Pre-thesis Assignment#1

The pre-thesis process started off with listing down personal interests and gathering thoughts to focus on a single topic for our thesis. Even though we were all given the same steps to follow and process was outlined, no doubt the outcome would be very different for each cohort member and I was excited to see what everyone would come up with. For me the process began with reflecting internally to understand what excited me and helped me arrive at a decision through the steps outlined below:

Step #1: Inspiration Cards

This step involved making a list of all topics that interested, inspired and excited me. It covered a wide range of topics right from Color Psychology to Numismatics to Poetry and Golden Ratio. I ended up with 30 cards and every card had a special meaning in my life and it was a tough call to shortlist the topics that interested me the most.

Step #2: Card Sorting

In this step, I grouped my various interests which very similar in some way or fell under a broad category of something. My 6 groups for the 30 cards included Colors, Concepts, Activities, Books & TV, Places and Fields of Interest. This grouping helped me focus on what type of topic I wanted to dive deeper into. 

Step #3: Questions

This step involved choosing main interest groups and writing questions which dived into the three levels of interest. This exercise helped me understand why I was interested in a topic and how much was I willing to research or know more about my interest in it. For each topic on the purple card, I wrote 3 levels of questions on the aqua cards below and repeated this exercise for 21 interest cards that I had shortlisted upon.

Numismatics

Why? So many different symbols and shapes

Why? Such unique artifacts in different parts of the world

Why? Curious to know the story behind the creations

Dot Piano

Why? Combines love for piano and colors

Why? Wonderful concept to map music

Why? Plays an interesting effect on the mind

Picular

Why? Amazing tool and idea

Why? Maps a color to every single word

Why? Colors bring life to everything

Color Emotions and Psychology

Why? To know how colors affect our lives

Why? To understand the true effect of colors

Why? Everyday actions are determined by colors

Color Blindness

Why? Some people can’t see colors well

Why? Understand how the brain processes colors

Why? Create a mechanism to enable this

Phobias

Why? Meaning of fear

Why? Sub-conscious mind at play

Why? Different people have different fears

OCD

Why? Compelled to do things a certain way

Why? The reason and thoughts behind it

Why? Brain functions which create this disorder

Fractals

Why? Interesting patterns

Why? Love the play with geometry

Why? Interplay of shapes and colors and symbols

Graffiti

Why? Interplay of characters, words and colors

Why? Give a strong message in a social setting

Why? A creative way of expression

Accessibility

Why? Everyone should have equal access

Why? Inclusive design is good design

Why? Making a difference to people

Ink in Motion

Why? Feels like a world of dreams

Why? Beautiful and visually appealing

Why? Calms the mind with happiness

Entrepreneurship

Why? Freedom and control

Why? To pursue my own dream

Why? To leave a mark in this world

Yin-yang

Why? True balance of nature

Why? Applies in all aspects of life

Why? Social, philosophical and universal truth

Hiking

Why? It’s wonderful to be among nature

Why? Natures soothes us and makes us feel alive

Why? Specific problems faced during hiking

Poetry

Why? Love the rhyming sequence of words

Why? Unique way of storytelling

Why? One of a kind communication mechanism

Astrology

Why? Connection between universe elements

Why? Personalities derived from zodiac signs

Why? Scientific way to prove the hypotheses

Smiles

Why? Spread joy and positivity

Why? People look and feel good while smiling

Why? Psychological effect of thoughts on brain

Numismatics

Why? So many different symbols and shapes

Why? Unique artifacts in different parts of the world

Why? Curious about story behind the creations

Golden ratio

Why? Mystical number appears everywhere

Why? Universe is completely in balance

Why? Applications and use of golden ratio

Dolphins

Why? Beautiful mesmerizing creatures

Why? Understanding human emotions

Why? Unknown connection between creatures

Saturated (Cooper Heweit)

Why? Applications of colors in creative ways

Why? Deep understanding of colors

Why? Effects and ways to use colors

After listing the various levels of questions for each of the above interests, I identified the 5 main interest groups out of all the topics and asked the one question for each interest that deeply excites me and motivates me to find out more about that particular interest topic. The results are as follows:

Phobias and OCD: What generates fear and compulsion in the mind for real?

Color Psychology: In what true way do colors effect our emotions and decisions?

Color Blindness: Is there an effective way to enable people with color blindness to overcome it?

Fractals and Graffiti: How does the interplay of color, form and pattern help in expression of art?

Numismatics: What is the secret behind the creation of various different types of coins?

Step #4: Initial Research

After shortlisting the 5 interest groups as shown above, I proceeded to dive deeper into each of the groups by listing 5 additional questions for each topic to understand the relevance of the topic and to what extent it interested it and compelled me to find answers. As part of the secondary research I also went through multiple sources online in the form of articles, blogs, websites, videos, newsletters, papers, digital tools and examples to understand how each of these topics have been explored by others and what kind of solutions already exist. The compiled results are summarized below:

Phobias and OCD

What generates fear and compulsion in the mind for real?

  1. Why does everyday fear different scenarios, objects and situations?
  2. What triggers the obsessive compulsive disorder in the mind?
  3. Why do we develop irrational phobias?
  4. What if our fears are an indication of who we really want to be?
  5. Is there a possibility that OCD can impair your cognition level?

Color Psychology

In what true way do colors effect our emotions and decisions?

  1. What role do colors play in our lives?
  2. How are our decisions determined by the colors we see around us?
  3. In what way are our emotions controlled by colors?
  4. What if we lived in a world without any colors?
  5. Is there a connection between associating words with colors?

Color Blindness

Is there an effective way to enable people with color blindness to overcome it?

  1. How do color blind people live a normal life?
  2. Why can’t everyone perceive colors the same way?
  3. How does the brain process colors?
  4. Is there a way to overcome color blindness and ensure full color vision?
  5. In what way does a color blind person experience emotions?

Fractals and Graffiti

How does the interplay of color, form and pattern help in expression of art?

  1. What is the process behind creating Graffiti and has it changed over time?
  2. What is significance of creating fractal patterns?
  3. How do geometry, color and form affect the fractal art pattern?
  4. What if the golden ratio is employed in the creation of fractals art patterns?
  5. Why are fractal patterns so soothing?

Numismatics

What is the secret behind the creation of various different types of coins?

  1. What is the art of numismatics and how did it come about?
  2. Why is the coin of every country unique and different?
  3. How is the imprint on a coin of a country decided upon?
  4. What is the process followed to create a new coin?
  5. Is there a way to look at a coin and determine its entire story?

Thus after completing all the steps in the above process, I realized I would want to focus on colors! I am deeply interested in a range of topics focused on colors from color psychology to color emotions, fractal color patterns and color blindness. I would want my thesis to dive deeper into how colors affect us and possibly find a solution to solve the color blindness issue as well. I am interested to see what the next steps would be to formulate an exact problem statement and begin the real journey!