The journey of thesis project development in ITP is finally about to get started.
Technically speaking though, with all the explorations and thinkings I've been through, I've embarked on the journey for years. So let's view this part of the unending expedition in ITP, marked by this blog post as the starting point, as a chapter that's set with a specific goal.
The goal is to carefully review the web of nodes I've created since my time in college, combing the entangled threads of thoughts between it, finding the hidden idea that's been incubated and glowing under the web, and finally to develop the idea. The thesis project of mine.
My college is very important to me, because it inspires my caring to respects for other beings in the world. Being respectful to other beings, in my own understanding, is to not jeopardize, and even to protect, our/other's freedom of living as long as our/their behavior is not threatening our/other's freedom of living. This definition could be elaborated to be more complete. But the point is this belief pushes me to become a person not eating meat, a consumer with environmental consciousness, a developer/designer, and a ITP student.
To review the favorite works and projects I've done, it seems like my interpretation of being respectful brings me to invest effort on catalyzing communication between different groups a lot. And the starting point of this tendency might be at TEDxTaipei, where I worked as editor, trying to spread good ideas with stories. And this experience was followed by positions as designer, writer and photographer, all with the same objective to broadcast stories from one to another end with various mediums.
Becoming a graphic designer was my dream when I was a college student. I learned and got engaged in as many graphic design practice as possible in leisure time, and finally working as a full-time graphic designer after graduation from English Department. Dream came true. But looking back, I can't really find commercial projects I worked on that's capable of representing my belief. It's my following personal or non-profit projects that articulate who I am.
The first attempt to link my awareness to social issue with visual design was COP 21 - Hope and Unity poster design series. The idea was simple: to promote the importance of COP 21 with minimal graphic design style to my designer friends. It received great feedbacks.
The second and third crucial works are all part of my ReTypography series. The concept was to redesign public objects by focusing on the infrastructure of graphic design, typography and grid system, instead of visual elements. This attention on the purist form of objects such as identity card and train ticket could bring the issues that needed to be improved easily.
After working as graphic designer for a couple of years, I felt the constraint to do things with impacts that I was hoping for at some point. What was the impacts I was looking for? I'm still not sure about that. But I knew if I stayed in the industry, I'll soon be exhausted by dealing with trivial problems from clients day after day. That's when I made the decision to learn to code.
The noble reason was that knowing how to code gives one power to actually build something, which could actually change the world. But the other intention was simple and naive (or even shallow) - seems like developers have higher authority over clients and managers from my personal experience working with them. And I want to be like that. So I learned and finally transitioned to a front-end developer.
Sadly, I didn't built something that shows my concerns about respects, environment and justice in that period. It's all websites. But I did invest a lot of efforts on helping designers communicate with developers more efficiently with various approaches, because I understand how hard it could be. I shared my experience of becoming a developer, professional way to manage UI states that developers understand, and better workflow that makes team's life easier.
Front-end development obviously didn't make me satisfied. I want to learn more about programming, and how to integrate design and technology. With this skillset, hopefully I could find a way to really make something that resonates with my belief. That's why I come to New York, to ITP.
Again, I haven't built a project that presents my belief yet. Because I've got more questions about creating in past year and half. And it is my goal to untangle this messy threads of thoughts in my head in future months, and to deliver my thesis as an output of the efforts.
Though I haven't got a final thesis idea I want to work on at this moment, it's pretty clear that I'd love to stay on the trajectory of accelerating communications between groups. I'm 100% aware that this is a terribly vague, but I'm confident about finding the focus soon. Ideally, I want the project to be something that's shifting the mindset of a certain target group. And I'll keep the blog updated with my development on thesis project.