You have chosen this thesis topic with the conscious goal to learn new skills sets that are far beyond your established skills as a design and maker of functional luxury furnishings. From your background, there was always a know problem to solve, a fixed material to work in, and the result was a tangible object wrought in collaboration with the clients or patrons that commissioned your services. Now you have been asked to self-prescribe the topic, problem, and direction.
The cause and effect of choices and actions you made were extremely tangible and evident in the metalshop. The process of developing a commission from a request to physical manifestation was the most rewarding part– more satisfying than the finished object. Its a good thing that you love process because that is where most of the time, effort, challenges, and successes reside.
You are only mildly interested in new tool technologies like 3-D printing and software controlled machines. The primary source of inspiration / interest is people’s behavior and what psychologists study because this is the underling tone of objects and function.