Tuesday, February 28, 2012

After Talking to Professor Jones and Professor Singer

Current Problem and Purpose Statements (Will explain the slight change—"experience" to "education"—later in this post):

There is insufficient professional practice education for Design & Industry students at San Francisco State University.

The purpose of this study was to promote the significance of professional practice education for Design & Industry students.

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After talking to Professor Jones and Professor Singer, I've realized a lot of things, but these are key:
  • This is not an issue the college is not aware of. Everyone knows about this, it's talked about every semester, every year. It boils down to resources, to money.
  • Is it impossible to accomplish? For now—perhaps. But if it is something I believe in, I shouldn't give up. It's the only way to make a difference.
  • I have to be extremely creative and convincing.
  • Offering a professional practice experience might not be feasible, since students can also screw up work (which falls on the supervisor and the clients) and, also, it would be difficult to find projects that fit perfectly within the semester schedule. More feasible would be to offer a professional practice education, which students here severely lack.
  • There are several options to provide this education, hypothetically. However, the biggest issues are resources. We need to convince the college that this education is valuable.
  • Additionally, we'd have to figure out a curriculum.
  • It was suggested that I talk to Bob Aufuldish (who headed the successful Sputnik program at USF) and also visit studios to find out what they want in new design graduates.
I have a lot of work to do. Time to roll up the sleeves.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Problem & Purpose Statement: Progress After Speaking with Professor Singer and Professor Hamid

As it stands, my Problem & Purpose Statements:

At San Francisco State University, there are insufficient resources to support professional practice experiences for Design & Industry students.

The purpose of this study was to discover a solution for the lack of professional practice experiences for Design & Industry Students students.

What I gathered from my meetings with Professor Singer and Professor Khalid to discuss my proposed design problem:

After speaking with Professor Singer (Design & Industry: Visual Communication Design) and Professor Khalid (Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts), I gained a lot of valuable insight and feedback. However—this actually doesn't mean that my Problem & Purpose Statements are close to being finalized; in fact, it moreso means that I have a lot more to consider and think about. Before speaking to the two gentlemen, I had believed that discussing my research problem with them would serve as the catalyst to solidifying my direction. However, if anything, it's pushed me further away, with the revelations of obstacles that I need to heavily bear in mind.

In a nutshell:

Professor Singer: explained to me that student design work for real clients (such as other professors and departments on campus) CANNOT be student-run and NEED supervision to ensure that the work is managed and executed properly. As students, we simply do not have enough knowledge and experience to be successful without the right guidance; if anything, chances are we’ll end up screwing up and putting the DAI department in poor light. The main problem is resources—particularly, faculty time and availability (and perhaps money, to pay them). How can professors find time to oversee experiences like AIGA, Community Arts, and other internship/internship-like experiences? However, Singer did acknowledge that the lack of professional practice experiences for DAI students here is certainly a major issue. He shared resources, examples, and directions for me to look into during my journey.

Professor Khalid: not only acknowledged that lack of resources as the main—possibly only—problem, but he also stressed that everyone is already well aware of that. Ultimately, he strongly suggested me to go a different direction, explaining that it’s difficult to tie this problem into a design issue; that I needed to focus on a problem for which I could actually create something. He didn’t want to completely to urge me against my original idea; however, he wanted me to be well aware of the potential difficulty of taking on a problem such as this.

So, as you can see…I have a lot more to think about. I’m passionate about this problem, and I still want to tackle it somehow, but would it be feasible to translate it into an issue I can solve through design? I feel that if it’s something that strongly compels me…then I’d want to keep pondering this, to see if I can figure out something I can do, if I can make an impact using research and using my design abilities.

But if not, maybe I can tweak my problem a bit so it’s more feasible…or I might have to tackle a different one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Problem & Purpose Statement! (Still Needs Work)

Hello All,

Since my last post, I came up with a new research topic that I'm very interested in. It was inspired by a conversation with a fellow design peer and also by my internship experience as the designer for a Cinema professor.


At San Francisco State University, there is insufficient awareness of cross-departmental collaborative opportunities.


The purpose of this research was to promote collaborative opportunities between different departments.

Examples of collaboration (websites I created for my client, the Cinema professor):


I brought it up to our class's round table discussion today, and turns out that in order for me to take on this topic—a lot more thinking, exploration, and decisions need to be made!

For instance,
  • Should we make it a class? Collaborative classes do exist. Additionally, Segment III classes here at SF State do expose students to fields outside of their majors.
  • Should I limit it to the Design department (which would design for professors or students from other departments)? Or should it be a larger-scale program that promotes interaction and collaboration among all the departments on-campus? Or use the Design department to start off, to see if it would work?
  • A thought—how would other departments contribute to us? i.e. What would the Kinesiology department give us?
  • I need to ask Josh, the faculty supervisor of our design group on campus, how we connected with the Theater department for projects.
  • Perhaps set up a database where design students can present their work? Look at http://coroflot.com for instance.
  • Would students have the time, effort, skill, work ethic—overall ability—to even take on these projects? What if they bite off more than they can chew? What if they perform poorly and give the Design department a bad reputation?
  • Would they get paid?
  • Work with GatorJobs and their goals, perhaps?
So...as you can see. Lots and lots of stuff to think about! I'm going to have to keep on pushing and see how I can refine and focus this problem. It's something that lights me up a little bit inside though, so, yeah...I'm definitely going to try to make this work.

Check on back! Hopefully I'll have a clear, focused, awesome problem & purpose statement set for ya.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Initial Three Problem and Purpose Statements


Problem: Students at San Francisco State University lack time management skills.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to improve the time management skills of students at San Francisco State University.


Problem: Students at San Francisco State University are dependent on caffeine throughout the school day.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to promote ways for San Francisco State University students to feel energized without caffeine consumption.


Problem: Students at San Francisco State University study towards a career that is wrong for them.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to encourage students at San Francisco State University to learn and pursue the best career directions for themselves.

About Me

My name is Thuan Nguyen. I am a senior at SF State, aiming for a B.S. in Industrial Arts: Visual Communication Design (aka, graphic design). I kinda specialize in web stuff, since I started learning it at an early age. But after being in this major, I've come to really appreciate and become fascinated with print and video. Importantly, I've made a full 180 in terms of my career direction; I originally got into design to create cool, flashy stuff and make money, but now I'll only do design work that's meaningful to me, that makes the world a better place.

Anyway, I still have no clue what the heck I'm going to do after I graduate. I really want to take this last semester to find my passions and discover a lot more about how I can enjoy and contribute to the design world.

I'm inspired by compelling design, the kind that touches the viewer deeply, that provokes, that sends shivers through one's body. I love dramatic stuff; I love when designers take risks. Thus, I'm influenced by bold, fearless designers.

My vision is to evolve significantly as a designer in terms of skill, experience, awareness, and wisdom. I want to truly believe that what I do can make a difference, that I do have the ability to create beautiful, powerful design. I know that if I'm passionate and if I believe in myself, I will be able to work towards a very fulfilling design career and towards discovering meaning in life.

Currently, I am really enjoying motion graphic design and am inspired by amazing video work, like the following:

I am contemplative, introverted, quirky, open-minded, uncertain, and curious.