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Research Project Ideas

1 – Beauty and Ugliness
I’m interested in the idea of what makes something beautiful, and similarly, what makes something ugly. Both of these concepts can be thought of as opinion based but is there some sort commonality for all humans. If so, would it be rooted in a survival instinct?
Another aspect I would like to explore is beauty and ugliness in art. I would say whenever anything is presented as ‘art’ it is impossible to be seen as ugly. I think it would be a challenge (or simply impossible) to create or find something that everyone would find innately ugly. Even consciously making something that only you yourself find ugly would be a challenge.
Related topics: Opinion versus Definitive, Aesthetics, Universality, Design, Human Nature

2 – Proportions
I’m interested in the proportions of things. This is very general, but I would want to explore a wide range of views on this topic and try to find a common thread, thus finding some sort of universal or possibly ‘perfect’ set of proportions. The Golden Ratio is the most notable and probably the closest to come to this just from the top of my head.
Finding a near-universal proportion to follow when designing would be very interesting. This would ostensibly lead to a design (of any type) having a universal or innately captivating quality.
Related topics: The Golden Ratio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Mathematics, Architecture, Design

3 – Psychological Effects of Colors
I recently watched a YouTube video that talked about how sports teams that wear red tend to win more over teams that wear blue. They went on to explain this was because the color read illicits a response in humans that makes us more aggressive, energized, and quick-thinking. The color blue illicits a response that is calm, slow-paced, and more concerned with long-term goals and intellectual matters. This made me think about what psychological responses humans would have to other colors and whether this is even relevant today. Also, how can this be used to an advantage in a design context? Should houses never have red walls? If you meet someone while wearing the color red will they be more aggressive towards you or excited? Etc.
Related topics: Human Nature, Design, Psychology, Color Theory, Environment/Space

4 – Simplicity and Elegance
Thinking about design, I often think of ideas that are very minimal in nature. I came up with a weird theory that the simpler something is the more elegant it is also. A more direct and primal solution is often the most simple one, which I think equates to elegance. This is a topic that is very interesting to me, but then again, this entails creating a stable definition of elegance to work from. This would pose a problem since many people think about elegance (and simplicity) in different ways.
Related topics: Design, Opinion versus Definitive, Nature, History (of Design), Effort

5 – Compelling Heroes
I came up with (another) weird theory not too long ago involving stories and their heroes. The reason people were so into the Bible is because that’s the only story they had at the time. It’s like if Harry Potter was the only book to ever come out, he would be seen as the greatest literary hero of all time by default and the franchise would garner a huge(r) following. Nowadays, since movies and TV shows and books and video games are pumped out with (in my opinion) not a lot of care, we have a surplus of hero characters and therefore don’t care about most of them.
I want to find out how to create a captivating hero in a story and if there’s a universal and fool-proof way of doing so.
Related topics: Literature, Video Games, The Bible, Film, The Monomyth

6 – The Most Comfortable Chair
In my opinion, not too many chairs are really that comfortable, and on top of that, they slowly get less and less comfortable the more you’re sitting in one. I’m interested in exploring what makes a comfortable chair and whether or not there’s a universal solution for all humans. Does the solution change from body type to body type; person to person? Or is there a pinnacle of comfiness waiting to be unlocked?
Related topics: Opinion versus Definitive, Design, Ergonomics, Furniture, Human Nature

7 – Games as Manufactured Conflict
I (along with probably a lot of other people) sort of concluded that all games (sports, video games, board games, etc.) are all a human-made tool to preoccupy us for a period of time. It’s like manufactured purpose. It gives us something to get caught up in, something to care about, for a bit. Why do we derive pleasure in this? When did this start? Is this an unconscious way for humans to deal with the pointlessness of life? Or have we progressed to a point where we can just waste time having fake conflicts for pleasure?
Related topics: War, Human Nature, Sports, Video Games, Existentialism

8 – Living with the Fact that Nothing Matters
Sort of related to the previous topic, how do all humans cope and exist with the undeniable fact that nothing matters? (Then again, I guess that’s sort of a matter of opinion) We as humans are a speck of dust in the universe and also a speck of dust in time. We’re like a scratch of the DVD of existence. So how do all humans cope with the fact that we’re pointless? Do people ignore it, choose to not dwell on it, face it head on and reach Nirvana (and no one has told me)? Etc.
Related topics: Human Nature, Existentialism, Depression, Optimism, Outlook/Perspectives

9 – Water
I really look up to water in a lot of ways because of it’s universality. It’s something we need to live but it can also kill us very quickly. It’s an integral part of our lives but it often gets overlooked. It’s very interesting to me how universal it is and I want to learn more about other peoples’ ideas on it. The creative aspect of this idea may be doing an ‘ode to water’ type of thing.
Related topics: Nature, Humans, Universality, Power, Oceans

10 – Trends
Trends are very interesting to me. It’s strange how something can be liked by so many and then as a result of that start to be hated. I want to explore the life cycles of trends and how they are born, spread, and eventually die. What makes something catch on and why are humans obsessed with being the first to something and are embarrassed when being the last (or worse, being the first and then having a huge group of people join in and cramping your style.) Are these mechanics in some way connected to our old survival instincts?
Related topics: Human Nature, Design, Fashion, Social Media, Business

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