So it begins

Summer has been officially going on for almost a month and today is the first day I’ve dedicated any legitimate time to my thesis research. My thesis is exploring my avid interest in keys. (See my KYT: Keys You Trust project, and some of the design process here and here.  ). I’m trying to dive into the history, symbolism and aesthetics of the key, all in the hopes that I’ll have enough material to compile a great story to tell come Fall.

For the past month as much as I would have liked to sleep in and eat cookies all day, I’ve kept pretty busy. I’m working on a new book edited by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips called Graphic Design Thinking: Tools for Defining Problems, Getting Ideas and Creating Form. It features work from me, my fellow MICA Graphic Design MFA’ers as well as some phenomenal working professionals. One of the benefits of working on the book is that because I’ve become familiar with the content, I can use a lot of the strategies we showcase in the book to kick off my thesis research—imagine that!

I present to you Mind Maps based on four topics:

1. objects related to keys (see mind map above)
2. representations related to the key: pictures, terminology, diagrams and gestures , etc.

3. concepts of the key and how it gives those related objects and representations meaning

4. strategies that use those objects and representations

This 4 step evaluation process comes from Stephen Farrell, Associate Professor of the School of the Art Institute College of Art of Chicago. I also am a list oriented person, so I went to Wikipedia and typed in “key”, and as I read the entry, I wrote down all the terms I thought were interesting and it’s a nice way to familiarize myself with the vocabulary of the key world.

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