I know that there was not a formal request for us to place the written work and concept map on the blog platform but I did want to do this by the close of the course.
Here is the Final Concept Map:
and here is the written investigation:
This has been a positive experience. I have been able to learn about all that goes into the building of a thesis statement and study. Even though I had some experience when I earned my MA, I find that the design field has its own unique challenges. I do intend to explore another topic as I move forward but this course gave me all the tools that I need to move forward in a new direction. I appreciate the help of my classmates and Professor Field (Louise).
The idea of participating in a crowdsourcing design contest is a fairly new one. In the last five years we have seen the emergence of some prominent crowd design companies such as 99designs. Many have argued that these organizations need to take into account the skills and knowledge that are needed to perform the design tasks needed. It has been interesting delving deeper into this topic and controversial design issue.
I do understand that this course is new and in development. I think that it may be important to move some elements of the course into earlier stages of the work. I spoke to some other MFA graduates from other colleges and they discussed how they spent a long time developing their statement but they also spent time developing their preliminary written piece. It would help to work on earlier preliminary renditions of the paper entry. There definitely needs to be extensive time for developing the thesis statement but I think that working in a preliminary outline (just as we did) would be helpful. Since motion is so new to me I think that have a preliminary submission of the video piece would be helpful too. Helpful “tips and tricks” information could be tremendously useful to someone that is new at this practice.
This was a very good learning experience for me.
I would actually love to take this class again (and again).
I think it was very helpful to put together an outline before I completed the written assignment for my thesis. It helped as I organized my ideas. What I found to be promising was that I found several points in the paper where I can insert some of the personal findings that i discovered in the three interviews that I conducted. I found that some of the thoughts that were brought out in the interviews were useful as I shaped the various sections of the paper.
Here is the outline for my thesis statement.
or here is a PDF version:
In the course platform we were asked to post our thoughts on the Interview process. I was able to post two reflections. One describes the way that I felt just following the point when my interviewee decided to decline. The last reflection reveals my thoughts after he reconsidered and after I found two others to participate in this process.
I was elated. I thought that I should post the three interviews here.
Here they are in pdf form.
I do wish to make another reflection posting after finally securing my interview. I learned a lot in this process. My initial thoughts were that the language used in my questioning might have resulted in the first subject declining. My words were very sharp and my questioning was leading. I believe that this made the experience a bit uncomfortable for my prospective interviewee. As I described in my early thread posting on the process, it is very important to stay open to all possibilities. I believe showing this openness even in these early stages would yield the best responses.
It is very encouraging that I ultimately managed to conduct three interviews. They were each completed with the exchange of emails. What resulted was my discovery of a much broaden spectrum of thoughts on this subject. I am pleased that I was able to reach out to two other individuals that could provide informed opinions on this subject.
Currently I have three very different interviews. The interview that I conducted with Professor Ikeda got me to scrutinize the global experience. Interestingly, I am discovering that many individuals have specific thoughts on crowdsourcing that are linked to their lives and experiences which are part of the international design landscape. Seiji Ikeda was born California and attended Kansas State University. He pointed to sentiments that are of those participants outside of the United States design market. I gained insights that I would not have received if I stayed within a group of individuals that were strictly working in and about the United States of America.
In one interview subject I did see an openness to accepting new methods but I also sensed in another a sense of strong devotion to the past methods and proven, traditional principles. Instructor Anguiano’s opinions closely reflect my own thoughts on the matter. He believes that the design industry will not allow the practice of crowdsourcing to dominate the business.
All of the views were intriguing. The last interview captured a spirit of hope and exuberance. Navarro is one of my former students who wish to train himself and build his own portfolio. The lack of finances has forced him to leave college and he sees crowdsourcing as a way to help him bolster his portfolio.
Each interviewee gave me some extremely helpful thoughts on what the future may hold for designers in relation to this new and rising process.
The challenge in the interviewing process is to remain open and not make large assumptions about any subjects. In my preparation I have observed the techniques of some brilliant interviewers. One that has been an individual that I have admired for years is Terry Gross, the NPR Fresh Air program host. She consistently manages to draw out such crucial and valuable information from her various guests.
As a child growing up in New York City I believed that I was, in small part, a product of talk radio. Each morning was filled with a combination of talk radio and top song parade stations. I was well aware of the happenings during those times. That accounted for some of my early educational experiences. All members of my family were interested in current events and we actively discussed the topics of the day. The practice of listening to talk radio was a part of our lives. I remember insisting on playing talk radio shows as I went to sleep in my teenaged years. I relished the exploration of topics of the day.
Now as I formulate additional questions, I hope to be as gracious as the interviewers that I admired in my youth. The Professor that was receptive to my interview responded in a very prompt manner but he ultimately bowed out of the process. I was very disappointed because I gave him a good amount of time to complete the questions and he responded on the day that he promised to complete the questions.
I have contacted two other individuals that may be able to help me at this late stage. I intend to hear form them this evening and receive my responses within the next day. I do think that the controversy that is attached to the practice of crowdsourcing may have changed the mind of my initial candidates.
I have formulated two news sets of questions and I am eager to find out the thoughts of a seasoned design professional and longtime design instructor as well as the thoughts of a former student that is heavily involved in participating in crowdsourcing competitions in logo design.
In my closing comments I would like to return to the well-known interviewer, Terry Gross. She is doing something very well because she has 4.5 million listeners daily. Gross states, “I’ve always been really curious about things and slightly confused by the world, and I think someone who feels that way is in a good position to be the one asking questions.” I do believe that it is my curiosity that is driving my feelings of anticipation about the series of questions that I composed. It is curiosity that has me anxious to receive the final responses.
Gross, Terry, Brainy Quotes, Web 19 February.
At the start of my quest for material on the Henri Matisse Exhibition I decided to contact a librarian, Kristin that I often work with personally at my on-ground college. She recommended some databases that I can utilize on-ground at our college. She was able to direct me to two databases. One was linked to ProQuest, which holds a vast quantity of material on art, and the other was Oxford Art Online. In the description on the ProQuest offerings it shows that there are scholarly journals, trade and consumer titles on art. I think that this would be a very good starting point.
In addition to the information that I received from Kristin, I decided to try the live CHAT feature on the library section of the SCAD platform. I was pleased to have a librarian that I could discuss my search with online. After describing what I intended to do and describing the two databases, the SCAD librarian told me that the Oxford Art Online database was more of encyclopedia. It was recommended that I look into ProQuest Art as well as JSTOR. The librarian was quick to mention that there was a helpful advanced search option that could be of great help to me.
It felt good to have some kind of a roadmap in place before I started on my search. I consider this the preliminary stages of my journey. I will add another post when I tap into some helpful findings. I do believe that the library is a great support when you do not have a clear direction ahead of you. It was a good experience to get in-person and distance help on this topic. Right now I am involved in gathering information.
This is information concerning my choices of interview candidates.
Jenny Vogel received her MFA for Hunter College. Professor Vogel emphasized computer technology in her work with a focus on new media technology. Her work is grounded on the use of blogs and online forums for source material. She teaches Introduction to Media Arts that handles code-based media in contrast to traditional forms of expression.
Professor Vogel teaches a course in participatory art that has some related value to my exploration of crowdsourcing. This knowledge is helpful in examining the contribution of the creative individual in a developmental process.
Here is a portion of the course description:
“Participatory Art is considered as a multi-faceted art form in which the audience plays an integral part and sometimes even becomes the creator of the work. The class focuses on performance and site-specific aspect of Participatory Art, but NetArt and alternative categories are explored. Students familiarize themselves with a variety of tools to facilitate participatory and interactive processes, such as live-streaming video editing software and HTML coding. The course introduces the history and theory of Participatory Art, as well as various approaches from related fields such as theater, gaming and activism.”
Zenas Seiji Ikedo received his MFA from Kansas State University in Visual Communications. He bases his research in new technologies. In his University of North Texas biography it is noted, “he continues to research new technologies and the digital age as related to the web, digital ethnography, gaming and world cultures.” Professor Ikedo is an individual that provide great insight on this web phenomenon of crowdsourcing as well as give commentary on the value of the design professional in this process.
I believe that both of these individuals will have some valuable knowledge to share about the value of the creative professional that is trained and educated in the field of design/visual communications. I am confident that Professor Ikedo will be able to provide great insight in the phenomenon of crowdsourcing and how it is impacting the realm of visual communication.
My cable/internet company was servicing my area due to storms that happened yesterday evening and they just got my area going again. This has had an impact on the work that I wanted to post tonight. Hopefully, I will have everything in place within the next few hours.
Here is my Annotated Bibliography and Concept Map. I am energized about continuing on a new path. I believe that i will be well prepared to complete my objective with the help of the research material that I will gather along the way. I have a full annotated bibliography but I do intend to also include some additional work that I have learned about in my readings. I know that Debbie Millman has done some work on this matter. I am excited about branching out and discovering the opinions of many with the design field.
My objective is to show the value of the design process as it relates to the contribution of human experience. This connects to such aspects of preparation as experience, research, and training. After discussing my original plan on Friday evening I decide to contrast the design process to the practices used in crowdsourcing. I do not think that this is a departure from my original idea in that I am still interested in advancing and elevating the attributes of the individual in the practice of design.
New Thesis Statement:
Crowdsourcing: An Ever-widening, Gaping Hole
Crowdsourcing denigrates reputable design practice by validating the work of amateurs and devaluing the role of the trained creative professional. It stimulated a pronounced shift in the marketplace resulting in the elevation of fallacious and sub-par creations. This study will argue that quality design born out of human experience, research, education and training far eclipses results achieved by individuals that are accessed through the methods of crowdsourcing.