Increasingly universities are adopting a collaborative approach to ensure research outcomes have industry-relevant impact. This collaboration has known challenges given the complexity of the process which requires successful negotiation across the needs of various stakeholders, disciplinary knowledges and cultural contexts. A co-creation approach in collaborative research can assist in navigating these challenges by empowering all stakeholders including industry, the academy and the community. This paper presents a case study of an industry engaged research project that employed this approach. Partnering with a northern European international airline and universities from Australia and Singapore, the project investigated opportunities for innovation around the ageing population’s user experience with in-flight packaging. Applying case study method, data collected included in-flight observations, expert interviews, co-creation workshops and prototyping. Challenges as well as opportunities are identified around how the co-creation approach supported the industry relevant outcomes of the project. The findings suggest that co-creation supports better outcomes for collaboration across the complexity of industry engaged cross-cultural research projects.
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.
The purpose of Experience Group Sessions is to identify the health and lifestyle challenges that make it difficult for patients and families to manage chronic medical conditions. The Innovation Engine at Carolinas HealthCare System worked with pediatricians to identify and recruit patients with chronic asthma. Experience Group Sessions were a way for families and patients to share their experiences managing asthma and allowed facilitators to gather insights about what does and does not happen in their daily lives. The key themes and quotes collected from the Experience Group Sessions were grouped into three categories of outcomes that define success with health: capability, comfort and calm. The results of the analysis were shared with the workgroup to inform the design and strategy for an integrated practice unit. Integrated practice units are intended to bring together a full range of providers and services to specifically address a certain medical condition, in this case, pediatric asthma at Carolinas HealthCare System. This integrated practice model will be reorganized around patient-centered care and value to improve overall health for children with asthma.
This article concerns the use of critical design practices within the context of commercial semiotics, arguing that incorporating practices from a critical design approach is valuable for client brands, but also an important means with which to incite brands to consider more deeply their role in shaping the future. As an alternative to the oppositional approach frequently taken by critical design practitioners, working through design practices collaboratively alongside client brands creates potential for the radical changes sought by many of the movement’s vanguard. A case study of recent work with a corporate client demonstrates the practical effects of using critical design practice within a commercial setting, proving the complementarity between critical design practice and commercial semiotics – where the confluence of the thinking brought new value to improve product design for example – and points to the value of using current leading edge thinking within the design community.
Designing successful products and services that people like, requires an understanding of the context and the aspirations of those people. Over the past decade, a range of methods has been developed to help designers gain such empathy. These have worked well when designer and target user share a cultural context. However, designers often find it difficult to empathize with the user insights of individuals from a culture beyond their first-hand experience. To help designers step beyond this limitation, those user insights need to be placed in a larger understanding of the cultural context. In this paper, we present Cultura: a toolkit that uses nine cultural aspects based on cultural models, informing designers about user insights in a broader cultural context. The toolkit was evaluated in design sessions with four design teams. The findings indicate that Cultura provides inspiration and motivation for designers to gain empathic insights into users beyond their own cultural boundaries and to make effective designs for people.
Western cultures focus on salient objects and use categorization for purposes of organizing the environment (an analytic view), whereas, East Asians cultures focus more holistically on relationships and similarities among objects when organizing the environment (a holistic view). Previous research has shown that cognitive approaches differ between cultures: European Americans prefer an analytic style, and East Asians tend to use a holistic style. However, little is known about how cultural differences in cognition relate to aesthetic preferences. In this paper, we explored whether cultural differences arise in preferences for products set in matching vs. mismatching contexts. Participants in a laboratory experiment included European Americans and East Asians. Individually, they viewed images of a variety of furniture products (chairs, coffee tables, and floor lamps) and rated their aesthetic appeal. Each product type appeared in three different contexts: matching (target product shown in its usual in-home context); mismatched (target product shown in an unusual in-home context), and neutral (the target product shown on a white background). For both cultural groups, products were judged to be more aesthetically pleasing in the matching than in the mismatched context. However, ratings for products in mismatching contexts were significantly higher among East Asians. Our findings suggest that those with holistic views (East Asians) are more tolerant of mismatches than are those with more analytic views (European Americans). The implications for product and marketing design include greater attention to context presentation.
Developing successful RNPs can bring competitive advantages for companies. However, the success rate of RNPs are relatively low because consumers often feel resistant to adopt
them. One reason for consumers’ resistance is their lack of comprehension of RNPs. To facilitate consumers’ comprehension, this paper conceptually discusses the opportunities related to designing the appearances of RNPs. More specifically, to facilitate consumers’ internal and external learning, this paper explores four underlying mechanisms: 1) product appearance as a visual cue to trigger category-based knowledge transfer, 2) to trigger analogy-based knowledge transfer, 3) product appearance as an information carrier to communicate innovative functionality directly, and 4) product appearance as a way to trigger congruity with innovative functionality of RNPs. The rationales for each underlying
mechanism are conceptually discussed, supported with relevant empirical evidence and examples found in the markets.
Design education opportunities for non-designers are abundant and growing, many offered as rapid sprints through executive education style workshops or online courses. While these quick immersions may serve to infuse design thinking into the work processes of other disciplines, there is a risk of oversimplification. How can courses impart an appropriate sense of design without minimizing its complexity? What are the essential components of design, and optimal timing and formats needed for meaningful delivery? On the other hand, how can we educate those who seek a robust design complement to their existing professions, and those seeking a full transition of their careers into design practice? This study looks at the inception and early iterations of a one-year degree program providing an in-depth education to non-designers seeking a complementary education to other credentials or a full conversion to design through modular degree options. The first years of the program suggest several findings. For example, interdisciplinary cohorts introduce a mix of rational and intuitive approaches. Students need mentorship into design processes and practices, such as subjectivity in assessments and feedback through critique. Educators are challenged to acknowledge the past education and professional backgrounds of students, capitalizing on their unique strengths rather than homogenizing all students into a singular version of design. Students need tools to assess their professional identity during their transition to design. This work in progress will examine the spectrum of design education opportunities for non-designers, including key factors differentiating a degree program from the proliferation of short course exposures.
The number of migrant workers in South Korea is on the rise, but their inadequate Korean language skills prevent them from being promoted at work, or fairly treated as respected members of the society. In this study, in collaboration with a government-authorized language educational facility for immigrants, the authors investigated (a) challenges in migrant workers’ Korean as a second language learning, and (b) design principles of lessons and learning materials specifically targeted to their needs. Student and teacher interview data confirmed that the workers’ limited time for study, weak motivation, Korean colleagues’ indifferent attitude, and limited teaching resources at educational facilities are major barriers to achieving higher levels of linguistic skills. From the data, the authors identified four design principles: personalized content, community participation, portability of materials, and micro learning modules. Informal lessons via Facebook, factory safety signs, and portable writing drill booklets are designed as on-going experimentations of the principles.