Monday, 28 September 2015

Dissertation Topic Part I

Choosing a topic for a undergraduate dissertation is probably one of the hardest things when writing a dissertation. It has to be something that triggers your interest for the topic, brings passion and understanding to it, and at the same time:

  • It doesn’t repeat something that’s already in that dataset.1
  • It is something that other people interested in the topic will want to read when searching on information on the topic. That is, your research is not just different from the other work on the issue, but also has an interesting take.1
  • It is research that actually teaches researchers in your area of interest new information and will be useful to them when they are framing their own research projects. That is, not only is your research interesting, it shouldn’t be ignored if other sociologists want to do research in the same areas. 1

So, when I was tossing the words Computer Animation Arts in my head, questions started to emerge such as the decline of different animation styles and techniques, the current benefits of using computer animation (apart for the immense joy at the cinema) or what it is going to look like in, let’s say, the next 100 years. After taking into account my interests, my initial knowledge on the topics and the scarcity of time I have here is what I came up with. 

-       The benefits of Computer animation in selected industries.
-       The future of Computer Animation and the application of new techniques or styles.
-       The art of combining CGI and 2D in Japanese animation films.
-       Behind the Architectural Visualisations.

Down to two!

-       The art of combining CGI and 2D in Japanese animation films.
(the reason to write about this is simple. I love Japanese animation.)

-       Behind the Architectural Visualisations.
(The reason to write about this is my work experience in London)


  1. Hey Toni,

    Thanks for getting the ball rolling... What both your ideas have in common is that they are rather too 'pragmatic' - in so much as they are process-centred, as opposed to ideas-centred. You need to identify a debate/discussion/conflict between ideas in order to spark a decent, research-based, theory-scaffolded dissertation.

    For example, an investigation of combinations of 2d and 3d technologies in Japanese animation is about process and method, as opposed to ideas: exploring Japanese animation as an expression of cultural belief/symbolism/psyche is much more speculative.

    Looking at CGI as used in architectural visualisation is again, a process/mechanical emphasis and of limited use to you/and interest to the academic audience of a dissertation. However, looking at the visualisation of architecture as a site of cultural enquiry would prove much more interesting - for example, looking at 'Visionary Architecture' (the design and visualisation of 'unbuildable architecture), or Utopianism. You might look at 'Architecture in Film' as another topic likely to give you much more in the way of 'big ideas' and greater complexity of argument.

    So, first bit of advice: avoid thinking about your subject matter as an enquiry into 'how things are created', and rather more 'why they're created' and 'why they resonate culturally/psychologically?'...