Tag Archives: deliverables

D-Day is in sight!

A defense day for my thesis has been set… October 19!

I am working hard to finish up the writing and artifacts. This week, visual outlines of the scenarios will be posted. In the coming weeks, multimedia stories from member of the community will published to bring the scenarios to life. The final deliverable, a full report of the study, and slides of the final presentation will be available for download the week of October 15.

If you are interested in reading a copy of the full thesis, please contact me.

4 weeks and counting… the end is so close that I can test it!


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Thesis Course

On Monday afternoon, I will start the course DMGT 790: Design Management MFA Thesis. I will have 10 weeks to concentrate on my thesis and make significant progress on my research analysis and writing. Time to dive in…


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I have developed a proposed timeline for completing my thesis. The process formally started in Fall of 2011 with my enrollment in the pre-thesis course IDUS 763 and will end with my defense planned for August 2012. The timeline is still in draft format as it is subject to change through the process.

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Abstract – version 1.0

Many of the United States’ once booming industrial communities have been devastated by the migration of manufacturing out of the Northeast and Midwest. The cities of the US rust belt—spanning from Central New York State, through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois—are heading down the path to a bleak future. This thesis will focus on a case study of one such rust belt city, Utica, NY as a way to examine the unique past, present and future problems and opportunities of these communities. The concept of wicked problems will be used as a conceptual framework for the study and the research will take a holistic approach to framing issues and designing solutions. This study will use participatory design methods as a way of collecting data and employ scenario planning tools to craft alternative future scenarios. These scenarios will be the foundation for discovering design opportunities for the Utica area. The results of the study will include media-based narratives of alternative futures and recommendations and a timeline for implementation of design solutions.

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45-hour Review

I presented my thesis proposal to a panel of faculty for my 45-hour review…
I passed!

The 45-hour review is a presentation given by MFA students at SCAD to a panel of faculty. The review takes place at the mid-point of the student’s academic course work. The presentation focuses on the student’s thesis proposal and prospectus.


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Working Title, Statements and Questions – 1st Draft

Working Title:

What is the future of Utica?
— Alternative Futures and Design Opportunities for a Rust-Belt Community

Thesis Statement:

We are living in a post-industrial age. For many communities in the US that grew from dependence on manufacturing and industrialization, the utopian state of the 1950s is a distant dream or forgotten memory. Once thriving communities have turned into depressed cities riddled with abandoned factories, condemned buildings, poverty and unemployment. They are filled with jobless, skilled laborers and have little opportunity for those with professional skill and education. What is the future of these growing numbers of rust-belt cities in the United States? Too often, we turn our backs on these communities and dismiss them as being beyond saving. But there is rich history and culture worth preserving and opportunity in these communities for revitalization; we just need to seek them out and partner with the citizens to make the changes necessary to grow and move into the future.

Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of this study is to address the growing number of rust-belt communities by conducting a case study on the city of Utica, located in Upstate New York. This inquiry will look at the history of the city as well as global and local trends and use scenario-planning tools to propose alternative futures for the community. The study will also examine opportunities for growth and design solutions for revitalization.

Research Questions

  1. Where are there opportunities for economic growth and revitalization in rust-belt communities, specifically Utica?
  2. Given current global and local trends and forces, what possible alternative futures could exist for rust-belt cities, particularly the city of Utica?
  3. How have changing demographics shaped the history, culture and community of Utica? How can this change affect the future of the city?

 End Deliverables:

  • Alternative future scenarios
    • Media-based narratives
  • Design solution(s)
  • Implementation Plan

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