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.
As humans’ information processing abilities, have become more and more disconnected from their senses due to an increasing quantity of abstract information, so have design processes. There is a demand for designers to include human sensation as part of engaging product forms and experiences. This qualitative case study explores the role of senses and their potential use in design ideation. A literature review of related theoretical and pragmatic perspectives and a survey of 15-20 product examples that provide unique sensory experiences are analyzed and sorted through four sensory design strategies: Sensory Augmentation, Conversion, Transition and Isolation. Using the four strategies as core concepts, a Sensory Reflective Framework with a mindful focus on sensory appreciation and translation is proposed to support designers’ ideation in creating unique product forms and experiences. The paper reports the process and findings of a sensory ideation workshop which was conducted based on the framework, and further discusses the development and implications of the framework in supporting designers’ sensory ideation.
Over the last two decades, for-profit and non-for-profit organizations have increasingly adopted open collaboration, such as open innovation and crowdsourcing, as a strategy for innovation. Information and communication technology (ICT) has played a major role in forming open collaboration communities, but organizational design also needs to be considered to encourage the active participation and collaboration of actors. Nonetheless, organizational design aspect has seldom been addressed in developing open collaboration platforms. In this research, an organizational design framework for open collaboration was developed through a nature-inspired design approach. This framework suggests that the self-organization mechanism of social insects provides inspirations for the design of the platform, especially in terms of setting simple rules to induce behaviors of the actors and facilitating interactions among them. Since the open collaboration strategy depends on external actors who are not in employment relationship, an organization cannot force their contribution. Accordingly, the organization’s capability to induce the spontaneous participation of actors is essential, and it implies the potential role of designers in platform design based on a thorough understanding of actors. We thus claim that designers can bring a new perspective to organizational design. Open collaboration platforms serve as an exemplar in which designers contribute to the design of an organizational environment that fosters collaboration.
The “Safety Grand Challenge” is a collaborative research project between the Royal College of Art (RCA) School of Design, and the Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF). The maritime industry is dominated by “grandfathering” leading to a slow-pace of adopting innovations that can reduce risk and save lives at sea. We describe how impact was achieved through collaboration and design innovations that bridged the risk gap between technologies and human behaviours. Starting from the project brief we designed a collaborative platform that supported a constructive dialogue between academia and partner organisations that aimed to foster innovative design approaches to risk and safety. The project generated an engaged community with diverse expertise that influenced the outcomes which included seven prototypes designed by a group of thirty students from across the RCA. Throughout the course of the project the network extended to other partners beyond the initial ones that included the RCA, LRF and Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The “Safety Grand Challenge” demonstrates how research can be an explorative platform that offers opportunities to analyse and design solutions to real life safety problems in mature industries through the prototypes that reflect the sophistication of the project’s collaborations. Our conclusions support how design research helped identify the value of design for safety in tackling complex issues that intertwine human, environmental and commercial views and can shape new forms of collaborative research between academia and industrial partners.
Effective university-industry collaboration has become a major focus for governments in recent years. Universities are increasingly expected to play a greater role in the innovation system and evidence their contribution to economic development. At the same time, the growth in research quality assessment exercises makes it imperative that the excellence of research conducted in commercially-driven activities can be appropriately evaluated. This paper explores the challenge of reconciling commercially-focused activity and research quality assessment in design. Semi- structured interviews were conducted with thirteen experts including representatives from the design discipline, other applied academic disciplines, research quality assessment leaders and commercial designers. The interviews identified a number of barriers to demonstrating research excellence in commercially-driven projects. These were classified as barriers resulting from: the nature of industry/academic relationships; the nature of the project; and the nature of the research quality assessment. It is concluded that there is a need to build a simple, easily usable framework for assessing the research potential of commercially-driven design projects from the outset to ensure that the appropriate processes are put in place to communicate research conducted within them.
Identifying Infants can be harder than it seems. Particularly in remote and limited resources settings, rapid and accurate identification of infants presents an unsolved complex sociotechnical problem. Imagine a long line of caregivers, each carrying several children, waiting outside in heat and humidity for required vaccinations. Caregivers may only know the infant's given names: how can the they be identified for record keeping?
Vaccination cards are notoriously unreliably and easily lost, mistakes abound. Recent technologycentered attempts th
In order to develop a new, infant-centered solution from the ground up, we assembled a diverse team of engineers, clinicians, ethnographers and designers and followed a Human Centered Design (HCD) approach of ethnography, rapid prototyping and testing. We examined all common modalities used in adult biometrics-- ear, iris, retina, face, foot, palm and finger recognition and compared technical feasibility, usability and acceptability for the infant use case. We prototyped many infant-centric devices and arrived at lead candidates using modified contact vs non contact palm and finger scanning. Frequent design-test cycles were critical as the complexity and changing nature of infant physiology, behavior and caregiver dynamics could not be predicted, only tested with subjects. This was compounded by moving targets of evolving infant-centric software, hardware and device design.
In summary, we report here an HCD based approach to infant biometrics. We developed and tested robust, socially acceptable technologies that adapt to the tiny, sensitive yet changing fingers of very young infants.
This paper details the evaluation process undertaken to create criteria for the development of an iPad stand for elderly users. Emphasis is on the requirements elicitation stage with end users in the field. 32 elderly participants taking part in the activity group as part of the Ageing-Well program of a City Council in a cosmopolitan area in Australia were part of an evaluation in which three existing iPad stands were trialled. While commercially available stands are abundant, specific problems such as reduced grip, basic technical understanding of the stand, and concerns surrounding stability were encountered within the group. Observation and semi-structured interviews were undertaken with the cohort to determine factors surrounding the suitability and uptake of these stands by elderly users – most of them with some disabilities - with findings suggesting that current tablet stands require fine levels of dexterity, which may not be appropriate for elderly users where such a device is needed. While usability in setting up the stand and use is a strong factor, aesthetics and material qualities are equally important for enjoyable use. In addition, the use of iPads in social activities between two or more older adults has specific demands in terms of visibility of screen, sturdiness and easy movement that is not considered by current tablet stands. The paper ends with proposing design recommendations. Further research is required to develop a suitable solution and refines these
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.
To prepare students to imagine desirable futures amidst current planetary level challenges, design educators must think and act in new ways. In this paper, we describe a pilot study that illustrates how educators might teach K-12 students and university design students to situate their making within transitional times in a volatile and exponentially changing world. We describe how to best situate students to align design thinking and learning with future foresight. Here we present a pilot test and evaluate how a university-level Dexign Futures course content, approach, and scaffolded instructional materials – can be adapted for use in K-12 Design Learning Challenges. We describe the K-12 design-based learning challenges/experiences developed and implemented by the Design Learning Network (DLN). The Dexign Futures course we describe in this paper is a required course for third year undergraduate students in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. The “x” signifies a different type of design that aligns short-term action with long-term goals. The course integrates design thinking and learning with long-horizon future scenario foresight. Broadly speaking, we ask how might portions of a design course be taught and experienced by teachers and students of two different demographics: within the university (Design Undergraduates) and in K-12 (via DLN). This pilot study is descriptive in nature; in future work, we seek to assess learning outcomes across university and K-12 courses. We believe the approach described is relevant for lifelong learners (e.g., post- graduate-level, career development, transitional adult education).
The challenges facing many small nonprofit organizations are increasing at a greater rate than the internal capacities of many within this sector are able to address effectively. This situation has small nonprofits questioning their sustainability and ability to deliver their services in the long term. Often these small nonprofit organizations are working within a business model and communications paradigm that has remained unchanged for decades and one which is proving no longer effective in attracting awareness, engagement, and support. Many of these organizations are facing a critical failure requiring significant business model innovation to achieve both their short-, mid- and long-term goals. Design thinking is an avenue for nonprofits to achieve business model innovation by developing new, unique concepts supporting an organization’s viability and the processes for bringing those concepts to fruition. This case study outlines the design thinking process applied to business model innovation for a small, 22-year old, nonprofit approaching critical business failure.