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.
Most academic methodologies are developed from a prescribed methodological process that is limited to a specific area of study. However, the disciplinary landscape in which the knowledge is established is being rapidly reconfigured. Given the vast varieties of practices and knowledge base required from information designers, it is even more crucial for them to look outside of the traditional visual design fields and seek diversities for better research and creation methods.
The two disciplines, software engineering and information design, are often perceived as one provides technical solutions to the other. This essay intends to move beyond the common perception, and identify relevant issues in software engineering design that resonate with the information design process. The issues include the multi-component planning approach; the human-oriented agile method; design concepts such as abstraction, decomposition, component modularity, hierarchical relationship, and extensibility. The perspectives from software engineering design and information design is examined through units of analysis, terminology explanations, and forms of communications. The collective design methods and principles provide a systematic framework to the methodological thinking in information design. The discussion serves the purpose of encouraging more conceptual-based conversations between information design and other disciplines, especially in the fields of science and technology.
This paper studies a design workshop that investigates complex collaboration between fundamental physics and design. Our research focuses on how students create original artefacts that bridge the gap between disciplines that have very little in common. Our goal is to study the micro-evolutions of their projects. Elaborating first on Actor Network Theory (Latour, 1996; 2005) we study how students’ projects evolved over time and through a diversity of inputs and media. Throughout this longitudinal study, we use then a semiotic and pragmatic approach to observe three “aesthetical formations”: translation, composition, and stabilization. These formations suggest that the question of material agency developed in the field of archeology and cognitive science (Knappett & Malafouris, 2008) need to be considered in the design field (Renon, 2016) to explain metamorphoses from the brief to the final realizations.
Fundamental to design education is the creation and structure of curriculum. Neither the creation of design curriculum, nor the revaluation of existing curriculum is well documented. With no clear documentation of precedent, best practices are left open to debate. This paper and presentation will discuss the use of a survey as a research tool to assess existing curriculum at Iowa State University in the United States. This tool allowed the needs and perspectives of the program’s diverse stakeholders to be better understood. Utilizing survey methods, research revealed the convergence and divergence of stakeholders’ philosophies, theories and needs in relation to design curriculum.
Accreditation and professional licensing provide base level of guidelines for design curriculum in the United States. However, each program’s curricular structure beyond these guidelines is a complicated balance of resources, facilities, faculty, and the type of institution in which it is housed. Once established, a program’s curriculum is rarely reassessed as a whole, but instead updated with the hasty addition of classes upon an existing curricular structure. Curriculum is infrequently re-addressed, and when it is, it is typically based on the experience and opinions of a select group of faculty. This paper presents how a survey was developed to collect data to inform curricular decision- making, enabling the reduction of faculty bias and speculation in the process. Lessons learned from the development of this research tool will be shared so it might be replicated at other institutions, and be efficiently repeated periodically to ensure currency of a program’s curriculum.
Futures techniques have long been used in large enterprises as designerly means to explore the future and guide innovation. In the automotive industry, for instance, the development of concept cars is a technique which has repeatedly proven its value. However, while big companies have broadly embraced futures techniques, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have lagged behind in applying them, largely because they are too resource- intensive and poorly suited to the SMEs’ needs and idiosyncrasies. To address this issue, we developed DIVE: Design, Innovation, Vision, and Exploration, a design-led futures technique for SMEs. Its development began with an inquiry into concept cars in the automotive industry and concept products and services in other industries. We then combined the insights derived from these design practices with elements of the existing techniques of critical design and design fiction into the creation of DIVE’s preliminary first version, which was then applied and evaluated in two iterations with SMEs, resulting in DIVE’s alpha version. After both iterations in context, it seems that DIVE suits the SMEs because of its compact and inexpensive activities which emphasize making and storytelling. Although the results of these activities might be less flashy than concept cars, these simple prototypes and videos help SMEs internalize and share a clear image of a preferable future, commonly known as vision. Developing DIVE thus helped us explore how design can support SMEs in envisioning the future in the context of innovation.
Two German pioneers of sensory development education, Christof Drexel (1886-1979) and Hugo Kükelhaus (1900-1984) pursued methodical investigations into perceptual principles of cognition and design in order to discover the ways in which aesthetic principles can develop and guide sensory response. Drexel and Kükelhaus traveled parallel investigative paths, both merging formal aesthetic practices with perceptual psychology. It was not until 1950, when these visionary thinkers finally met in person, that they joined forces to present their discoveries which determined that experiences are momentary intersections between internal and external realities, and are intrinsically intertwined in the deepest levels of consciousness, publicly. Both Drexel and Kükelhaus believed in the value of using the senses as pedagogy and that they should be integrated into every level of education. Correspondence between Drexel and Kükelhaus after 1950 illuminates the theoretical paths and applicative forms generated through the interplay of experimental psychology and applied aesthetic practice. This paper provides insights into the artistic and scientific dynamics based on Drexel’s examination of archetypical imagery and the psychic line, and the sensory development applications designed by Kükelhaus.
Decisions made by user interface designers play an influential role in how people interact with software, this is especially true when it comes to the creation of tools to support teaching. As technology continues to play a more prominent role in schools, it poses an important question about how the design of learning tools influence what teachers do in classrooms. Data analytics is one opportunity technology offers for teachers to foster collaboration in student groups. Data analytics have the potential to provide teachers with a live view of what students are doing when using technology, which research shows is challenging to implement in classrooms. This paper focuses on the process to design a tool that assists engineering discussion session teacher assistants (TAs) to monitor collaboration within groups. We report on findings from interviews with TAs on what they anticipate they would need in order to support group work, and discuss how their responses influenced the design of this tool.
This study suggests that student reflection on academic and industry collaborative projects can enhance student’s understanding on the design process to solve live industry problems. It contributes to the body of design literature to support students learning of explicit and implicit knowledge (Boling et al., 2016; Land et al., 2016; Salama, 2015). A 2017 learning- by-making (LBM) unit in the School of Architecture and Design, at the University of Tasmania, Australia, developed a unit for students to collaborate with Neville Smith Forest Products Pty. Ltd. (NSFP). NSFP is a local Tasmanian timber product manufacturer who currently stockpiles out-of-grade timber that has limited market applications. Undergraduate design students from second and third year Furniture, Interior and Architecture degrees collaborated with NSFP to value-add to their out-of-grade resource in the LBM unit. A series of design challenges, observations of industry practice and access to out-of-grade timber from NSFP exposed students to live industry problems and provided them the opportunity to build professional design skills. Students reflected on the collaborative LBM unit in a reflection journal, which was used to provide evidence of their learning experiences. The collaborative environment between academia and industry allowed students to acquire an understanding of timber product manufacturing that helped them develop empathy towards the industry problem and influence the development of new products. This study presents how student reflections influenced a change in their design process as they progressed through sequential design challenges to address an industry problem by adopting Valkenburg and Dorst (1998) reflective learning framework.
Low-seated chairs for tatami mats that are characteristic of Japanese-style interior appeared after late 1940s. This article focuses on the ambivalence between Western lifestyles and Japanese lifestyles by tracing the comments of designers, critics, magazines, and so forth to clarify a background of them. The introduction of chairs in Japan was actually involved, by definition, in a dichotomy between sitting on the floor and in chairs, which therefore was far from the domestic practicality of lifestyles among the public. Then we have to observe the two points for the introduction of chairs to break through this rigid situation: (1) how did the public establish definition of chairs outside the Westernization? This article grasps the fact that the artisans and early designers accumulated their experience of producing chairs from scratch, through trial and error. (2) How did the relation between sitting on the floor and in chairs break out of the dichotomy, through ambivalence? This article focuses on the fact that the public enjoyed the physical relaxation offered by the mix of sitting on the floor and in chairs. This constituted the domestic practicality of chairs for the Japanese. Therefore, such experiences of making and using chairs can be summarized as the awakening of a universe in the distance between the floor and the seat-height of Western chairs. It was a new frontier for Japanese designers, and low-seated chairs were born in this space. This article concludes that it marked the transition from Westernization to Japanese modern design.
The environment in which patients (need to) reside has a great influence on their wellbeing (Ulrich, 1991). That is why introducing ‘Design for Wellbeing’ is key in the design of palliative environments. People in the last phase of their life become more receptive to environmental stimuli. From our perspective, this triggers design to become even more relevant in such contexts. People’s search for subjective well-being (SWB) has promoted a change in vision in the design of new products, services and environments, with a focus not only on material properties, but also on the personal values that trigger actions that can contribute to people’s SWB. Such considerations contribute also to proposing answers to the question of how design can support people to have a meaningful life and ‘be well’ in the best possible way, according to the circumstances.
The purpose of this paper is firstly, if design for wellbeing can be performed in the context of palliative care, and secondly, how research could be set up in such a precious context. A thorough literature review will be performed to answer these questions. The value of this study lies in aiming to try to enable terminally ill patients and people from their immediate surroundings to cope with these events via design, and to stimulate people to be able to perform activities that they like (most) and which contribute to their SWB.