Towards the end of October I submitted my dissertation draft for assessment to my tutor Martyn to see how good or bad things are going and the level in regards to a grade average I am at now and can achieve when submitted finally in January. Overall I was quite worried as to what the quality would be like for the piece as there was a lot of panic and worry on my part to understand how to describe and demonstrate my understanding in practice of my idea of What is the phenomenology of glass?
I was happy to discover that things are much better than I thought and there aren’t really any major concerns more simple mistakes that happen to everyone and most likely have in some shape or form in their own dissertations. Discussing with Martyn he was pleased with what was handed in and understood why what was submitted was submitted the way it was. Some areas that I brought up and afterwards to Ingrid during a Maker tutorial were the word count limit and trying to keep to the limits of every chapter given. Also with making an artefact there is another worry about how the dissertation can verbally link and correspond to an artefact which is something that I will be marked on.
Speaking to Martyn to make up for the word count and help the flow of the dissertation Martyn suggested starting each separate part of the dissertation structure with a what why and how approach. In context this means
- Why – Why am I saying this
- What – What is going to be said in this chapter
- How – How this will help the dissertations narrative
This approach will help with the word count and flow in practice of the dissertation. Another area was the conversation style were sometimes it is in first person but it needs to be in third person when in an academic context like this. When addressing an individual I need to use there surname rather than their full title and remember to include the details of quotes after the quote within the dissertation paragraph itself has been used.
On Tuesday myself and my fellow makers and Cardiff Met School of Art and Design students will be handing in our drafts of our dissertations for formative assessment before the final deadline on January 24th. So far ive had difficulty starting and continuing the flow of the essay but I appear to have found my common ground and will present this idea to my tutor Martyn on the day and see whether this is doable or not and make any alterations and extra content ready for the deadline next year.
Next Tuesday will be the formative hand in for the Dissertation/Constellation Module which I am to hand in all that I have done no matter what format that is to be valued see what works, see what doesn’t and so on. Speaking to Martyn even last year to be precise my idea and the whole point of this Dissertation has been difficult to piece together and if this is how I feel who knows what anyone else is going through. As I collect and read through more material I believe the idea is becoming clearer and is more focused now on how a broad philosophical theory which Phenomenology is has such a big impact on what I do and think as a Maker. So for the dissertation I selected the 6,000 words and artefact option which may be seen as the easier option but making hasn’t been easy for me and the fact that the object must link to the dissertation means that there is an additional two challenges to the one of the dissertation itself. But I remain confident and will try my best with this challenge and see what my feedback says and suggest whether it is better to do the full 8,000 words to 10,000 words or concentrate on the artefact and 6,000 words option. To simplify and ensure I have the correct layout for the formative as well as the official final document I came up with a rough layout plan and during tutorials highlighted what was necessary and what wasnt or was but needed to be altered to fit in with the rest. And this is the final plan layout of 4,000 words with the remaining 2,000 and the artefact to be discussed afterwards :-
- What is Phenomenology and phenomenology of glass
- Why is this important and relevant to my studies and ethos and how does this help me understand the material of glass.
- How an object is phenomenological and can be made that way
This would cover the opening 500 words of the dissertation followed by the first bulk part of around 2,000 words
- Introducing Phenomenology
- The theory and methods of Edmund Husserl
- The Theory and methods of Maurice Merleau Ponty
- How are objects phenomenological
Following that with the bulk of the research in place I would move onto:-
- The phenomenology of glass
- Don Ihde
Which would leave me with the remaining word count to focus on the object and the findings overall combined with the theoretical discoveries and arguments of Maurice Merleau Ponty and Edward Husrel
One concept that has come up throughout my work since the beginning of Maker and during my work for the final year is this battle between the simple and pattern. Many of my friends balance the boat on this category with the idea less is more and why complicate a design with pattern when the beauty of the natural material shines through.
As much as I love pattern I understand the desires of both cases and this is something im interested in exploring and even approaching artists about. I believe that as a maker there is a great deal of interpretation and face value to what we individually make but the idea of what the viewer sees in comparison to what you see and what you want them to see and think remains a blurred vision. For my work throughout the year im aiming to challenge this idea by making simplified and more complexed pieces and ask individuals their interpretation of them when viewed and their interpretation when I present them in some shape or form what my pieces mean to me.
Also this seems to be flowing into the idea that my dissertation is about. For my dissertation I have been looking into the idea of phenomenology and the broad relationship we have to objects which is of interest to me as ive always wondered why my work is viewed in one way when I see it in another, And if there is a reason for this more in the sense of the experience of the object and its presentation on Maker. I believe that this is something that will benefit me on Maker and also in future experiences as making work that the general public can see and interact with is something id like to potentially do in the future.
With the Formative hand in after the coming week things are getting more and more real in an exciting and terrifying way. My dissertation topic point has been and is still causing me problems but I believe I have found a way to channel a problem to create an idea and a practical outcome that I can collaborate with my exhibit work on Maker. The basis of my dissertation is on the philosophy of Phenomenology and the material of glass using the practical philosophies and opinions of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau Ponty which will be able to give myself a better understanding of my relationship with the objects I make, what they mean and the psychological meaning they have on me and the message I would like these pieces to have on the audience and any potential buyers of my work. My tutorials of recent have highlighted that I am expected to have the minimum of 4,500 words with the remaining 1,500 covered after the deadline due to this being focused on the artefact that will accompany that will be focus of the 4,500 words and 1,500 word combined, but until this has been proofread and annotated remains static until feedback on the dissertation so far has occurred.
For my artefact/object im looking to create a piece that embodies both sides of my way of thinking when presented with a topic and allows adaption to achieve a goal whilst challenging to complete that goal. this as I can imagine reading it is difficult but will prove rewarding in more ways than one for future endeavours.
With Third year starting in September and Dissertation hand in deadline in February/March there is a time to get things done for the dissertation and the time is now. Through the options that were available for the dissertation being
- 8,000 to 10,000 word
- 6,000 word and a physical object
- Written dissertation and accompanying presentation
- Written Dissertation and business Plan
Based on the ideas that were put forwarded and approved by Martyn The option picked was the 6,000 word document and a physical object. The idea behind the dissertation was the idea of Phenomenology and Glass and how the two one being an idea and theoretical theory and the other being a material link together along with what I have learnt in constellation over the past two years. Admittedly the connection between the two to me is there but finding it and bringing it together aren’t fully realised in my head yet so things will have to play out until they come together or that starting point is found. Despite this I have started the dissertation opening part and am hoping to have at least half of the essay done by the end of the month and the start of August just to give myself targets and stay on track with the other things I need to do.
With second year Maker over my attention is now mainly on the Dissertation and the task set by my tutors on Maker in Preparation for third year. For my dissertation Martyn my constellation tutor has been a massive help and to get a 67% mark which is only 3% from a 1st equivalent is an achievement in my eyes and a goal setter for the actual dissertation itself.
If im honest due to the feedback on my making quality a outcome piece alongside the dissertation is a cause for concern and how the link between the artefact and the essay itself link im not fully sure of but will probably have a better idea of when ive started. Speaking to Clive Cazeaux who specialises in the higher level of study more along the lines of masters and PHD qualification was able to give me key points that I wouldn’t have got through my own research.