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 are self-prescribing the topic to focus on, searching for common problems, and developing possible solutions.
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 the process is where most of the time, effort, challenges, and successes reside when working on anything. The beginning and end are but blips on a radar when compared to the duration that is occupied by the process.
You are interested in new tool technologies like 3-D printing and software controlled machines, however there are plenty of ways to solve problems that do not require computer software. The primary source of inspiration or interest resides in people’s behavior– the arena that professionals such as psychologists and behavior economists study.