Discussion

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I will note down all the important notes from discussion with tutors in this section.

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week2

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This week I have prepared a Pecha Kucha style presentation to present infront of my tutor Stacey and students in my group. I will be presenting my working title and explain my ideas and reasons behind my choices and why I have chosen this particular topic area. My presentation will show my understanding of research, background knowledge, influences and preferably two one more research questions to demonstrate what I intend to look into.

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My working title at this stage is

Recontextualisation as a powerful tool / weapon in design in manipulating our thinking and perspective‘.

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After presenting, Stacey advised me to take away the word ‘weapon’ in my working title, as she said the words ‘tool’ and ‘weapon’  have different meanings. She said a weapon is more controlling to people, and is associated with negative connotations. I knew the meaning for the word ‘weapon’, however I went to search it up just to get a more precise understanding to its definition. The definition said: ‘a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage'[1]. I understood what Stacey meant by this, as the word ‘weapon’ seems to suggest the aspect of ‘war’ and ‘disagreement’. She suggested if I wanted to take that path, I could look into the topic of ‘Propaganda’, however I don’t hold a great interest in this particular area, and it seemed too serious and dull to me, so I didn’t want to follow up that suggestion. Stacey suggested my next task should be doing a lot of brainstorms and research into areas I am interested in, and write them down on paper, then later cross out the ideas I don’t like, and see what I am left with. The purpose is for me to visually see the various branches from a topic and for me to try narrow down these broad topics. I am sure doing a lot of brainstorms and more research will help expand my thoughts to a new direction. Hopefully.

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Tutorial with Vaughan Oliver

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It was good to discuss my dissertation topic with another tutor, as it will give a different insight for me and possibly give me more good ideas and suggestions. I spoke to Vaughan about how my presentation went, and what topics I’ve discussed in my Pecha Kucha presentation. I’ve discussed about:

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  • Recontextualisation using the apple as an example
  • Recontextualisation in design, such as in Sex in Advertising (an example I used was an advert from Burger King, where they’ve reappropriated the burger as a symbol of the penis).
  • Surrealism (an example was how Surrealists would use an object and reappropriate it into another context to create a new meaning)

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However Vaughan made me realise that in my discussion of examples, these examples are from completely different catogories. So infact,  I’ve actually spoken about at least 5 topics which I’ve initially thought all fitted into one topic. So I had to think of which topic I wanted to choose again. Vaughan suggested that I could possibly look into ‘Optical illusion’ of the eye if I wanted to continue within the topic area of ‘Perspective’, or I could look at ‘contemporary design with focus on the surreal eye’. I’ve actually spent a great deal of time trying to ‘narrow’ down my working title, and now I felt  frustrated again that I had to try focus on another topic, which means I will possibly have to think of another new working title.

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week3

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It was refreshing to have lecture from Liz, and to see her collection of print items such as magazines, books and leaflets she had collected over the years. Some were really rare, others I found compelling (as the typography didn’t use a grid which made it look intriguing and different. I’ve taken photos from the books and magazines I liked.

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In my tutorial with Stacey, I showed her my attempt in trying to narrow down my working title, however she said it still remained broad, and that I seem to be ‘going around in circles’ with this which I have acknowledged. I found it very hard to try narrow down my working title, it isn’t as easy as people think. Stacey suggested I could exchange ideas with my friends, or try write down some experiments I could do to help me think more. So therefore being the unfortunate, I was still stuck in the same position as last week. I look at other people’s working titles to try see how they had narrowed theirs down.

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week4

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This week’s lecture was really good in helping me to think of how we as students should approach dissertation. From the discussion from the lecture, I’ve learnt that dissertation is not just creating an argument in writing, it is more based around the idea of asking people things, and to try put this theory into experience and practice. We should use existing terms and create experiments with this in relation with our work. It is all about us contracting these experiments and analysing the results, then structuring these information into our dissertation. Therefore it is working from practice and into theory using critical thinking and methodologies. The questions we should be constantly asking ourselves are:

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  • Why are we using this methodology?
  • How does our research and experiments communicate?
  • What is the responses I have gathered? How should I apply this to my dissertation?

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It is all about building on experience.

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I am glad I have written down these important notes from this lecture, otherwise I would have forgotten the important aspects.

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week5

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Stacey suggested we should all rewrite another version of our abstracts so we would know the general idea of our thoughts and what we intend to do for the structure of our dissertation. This should give us a clearer idea of what we would include in the dissertation itself.

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  • What?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • Who?
  • When?
  • So? 

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I told Stacey I will focus my dissertation on my new revised question of ‘How has the symbol of the apple been represented and recontextualised in design’. I wanted to focus on the evolution of the symbol of the apple too. However after a few days, I felt uncomfortable with this topic because I felt as though something was missing. I didn’t think I could just talk solely on the apple, as for me, it didn’t really have a focused purpose or meaning for myself as an individual. This was when I’d emailed Stacey urgently to ask for her advice. I asked her if it would make sense to base my dissertation on ‘Visual Communication’, but to also still refer to the symbol of the apple. My working title could be tweaked later on, because at least I had a sense of direction, and I knew what I wanted to write about. She approved of me doing this, and I felt a sigh of relief.

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I was advised by my tutor to drop the ‘with reference to the symbol of the apple’ if I felt it really didn’t fit I’m with my chapters; I could still write about it, however it doesn’t really have to be a prominent aspect in my title. I was also advised to ask questions which I WANTED to find out, rather than ask questions that I ALREADY KNOW in my interviews. It was also about WHO I ask and WHAT I ask.

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References

weapon – definition of weapon by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. 2013. weapon – definition of weapon by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.thefreedictionary.com/weapon. [Accessed 08 November 2013].

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