Something in the world forces us to think.This something is an object not of recognition but of a fundamental encounter.

(Gilles Deleuze in Difference and Repetition 1968)

This course will prepare you for the design dissertation course that will start at the beginning of the Autumn term 2011. This course aims to give you the opportunity to make a detailed personal investigation and evaluation based on comprehensive research and systematic methodologies. This involves collecting evidence, creating arguments, critical analysis and forming judgments in a manner which communicates your ideas creatively and effectively.

The form this dissertation ‘document’ takes and its position in relation to the ‘practice’ element will be negotiable. It could be a web-site, a presentation, a film, a traditionally written and illustrated text, but no matter what form it takes it has to implement of all of the above elements.

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Dissertation Proposal – Design Dissertation 2011/12 – DESI 1103

Start to identify your general area of interest by brainstorming, mind-mapping or whatever way you think you can best generate new ideas.

Read as much as you can in books and on-line about  your subject to stimulate further ideas.

This is the start of the broader survey of you subject which you will have to write about at the beginning of your dissertation. This is often called the literature/practice review.

This will help you Identify the focus of your dissertation and the main area of research.

Think about how you will find out the information you need to write the dissertation?

Start an initial bibliography and list of sources of information. Keep a systematic record of these sources as you will be reading many books and visiting hundreds of websites in your search for the key information that will help you write a useful and thoughtful dissertation.




At the beginning of next term you will have to present you dissertation proposal and a personal manifesto. In this manifesto you will try to start to answer these questions:

Who am I? What is really important to me in design and life? What do I really want to do? How can I do it? And why do I want to do it?

As Bernard Tschumi argues in the preface of Architectural Manifestoes, (1979)


‘Manifestoes’ resemble contracts that the undersigned make with themselves and with society. As with all contracts, manifestoes imply certain rules laws and restrictions. But they soon become independent from their authors. At this point, a masochistic relationship begins between the author and the text itself, for the manifesto-contract has been drafted by the very person who will suffer from the restrictions of its clauses. No doubt such carefully devised laws will be violated. This self-transgression of self-made laws adds a particularly perverse dimension to manifestoes. In addition, like love letters, they provide an erotic distance between fantasy and actual realisation. In many respects, this aspect of manifestoes has much in common with the nature of architectural work. It plays on the tension between ideas and real spaces, between abstract concepts and the sensuality of an implied spatial experience. {Tschumi 1979).


Mark Ingham | 2011




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