Hi everyone, hope this is an appropriate area to post this.
I am a grad student in Environmental Design at the dissertation topic selection stage. I am having a really tough time choosing a thesis topic and would like to ask for help in the best place I can think of given my interests.
My program is a bit schizophrenic-students study everything from urban design to ecology to interior design and everything in between.
With a background in animation and media and a passion for Disney park spatial-experiences I thought my topic selection would be a slam dunk. I would write about Disney parks, in particular how with WED all these creative disciplines converge to create kinetic spaces, (which is the catch all phrase I use for everything from queues to rides to general park dynamic design).
However this has been a very difficult process for me. First of all the reception of many profs has been icy due to, I suppose, the whole Ivory Tower mentality as Disney being fluff, (what do they know!). But also because a thesis must break new ground so to speak, and this is my failure having been naïve in thinking I could just look at an area of interest and essentially write about it.
What I need to do is “solve a problem” as is the refrain in class or more accurately I think, come up with something novel about the topic to look at.
So you can imagine in academia this has generally been lobbied to me as a topic I should look at as a problem, i.e. the undesired themeing of architecture or the “Disney-fication” of America/the world…blah blah.
I love Disney and hardly want to write some critique. I want to celebrate this design synergy and this is where I need help! Are there any Disney Scholars here who might be willing to guide me with a topic selection?
One thought I had was looking at how these kinetic spaces are developed. I know they are generally first conceptualized visually with concept art and later built into tangible scale models.
I was thinking of perhaps looking at designing a model for this development process using dynamic media techniques –kind of like the way an animatic is developed to get the feel/story nailed down for an animated movie. I might even look at using Augmented or Virtual Reality in this way. However, I can hardly imagine that Disney does not already employ techniques like this. So I thought I would turn here for some thoughts.
Any comments on this idea or suggestions in general would really be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!