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project 12.  thesis (in process)


When much of the business world is either unaware of the impact of design or is simply unable to see designer’s role outside of first and second order spaces, and there are a lack of job opportunities, it falls on the design community to own our future, to connect across our skillsets, and to collectively push into higher orders of design.


For my thesis, I plan to study the journey of a varied set of carefully selected designers who have moved out of first and second order design work and into third and fourth order design spaces. This research includes interviewing those designers who may have started their careers in graphic, motion, interactive, packaging, product or UX design, but have transitioned into positions that study deeper levels of human actions and thoughts, whose work has transitioned from being focused on the tangible and visible to the abstract and often, indirect. 

I plan to document these individual journeys, studying specific projects that allowed designers to push the boundaries of their position, hoping to capture the realistic ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of their voyage.


I will then study these journeys as a whole, and extract the universal themes that occur between them all, regardless of the category of design work these individuals started in or ended up. I believe that collectively, these individual journeys will address the many how components of transitioning as a designer, such as: how are designers pushing their current role towards the one they want, how are we proving our worth in broader business contexts, how are designers redefining design, and how has the design thinking framework become an essential skill in our toolkit as we move into these new spaces?


April - May 2019

Submitted thesis concept // approval

June - July 2019

Wrote proposal // submitted for executive approval

August 2019

In process >> waiting for approval // prep to begin

May 2020

Anticipated completion


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