Traditional craft has been relegated to the margins in modern culture, being perceived as out step with technological, economic and societal progress. However, emergent research is rediscovering the nature of craft and its potential for contributing to design practice in conjunction with developments in science and technology. Through the analyses of craft and sustainability, strong connections are revealed as well as some incompatibilities. The contribution of this paper is to a) map a systemic view of craft and b) establish a theoretical understanding of the relationship between craft and a holistic understanding of sustainability. Drawing on recent research that proposes three areas of leverage for sustainability, we argue that craft, as a system of making, knowing and being, has significant potential to contribute actively and tangibly to the transitional conditions, thereby serving as an agency for sustainable transformation.
Japan has become a super-aging society, with the number of older people (over the age of 65) at a historical high both in absolute numbers (33 million) and as a proportion of the total population (26.0%). Walking is known to be associated with positive psychological improvements such as in subjective sense of wellbeing, life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose in life, as well as improvements in physical and mental function, such as arm/leg muscle strength and standing balance. In this study, we focus on information about functions for assisting walking, comparing and contrasting the information provided by existing products that support walking with the goal of clarifying issues from an information-provision viewpoint. We conducted interviews with eight older people who go for walks on a daily basis, asking about their thoughts before, during, and after walking. From 110 total comments, we obtained 30 comments relating to the action of walking. Furthermore, we investigated the functions of 11 devices and 20 applications that support walking, and from 24 functions, we focused on 20 functions relating to the action of walking. By comparing and contrasting the twin perspectives of “information items” and “information content” with visualization levels identified in the field of management, we clarified issues relating to devices and applications for supporting walking among older users, from the viewpoint of information provision.
Case studies are discussed, from Northumbria University’s practice-led Centre for Design Research (CfDR) that demonstrate how visualising concepts and designs through digital animation can enable effective communication of ideas and interactions, which in turn enables creative leaps in thinking, understanding and decision-making. Animation is a tool that can unlock the comprehension into what is and what could be. This paper reflects on a number of collaborative projects between the CfDR and several scientific communities, demonstrating and focusing in particular on the process of visualisation, designing digital animations to communicate complex processes, ideas and interactions. An approach and understanding has been developed about how to effectively communicate potentially complex, scientific and technical concepts for the benefit of the client and the end user, in particular the lay audience whose knowledge of the subject may be limited or non-existing.
Findings indicate that the process of constructing simple digital animated stories becomes a learning process for both designer and client. Critical discussions during collaborative meetings develop shared understandings: helping clients to think more creatively about communication (appreciating the benefits of manipulating a truth to position to waylay contextual confusion), and making implicit knowledge belonging to the client explicit to the designer. It is important to state that this negotiation is more effective when the designer is a layperson with respect to the complex implicit knowledge of the client. During these collaborative conditions the untangling of complex ideas have achieve the a-ha moments in the animations’ audiences.
How do arts-based writing endeavors catalyze generative thinking and support research development in design students’ thesis endeavors? This paper offers reflections from an industrial design masters student, a graphic design masters student, and their arts education professor in a School of Design at a Research I institution. Informed by theoretical and historical contexts of the design discipline and perspectives from composition studies and fine arts practice, we explore the potential of arts-based writing as an evocative, speculative tool and a distinctive form of reflective practice for the development of graduate design research. We suggest that arts-based writing’s iterative process, dialogic engagement, and speculative approach to knowledge-construction provide critical, reflective structures for working through uncertainties and thus are uniquely responsive to the evolving epistemologies of the transdisciplinary university. Three focal questions guide this reflection: What is arts-based writing? What role does arts-based writing play in students’ design research endeavors? How can arts-based writing practices support the growth of speculative and pragmatic design research?
Having observed that many industrial design projects are started with the wrong approach, producing loss of resources, time, and professional relationships, this article presents a set of three tools that enables a clearer view of the Fuzzy Front-end (Vogel, Cagan). The first tool helps to understand the design order (Buchanan) of the product to be developed, and to place it in the utilitarian product universe (practical and economically biased), the transitional-wholistic product universe (practical, economic, and emotionally balanced), or the emotional product universe (viscerally and symbolically biased). The second identifies a product’s global purpose composed by its practical, economic, and emotional purposes, as well as the value factors they include (practical and indicative function, usability, practical or emotional cost-benefit, visceral appeal, and symbolic meaning). The third tool involves the type of project to be undertaken (vision, new development, major enhancement, or minor enhancement). Applicable to all disciplines of design, the three tools comprise the product identity footprint, which helps inform the selection of appropriate strategies to start a project the right way. It can increase the efficiency of the product development process by providing an agreed view that can be shared with all the development team, from the project sponsor to the engineering, marketing, planning, and creative departments.
This submission reports a design-driven integrated innovation on EV mobility, EV 3.0, as a collaboration between design research institution and a small BEV company in China. The on-going project provides a novel vision and design strategies of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and mobility and has achieved a key technological performance on rapid charging of BEV. The current situation of BEV Industry and their recharging patterns show a big gap of new energy mobility. Key issues of BEV and mobility are defined by analysis of users’ need of mass market and a case study of a leading BEV. Usability of charging is identified as a bottleneck of BEV industry. Hence a new vision and scenario of rapid charging are defined, leading to respective design strategies and technological routines. With a long term investigation and iterative prototyping, an established prototype is developed and officially tested in the National Center of Supervision and Inspection on New Energy Motor Vehicle Products Quality in Shanghai. The test result indicates that the prototype has 431 km range in speed of 80km/h with only 15 minutes’ recharging, which provides a valid routine to break bottleneck of BEV industry .
Design processes are so complex that it is not easy to remember, reflect and record in detail after the actual processes are over. This paper proposes a notation to depict a design process as a whole while keeping its original complexity in terms of visual and structural aspects. The notion affords two types of structures to represent design processes, through activity units, a series of actions of the same kind, and design elements including ideas, prototypes and theories emerged, created, and applied during the design process. We use a design process of an actual design workshop as a case to derive the notation while using the online presentation tool “Prezi” as an interaction framework. We then investigated the depicted design process by re-experiencing the process as a first-person engagement using the designed notation. Prezi's animation mode allowed us designate a sequence along which viewers can experience the design process by zooming in some activity units and design elements, and its presentation mode allows us to look back the design process from the start to the end by following activity units arranged in the temporal order. Following the transitions among some design elements allows us to focus on essential objects in the design process. The depicted process illustrate that the two structures of activity units and design elements are not corresponding to but independent of each other.
Over the last two decades, constructive design research (CDR) — also known as Research through Design — has become an accepted mode of scholarly inquiry within the design research community. CDR is a broad term encompassing almost any kind of research that uses design action as a mode of inquiry. It has been described as having three distinct genres: lab, field, and showroom. The lab and field genres typically take a pragmatic stance, making things as a way of investigating what preferred futures might be. In contrast, research done following the showroom approach (more commonly known as critical design (CD), speculative design, or design fictions) offers a polemic and sometimes also a critique of the current state embodied in an artifact. Recently, we have observed a growing conflict within the design research community between pragmatic and critical researchers. To help reduce this conflict, we call for a divorce between CD and pragmatic CDR. We clarify how CDR and CD exist along a continuum. We conclude with suggestions for the design research community, about how each unique research approach can be used singly or in combination, and how they can push the boundaries of academic design research in new collaboration with different disciplines.
Understanding the user’s situation is very important in the design process. There are many ways to understand a user’s situation – a designer might observe a user’s situation or a user
might record their own situation in Human Centered Design (HCD) file. However, the latter of these methods has not been very popular mainly because of the burden it place on the users. This research proposes a new smartphone-based design support application, named “HN camera”, which can be used to record the users’ situation, without any additional burden on them. This application is based on the ‘Extended Alethic/Deontic/Temporal (ADT) model’ concept. A user or a designer can understand and record the user’s situation based on the Physical factor, the Kansei factor, and the Cultural factor using HN Camera. The application was used in visualizing and analyzing tourists’ travel as a service design. Through this, the effectiveness of the proposed application was clarified.
To limit the harm and damage caused by river flooding, signs to indicate dangerous water levels are placed along the river, particularly where there is a danger of overflow. However, the general level of awareness of such signs is low. In this study, we examined ways to efficiently convey information that people have little interest in and find difficult to understand.
Dangerous water levels are quantified and communicated using colors to indicate the degree of danger, and this information is conveyed to the public with signs on bridge piers and slopes. Various other measures are also employed, e.g., adding evacuation pictograms to signs, displaying signs separate from graduated water level indicators, and providing detailed information via the river office website. In addition to using Internet channels such as websites and Facebook, it is common to create and distribute pamphlets and other kinds of printed notifications to communicate such important information as widely as possible. Nevertheless, information that is essential in an emergency but unnecessary at ordinary times is difficult to communicate widely and effectively, even if all these measures are taken. This is because even if people accept that such information must be understood, they remain uninterested and find the information difficult to understand. To solve this problem, we created a story featuring mascot characters for each danger level. This story, presented as a picture book, overturns the conventional attitude toward such information. We thereby developed a medium for communicating important information in a way that better captures people’s interest.