My working title has changed a lot, one of the main reasons why is because it is still ‘too broad’ and needs narrowing down. It wasn’t an easy task for me to do at all, and at times I panicked quite a lot because I see my peers skipping off happily with their working title already narrowed down, and mine would still remain broad. I’ve changed from various different topics. Here you can view my progression on my initial working titles and the topics I’ve chosen from the beginning. I feel that I have spent too much time on trying to ‘perfect’ my working title and I have been over-thinking too much.
From my brainstorms, it helped generate a few ideas on which topic I should choose for my dissertation. Selecting a topic was also a difficult task, as there were so many sectors I could take on further. What also worried me was that I was afraid I won’t be able to write 8000-10000 words on just one topic. What if I couldn’t find enough research? What if I wanted to change my topic to something entirely different when it was too late? Choosing a main focus was proven to be difficult.
I’ve tried doing a lot of brainstorms, research and browsing the library from shelf to shelf to try help stimulate my thoughts and inspiration.
At the very beginning, I was intrigued to look into the topic area of ‘the representation of body image in the media‘ or ‘gender stereotypes in the media‘. I am interested in these ‘body image’ topics because I’ve learnt a lot about it during my A levels in Media Studies. However from feedback in my presentation, my tutors suggested that it seemed too focused on the ‘media’, and I should try relate it more with design and try steer it into a design related direction.
Here were my initial research questions related with ‘The Media‘:
- How much does the media affect our perception of what beauty really is?
- How has the media impacted our health and way of behaving In relation with self imagery?
- Is the ideal representation of beauty realistic in the media?
My first questions based on ‘Perception / Representation & Art‘:
- Does the relation between what we see and know influence our way of thinking?
- How does art change the way we see things?
- How does our cultural background influence our perception of an artwork?
So taking my feedback comments into consideration, I selected one of the research questions I had and tried to relate it more within the design aspect. Here is my first revised question:
- How the virtual world in design and the media has impacted us physically and mentally?
- Recontextualisation as a powerful tool in design in manipulating our thinking and perspective.
From feedback, my dissertation tutor suggested that maybe the word ‘tool’ isn’t the right term to use in this sentence, she had also said I need to narrow it down my title a bit more. The feedback confused me even more as I thought how could I possible narrow it down even more? Perhaps looking into more research could help me think further. I would try do more brainstorms and cross words out to see what I could do to help.
My other revised questions based on ‘perception‘. I tried switching the words around to see what I could come up with and hope that it could result in a better narrowed down title:
- How image how deceive our ways of seeing?
- How does our perspective and ways of seeing affect the way we see imagery?
- How does our ways of seeing affect our views on image perception (with reference to Van Gogh’s work)?
After much debate and feedback, I’ve decided to focus on a specific area to narrow it down more, and I wanted to base my working title on ‘perception‘ and ‘recontextualisation‘. So I thought I could focus on the symbol of the apple. This idea derived from using the apple as an example in my presentation, and I feel it is a good focus as the apple has great in-depth meaning behind it.
There is much meaning behind the symbol of the apple, and it has been widely used in literature and has been present in various mediums across the world. The apple has a diverse significance for every culture and media texts, such as throughout Greek mythology, the apple has been a symbol for both love and discord, whilst for my culture (China), the apple represents a symbol of beauty, purity, health and innocence. We treasure the beauty of apples, and they are considered as a pleasure to eat. The apples sold in oriental shops are usually sold separately, which portrays the idea of it as a valuable item. In my family, apples and other fruits are often consumed after a family meal as dessert; we consider apples as a very healthy substitute for any sugary desserts. (Please refer to my ‘Research’ tab for more information). For others, apples may symbolise wealth, love, temptation, reincarnation and so on. So there is a lot of talk about within the subject of the apple, and it from my knowledge of the apple, I’ve considered this topic as a great one for me to take on further.
My revised questions based on the apple include:
- How has the symbol of the apple evolved in time?
- How has people’s perception of the apple as a symbol changed in time?
- How has the symbol of the apple been represented and recontextualised in design?
- How has the symbol of the apple changed / evolved over time (with reference to recontextualisation)?
S T R E S S . . . P A N I C M O D E.
After all this, I’ve still felt slightly uncomfortable. There was something constantly worrying me at the back of my head. I began to stress and panic once again, because I felt like something was missing in my working title. It was hard to describe, but I felt I can’t just talk solely about the apple. It didn’t make sense to me…I was panicking…panicking..panicking. Many weeks have passed, and I was still stuck on my question?? This was insane. You could imagine how I’ve felt. So I decided to pull myself together and base it on what I’ve initially really wanted to do: ‘Perception’, ‘ways of seeing’ and ‘perspective’. I’ve chosen to use ‘Visual Communication‘ in my working title to stop me from going crazy. My revised question is now:
- How does our various perspectives affect our ways of seeing through visual communication? (with reference to the apple as a symbol).
Here it is bigger for emphasis:
I still wanted to include the symbol of the apple because for me, it is the perfect symbol in representing the breakdown of ‘Visual Communication‘. There is more than meets the eye; and this statement can be applied to how we view visual imagery; it needed to be broken down into stages in order to explain and show the progression of how images communicate to us.
So I’ve decided to break it down in this structure:
This working title can be tweaked later on, but I will not spend all of my time on trying to ‘perfect’ it anymore as it is too time consuming and it will drive me insane. Adios title. For now.
I’ve decided to remove the ‘with reference to the apple as a symbol’ part because I didn’t feel it was needed anymore. I did include many examples of the apple a symbol in my text, however it doesn’t play a big role in my title anymore. Removing it helps to keep my title simple.