In this paper we report on new challenges when teaching UX students how to sketch and prototype their designs. We argue that UX students sketch and prototype differently than other design students, and we discuss how changes in the field necessitate a response in education. We describe sketching and prototyping as a continuum that students successfully traverse when they follow a process of ‘double loop learning’. We highlight three new challenges: (1) New computational design materials, (2) new maker tools, and (3) changes within the tech industry. We explore these three challenges through examples from our students, and we outline strategies for sketching and prototyping in this new reality. We conclude that this is a starting point for further work on keeping education up to speed with practice.
This paper presents the main process of a graduate course entitled ‘Generative Design Research for Sustainability’ offered in the Department of Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University in the spring semester of 2015/2016 through exemplary design research cases conducted by the graduate students at the doctoral level. These cases focus on the adaptation of the generative tool and the method, namely Experience Chart (EC) Guide tool (Kulaksız, 2016) and Experience Reflection Modelling (ERM) method (Turhan, 2013), in line with the graduate students’ particular research topics. First, the paper provides the course objectives, outcomes and process, then, it explains the EC Guide tool and the ERM method to be adapted and implemented within the context of the course. Then, these generative tool and method, and their adaptations are demonstrated through the exemplary cases (i.e. efficient use of working environment in design studios, lighting practices in kitchen environment, and interactive prototyping practice) selected from the submitted assignments considering their quality, originality and comprehensiveness. The main emphasis of this paper is on the adaptation and implementation of the EC Guide tool and the ERM method through providing the experiences, insights and suggestions of the graduate students who are also the co-authors of the paper. Based on that review, major conclusions and findings are presented through comparing and contrasting these cases for the future development of the course.
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.
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.
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.
In recent years, architecture culture study is a popular direction in traditional vernacular dwelling research of China. Architectural culture, as the metaphysical part of a building, not only influences the formation of the building in design period, but also dominates the usepattern of the building after construction. However most of studies started with material form of dwelling from architectonic prospective ignored that architecture is a phenomenon of culture. The study of vernacular dwelling from cultural and other related academic fields is very necessary. Bei-nong is a transportation space in traditional vernacular dwelling of Jiangnan area in China. This paper tried to use the methods of urban history research to investigate this space. First of all, the particular time and region of bei-nong appearance has been observed and defined from historical and cultural background. Then, appearance reasons have been analyzed based on the social context and mainstream philosophy during the scope of time and region. In the end, the physical and social functions and the architecture construction of bei-nong have been summarized and ratiocinated from the former conclusions according to inductive reasoning theory. A real and comprehensive bei-nong is showed in the result of research, not only the physical form and history of architecture but also a history story about that place and time.
In this paper, we present results from a collaborative research between academic institutions and industry partners in the UK, which aimed to understand the experience of rail passengers and to identify how the design of technology can improve this experience. Travelling by train can often provide passengers with negative experiences. New technologies give the opportunity to design new interactions that support the creation of positive experiences, but the design should be based on solid understanding of user and their needs. We conducted in-depth, face-to-face semi-structured interviews and used additional questionnaires given to passengers on board of trains to collect the data presented on this paper. A customer journey map was produced to illustrate the passengers’ experiences at diverse touchpoints with the rail system. The positive and negative aspects of each touchpoint are plotted over the course of a ‘typical’ journey, followed by the explanations for these ratings. Results indicate how the design of technological innovations can enhance the passenger experience, especially at the problematic touchpoints, e.g. when collecting tickets, navigating to the platform, boarding the train and finding a seat. We finalise this paper pointing towards requirements for future technological innovations to improve the passenger experience.
It is common to see graphic design copies of foreign models or other Chinese designers. These designers are apathetic toward the work and neglect its ongoing challenges, including the need for constant innovation. In contrast, there are masters who use Chinese culture in creative ways and achieve outstanding reputations all over the world. The reasons design masters choose Chinese culture as a theme for their graphic work and the unique ways in which they symbolise cultural resources and knowledge are explored and explained in this study. This study also illustrates how traditional culture can become a potential innovative strategy by applying a systematic and culture-based methodology. The case studies presented concern the first generation of graphic designers in Hong Kong: Henry Steiner and KAN Tai Keung. The preliminary results of the two case studies show very positive outcomes for cultural interpretation becoming a new innovative stream of graphic design.
When design works with industry it tries to sell two things, first, selling design as an agent of transformation, and second, selling design as a skill. Whilst historically design has been successful in the latter, it is the former that is more challenging, making it a necessity for design to work in none design contexts in order to build trust and credibility. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the ways in which design interacts with industry, and how these interactions enable design to establish longer term relationships.
This investigation set out to answer the question, what design specific characteristics are applied to establish successful longer-term relationships between design and industry? The paper aims to illustrate the intrinsic factors that enable design to get access, and designers to get authority to play a significant role in organisations. Five well-established relationships between design and industry have been used to analyse to find correlations.
The investigation identifies three stages of collaboration between design and industry, namely, involvement, collaboration and partnerships, contrary to Cahill’s (1965) theoretical model, which claimed four stages to long lasting partnerships. Also, the case studies confirm three stages of trust and credibility as factors that help in strengthening a relationship between design and industry. Finally, several intrinsic factors that are unique to design have been identified, which are seen to have helped design in building high levels of trust and credibility.
This study hypothesized that humans give priority perception to product shapes that possess topological structures. Three experiments confirmed the proposition accordingly. The first experiment selected existing products that grab people’s attention within the prescribed time, with the experimental objects selected according to degree of topological properties and structure complexity. The results showed that visual topological properties in the products had strong visual appeal. The second experiment determined the visual prominence of freely designed and redesigned chairs according to the rating of non-expert users. The results demonstrated that products whose shape adopted topological structures were given priority attention. The third experiment intended to prove the practical value of visual topological features from a direction opposite to that of the second experiment; that is, from topological structures to deconstruction of topological structures. All three experiments showed as well that there are many cognitive limitations in the recognition of topological structures in product shapes. These unexpected problems, such as the contradiction between topological structure and habitual cognition, are discussed. The results of the study and the effects of topological properties on development are also discussed.