Thesis Studio 1 Midterm Reflection


  1. Too much content and not well organized

When the first time I checked the sign-up sheet, it shows 20 mins per person, I forgot it includes critique part. As a result I prepared too much slides for a 10 minutes presentation. Also, when I finished my presentation and looked at the recording video, I realized that my slides were missing some basic and crucial part to help viewers to understand my project. For example, after showing the research question, I should have to explain my perspective and the reason why I choose the perspective, rather than directly jumping into the introduction of historical background.

2. Lack of explanation of prototype and core concepts

Like I mentioned before, I spend too much slides on history part and references. Instead of only showing couple pictures of final rendering images, I should have to break down the final rendering with more previous details. For example, why did I choose GIS system, what are some advantages of generating models from GIS information, or even more basic concept, why did I choose 3D models, etc. By answering those question, the prototype will be more convincing than just laying some images on the slide.

3. Need more investigation on prototyping process

This point, to be more specific, is related to the question, what is 3D data visualization and why did I choose it. In my opinion, the biggest difference between a 2D object and a 3D object, is the height. By adding another dimension, there are much more space for designer to keep exploring. Such as, volume, shape, texture, material, shadow, and even spatial pattern. Furthermore, I need to adjust my prototyping process at this moment, which means making things meaningful, not only looks good.


I don’t want to write about strength this time, especially when I am not satisfying about what I did. So I just list two points here: (derived from peer’s review)

  1. Historical / Cultural Introduction

2. References were useful

Questions / Next Steps / Action Plan

I feel both of my two research questions is still interesting, at least for me, but I do need to blend them together. The weakness of current prototype is that the connection between model and concept was not strong and distinct enough. I definitely missed this question: How do you present spice and culture in your design? The direction I am thinking about right now is: flavor profile. Yes, the same concept that I mentioned in my 2nd research question. Each food culture has their unique blend of spices, and by analyzing and extracting the data of spice blends in different food culture, I can find it out what are those flavor “look” like. And then I can generate a set of models from the flavor profile of those spice blends. By comparing those models, for example, the usage of same spice in same region but in different eras, or the usage of same spice in different regions but in same era. Through the comparison, I can find out what changes or what is the trend in those cultures at certain point, hopefully. Just like when I looked at the data about top 10 producers of pepper around the world in different periods, I noticed that Viet Nam and Bulgaria definitely went through some things in the 90s, due to their production of pepper jumped to top 1 & 2 in a short amount of time.

For me, a good data visualization has the ability to raise questions.

For the next couple weeks, the first step I need to take is refining my research question. This question should be stay close with these three keywords: spice, culture, 3D data visualization. And then, I need to recognize the advantage of 3D data visualization. What are some major difference between 3D and 2D and what are advantages I can take from a 3D object. This will include a series of study of how people reacts to certain types of shape, material, and texture. Also, researching on flavor/aroma profile of spices and creating a list of how certain flavor/aroma corresponded with certain factor of 3d objects.

After the midterm critique, it seems the direction is showing up, gradually.

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