MYRIAM D. DIATTA, BFA, MFA, PhD 

/meer-yam jaa-ta/
(b. 1990 Dakar)


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A GUIDE FOR DOING THESIS PROJECTS: FOR DESIGN STUDENTS
A cheat sheet to bring some transparency to thesis expectations in design 
2019


Author(s): Myriam D. Diatta
Page Count: 11
To access the guide in its final form, an open document, visit here.




This guide is a self-initiated, independent project. It is a cheat sheet to bring some transparency to the common assumptions and reasoning behind thesis expectations in Design schools in the U.S.—a commonly rough experience for students dominated by whiteness and patriarchy. Below, is an excerpt from the closing statement of the guide:

“It’s important to lay out the paths for approaching a thesis project because the path you take is an invisible factor. It is less obvious than how your relationship with your professors or supervisors is going, less obvious than your weekly schedule and free time, less obvious than your grades or evaluations. But it’s just as real. Conducting a thesis project is a challenging, rigorous process. It affects your health and emotional wellbeing. Being strategic about how you go about it is an important self care and self-preservation tactic! You are not your thesis. It is one project in the many fabulous facets of you and your life! I’m currently working on my third design-specific thesis project. It’s a side-effect from my perpetual status as a student and on-and-off part-time faculty member at Parsons and Pratt Institute. The things I’ve written in this document are attributed to things I learned from advisors and taught myself from my undergraduate, masters, and now in-progress doctorate education in design. Special thanks to the Transdisciplinary Design MFA program at Parsons The New School (Class of 2012 faculty and friends), Mathan Ratinam, Lisa Grocott, Patricia Beirne, Jamer Hunt, Gene Bawden, Shana Agid, and Yoko Akama for guiding me on how to navigate, strategize and have a lot of fun with crafting a thesis project in design.”

Keywords

pedagogy, design, thesis, student, design research, instruction

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