As a side project, I have been designing and building these bent wood bicycle trays. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time in the wood shop working with a variety of wood working tools. It has been a while since I have used a bandsaw and table router. It feels so satisfying to be making something tangible with my hands. Like most designers, I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop or reading and talking about design.
Over the past few months I have been focusing most of my energy on my graduate thesis project at the University of Washington. It has been an uphill struggle that has left me feeling both exhausted and excited for the coming months. Anyone who has been through the arduous challenge of finding and choosing a thesis topic to focus on can attest to the mental pain that I am feeling. I do feel like I have finally managed to put a few stakes in the ground, and I consider them to be minor achievements.
Focus, refine, move forward and repeat. This is the strategy and the mantra that I have followed in order to keep me pushing forward.
Focus, refine, move forward, repeat.
The first phase of my primary research for my master thesis project started with some making. After getting a quick refresher tutorial from designer Abigail Steinem, I designed and made hand bound journals for my research participants to record their news consumption habits for a week and a half. I recruited (with the help of Kristine Matthews, my thesis chair) a class of juniors at the University of Washington. The journals were an interesting challenge. In order for them to not become a chore they needed to be simple and straight forward. They also were made small and sturdy so that the students could easily keep the journals on them at all times.