Holli's Dilemma: Interest in Interior Design, Hospitality Design, Children's Museum Design, and Historic Preservation.

What is it Charlie Brown hollers when he's frustrated? Augh!!!!!
I don't have a clue what my thesis topic is going to be.  I know it will have a historical focus and be written in a qualitative method.  Although that is very appealing to me, I'll admit that if I were in a typical Interior Design, masters program, my topics might come easier.  My speciality is hospitality design with special interests toward the retail and dining environments.  I also enjoy designing spaces for children and think it could be great to capitalize, somehow, on the talents and specialties within our own Child Development department  Still, I haven't been able to come up with a workable topic.  Classes in Museum and Archives and Museology have peeked my interests  toward museum and exhibit design with leanings toward design for children's exhibits.  And Historic Preservation has always been a passion of mine.  Stan Hywet may present an opportunity for an internship, and maybe a  "problem in design."  I still feel I want to teach Interior Design at the college level, so I need to slant as much of my coursework that way, as possible.  Project research, interviewing, observing, case studies can all be integral steps in a design process.  And I do want to do a thesis rather than a project.  - Holli Limbach

To quote the sign on Lucy's sidewalk therapy booth, "The Doctor is IN".
You are ultimately going to have to make a decision, but ... no pressure here. Typically, graduate students are interested in everything all at once.

Historic preservation projects will always have to do with some specific resource, usually buildings, downtown areas, or homes of historic significance. Sometimes such projects could include a historic conditions in which an item, artifact or material was constructed or produced.  There'd likely be some chemistry and physics involved as well when .  A project of this kind would entail an exposition of the process of preserving a particular item or set of items - from exterior materials to interior paints, papers and fixtures.  The National Trust preserves houses and buildings http://www.nationaltrust.org/
The Advisory Council for Historic Preservation has a wider scope for preserving national resources at http://www.achp.gov/aboutachp.html

Museum and exhibit design has taken many innovative turns in recent decades - going from old style displays of artifacts set in cases that often seem to be less educational than simply "showing the collection" - to detailed poster and print, or recorded, explanations displayed alongside the artifacts themselves.
Museums such as the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. http://www.ushmm.org/  and the Smithsonian Institution at http://www.si.edu
Or try the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html, perhaps the best example of well-spent, return-on-your-investment tax money in all of the U.S. government.

Additionally here, and this is something to really keep in mind for a thesis, would be the design of a virtual museum on a given topic.   In web site form, this is an excellent way to use modern technology to illustrate priceless artifacts to anyone with internet access.
American Memory http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html is an excellent example of ready access to important documents, photographs, moving images, sound recordings ... all ready to be researched by .... people like you.

Many examples - see the WWW Virtual Libraries Museums at http://icom.museum/vlmp/world.html#museums
    Carol Gerten Jackson's Virtual Art Museum at http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/  Name your favorite painter from any time or country.
    The Acropolis Museum at http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21101a/e211aa01.html
    The Stamp Museum of Port Louis, Mauritius at http://www.stampsmauritius.com/index.html
    The World's Largest Roadsite Attractions at http://www.wlra.us/
    The Dead Sociologists' Society at http://www2.pfeiffer.edu/%7Elridener/DSS/DEADSOC.HTML
It is a way to get your research out into the hands of the general public if that would be your intention.
Just some thoughts until you get a little closer.
-ddw