Since I had dissertation and research sessions in my contextual lectures, I had started to think about what I am passionate to write about for a textile design dissertation. I wanted to write a dissertation that has not been read and researched before in a bespoke manner and that was the topic on catering soft furnishings for autistic children for secondary educational purposes. The reason for wanting to research into this topic is because I wanted to highlight the fact that there are no textile designers or industry companies that design textiles and this audience is ignored in the design industry.
June 2018 – As soon as I finished the whole of second year I wrote my initial proposal upon creating textiles for autistic clients after I had initially gathered relevant research found for the literature review as well as primary research I would outline such as written questionnaires and a focus group. Next, I have roughly wrote an introduction only to outline what I will be talking about in the three chapters and prepared consent forms and written questionnaires for the pupils to take part as an option in ethical and professional manners.
July 2018 – I collated 12 questionnaire forms back after conducting the research at their school’s summers fete and carried on looking at varied sources that is going to be deepening the research more, including the theory behind the topic. I also took myself to dissertation sessions that the university library provided so I attend every subject matter relevant such as understanding theory, harvard referencing and varying sources.
August 2018 – While I was home to Bristol for a month I visited the zoo in bristol where I photographed animals that have abstract animal patterns using my DSLR camera and then replicated those images into mixed media drawings as visual primary sources. From sorting out business cards collected from many designer trade shows such as New Designers and TENT, I had sent out many email interview along with consent forms to many textile designers as I possibly could in order to find out about their practice and if they do cater their textile designs to autistic audiences as an additional set of primary research extensively.
September 2018 – I came back to Plymouth and prepared for a focus group gathering materials and wrote out mini questionnaires about suitable materials they like and its visual element such as colours. Next, I properly wrote my first draft of chapters one and two to really start getting my ideas logically as I go through so many drafts and refining texts in a first draft in readiness for the start of third year and group tutorials provided by lecturers.
October 2018 – I started third year on the first week of October and gathered further research to back up my ideas according to the tutorial feedback received and synthesised ideas between primary and secondary research. I also developed some drawings to put onto a screen print design and started playing with composition and overlapping repeated patterns.
December 2018 – After I took part in the formative review I received really good feedback about my first dissertation draft and acted upon every feedback given across the first semester. I also drafted chapter three discussing a mixture of literature review and primary sources collated altogether and started a conclusion. Finally, I developed initial textile samples in order to realise my final design idea suggested onto a artefact which is a sensory beanbag cushion.
January 2019 – Before I bounded my dissertation paper while I was working on making a sensory beanbag cushion artefact, I carried on refining dissertation text section by section and made sure I have done every tweak suggested by lecturers. Finally to support my dissertation paper and artefact, I created four concept boards to visually back up my own ideas.
April 2019 – Three months later my results come back and I achieved a FIRST in this dissertation module. This has paid off all the hard work since preparing a mixture of primary and secondary sources before I started third year in readiness to start and write my dissertation. I can also appreciate the help and support provided by my lecturers and everybody involved in the dissertation research and writing process to make my work to a standard that I hope and accomplished.
For those students that will be going into third year of their creative arts degrees, my piece of advice I can recommend to you is start to research at an really stage in readiness to starting and writing your dissertation module. It would help you with your time management skills and can help get your research all organised into a research folder. This will go to show your lecturers how prepared you were to start writing up your research and write a dissertation in something that you are really passionate about and not research and read before as well.
Love Farrah x