17 Oct ’14
Research Group Conversations: Task #2
Research Group Conversations: Task #2
This week I was able to discuss my research project ideas with Taylor. I know that my research is looking to cover young women in Sri Lanka that have been raped or sexually abused, however, it was hard for me to come up with a clear “research question” that would be my entire focus for the project.
My research proposal from last semester aimed to cover women’s roles in Sri Lanka and how they changed because of events like the civil war and the tsunami. However, after my internship with Sarvodaya, I started becoming more interested in young women who have been sexually abused. I met Maraliya Bakker, a student from Amsterdam who is doing a study on why some rape victims experience posttraumatic stress disorder and why others don’t. I was able to assist her in her study by visiting women’s centers and being open to the information that were willing to share with us. It was after visiting all of these centers that made me realize I was really interested in knowing more about young women who have been raped and are using whatever resources they have to pick up their life again.
So as I was looking into what my research would specifically be about, I thought about the things I knew/found out about on the trip:
- Seems like current status of women in Sri Lankan society makes them more vulnerable to rape incidents
- What Sri Lankan culture and society don’t provide results in the vulnerability of women and them getting raped
- For men, sex is one of their “basic needs”
- For women, it is a duty to submit to their husbands desire for sex even if it’s not consensual
- A lot of women are not aware of what sex or rape is. Some rape victims have even said they thought it was normal for their uncle or father to do that to them.
With all of these thoughts considered, it is challenging for me to know what basis of study I should cover. Should I use past events within Sri Lanka’s history, like the civil war and the tsunami, to understand how these events have led to the displacement of women and how this could relate to the increase in rape incidents? Should I look at the attitudes towards women in Sri Lanka and how these attitudes lay down a structure for who women are and how they can be mistreated? Should I look at intervention/prevention programs like the women’s centers and see how their resources have benefitted their participants? There are so many different angles I could choose when looking at this topic of raped women in Sri Lanka.
These are some questions that Taylor and I went through and discussed as we tried to narrow down my research topic. I am still in the process of figuring out the best angle to take with my research but I am hoping that I will soon come to a solid research question.
22 Oct ’14
Alex’s Research Notes
As we go into October, my research is slowly but surely progressing. The design has come along immensely since my last post. What started as just a few sketches and thoughts have all started to come together, becoming a true 21st Century design. After doing preliminary sketches, my biggest challenge so far has been maximizing space. For a master bath, it is not as big as a traditional American Bathroom. In trying to keep it feeling open and comfortable, placing fixtures has proved to be a bit complicated. In addition, insuring the design will meet Universal Design Standards has not been easy. I want any future users to be able to age gracefully and easily in their home, and that includes their bathroom. A curbless roman shower and other accessible features will provide the ease and peace of mind for the user to keep their independence as they age.
Most of my selections have already been picked out; Thos Somerville providing information on the plumbing fixtures, and Mosaic Tile the backsplash and floor tiles. These are some of the more important elements of the design as they provide the backbone of keeping the space environmentally friendly and efficient. All of the fixtures are low-flow, meaning they use less water than a typical bathroom fixture and recycle water product to product. This eliminates the need and use of potable water in a fixture that doesn’t require it. The tile is important in keeping the moisture content of the bathroom down. Using tile instead of paint will be more eco-friendly and health conscious, as they paint will not peel and degrade when wet. Tile is also a very popular aesthetic found in American bathrooms today. Both of these elements will make my design marketable and pleasing to a broad target client base.
After our peer discussion, I felt more secure in the direction my project is headed. My group felt my design encompassed all of the efficiency from the homes we saw and used in Morocco. The most thought provoking element of the discussion came from the question about the bidet. I do plan on having a bidet involved in the design, but am currently contemplating how to get the most health consciousness out of it. It will be interesting to see how I can best incorporate the “squat toilet” into my design. Otherwise I feel really good about where I am at in my research, and excited to see how it progresses in the next month.
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