Thesis Proposal

I’m creating a framework, in the form of a series of physical objects placed in social contexts, to be experienced by New Yorkers for the purpose of encouraging mindfulness, defined as an attentive awareness of the reality of things (especially of the present moment).

Context

Personal: My thesis is intended to be a synthesis of my early education in material and form (Waldorf), my undergraduate education (B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory), my professional experince (global health), and my graduate education (design and technology).

Societal: The human species evolved a mechanism of pattern making as a way of navigating our ancestral environment. To this day, we still use our ability to sense a huge amount of data and synthesize it into a simplified cognitive experience. However, my hypothesis is that the consequential auto-pilot we exist in sometimes results in behavior adverse to our health and well-being and that of the people, animals, and environment within our circle of influence. Furthermore, as advertising and digital products become more sophisticated at capturing our attention, we become more adapted to filtering out distraction and focusing our cognition narrowly, resulting in mindless rather than mindful behavior.

Bruce Lee Design Methodology

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” ~ Bruce Lee

Design Thinking

Material Exploration

Entreneurialism



Three design approaches:

  • Design Thinking (IDEO and Stanford)
  • Material Exploration (art world, BERG London, hacker community)
  • Entrepreneurialism (tech startups, MVP/MLP)

Intended Audience

My audience are the citizens of New York. They were chosen because they represent a microcosm of the broader population of the developed world, and because of accessibility.

Intended Experience/Form

The form of my thesis will be as a series of physical objects placed in social contexts.

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