brought me to a series of interests, ideas I wanted to explore by pursuing anything.
A language problem. Being that I studied visual and ambient language prior to grad school, I wanted to explore designing ideas that made the invisible visible, and create new language systems in communicating information. I also wanted to ideate around interfaces, and breaking away from the screen space as it is currently perceived.
- Jessica Helfand Dematerialization of Screen Space
- Brendan Dawes
This statement by Mr. Dawes, for me, sums up the poetry that we build in tandem with the function of our work. Interaction Design is so much about the conversations we have with our technology, and ourselves while engaging in our everyday. I want to create something that humans can relate to, something as complex as the engineering of a car.
I want to make something that does not solve a problem with an app or a website. I want to explore physical computing during this process and work within a less saturated space of design executions. I want to test on people something foreign to the pattern of interactions that currently drive the trends in application and web design.
Some of the work that is done is school can become blue sky to the point where in constraints are hand waved in order to communicate or provoke a conversation. While this can be valuable in cases where provocation is the desired goal, and by all means my thesis is meant to provoke change and inspiration, my goal is to produce something implementable in the near future by answering to the constraints within current technological capabilities and infrastructure. This is a burry line that will be thoughtfully considered throughout.
It is with these in mind that I want to explore the problems that are arising within the auto tech industry in creating a safe and rich driving experience.