Archive for September 25th, 2013

September 25, 2013

Thesis Cloud

Thesis Cloud

This image is the result of our first assignment for the M1 Studio. The goal of the assignment was to create a gathering of research in the areas relating to our thesis work. My interests revolve around the application of an integrated development and planning method at a local level in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the same time I wish to ask big questions about if development globally can take on an integrated method across scales, and if new technologies can aid in the data collection, prototyping, and dissemination of development plans, policies, and even small community initiatives. The local scale becomes incredibly important in a country where most development is unplanned and the central government has little participation in municipal activity.

I approached my cloud by establishing that my thesis involves three main categories: context, theory, and methods. The context is the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Beni which is located in the Great Lakes region. The theories that my thesis involves include the very different topics of development, games, and visual communication. Methods are the way an initiative is carried out: data collection, mapping, and planning methods. Planning methods can be understood as how the community becomes involved in the initiative, how technology is employed, etc. As I began laying out these subtopics in a venn diagram, I began to discover intersections that corresponded with my research or even gave me a new question that I had not yet considered. An example of this is that I was first inspired by regular board games and how their cooperative strategy and visual understanding could be applied to an integrated form of development. This led me to discover that economic game theory is an established subject of study and is actually beginning to be applied in more recent years to policymaking. What these complex strategies still lack, however, is visual communication strategy.

Creating the thesis cloud was a very healthy exercise by which┬áI was forced to really contemplate and sort through and find the relationships between my ideas.The next step of my research will involve looking in-depth at various case studies to analyze and learn from them. These will mostly consist of precedents that have been considered in my “methods” category, but I may be interested in finding and studying a related situation that employs game theory and seeing how the complexities could perhaps be more clearly visualized and understood.