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THESIS I - Research & ideas My Nguyen Fall 2012 December 22nd Upload

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1. tHE BEHIND STORY MY INTEREST I find myself attracted to the choices that people make to represent themselves. I am an insane observer, I look at what people wear, what kind fashion, how people write, how they walk, how they talk, etc‌ MY PREVIOUS IDEAS & WHY THEY DID NOT WORK From the very beginning of this semester, I had already begun observing and analyzing people's personalities by forming a small study of their handwriting styles. The purpose of the study was to learn how a person's personality, environment (nature vs. nurture) and culture (e.g education, upbringing) influences their handwriting, in order to show my viewers how their handwriting is a reflection of themselves. After a few weeks of research, I ran into many problems regarding the clarity and validity of the investigation. I had troubles making the connection between the different components and forming a refine thesis idea. With more research and fail attempts to prototype, I finally realized that my interest lies solely on the construction of individual's image which reflects his/her personality. I then thought of the idea to brand individuals by coming up with a branding package to portray them. I am doing this because I am interested in exploring how to represent people. I plan the outcome or the product of this project to be in many different forms, according to what method of branding I will use to represent each individuals. For example, the person can be branded using or via a digital product (i.e website) or a physical object (i.e a book or an action figure). (Possible examples includes business card, perfume bottle, pencil case, erasers).

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In terms of setting boundaries for my projects, I need to be selective when it comes to determining who to brand, and the exact number of people to brand. Do I find people with similarities or differences. Perhaps, I could set out similar and special categories. My target audience is going to be college students, female and male, age 18 to 28 who are enthusiastic to learn and discover themselves, to find out who they are, what are their dreams, how do they shape themselves in the future. This branding idea did not work either because I did not clearly identify why people would want to brand themselves using my methods. Who am I to determine what is right, what is wrong about the person. The project cannot be validated if it is based on my opinion. I moved on and decided to create an interactive platform that would let people create visual representations of themselves like an avatar. However I could not relate how this system would help show different representations of people.


2. tHE THESIS PROPOSAL WHY?

WHAT?

I went back into thinking about why I am attracted to the choices that people make to represent themselves. I realized that the diversity of my friends has led me to be so interested in them. My friends are the reasons why I have this interest.

I want to make a book that documents the image of my friends in my perspective, in my illustration style to document my memory of them while it lasts. This book will be a visual memory of my friends, it is something tangible that I can keep.

I was born in Viet Nam and during my school years, I went to two types of schools, Vietnamese public school where Vietnamese is the only language and International school where English is the main language. For college, I came to America, another different English speaking environment. Throughout all these different environments, I had met and made so many friends. They all came from different countries, different backgrounds, they are all so different and special in their own ways. However people come and go, you are so close to a friend one day and the next day you have to be ready to say goodbye. Long distance friendship is never the same as the time we spend together, studying, eating, talking, hanging out, going through hardship with each other every day.

HOW? Over winter break, first I will have to work on clarifying the parameters for my book, 1. The number of friends, and their specific names 2. Their story, formulate a set of interview questions 3. List the specific categories and content of the book 4. Prototype the book 5. Define the target audience 6. Find precedents, artist who have done documents about their friends 7. Visual design research for the illustration style, book binding. The problem that I am addressing here is how to document my memory, especially my images of my friends, their personalities, their likes/dislikes and their habits. Nowadays, we take pictures wherever we go, to regular dinner dates or to someone's birthday party. We takes so many pictures because we want to keep the memory of that day vivid but the pictures do not have any meaning if you don't give it any. SUMMARY AND WHOM? I am very interested in my friends as they're all different and because they come from different parts of the world, I may not always be around them. I think their stories are interesting and should be told. I want to research story telling and biography style book making. My target audience is anyone who's willing to listen. Through research and prototyping over winter break, I want to find ways to make it visually interesting to attract my audience.

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inspirations I Monday, December 17, 12

The Kawaii World Cute Little Figures


inspirations II Monday, December 17, 12

Colors / Patterns Fashion Illustration


inspirations III Monday, December 17, 12

My Instagram Minimalism Package Design


GOALS • Research (Current - January 2013) Over winter break, first I will have to work on clarifying the parameters for my book, 1. The number of friends, and their specific names 2. The story about how we became friends. 3. List the specific categories and content of the book 4. Prototype the book 5. Define the target audience 6. Find precedents, artist who have done documents about their friends 7. Visual design research for the illustration style, book binding.

• Prototypes (Current - January 2013) • Character drawings (January 2013 - March 2013) • Book Making (February 2013 - March 2013) • Final

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previous ideas

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JR ABH

visual representation Monday, December 17, 12

OF INDIVIDUALS 1. Handwriting 2. Branding


ELABORATING THE IDEA - WHAT Thesis Proposal • I am interested in the choices that people make to create their visual appearance. • I will create an interactive platform that allow users to create their own visual representation, through fashion, body shapes, facial features, hair style. etc

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how RESEARCH I • Existing Avatars + Wii + The Sims + online avatars

RESEARCH II • Types of people + personality + archetypes + stereotypes

DECIDE PARAMETERS • Number of categories • What are the categories

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WHY - purpose • Target Audience : college students ✴ Allow college students to make a visual representation of themselves that is.. a. unique b. fun c. contemporary d. better than other online avatars

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next steps... • Research (Current - January 2013) • Prototypes (Current - January 2013) • Character drawings (January 2013 - March 2013) • Website design (January 2013 - March 2013) • User test (February 2013 - March 2013) • Code (January 2013 - March 2013) • User test (February 2013 - March 2013) • Code (February 2013 - April 2013) • Final

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2.Ha noi 36 STREETS Interactive history map

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36 streets Monday, December 17, 12

•Old Quarter •Special Names •Special Infrastructure


36 STREETS - WHY SIGNIFICANT 36 Streets are… a. in the Old Quarter +preserved district in Hanoi, capital of Viet Nam +created a thousand years ago when the 11th dynasty’s king moved the capital to Thang Long, known as Ha Noi today b. streets named after products-used to be sold here +some changed +e.g silver street sells silver +e.g hat street doesn’t sell hats anymore c. Streets, narrow +Long tubes houses +Sell in front, live at the back

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themes OLD MEETS NEW • Ancient infrastructure and modern (active trade) • Respect History and Embrace urbanization

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ELABORATING THE IDEA - WHAT & why Thesis Proposal • Information about Ha Noi’s 36th streets in English is unavailable in english • I want to make an interactive history map of Ha Noi’s 36 streets • what they sell before, what they sell now • To inform tourists about its existence and its history • Because I think attention for this place is overlooked, and this is where I was born

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how? SECONDARY RESEARCH • This information exists in Vietnamese - needs translation • Precedents

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PRIMARY RESEARCH • Interview locals / tourists • Take actual tours


PRECEDENTS

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next steps... •

Research (Current - January 2013)

Design prototypes (Current - January 2013)

User test (January 2013 - March 2013)

Code (January 2013 - April 2013)

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CONCLUSION IDEA I •

Visual representation of self

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IDEA II • Interactive History map


PROBLEMs & challenges •

VISUAL REPRESENTATION

36 STREETS

a. what to base appearance options on

•a. what is the best way to communicate history •b. must be fun •c. must be interactive •d. can you suggest some tourist websites that

-can I use existing personalities online e.g horoscope -What other reference can I use? -Can I come up with my own? -Do I take pictures of random people and illustrate them? -Can I come up with how each style will look like through my illustration style

•b. setting parameters for appearance •c. what do different personalities/"types" look like

-

What are the things that the characters will have on my platform? body types, facial emotions, clothing, typography, things that they eat?

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has tackled this kind of project?

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Thesis 1 December 22nd Upload

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