An Interdisciplinary Design Journal

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An Interdisciplinary Design Journal
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SPRING 2012
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Master of Design MDes - Carleton University
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An Interdisciplinary Design Journal
FIELDS
An Interdisciplinary Design Journal
Volume 0, Spring 2012
FIELDS
An Interdisciplinary Design Journal
DIRECTOR
Lorenzo Imbesi (Professor, Coordinator, MDes, Carleton University)
SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE
Rafik Goubran (Professor, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Design, Carleton University)
Thomas Garvey (Professor, Director, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University)
WonJoon Chung (Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University)
Lois Frankel (Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University)
Bjarki Halgrimsson (Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University)
EDITORIAL BOARD
SECTION COORDINATORS
John Di Palma (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
Miao Guo (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
Natalie Shalmon (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
ART DIRECTORS
David Craib (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
Vance Fok (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
Ann Le (Student, BArch, Carleton University)
Akil Worrell (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
PRODUCTION MANAGERS
Steph Bolduc (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
Evan Mullenf (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
Kehinde Oyelola (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
PHOTO MANAGERS
Vance Fok (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
Phil Savignac (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
Philipp Stäheli (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
PROOF READERS
Vance Fok (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
Michael Grigoriev (Student, MDes, Carleton University)
Benoît-Simon Lagaçé (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
PUBLIC RELATION MANAGER
Martine Gallant (Student, MArch, Carleton University)
FIELD. An interdisciplinary Design Journal
ISBN 978-0-7709-0553-8, Issue #0, Spring 2012
is published by:
Master of Design MDes - School of Industrial Design - Carleton University
Azrieli Pavilion, 1125 Colonel By Drive, OTTAWA, CANADA K1S 5B6.
http://www.id.carleton.ca
http://www.id.carleton.ca/graduate/about-the-mdes-program/overview-objectives/
Contact the Director: [email protected]
Contact the Authors: [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected]
Printed in Ottawa, Canada
Contents
EDITORIAL NOTES
Challenging the Fields – Lorenzo Imbesi
2
KEYNOTES
Strategic Design: from Designing Objects to Designing Ideas – Loredana Di Lucchio The Designer as Social Entrepreneur – New Design Approaches in the
Global Marketplace – Patty Johnson Designing the Services – Daniela Sangiorgi 10
12
CONCEPT
Graphical Symbols in Interface Design – Philippe Savignac Can Design Save the World? – Michael Grigoriev Interview with Emily Pilloton – Michael Grigoriev From Tool Craft to Meta Meaning - David Craib The Design of Information: A Timeline - David Craib
The Lifecycle of the Built: Removing the Mechanics – Martine Gallant Quality Control Steps – Martine Gallant
From the Inside Out - Steph Bolduc Interview with Markus Berger – Steph Bolduc The Organizational Power of Design Methods – John Di Palma Locating Transformation Design – John Di Palma 16
20
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26
31
32
35
36
38
40
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CONTEXT
Places for People – Natalie Shalmon Dimensions of Public Design – Natalie Shalmon Strange Mutt – Benoît-Simon Lagacé Constructing Events – Evan Mullen
Mark Fisher and Setting the Stage – Evan Mullen Mise En Scène – Ann Le The Structural Integrity of Design – Philipp Stäheli Interview with Hermann Blumer – Philipp Stäheli 48
54
56
62
66
68
72
75
OBJECT
Retail Design: Innovative Technologies and Customer Experience – Kehinde Oyelola The Role of the Package Designer - Akil Worrell The Changing Role – Akil Worrell National Cultures and Automobile Design – Miao Guo Cross Breeding Grounds for Designing for the Senses – Vance Fok A Mind Map for Design for the Senses – Vance Fok 6
80
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90
96
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SCHOOL NOTES
A Time of Great Promise – Thomas Garvey 106
An Evolutionary View of Interdisciplinarity in Industrial Design – Lois Frankel
107
What is Interdisciplinarity in Design? - Wonjoon Chung 108
Interdisciplinary Design and Prototyping - Bjarki Hallgrimsson
109
Contributors111
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INNOVATION PROCESS COMPLEXITY SCENARIO IMMATERIAL SCALES ARTIFACT
KNOWLEDGE COLLAPSING OF THE DISCIPLINES TIME STRATEGIC DESIGN MANAGEMENT SERVICE DESIGN EXPERIENCE
DESIGN INTERACTION DESIGN PARTICIPATIVE DESIGN SUSTAINABILITY TANGIBLE
THE INTANGIBLE DIVERSITY MULTIPLICITY
CROSS-FERTILIZATION CREATIVITY CONNECTIONS INTERDISCIPLINARITY THINKING DIFFERENTLY POST-INDUSTRIAL
SOCIETIES CREATIVE PROFESSIONS
Challenging COGNITIVE PRODUCTS HYBRID KNOWLEDGE INthe FIelDs INNOBETWEEN SOCIETY OF KNOWLEDGE
VATION PROCESS COMPLEXITY SCENARIO
IMMATERIAL SCALES ARTIFACT KNOWLEDGE COLLAPSING OF THE DISCIPLINES
TIME STRATEGIC DESIGN MANAGEMENT
SERVICE DESIGN EXPERIENCE DESIGN
INTERACTION DESIGN PARTICIPATIVE
DESIGN SUSTAINABILITY TANGIBLE THE
INTANGIBLE DIVERSITY MULTIPLICITY
CROSS-FERTILIZATION CREATIVITY CONNECTIONS INTERDISCIPLINARITY THINKING DIFFERENTLY POST-INDUSTRIAL
SOCIETIES CREATIVE PROFESSIONS COGNITIVE PRODUCTS HYBRID KNOWLEDGE
IN-BETWEEN SOCIETY OF KNOWLEDGE
EDITORIAL
notes
Lorenzo Imbesi
2
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Design is changing its role in our contemporary society along the crisis of industry
and the systems of production. At the
same time, Design turns to be a critical
activity looking towards innovation for
the management of processes and strategic
scenarios. Contemporary products come
to be the result of complex projects,
involving a number of expertise, skills and
fields, while paradigms of industry and
seriality can no longer explain the complexity and the plurality of the experiences
connected.
On another note, Design has expanded its territories of action and developed
its methods to the point to constitute
complex and cross-border fields, while
introducing a vast collection of objects,
inventive projects, as well as highly specialized researches.
The transition from the old twentieth
century “industrial design” to the contemporary “360 degree Design” has led to the
multiplication and expansion of its fields
of expertise. Design had to constantly
innovate its tools and approaches in order
to face a different scenario every time, in
search of always producing new outputs
on the line of innovation, while redefining
its tasks and boundaries every time.
These are new roles to discover, inbetween material and immaterial factors,
interaction and communication, service
and product, experience and scenario
vision, local and global, Design provides
sense and direction to production, communication, interface, service, image,
while reaching new challenges and playing
new roles.
The Collapsing of Scales
The academic model developed around
the disciplines of Design we have inherited until now, is the result of a process
of cutting the project (and the reality we
experience everyday) into scales.
The product designer shapes the small
objects and artifacts of everyday life; the
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graphic designer draws the illustration
or the commercial design of any twodimensional layout; the furniture designer
looks after the movable articles to fit any
built environment for living; the interior
designer is the one who set the living
spaces; then, the architect is the one who
moulds the inner spaces and the built
shapes; next will be the urbanist, collecting buildings into a wider organic layout
and, again following an increment of scale,
the landscape designer would be the one
who is in charge to turn the built skyline
into an harmonic scenario.
In the former cases, it does not seem
to be the practice of design itself and the
knowledge skills involved in the process of
transformation, to establish the methodology and the tools to organize a discipline
and a knowledge approach. Rather, it is
the consideration on what is big and what
is small, often even with the presumption
that the first is more ‘complex’ than the
second one – as if the project of a building
would involve more features than a spoon,
without mentioning the contemporary
technological artifacts.
And in fact, it is just the multiplication of contemporary artifacts, many of
them including very complex technological or social characteristics, to imply the
gathering of different scales and the meeting of a large range of specialism. This is
nowadays seriously undermining all the
operational and epistemic borders we used
to rely on our Universities and Schools.
Then, nowadays we may state how different disciplines are seamlessly blurring one
into the other and this can be said even
easier for Design knowledge.
Should a museum should be considered a deposit for absolute conservation
or a place to access the communication of
culture? Or furthermore, should packaging be considered a product or communication design?
Along with the end of the “Grand
Narratives” (Lyotard, 1979), as we’re liv-
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ing an era of redefinition of the meaning
of ‘knowledge’, we can state the collapsing
of the categories, the scales, the fields: can
we consider the project of a Nike shoe
an industrial product, communication
or fashion? Moreover, can we consider a
website as a big or small scale?
Blurring
As a result, we can state a form of blurring of the disciplines according to the
overcoming of the new technologies in
every sector, which has repercussions both
in the approaches, as in the methodologies and knowledge itself: can we consider
interaction design connected with urban
studies, architecture, product or communication? And what about info-design?
Moreover, can we consider communication just as a form of graphic design or as a
directorial practice?
The blurring of the boundaries is also
due to the collapsing of the disciplinary
concepts that once were the flagships
of Architecture (such as the concept of
‘scale’) and the question started to become
already critical facing the huge mass production of the Ford T Model (just think
about how this influenced not just the
mobility of people, but the design
of contemporary built landscapes in
North America through highways and
shopping malls).
In opposition to another idée fixe of
architecture and to the static notion of
space, the liquefaction of the borders is
also due to the rupture of the axis of time.
This is finally imposing as a constitutive
and leading parameter for the project,
while being required in every form of
planning and process oriented design,
strategic design and design management,
but moreover for the bursting of service
design, experience design and interaction
design, as well as for the affirmation of
participative design and sustainability.
The emergence of the process in design
in every form has given the chance of
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opening its borders not just in the hermeneutic or semantic sense, but also more
factually in the everyday perspective as
profession and as academic discipline.
The organization of time becomes the
main material to design: with the entrance
of digitalization in every sector of production, it is no longer the manipulation of
raw materials as the main activity, but the
management of the relations between the
different actors involved. The designer
becomes a knowledge worker who is dealing with signs and interfaces, but also the
complexity of the organization and the
management of any process of transformation requiring creativity and vision.
The action of designing itself is becoming
indifferent to the shaping of the object
to transform: form is still relevant, but
it is just the crystallization of a number
of activities coming together, where the
designer assumes the role of facilitating
and enabling the conversation between
different disciplinary languages. Design
becomes the science to make “tangible the
intangible” connections between disciplines, rather than opening separations or
including the differences.
An Un-Disciplined Discipline
While studying the birth of the discipline,
Michel Foucault remarks how the encyclopaedic knowledge of the age of enlightenment resulted in the development of
specialized practices through classification
and objective categories in order to allow
the division of knowledge: “the disciplines
characterize, classify, specialize, allocate
along a scale, divide around a norm,
hierarchize and, ultimately, disqualify and
invalidate” (Foucault, 1975). As a result,
4
the disciplines coming with the modern
societies take on the task of stabilizing
the blurring shapes into clear and tidy
geometries, normalizing the multiplicities, classifying the diversities, containing
the change. The outcome is a catalogued
and cataloguing space of knowledge, able
to measure the differences and to map an
increasingly mobile reality.
While connecting reason and imagination out of any “hard” and “pure” disciplinary border, Design is Un-Disciplined
while looking outside itself and developing a hybrid way to investigate reality.
This is due to its proper nature of being
ceaselessly “in-between”, dealing with
knowledge and techniques from other
disciplines, taking them into everyday life
and translating into scenarios, communication, real and virtual artifacts, rather
than elaborating its own principles.
Design always had the power to build
relations with technology and materials,
but also innovation and social practices;
therefore its cultural evidence. Its specific
complexity constantly implied a spread
net of theoretical and methodological
contaminations flanking design thinking
through time. If innovation has to face the
unknown, often hybridizing different factors and making connections which seem
unlikely, design challenges the disciplines
by opening structures and blurs the recognized borders of knowledge, often falling
beyond the conventions.
Design develops a structurally open
field, which is at the same time flexible
and has no fixed rules or inner need to be
defined too rigidly in its various divisions.
While contaminating skills and practising cross-fertilization, Design displays a
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large capability through creativity to allow
the perception of diverse and unexpected
connections of ideas. In addition, similar
to the methodology of science programs,
the proper way design operates is interdisciplinary and is out of the strict logics of
the fields, playing out that kind of “thinking differently” from which innovation
occurs. Then, Design becomes a boundary
or border field without a given character:
if this can imply some lacking of recognisability or identity, at the same time its
flexibility empowers to face the challenges
of the new condition of life, while developing new tools every time.
FIelDs is Mapping
Here comes the need to analyse and map
the change that contemporary post-industrial societies are bringing into the creative
professions, while developing new tools to
understand the cognitive products which
come to be more immaterial, informational and virtual.
FIelDs would like to challenge the disciplinary fields to understand the hybrid
knowledge which is growing “in-between”.
Strategic design, service design, experience
design, design orienting scenarios, brand
design, design for social innovation, urban
design, stage design, design for sustainability, critical design, interaction design,
sound design, game design, packaging
design, biodesign, public design, food
design, etc., are just a few of the new
hybrid areas coming from the merging of
design with other fields of inquiry (such as
anthropology of techniques, sociology of
science, economy, marketing, socio-semiotic, cultural studies, knowledge economy,
cybernetics, cognitive sciences, etc.)
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Any young designer cannot aim just to
be a designer anymore, moreover she/he
has to take a position in the new markets
of labour and understand the kind of interdisciplinary profile she/he may develop
for her/his own career.
Here comes the need to investigate the
specializations which are multiplying in
Design and which are increasingly more
sophisticated and contextual, blurring
each other without close and rigid divisions. Understanding the new emerging
creative professions means looking into
the plurality of languages and methodologies, which interact and make the Design
field even more pervasive and articulated.
It is an exploration of a disseminated
net of theoretical and methodological
contaminations, which Design is experimenting, so implying the development of
new professions, which are considered in
detail.
What are the new scenarios of design
and production along with the occurrence of the post-industrial society of
knowledge? What are its epistemological
assumptions? What are the new fields to
be developed? What are approaches and
methodologies?
References
Bell, D. (1973) The Coming of Post-Industrial
Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. New
York: Basic Books.
Castells, M. (1996) The Information Age:
Economy, Society and Culture. Vol I, The Rise
of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell.
De Bono, E. (1992) Serious Creativity. Using
the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New
Ideas. Des Moines: The McQuaig Group Inc.
Foucault, M. (1966) Les Mots et les Choses. Une
archéologie des sciences humaines. Paris: éditions Gallimard.
Foucault, M. (1969) L’Archéologie du savoir. Paris:
éditions Gallimard.
Foucault, M. (1970) The order of things. New
York: Pantheon Books.
Foucault, M. (1975) Surveiller et Punir. Naissance
de la Prison. Paris: Gallimard.
Florida, R. (2003) The rise of the creative class: and
how it’s transforming work, leisure, community
and everyday life. New York: Basic Books.
Gilmore, J. H. Pine, B. J. (1999) The Experience
Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a
Stage. Boston: Harvard Business Press.
Gorz, A. (2003) L’immatériel: connaissance,
valeur et capital. Paris: Editions Galileé.
Imbesi, L. (2010) No More Lonely Heroes. From
the culture of project to spread Creativity. In:
“Design Matters. Designers too. Designers
Imbesi, L. (2010) Hybrid in Design. Design as a
Cultural and Collective Process. In: “Borderline - pushing design over the limit”,
Conference Proceedings of Cumulus Genk
Conference. Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg, Media & Design Academie.
Imbesi, L. (2009) Design_Studies: Design inbetween Theories and Project. In: “Design
Education 2050”, Icsid Design Education
Conference Singapore 2009, Section Future
Epistemology. Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore.
Imbesi, L. DESIGN POWER. (2008) Design
cognitariat at work in the organization of the
knowledge capital. In: “Design Thinking:
New Challenges for Designers, Managers
and Organizations”, Conference Proceedings of the International DMI Education
Conference. ESSEC Business School, CergyPontoise, Paris.
Lyotard, J.-F. (1984) The Postmodern Condition:
A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: Univ.
Of Minnesota Press.
Rullani, E. (2004) La fabbrica dell’immateriale.
Produrre valore con la conoscenza. (The Factory of the Immaterial. Proucing Value through
Knowledge). Roma: Carocci.
Touraine, A. (1969) La société post-industrielle.
Naissance d’une société. Paris: DenoëlGonthier.
as Human Resources”, edited by Cumulus
Think Tank Antwerpen: De Boeck.
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PROD U CTI ON B R A ND CULT URE STR ATEGY
COM PA N Y I DENTI TY CO NSUME RS DES IRES
M A R K E T I N N O V AT I O N C O M M U N I C AT I O N
R E L AT I O N S H I P K N O W L E D G E C R E AT I V I T Y
G LO B A L M A R K E T P L A C E S O C I A L E N T R E PREN EU R NEW TE CHNO LO G IE S INTERN AT I O N A L I Z AT I O N O F C O M M O D I T Y E T H I C S
OF M A N UFACTURE DE MO CRAT IC D ES IG N
CR A F T P R ODUCTIO N INDIG E NO US A RTEStrategic
FACT S O CI AL DES
IG N SPEDesign:
CIAL IZAT ION MICR O- MA N UFACTURE
RS GObjects
LO BAL
from Designing
to D ES IG N
C U LT U R E C ODesigning
L L A B O Ideas
R AT I V E A P P R O A C H
SERVICE DESIGN
VALUE CREATION INNOVALoredana Di Lucchio
TION EXPERIENCE INTERACTION POLICY
HUMAN CENTRED DESIGN PLATFORM URBAN TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT DSIGN
THINKING PERFORMANCE CO-CREATION
KEYNOTE
Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Design,
Technology of Architecture, Landscape, Environment, Italy
Until some time ago, there was a common sense of the word Design that was
basically related to the production of
objects. More recently, this word has been
connected especially with those products
with a high aesthetic quality, like furniture, fashion, cars; while the development
of the rest of the products - in particular
electronic devices - has been attributed to
the engineering activity.
But, in recent years, due to a crisis/
complexification of the operational and
cultural boundaries, the word design has
assumed several meanings: not only it
is in the collective imagination, but it is
part of a wide lifestyle. Product design,
component design, fashion design, lighting design, graphic design, web design,
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packaging design, eco-design, retail
design, design management… Today, every
action and any profession may be recognized as a design activity! And all of this
can be justified if Design is recognized as
a culture of ideation: if designer is the one
who implements a creative action, from
a known present to an envisaged future
which is transformed by what it does.
Therefore, if according to the Latin
root of the word, Design means plan,
wherever there is a “plan” from an idea to
a concrete action, in that extent Design
happens. Along with this positive amplification of the Design meaning, we are also
assisting to a sort of disciplinary displacement. In fact, the job of the designer is
no more a coded profession and those
who choose this learning path, may find
themselves designing a website, managing a sales company or, even, organizing a
cultural event.
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According to this large blend of
knowledge and skills, there is also particular attention pad to the activity of the
project which is not directly related to the
material sphere of production, but to the
immaterial one. In fact, in contemporary
society, objects are losing their importance
in relation to their technical and functional performances; they are increasingly
transformed into concepts, communication and meaning. According to the so
called ‘knowledge economy’ - an economy
based more on communication than on
production - the ultimate resource to
challenge the current crowded and hypercompetitive market seems to be Creativity.
In this economy made of big corporations - which push their pervasive penetration in almost every sector - and ‘no-brand
companies’ – which invest only to copy – a
lot of companies are forced not only to
maintain their market position, but above
all to improve a cultural production, as
they understand that functionally and aesthetically perfect products aren’t any more
a certainty of success in the marketplace.
The knowledge-economy requires
products and brands to hire a social meaning. This is the reason why new forms of
mass communication are being developed
within the processes of production and
dissemination of products, leading to a
form of innovation of aesthetics, languages and contents. In this regard, the creative
act becomes dispersed in a form that may
be called “low-design”, while offering
new opportunities for designers, artists,
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copyrighters, marketers or for everyone
who is able to operate in unusual and
open fields of experimentation. This is a
widespread activity that has been referred
to as Strategic Design, which is a process
of innovation all along the supply-chain,
reaching the product through production,
from reverse-engineering to communication, to corporate identity and marketing
strategies, to the final product promotion
and its commercialization.
Strategic Design develops every step of
the product development in an innovative
and creative way, where the imperative
is not working in isolation. The required
skills and capabilities are useful to interact
in multidisciplinary teams, according to a
versatile approach to creativity. Finding a
market niche to head towards; evaluating
the competitors and their strategies; envisaging a product that fulfils the consumer’s
desires (even the unexpressed desires);
making production consistent to the philosophy of the brand; or rather, building a
new philosophy around to new product;
launching and communicating this on the
market; transmitting its values. Only then,
the product and the company will have
a chance of success, which ultimately depends only on the consumer’s judgment.
7
This is what some of the brands that
have become emblematic of our times,
have done from the mid-nineties. Think
about the anti-racism campaigns of Benetton which brought together every race
and culture under its “united colours”
(meeting the almost infinite range of coloured products); or the “think different”
that Apple launched, which introduced
a different idea of personal computer
and, nowadays, a different concept of
telephone. Think even to Starbucks that
developed the same familiar “flavours”
(from Canada to India!) which help us to
feel at home anywhere in the world.
Therefore, it is no more a matter of
product, communication or advertising;
it is all together and something more.
They are “exercises in vision” with which
companies envision their future in innovative, alternative, critical and creative terms.
It is the creation of special products, not
because they simply offer new features,
but because they anticipate peoples’
needs, create a possible world and offer a
real dream.
8
The Strategic Designer is a professional who can play a role in planning
and managing the creative process and
innovation. It is a character that has a
very clear integration between the three
components of brand’s value: products,
services and communication. He can be
considered someone who considers at the
same time the identity of the brand and
the consumer’s needs; which works with
managers and technological researchers
in order to define and evaluate marketing opportunities; which interacts with
marketing experts and with sociologists
to identify new targets and new needs;
which collaborates with product designers, graphic designers and copyrighters to
develop new styles, signs and identity.
This was the profession that Stefano
Marzano has designed and experimented
with their first project ‘Vision of the future’ in 1996, when he was head of Philips
Corporate Design (PCD). This was a
project aimed not just to develop ‘simple
products’, but possible scenarios of usability that objects may provide. The same
project that led Philips to a new brand
philosophy expressed by the claim: ‘Sense
and Simplicity’ (which was used for the
first time in 2003, seven years after “Vision of Future”!). From the time Marzano
founded the team of “Vision of Future”,
Philips committed to designing and offering products which are built on the desires
of people (designed around you), easy to
use (easy to experience) and technologically advanced. Since then, these three
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concepts have become the heart of Philips
mission: to improve the quality of people’s
lives by introducing innovations that add
value and ease of use.
This was also the profession of Martí
Guixé when, in 1998 he began to work
with Campers not only to design the corporate identity, but also its concept-stores
around the world and all the communication materials (from gadgets to shopping
bags), while focusing on the Camper
philosophy: the emotional involvement
of customers.
An example is the system called
“Walk-in-progress” for the setting of the
shops where, next to the stacked boxes on
which the shoes are on display, there is a
wall where customers can draw or write all
their impressions with a red pen, the same
colour of the Camper’s logo. Or else, the
first project food-store profect opened by
Camper in Barcelona called FoodBALL,
where the customer is not invited simply
to enjoy a new place, but a different
concept of food, designed for social and
nutritional habits of people nowadays. As
another example, the hotel project called
Casa Camper, still in Barcelona, designed
as an oasis of peace in the chaos of the
metropolis, while offering alternative
and environmentally friendly accommodation with shared spaces and services for
the families.
However, this is a profession that cannot be learned through a unique training
course but that may start from different
backgrounds, such as economic, design
and sociological fields. Nonetheless it is
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also a profession that is enriched through
the indirect knowledge of the occurrences,
thanks to multiple experiences.
Therefore, Strategic Design should be
considered not only a different profession, but also a different meaning of the
same word ‘Design’: which means, in this
scenario, a capability of unceasing creation
and innovation. This is a capability that
becomes a mindset, a different way of
behaving and communicating, where it
is necessary to subvert the stereotypical
convention of design as “a styling feature”,
where the result is the design of ideas.
References
Antonelli, P., (2008) Design and Elastic Mind, U.S.:
The Museum of Modern Art
Brown,T. (2009), Change by Design, U.S.: HarperCollins
Di Lucchio, L., (2005) Il design delle strategie, IT:
Gangemi Editore
Di Lucchio, L., (2008) Creativity&Business, DIID vol.30, IT: RDesignPress
Dru J.M., (1998) Disruption, U.S.: John Wiley &
Sons
Godin, S. (2007) Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, U.S.: Penguin Gorb,
P., Dumas, A. (1987) “Silent Design”, in Design
Studies, vol.8 n°3 July
Verganti, R. (2011) Design-driven innovation, U.S.:
Harvard Business Press
9
PROD U CTI ON B R A ND CULT URE STR ATEGY
COM PA N Y I DENTI TY CO NSUME RS DES IRES
M A R K E T I N N O V AT I O N C O M M U N I C AT I O N
R E L AT I O N S H I P K N O W L E D G E C R E AT I V I T Y
G LO B A L M A R K E T P L A C E S O C I A L E N T R E PREN EU R NEW TE CHNO LO G IE S INTERN AT I O N A L I Z AT I O N O F C O M M O D I T Y E T H I C S
OF M A N UFACTURE DE MO CRAT IC D ES IG N
CR A F T P R ODUCTIO
N INDIG as
E NO US A RTEthe
designer
FACT S O CI AL DES IG N SPE CIAL IZAT ION MICR O- MA N UFACTURE
G LO BAL D ES IG N
socialRS
entrepreneur
C U LT U R E C O L L A B O R AT I V E A P P R O A C H
newVALUE
design approaches
in INNOVASERVICE DESIGN
CREATION
the global
marketplace
TION EXPERIENCE
INTERACTION
POLICY
Patty Johnson
HUMAN CENTRED
DESIGN PLATFORM URBAN TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT DSIGN
THINKING PERFORMANCE CO-CREATION
KEYNOTE
North South Project, New Caribbean Design, Canada
I believe the design guru is finally dead!
Contemporary design and craft practice
is rapidly changing in response to new
technologies, global marketing, environmental concerns and the internationalization of commodity flows and channels of
production. Design, craft practitioners
and researchers need to address how
these social, economic and political shifts
will affect the conditions of innovative
production and distribution and how the
“life histories or biography” of the objects
they design and make will be received by
consumers increasingly aware of the ethics
of manufacture. Design and making need
to be developed and promoted as positive
engines of change in a context of contemporary cultural and social concerns.
10
The modernist and utopian ideals of
democratic design drive me. When I was
a younger designer I defined this as accessible, affordable and pared down. But as
my practise and research has evolved it has
taken on a broader meaning and has come
to include the idea that regional initiatives can sometimes rebalance the often
lopsided free flows of globalization.
Many of my projects, like New Caribbean Design and North South Project,
suggest that designers look beyond the
individualism of Western consumer
philosophies that currently drive craft and
design practise to include investigations of
craft production and indigenous artefacts
in developing countries and to be inclusive of those partners and makers. I think
it is especially urgent that craft practise
takes on the issues of globalization and
social design and renewable resources and
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sustainability. For example Ivelyn Harris
makes extraordinary baskets in the Blue
Mountains of Jamaica. As a direct descendant of Nanny of the Maroons she seeks
to combine traditional approaches with
hand production to create an unusual
contemporary object that reflects the
historical and cultural biography of her
region and peoples.
New cross disciplinary groups like the
Danish art collective Superflex brings the
skills of artists, designers, engineers and
scientists to bear on the social and environmental problems and through an associative effort create lighting new programs
that can change livelihoods for people.
Superflex takes these outcomes and exhibits them in galleries and museums.
I’m inspired by the idea that the best
products of the next decades will be the
result of a reconciliation of what have
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previously been understood to be opposition: specialization and generalization:
the individual and the collective; globality and locality; the avant-garde and the
popular. Everything relates to everything.
Accepting this without losing ourselves
or sacrificing the quality of the things we
make will be the great challenge.
Young designers and makers, the first
generation of the information age, should
be inspired by mobility and by the idea
that they can work anywhere and combine
the strengths of complementary groups to
build new linkages, new cultures and new
ideas. It is this smallness and the under
dogged-ness of these manufacturers that
creates for me a new energy in design – a
fresh shot, a subversive frisson.
More urgently, I’m driven by the
impact of a changing global design culture
on micro-manufacturers like the Wai Wai
in Guyana and I believe that these issues
demarcate a contemporary frontier of
craft and design practise. Cross-cultural
collaborations and projects can provide
a challenge to our common exclusion of
things on the edge and help to protect
marginalized communities from destabilising political and global market forces.
Above all I love that these collisions of
culture can strike a new balance between
redundancy and relevance and explore
the friction between the “preservationist”
view of the handmade as intangible heritage and its real status as living tradition,
and therefore, inherently and constantly
innovating and adapting. And I love the
creativity and resourcefulness that you
can see in the most difficult of places
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and circumstances. The immediacy and
simplicity of these scenes are part of those
free floating ideas and images that all
designers carry around with them that at
some point synthesize through the design
process to re emerge as a new product.
I am interested in the interchange
between research and design, and, commerce and culture. And so are many of
the people I work with. Their dedication
to research, design principles, and, their
willingness to share knowledge with
other groups often make them models of
best practice principles. So, if sometimes
designers and makers have assumed that
the nature of “first world” practise and
problem solving is appropriate for application in all situations with little regard for
the local context, the people I work with
are there to remind us that good product
frequently does not just begin with market
research and that a collaborative approach
can re-invigorate the design process.
I think three of the most important
issues which face the global community
as we enter the new century are unemployment, the exploitation of labour and
the environment. If the great thinkers
and motivators of the Arts and Crafts
movement were still with us, these are the
issues they would focus on. And I think
we should too. Western approaches can
often overlook the values of the other
“90%” as the Cooper Hewitt exhibition
proclaimed. The other 90% where in the
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real futuristic world we live in everything
is indeed made by hand. Historically in
the “West”, design education has trained
practitioners to operate autocratically as
key decision makers in the development
of products in very much a “top-down”
process. The limitations of this approach
are clear, especially in relation to craftbased economies, and, historical and
social structures in other places.
My experience designing for these
manufacturers and creative communities
is one of the most enriching of my life and
profoundly changed the way I think about
design. The exchange has been a rich one.
It is my belief that craft and design
practitioners need to urgently address real
world issues and place these new engagements within broader debates regarding
sustainability and ethical production,
micro- economies and livelihood, and
contemporary practise and globalisation. I
learned that people-centred design has a
middle component, living between
ethnography and interface. Hand
manufacturing is the reality in much of
the world, and designers, sitting at their
desks sending off PDFs to unknown
destinations, may be a modern paradigm,
but ultimately a hollow one. I would
encourage designers to go and visit where
their products are made, and, especially,
with the people who make them.
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PROD U CTI ON B R A ND CULT URE STR ATEGY
COM PA N Y I DENTI TY CO NSUME RS DES IRES
M A R K E T I N N O V AT I O N C O M M U N I C AT I O N
R E L AT I O N S H I P K N O W L E D G E C R E AT I V I T Y
G LO B A L M A R K E T P L A C E S O C I A L E N T R E PREN EU R NEW TE CHNO LO G IE S INTERN AT I O N A L I Z AT I O N O F C O M M O D I T Y E T H I C S
OF M A N UFACTURE DE MO CRAT IC D ES IG N
CR A F T P R ODUCTIO
N INDIG
E NO US A RTEdesigning
the
FACT S O CI AL DES IG N SPE CIAL IZAT ION MICR O- MA N UFACTURE
RS G LO BAL D ES IG N
SERVICE
C U LT U R E C O L L A B O R AT I V E A P P R O A C H
Service
design
SERVICE DESIGN
VALUE
CREATION INNOVADaniela Sangiorgi
TION EXPERIENCE
INTERACTION POLICY
HUMAN CENTRED DESIGN PLATFORM URBAN TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT DSIGN
THINKING PERFORMANCE CO-CREATION
KEYNOTE
Lancaster University, Imagination Lancaster, UK
The concept and role of services in the
economy and society had gone a long
way since its first definitions and studies.
Services moved from being the dark side
of a manufacturing-centred economy,
to become an engine for the growth and
development of nations to lastly being described as a new way of thinking for value
creation and innovation.
The recent development of Service
Design as a subfield of Design, mirrors
this evolution. Service Design emerged
in the ‘90s as a contribution to a changing economy and to what a certain
group of informed scholars in Italy, UK
and Germany started to describe as a
new design agenda. Since 2000 Service
Design emerged as a profession, with the
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first service design studios opening in
London (Livework and Engine) and an
international network of academics and
practitioners organizing various initiatives
to develop this emerging field: Service Design Network, Service Design and Innovation conference (ServDes), Service Design
Research blog, Service Design Drinks, etc.
UK has been in a leading position in the
development of this field, mainly driven
by design practitioners (Engine, Livework,
Think public, Participle, Snook, etc.) and
organizations such as the Design Council,
Demos, Young Foundation, NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.
At the moment in the Service Design
Network there are more than 70 design
agencies registered as practicing (or
declaring to practice) globally in vari-
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ous forms Design for Services. In reality
Service Design is a necessary evolution of
existing fields of Design like Interaction
Design, Experience Design, or Product
Design that, because of the current nature
of business and innovation, have to deal
increasingly (in some way) with designing
for service offerings.
In a recent publication (Design for
Services, edited by Gower), together with
Anna Meroni, we identified – based on a
number of case studies - four possible job
profiles or specialisations in the growing
field of Service Design. These profiles
should be understood as descriptions of
possible roles within both design studios
and/or organizations. I report below some
extracts from the book:
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“Designer for service experiences:
designers can work for and within organisations to observe and evaluate service
experiences and interactions as a way to
improve existing services or suggest new
functionalities and ideas. They work to
engage users and staff within service improvement processes, designing the conditions that will stimulate more empathic
interactions among service participants […]
Designer for service policies: when designers enter in a more strategic position,
they can contribute to the development
of a more human centred design approach
to service development and innovation.
Their work is to verify that organisational
policies and configurations are in line with
people’s experiences and demands. They
can work to improve service interactions
(at different levels), suggesting minor or
radical changes to existing business models and service configurations […]
Designer for service transformation:
designers can work with institutions,
communities and/or service organisations
to foster and experiment with new service
models that rely on more collaborative
and democratic patterns […] Designers
here facilitate the shift toward this new
paradigm by creating platforms and tools
for collaboration to engage people in
cooperative actions and to prototype new
ways of doing and living […]
Designer for service systems development: designers can support urban and
territorial development agencies and
institutions as well as single organisations
in imagining future directions for their
sector and/or region. Designers work with
local communities to generate visions of
the future, introducing design thinking
methods and imagining new services as
a way to translate wide scenarios into
everyday life experiences” (Meroni and
Sangiorgi, 2011: 211-212).
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Recently from an organizational perspective the distinction between products
and services is losing significance as the
real focus is becoming one of designing
for valuable and meaningful ‘offerings’,
these often being a mix of tangible and
intangible goods. In this sense the focus
is not on what the firm produces as an
output but how it can better ‘serve’ customers. Services are then becoming a way
to generally describe the act of co-creating
value among various stakeholders. In
this sense designers – experts in thinking
in terms of services, meaning interactions and performances – could use their
capabilities in a wider sense. Designers
can work with any kind of organizations
to deepen their understandings of where
value is actually co-created, to support
them to actively look out for it and to
reframe their offerings around it.
13
Social Innovation Participatory
sponsibility Research Co-Design
tional Development Sustainability
nities A id T ra N sformation
Organizational Strategic Design
Activity Design Thinking Management
rience Design Intelligence Consultancies
Methods Activity Involvement Ecodesign
sive System Lifecycle Renewable
Form Performance Durability I
plinary Design Process Strategies
Thermal Quality & ComforT Interior
tecture Flexibility densify interiors
act structured adaptive micro
accommodate integration adaptable
metric re-use re-programmed configura
tions modifying intersection transforma
tion diversity typologies Human
interaction Ethnography Meanings
cal Symbols Values Meanings Semiotics
aphors Human Computer Design Interactive
Design INFORMATION DESIGN COMPRE
TY INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION GRAPHIC D
TISTICAL DESIGN INFORMATION ARC
C O R R E L AT I O N M U LT I V A R I AT E D A
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Design Reesign Internaustainability Commusformation D esign
esign Design
anagement Expeonsultancies
codesign Pasenewable Energy
Interdiscitrategies Balance
nterior archiinteriors intermicro-urban
adaptable voluconfiguratransformauman-compUter
eanings Graphiemiotics Metnteractive
EHENSIBILISTRUCTURE
DESIGN STACHITECTURE
ATA S C A L E
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CONCEPT
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15
Human-compUter interaction
GRAPHIC SYMBOLS IN
INTERFACE DESIGN
Philippe Savignac
Graphical symbols play a key role in Human Computer Interaction as
a form of visual communication; but designing effective graphical
symbols is not a convoluted task. Therefore, designers take into account numerous factors such as shapes, colors and sizes, while understanding the cultural content behind symbols in order to create more
meaningful and effective solutions for the user. Is there such a thing as
a universal design solution or guidelines appropriate for all users when
designing graphical symbols for HCI application?
What is HCI? Human Computer Interaction
Design: employs the study, planning and designing
of interactive digital products, systems and services
which deal with the interaction between the user
and the computer, often achieved through a digital
interface. Because human-computer interaction
studies a user and a computer in conjunction, it draws
from supporting knowledge on both the user and
the computer side. On the computer side, techniques
in computer graphics, operating systems, programming languages, and development environments are
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relevant. On the user side, communication theory,
graphic and industrial design disciplines, linguistics,
social sciences, cognitive psychology, and human
factors such as computer user satisfaction are relevant.
Due to the multidisciplinary nature of HCI, individuals with different backgrounds contribute to its
success.
This article will focus on the graphical elements
found in HCI application which draws from graphical design, cognitive psychology and anthropology.
Going back to our main question; Is there such a
thing as a universal design solution or guidelines
appropriate for all users when designing graphical
symbols for HCI application?
According to Audrey Bennett, this is no longer
applicable since “Universal design solutions were
sought to solve universal needs across cultures” (Bennett. 2006). This universal design process was seen as
a method to make one design solution appropriate
for all users. In his Book Design Studies: Theory and
Research in Graphic Design, Bennett states that there
is no such thing as universal design when it comes to
designing graphical symbols in today’s society of mass
production and multicultural. Due to society, the
change went from universal design to user centered
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What are graphical symbols?
> Figure 1: Pictogram
design, where designs are now tailored
and channeled to meet the users need. The
challenge now for designers who are creating graphical symbols for HCI application
is to take an anthropological approach to
understand people’s needs and values, to
create graphical symbols that have meaning and value to the user.
Graphical symbol’s role is also
capitalized on their information-carrying
capability by unifying individual symbols
into a collective metaphor. Therefore the
symbols in an interface have a form which
corresponds to actual objects in the real
world, with which users are familiar. The
metaphor uses the established attributes
and associations of the real word objects,
carrying them over into the model of the
system presented to the user in a form of
an interface. However, this approach can
only be applied in circumstances where
the real object and system objects all coincide in some way.
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Graphical symbols are one of the oldest
forms of visual communication and have
been evolving as long as humans have
been. Cave paintings found in the cave
system are some of the oldest references to
visual communication. Now, icons used
in HCI are a fairly new form of visual
communication. There are many different
types of graphical symbols.
Pictograms: a pictogram is an image that represents an object. Therefore
they are used for conveying information
through visual languages which users are
able to understand regardless of their
native language. Meaning that anyone
familiar with the symbols used should
understand the object it represents.
Rebus: a rebus is a pictorial image
which represents a spoken sound. The
IBM rebus is an example designed by
Paul Rebus.
^ Figure 2: Rebus
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Ideograms: an ideogram is a symbol
representing an idea or message. The ideogram illustrated below demonstrates the
danger of tipping a vending machine
Logos: logos are symbols that people
are more familiar with due to their popularity and familiarity. A logo is a symbol
used by companies or individuals with
which they want to be recognized by. In
order for a logo to be successful, the logo
must be competitive; therefore the symbol
being used must create a positive association with the consumer. This is important
because the symbol is crucial in how the
consumer classifies the logo, which will
determine if the consumer will choose to
interact or not with the logo chosen by
the company.
The following are five things to
consider when incorporating symbols in
logos and brands. The first is storytelling: choosing a symbol that tells a story
is important since not all symbols are
created equal. It is important to choose a
symbol that conveys a clear and concise
representation. The second element is the
international perspective: what a symbol
represents in one culture, may not be what
it represents in another. This is to avoid
misinterpretation of symbols .The third
is the conflict of interest: since a symbol
represents an idea, avoid using multiple
symbols that represent conflicting ideas.
Fourthly, clarify the communication: a
logo should communicate something;
therefore it is up to the client to determine
and the designer to execute. The designer
needs to be careful to express that idea
well rather than many ideas poorly. Finally
the fifth element is symbols that interact:
“Everything that visually represents the
company comes to define it. This is the
general idea behind the brand and its logo.
The hope is that people understand who
the company is and want to incorporate
the brand into their lives”. The designer’s
responsibility is to be able to recognize
how the symbol will affect the overall
impact of the logo (Guerrini, 2010).
The final form of symbols in discussion are icons, made popular by Susan
Kare (designer of the Macintosh interface), they are “The visual language of
point-and-click” icons in human computer interaction using pictographic symbols
to represent objects in a computer system.
An important feature of icons is that they
may be used to indicate characteristics
of the system’s object by sharing graphic
elements, even in the event where the user
is unfamiliar with the icon. Unlike texts
or commands, icons provide a more usable
dialogue due to their capability to carry
better descriptive information using the
same or even less real-estate on the display
screen.
^ Figure 3: Ideagram
^ Figure 4: Logos
^ Figure 5: Icons
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Metaphor and semiotics when
designing icons
One method of icon design is capitalized
on their information-carrying capability
by unifying individual icons into a collective metaphor. Therefore the icons in an
interface have a form which corresponds
to actual objects in the real world, with
which users are familiar. The metaphor
uses the established attributes and associations of the real word objects, carrying
them over into the model of the system
presented to the user in a form of an interface. However, this approach can only
be applied in circumstances where the real
object and system objects all coincide in
some way (Gittins, 1986). Metaphor is
itself a semiotic sign providing meaning
obtained from what is referenced. Semiotics is the study of signs and sign processing. According to Littlejohn, “semiotics
focuses on the way the producers create
signs and the way the audiences understand those signs (Littlejohn, 1999).
Meaning and value
Symbols can be interpreted to have different meanings among different cultures
and can be used to express different
ideas to different people. Designers are
trained to understand each of the users by
understanding their values and speak and
read the consumer’s language, even in the
literal sense. “Specialized consumers often
communicate in vernacular languages or
technical jargon. Rhetorical styles vary
radically from low key to in your face,
from colloquial to formal. This is true
for visual style languages and symbolic
visual codes as well” (Bennett, 2006). If
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References
^ Figure 6: Metaphor
designers are to create meaningful and
resonant graphical symbols they must
give appropriate new character to a more
varied, idiosyncratic and even eccentric
design expression.
To be able to understand the user’s
value, design has discovered ethnography. Designers have now incorporated
ethnographic research methods in their
design process. However, designers have a
narrower and somewhat different meaning for the term ethnography than most
anthropologists (Wasson, 2000). With designers the ethnographic research is done
quickly and “given less theoretical contextualization, than on academic projects”
(Wasson, 2000). Since anthropology is the
study of humanity, this brings up a new
area of understanding people’s cultural
background, thus creating new meanings
with the use of symbolism in HCI design.
Design and anthropology both have to
do with getting involved in social settings
and the gathering of data. There are different levels of intervention in the field with
users, but design is always a social activity.
Involvement in situated practice is about
people and their activities, and understanding ones social intervention through
a piecing-together.
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Bennett. A (2006) Design Studies: Theory and
Research in Graphic Design. pp200 – 205
DesignBoom. (2011) laduma ngxokolo: xhosainfluenced knitwear http://www.designboom.
com/weblog/cat/8/view/13705/laduma-ngxokolo-xhosa-influenced-knitwear.html Accessed
March 18th, 2011
Desmet (2002) Designing Emotions, Doctoral
Dissertation presented at: Delft University of
Technology, Netherlands, http://www.designingemotion.nl: Accessed September th, 2010
Feijs. L (2008). Design and semantics of form and
movement. pp 50-56
Gittins D, (1986) Icon-Based Human-computer interation, Human-Computer Interface Research
Unit, Department of computer studies, University of Technology, Laughborough. UK
Guerrini. S (2010). Symbols & Its Impact in Logo
Design, http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/symbols-impact-on-logo-design. Accessed March
20th 2011
Littlejohn S (199) Theories of human communication
Russel (1980) A Circumplex Model of Affect, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, No.
39, pp. 1161-78.
Sperschneider.W, (2001) Design Anthropology –
When opposites attract, pp 1-2.
Teng. C, (2007) The Appraisal Factors and
Evaluation of Emotional Design, International
Association of Societies of Design Research,
(pp.1-14)
Wasson.C (2000) Ethnography in the Field of
Design. Human Organization. The Society for
Applied Anthropology vol 59. No 4
19
Design for Social Innovation
Can design
save the world?
Michael Grigoriev
The growing interdisciplinary relationship between the world of design
and social innovation has led to new opportunities, responsibilities, and
challenges for the designer to better understand how their processes
can be employed to spark meaningful, positive social change. Design
cannot escape responsibility for the current state of affairs and challenges we face as a society, and as a result must embrace its intrinsic
abilities to create powerful social impact.
“There are professions more harmful than industrial
design, but only a very few of them” (Papanek, 1972).
These harsh yet prophetic words were spoken in
Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek, one of
the first philosophical advocates for the social and
ecological responsibility of design in shaping our
world. He describes design as the most powerful tool
with which man shapes his tools and environment,
yet criticizes design for using this power to put murder on a mass-production basis. According to Papanek (1972), designers share responsibility for nearly
all of society’s products and tools, and as a result all of
our environmental mistakes.
Papanek isn’t alone in his criticism of design. Ezio
Manzini, one of the eminent speakers and thinkers on
the role of Design in Social Innovation and Sustainability muses that designers have been, and still are
“part of the problem” with the present conditions
of our planet and the catastrophic nature of changes
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that are still ongoing (2007). He is one
of a growing legion of thinkers calling for
design to not only own up to its ability
to harm on grand scales, but improve on
grand scales as well (Papanek, 1972). As
Victor Margolin (2007) puts it, design is
in a unique position and must begin to
“occupy the space between the world that
is and the world that could be”.
If design helped get us in this
mess, can it help get us out?
Just as design shares responsibility for
the growing crises of our time, it has the
ability to devise solutions to those very
same issues it helped create. While the
world’s issues become increasingly polarized and magnified, designers stand to
become part of the solution. As Manzini
puts it, it is within design’s genetic code,
its raison d’être to improve the quality
of the world. Designers above all others
take into account the everyday relationships of human beings with their artefacts
and as a result they possess the tools that
are needed to help shape the future with
these services, scenarios, systems and
objects (Manzini, 2007). The designer’s
build-and-fix instincts that Emily Pilloton
discusses in her influential book “Design
Revolution: 100 Products That Empower
People” must begin to address and heal
these global social issues as they take on
greater urgency.
It is with these considerations and call
for action that a growing field is emerging
within the design world.
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Introducing Design for Social
Innovation
Design for Social Innovation is a maturing field that is born from shifting the
efforts of designing solely for consumerism towards the process of using design
to address social, cultural, economic and
environmental challenges. It is practised
by individuals, groups, or organizations
to varying degrees of effectiveness and
ultimately seeks to shift perceptions and
behaviours for positive change. The field
is broad, and seeks to apply the designer’s
abilities, insights, and sensitivities towards
more socially beneficial ends while we
struggle with societal challenges that are
constantly growing in complexity. It is
generally appreciated that the role of a designer must shift from that of an operator
who develops for a final user, towards one
who acts within a more complex network
where the client may be an institution, a
local authority, or a community (Manzini, 2007). As such, it becomes critical
for design to consider itself part of the
community it is collaborating with, rather
than attempting ill-advised ventures of
researching and designing remotely.
While society as a whole is beginning to
shift its efforts and abilities towards social
and environmental goals, many challenges
exist with regards to determining appropriate ways of applying this ambition in
the most effective manner, particularly in
the field of design. This growing excitement surrounding design for social innovation requires an introspective look at
the core issues that exist, namely:
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^ Bertie County Farmer’s Market, Emily Pilloton
and Studio H, USA, 2011
1) A lack of accountability in social design initiatives
and outcomes
2) Ambitious designers lacking necessary knowledge
to guide their passion
3) Empathy gaps between program administrators,
designers, and beneficiaries
Design has an undeniably significant role to play in
shaping a more harmonious and sustainable future,
yet we are still coming to grips with what specifically designers have to offer, and in what ways they
should apply these abilities to Social Innovation. In
the second part of this series on Design for Social
Innovation, Emily Pilloton, a leading practitioner and
educator on the topic shares her thoughts.
References
Manzini, E. (2007). Design, social innovation and sustainable ways
of living. Milan: DIS Indaco.
Margolin, V. (2007). Design, the Future and the Human Spirit.
Design Issues, 23(3), 4-15.
Papanek, V.J. (1972). Design for the real world; human ecology
and social change. New York: Pantheon Books.
Pilloton, E. (2009). Design revolution: 100 products that empower
people. New York, NY: Metropolis Books.
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^ HippoRoller, Johan Jonker and Pettie Petzer,
South Africa ,1991. www.hipporoller.org
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Interview with
Emily Pilloton
Michael Grigoriev
Many individuals, firms, organizations,
and NGO’s are beginning to appreciate
the potential of design to foster social
innovation, yet few are as informed and
culturally attuned as Emily Pilloton and
her organization Project H Design. With
an educational background in design and
architecture, Emily was frustrated with
the design world’s scarcity of meaningful
work. Knowing that when design combined with other disciplines it had the
power to genuinely change the world she
founded Project H and wrote the book
“Design Revolution”. Project H is a nonprofit organization that seeks to develop
effective design solutions for communities that need it most by focusing on
integrating design into education. Her
book “Design Revolution” showcases 100
products that are examples of humanitarian product-design with an emphasis on
empowering people.
More recently, in 2010 Emily ran a
Design Revolution roadshow, where she
brought 40 humanitarian design solutions
on an America-wide traveling exhibition
and lecture series to 35 high schools,
universities, and cities. The goal of the
roadshow was to demonstrate the tools of
design for social impact in an attempt to
enable and empower the next generation
to apply their skills to the world’s most
challenging issues. Her work with Project
H now has her teaching design to high
school students in one of the poorest and
most rural communities of North Carolina, Bertie County. She has spoken at
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TED in 2010, and has even been a guest
on The Colbert Report.
Emily has been kind enough to find
the time in her hectic schedule to share
her perspective on the role of Design in
Social Innovation.
MG: In your words, how would you define
social innovation, and why do you feel
design is well-suited to incite it?
EP: For me it just boils down to using
whatever tools or skills you are trained to
use, with the intention of creating social
impact. I think the key is intention, and
that you’re going into your own work with
the specific goal, or one of your metrics
being social impact. Whether that’s economic or human rights or any other type
of social element, you’re using whatever
you have in your toolbox specifically for
social purpose.
I think design is well suited to be a
tool for social innovation, but with a
caveat. In order for design to truly make
long lasting social impact it has to be a
catalyst with something else. I don’t think
that design single-handedly is necessarily
the be-all end-all answer but I do believe
it is most powerful when combined with
unexpected other disciplines like public
policy, education or global health. I’m
particularly interested in how design butts
up against these other non-design fields
and the power that the fields have in combination to address social issues.
23
> Figure 3: Emily Pilloton
MG: Since the publication of your book “Design Revolution: 100 Products That Empower People” how do you
feel the field of Design for Social Innovation changing?
What indications are you seeing that we might be turning a corner as a society towards finally beginning to
address the pressing social issues that we are faced with?
EP: I see the biggest change in design for social
innovation being the sheer number of people who are
coming to it and seeing that there is value in it. There
is more attention, effort, and interest in this field
of design.
I don’t know whether we’re getting better at it, or
not. I hate to say it, but a lot of the work is not great
and if we’re designing with and for groups that have a
lot on the line when looking at public health, or water
supply and safety, these are life and death situations.
Because of that we have to have a higher standard
for what our designs can do and not just sketch
something mediocre and say “It’s good enough for
them”. I think it’s very dangerous. While some groups
are really starting to hone in on the metrics and the
requirements for doing this type of work, as a group
we need to get better about being far more critical of
ourselves. Not just saying “Oh we’re doing this for the
greater good”. Yes we are, but we actually have to be
much more critical of it than any other type of design.
I also see a change in the number of design students and young designers coming out and wanting
to do this type of work. When I was in Graduate
School, no one was doing it. We were just starting
to talk about sustainability and now we see it take
on a broader meaning that by sustainability we also
mean social sustainability. The conversion has really
changed to include more social components, and not
just the environmental side of sustainability.
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MG: When it comes to design for social innovation
there is obviously a significant gap that exists between
the ambition of many designers to get involved, and
the responsibility and knowledge that is necessary to
undertake this critical work. How might you suggest
ambitious designers get informed to ensure their energy
is used in the right places?
EP: It’s all about just being humble and being a
good listener and citizen first. We are often a little
bit too eager to go into situations with our “designer
hats” on before we even think about the design
process or what product is going to come out of a
situation. I think we really just have to be fully immersed in it, and fully committed to it. I really hope
that people stop doing design for social innovation
projects from afar. I really think that the best projects
are the ones that come from the place you are in, and
from the place you understand. From the place you
consider yourself to be a citizen of. There are a lot of
projects I see that operate totally on the charity model
and there’s a little bit of imperialism to that because
you can tell the interest and concerns of the designer
are so different from the needs and desires of the beneficiary. That gap is very tough to bridge unless you’re
really in it, and you yourself are a beneficiary.
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MG: You have previously mentioned the
critical importance of co-designing with a
community versus disingenuous trips to “the
field” and poorly guided research initiatives.
For firms or individuals that lack the resources to physically immerse themselves in
communities for an extended period of time,
are there techniques that you might suggest
they can employ in order to try and reduce
these gaps in empathy and understanding?
EP: From my personal experience, I
just don’t think there’s a good way to do
it. The biggest question is how far are we
willing to go as designers? How much are
we willing to commit ourselves? If you’re
not willing to immerse yourself in a community for an extended period of time, you
probably shouldn’t be doing the project.
I’m not saying you need to move to some
far-off place for three years, but I do think
that whatever that amount of time is for
you to identify part of yourself in that
community, I think that’s absolutely necessary. If you’re just getting into this work,
you have to start by taking that risk and being fully immersed. As you come to terms
with what your own process is, maybe
you’ll get better about doing it from afar,
but I think that especially from the beginning you really have to push yourself to be
uncomfortable, live in places you wouldn’t
normally live and not be a designer 24
hours a day but just be a good citizen.
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MG: Finally, a talented designer was often
seen as one who was an expert giver of form,
an excellent sketcher or model-maker who
was attuned and sensitive to user needs. As
the role of design evolves in the 21st century
and becomes less product-centric, what do
you feel are the skills that will make up the
toolkit of leading designers in the field of
social innovation?
EP: You have to be a jack of all trades
and a master of one. I said one, not none.
Tim Brown (IDEO) talks about “T”
people, people that are very wide and have
a lot of broad knowledge. They know a
little bit about a lot, but then they also
have a lot of expertise in one or two particular areas, and I think that’s absolutely
spot-on. As we take on more projects that
have social implications far more complex
than just giving something form we have
to understand global politics, the economics of poverty and many other factors.
Of course we can always do research to
find out more, but I think even just going
into a project we have to cultivate a lot of
different skill sets in order to literally drop
into a project and have a good sense of the
greater social implications of it. I always
encourage design students (especially
these days) to be double majors. I think
seeing design as an enhancement of so
many other social sciences is probably
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the best skill that we can bring. While we
have to be jacks of all trades we also need
to just check our egos at the door a little
bit more. So much of design is usually
all about us as designers. It’s all about, “I
want to be able to put my name on that
thing” and that’s not necessarily the case.
If we really want to say we designed this
thing with the community instead of for
a community we have to be able to take
ourselves out of it.
I talk about designing with, not for
but I think a more accurate phrase is that
we’re designing by the community. That
it’s coming from them, and we are the
mediators that help bring their ideas to reality. We can help them visualize and then
execute the things that they maybe never
would have come up with before.
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INFORMATION DESIGN
FROM tool craft
to meta meaning
DAVID CRAIB
A new form of design professional has emerged; one whose
focus is to convey information meaningfully and accurately.
It may seem obvious that the critical information clients
wish to convey should be valued by the designers tasked to
convey it, and that the information should be designed to be
comprehensible to the end users of their designs. Due to the
misconception that design is an aesthetic task–a misconception held by much of the design community–some designers
have chosen to reaffirm their vows; to convey the information entrusted to them by their clients, to the best of their
ability. These Information Designers are found within several
design disciplines, most commonly within graphic design,
technical writing and web design.
What is Information Design?
Definition of Information
The Oxford Dictionaries (2012), online resource includes the following as a definition of “information”.
Facts provided or learned about something or someone.
Definition of Design
The Free Dictionary (2012) includes the following
within the list of definitions of the word “design”.
To formulate a plan for; devise
To plan out in systematic way, usually in graphic form
Using these definitions we may view Information Design as the act of devising a plan “in systematic way”
to communicate “facts provided or learned about
something or someone”.
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A more thorough definition comes from The
Society of Technical Communicators (STC, 2005).
The Information Design Special Interest Group of STC
addresses application of design principles to translating
complex, unorganized, or unstructured data into valuable, meaningful information.
The practice of information design requires an
interdisciplinary approach combining skills in areas
including graphic design, writing and editing, instructional design, human performance technology, and
human factors.
project was termed the Document Design Project, yet
its use of the word ‘design’ primarily meant document
content, organization and writing rather than visual
design (Redish, 2000).
In Statistics
The following is a brief historical perspective of the
term, Information Design, as it surfaced within 5
design disciplines.
Statisticians design and format data presentations.
In the mid 70s, Edward Tufte began his research
into statistical representations of data, publishing his
book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983) (Tufte, 2000). In the introduction he
described his book to be about “how to communicate
information through the simultaneous presentation
of words, numbers and pictures.” Tufte is one of the
first to extensively describe the challenge and discipline of conveying information, publishing 3 more
books on the subject, between 1983 and 2006.
In Graphic Design
In Architecture
Graphic Designers design the appearance of visual
presentations of information.
The term “information design” was coined by
Pentagram Design in the 1970s. Although the term
is relatively new, the “genres”, so to say, of information design are a lot older, even if they weren’t always
thought of belonging to the same discipline (Koponen, 2011).
Information Design’s first coinage as a term, by
Pentagram Design, a large multi-national design firm
based in London, England, was through the perspective of graphic design, yet the discipline of information design is much older, 100s if not 1000s of years
older than the first coinage of the term.
Richard Saul Wurman, chairman of the 1976 national
convention of the American Institute of Architects,
named their convention, The Architecture of Information (Wurman, 1996). Twenty years later (1996),
he compiled the book, Information Architects, a
multidisciplinary collection of 20 designers’ works
focusing on conveying complex information (Wurman, 1996). It featured architecture, communication
design, exhibit design, statistical design, illustration, wayfinding and web design. Soon after this,
designers of websites adopted the term Information
Architecture to describe the design process of website
structures. (1)
History of the Term, Information Design
In Web Design
In Technical Writing
Technical Writers design the content structures
of documents. During the 1970s, the discipline of
technical communication was becoming focused
on content design of educational and instructional
materials (Redish, 2000). In the late 70s a project
was funded by the National Institute of Education
(U.S.A.) exploring how to develop documents that
communicated more effectively than the norm. This
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Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld published
Information Architecture for the World Wide Web
in 1998. This book looked at the complexities of
designing large scale sites, and approaches the topic of
organizing vast amounts of information in methodological ways (Morville & Rosenfeld, 2006).
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^ Figure 1: Website structure (Craib, 2012)
> Figure 2: Haeckel’s Tree of Life, one of the
first geneologies of life (1866)
Within the book, the authors often
referred to the structure of websites
(Figure 1) as architectures, or taxonomies
(Morville & Rosenfeld, 2006). Derived
from the ancient Greek words for “arrangement method” taxonomies are
groups of biological units (taxa), describing biological hierarchies. Visually, these
may bear resemblance to the hierarchies
designed by web designers (Figure 2).
Within these five disciplines of
graphic design, technical writing, architecture, statistics and web design, we see
a growing, synchronous perception that
information needed to be conveyed with
consideration and expertise. This movement became evident in the mid 1970s,
and began to be popularized through the
1980s and 1990s, preceding the World
Wide Web.
The Information Continuum
One of the issues confronted by Technical
Writers in defining information design,
is that they feel it has 2 meanings. First,
it is the complete process of developing a document or group of documents.
Secondly, information design is the way
the information is presented on the page
or screen (Redish, 2000). To the technical communicators, the magnitude of
the design task affects their definition of
information design.
This occurs in other disciplines as
well. Graphic Designers work with page
elements and with complete information
systems, Web Designers design buttons to
navigate, and navigation systems. Information Design exists on a continuum, where
the design of single elements play a role
within larger components, which play a
role in complete systems.
Meta Meaning, Information Design’s Ultimate Goal
Through a review of various approaches to
Information Design, it becomes apparent
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that there are two simultaneous goals that
skillful Information Designers aspire to
achieve.
First, through a disciplined and
sensitive view of their communications
challenge, they use tools (such as typography) to build systematically planned
out, ordered sequences of text, images and
other graphic elements. This goal is to increase the conveyance of meaning through
the use of systems and craft.
The following are the components of
this Information Design task:
1) the Information Design approach to
tool craft (typography, syntax, etc.),
2) the Information Design approach to
content (order of information, meaning of images, veracity of data, etc.),
3) the Informational Design approach to
correlation (how information is juxtaposed to achieve higher meaning),
4) the Information Design approach to
overall structure (tailoring to target
audiences, ethnographic considerations, the overall value to all users of
the information, etc.).
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In Minard’s diagram, the light brown line depicts
the movement of Napoleon’s army from Poland into
Russia, while the black depicts their retreat. The
width of the line depicts the number of men within
the army at any given point. The graphic shows the
position of the army on a map, and also shows the
temperature the army experienced while retreating
and the dates of each temperature reading. The skillful correlation of data tells a story of the brutal fate
that befell the men in Napolean’s assault on Moscow,
and how an army of over 400,000, dwindled to
10,000 men.
By glancing at this map, the viewer can understand a complete experience that is not well defined
by data and description alone. It is the correlation of
various information (multivariate data) on the visual
plane, that reveals to the viewer a narrative of higher
meaning—meta meaning—achieved through expert
Information Design technique.
A more eloquent description is found in Edward
Tufte’s Envisioning Information (1990).
To envision information – and what bright and
splendid visions can result – is to work at the intersection of image, word, number, art. The instruments
are those of writing and typography, of managing
large data sets and statistical analysis, of line and layout and colour. And the standards of quality are those
derived from visual principles that tell us how to put
the right mark in the right place.
The second goal of Information Design is its loftiest goal. Information Designers aspire to correlated
data and ideas to illuminate new understandings that
users would not otherwise see.
Below is a statistical graphic designed by Charles
Joseph Minard from Tableaux graphiques et Cartes
Figuratives de M. Minard, 1845-1869. According to
Edward Tufte, this may be the best statistical graphic
ever drawn (Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information).
^ Figure 3: Minard’s diagram of Napoleon’s march
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Conclusion
References
Although the term, Information Design
was coined in the 1970s, the practice of
information design is much older.
Information Design is practiced within many disciplines, Its paradigm chooses
function over form, defining function as
the effective and successful conveyance of
meaningful information to its intended
recipients.
Information designers work at various
scales (Redish, 2000), from small scales
such as the design of a website navigation
button, a letterform, or a corporate logo,
to a complete online environment, a complete set of type families, or a complete
visual branding system.
Information designers have two key
goals. The first is to use their tool craft
to increase the effectiveness of information transfer. The second is to correlate
information in new ways to effect new
understanding and create new insights
within complex sequences of information.
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The Free Dictionary (2012). Design. Retrieved from
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/design
(Koponen, J. (2011). What is Visualization. Presentation at Open Data Breakfast at PICNIC Amsterdam. Retrieved from http://informaatiomuotoilu.fi/2011/09/presentation-what-isvisualization/)
Oxford Dictionaries (2012). Information. Retrieved
from http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/
information
Redish, J. C. (2000). What Is Information Design?
Technical Communication, Second Quarter 2000,
163-166.
Society for Technical Communication (2005). Information Design and Architecture Special Interest
Group. Retrieved from http://www.stcsig.org/
id/id_definitions.htm
Tufte, E. R. (1990). Envisioning Information.
Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Tufte, E. R. (2000). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Second Edition. Cheshire, CT:
Graphics Press.
Wurman, R. S. (1996). Information Architects.
Zurich, Switzerland: Graphis Press.
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the design of information:
A Timeline
DAVID CRAIB
Humanity’s desire to communicate complex ideas has
spawned many inventions which now form the basic toolkit that Information Designers use. The following diagram
charts approximate dates of some of these inventions.
0-35,000 YEARS AGO
0-3,000 YEARS AGO
TODAY
TODAY
-3,000 years
<Written phonetic alphabet: Sinai Peninsula
<Technical drawing: Sumer
≤Written symbolic language: Sumer
≤
Internet: World Wide Web popularized
<Computers: personal computers popularized
≤“Information Design”: term is coined
<Charts: multivariate data displays, Europe
≤Photography: Niépce, France
<Printing: moveable type, Gutenberg, France
≤Perspective drawing: Brunelleschi, Italy
-10,000 years
<Bookkeeping system: Mesopotamia
-1,000 years
<Printing: moveable type, Bi, Sheng, China
<Mapping: star maps, Lascaux Caves, France
-20,000 years
-2,000 years
<Logic system: Aristotle, Greece
<Numbering system: Sumer
-30,000 years
<Illustration: paintings, Chauvet Caves, France
-35,000 years
<Counting: tally marks on baboon
leg bone, Swaziland
-3,000 years
<
Spoken language: 100,000–50,000 years ago
References
Bookkeeping system: retrieved from http://
knol.google.com/k/the-history-ofaccounting-part-i#
Charts: Tufte, E. R. (2000). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Second
Edition. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Compters: http://inventors.about.com/
library/blcoindex.htm
Counting: retrieved from http://www.
learner.org/courses/mathilluminated/
units/1/textbook/02.php
Illustration: retrieved from http://www.
oddee.com/item_93915.aspx
Information Design: retrieved from http://
informaatiomuotoilu.fi/2011/09/presentation-what-is-visualization/)
Internet: retrieved from http://sixrevisions.
com/resources/the-history-of-theinternet-in-a-nutshell/
Logic System: retrieved from http://individual.utoronto.ca/pking/miscellaneous/
history-of-logic.pdf
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Mapping: retrieved from http://www.
spacetoday.org
Numbering System: retrieved from http://
www.storyofmathematics.com/sumerian.html
Perspective Drawing: retrieved from http://
www.webexhibits.org
Photography: retrieved from http://photo.
net/history/timeline
Printing China: retrieved from http://people.
lis.illinois.edu
Printing Europe: retrieved from http://inventors.about.com/od/gstartinventors/a/
Gutenberg.htm
Spoken language: retrieved from http://
www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/
science/15language.html
Technical drawing: retrieved from http://pdf.
directindustry.com
Written phonetic alphabet: retrieved from
http://www.ancientscripts.com/protosinaitic.html
Written symbolic language: retrieved from
http://linguistlist.org/ask-ling/oldest.cfm
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ecoDESIGN
THE LIFECYCLE
OF THE BUILT:
REMOVING THE MECHANICS
Martine Gallant
Ecodesign is a term that has invaded all fields of design for many years. In general,
its meaning and intentions remain independent from its various forms. All products share the same design consideration and concerns for the ecological impact
on the environment. As an architectural approach to the concept, the design process transforms into strategic systems. Passive Building design being one of these
strategies, aims to optimize. A building’s lifecycle impact is minimized through
implications of longevity and durability of its thermal qualities on renewable and
inexhaustible sources of energy by utilizing non-mechanical systems.
Product design with consideration for its environmental impact is not a new concept.
Ecodesign has been around for many years in various forms. The idea is designing
with special consideration for a product’s lifecycle impact. The assessment of such is a
response to our growing concerns for our ecological footprint on the environment. This
‘green’ movement is a reflection of consumer values and their solutions towards product
reduction in material and energy consumption.
Design strategies and material considerations have a great influence on the impact of
Ecodesign. The implications of the smallest details of product design can have a direct
impact on global warming and an increase in CO₂ emissions. Ecodesign is a response to
choices made during the design process and their lifecycle implications. Such implications entail the type of energy consumed and waste disposal.
While the concept is a general definition for all design products, the two main
design strategies of Ecodesign in buildings are the active system and the passive system.
The principle of the active system relies on the idea of harnessing power generated
from renewable and inexhaustible energy sources. Passive system, also referred to as
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bioclimatic, relies on energy systems utilizing nonmechanical methods. While both are aiming to better
the environmental impact of building design, the
passive system aims to optimize on natural resources
by eliminating mechanical system requirements. For
the sole purpose of the article, let’s concentrate on
defining the passive system, which will be referred to
as passive design.
Passive design, also known as climate adapted
design or climate responsive design, aims to construct
buildings to minimize energy consumption, and improve thermal comfort and quality. The approach of
the design focuses on the building elements through
its form and thermal performance. It proactively
works with the design’s architectural, structural, passive mechanical and envelope elements. Each factor
is carefully considered to optimize its potential and
reduce building energy usage with consideration of
the surrounding environment.
How it differs from other sustainable
approaches
While the sustainability issue has been a global
trend, the concept is very broad and even superficial.
‘Designing green’ gives the initial idea of conserving
an ecological balance of the environment, yet what
happens after the construction phase of the project?
Can the built environment be designed in a way to
maintain or reduce its environmental footprint in a
lasting matter?
Passive building design addresses the growing
sustainability trend through specific consideration for
the project’s lifecycle impact. The idea is not to aim
for only the present state of sustainability, but for the
building’s entire environmental impact, from cradle
to cradle.
An important aspect of the passive design approach is the durability of the building performance.
While some sustainability approaches are viable
during the construction and the initial occupational
phases, they don’t necessarily imply performance
durability.
Passive design aims to distance itself from extensive and costly mechanical systems. Typical systems
require replacement regularly and can prove to be
costly and have an overall wasteful impact on the
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environment. Such complex systems are
not feasible in an ecological design.
Passive design strategies
Each individual passive element has its
own natural state. When these are combined through their inherent synergies,
they have the possibility of producing
different combination of building performance improvement. With each individual quality, there are risks of an unbalanced
combination. Certain elements have the
possibility of creating a negative impact
on the building performance and energy
efficiency (Colbalt & Hughes Condon
Marler, 2009).
Thus, there are important strategies
that must be noted to distinguish the possible impact of these different combinations. Strategies depend on the building
type and operation. Such strategies are
passive heating, passive ventilation, passive
cooling and daylighting (Passive Buildings
Canada). Strategic measures are important to help ensure a balance between the
heating and the cooling performance of
the building.
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> Figure 1: ‘Interdisciplinary Design Process team
Passive Building Canada created a reference tool to help understand the variant
strategies of Passive Design (Colbalt &
Hughes Condon Marler, 2009).
Passive Heating
• Orientation
• Building shape
• Buffer spaces and double facades
• Space planning
• High-performance windows
• Mixed-mode heat recovery ventilation
• Low window to wall area ratio (N/E)
• High window to wall ratio (S/W)
• Operable external shading
• High-performance insulation
• Thermal mass
• Minimized infiltration
Passive Cooling
• Fixed/operable external shading
• Thermal mass
• Low window to wall ratio (S/W)
• Passive ventilation
• Nocturnal cooling
• Stacked windows
• Passive evaporative cooling
• Earth-tempered ducts
Passive Ventilation
• Operable windows
• Buffer spaces and double facades
• Building shape
• Space planning
• Orientation
• Strategic architectural features
• Openings to corridors and between
otherwise separated spaces
• Central atria and lobbies
• Wind towers
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Daylighting
• Space planning
• High ceilings paired with tall windows
• Window size and placement
• Interior surface colours and finishes
• Strategic architectural features
• Light shelves
• Skylights and light tubes
• Clerestories
Interdisciplinary connectionIDP
Passive design requires the integration of
diverse sources of expertise. To achieve
and optimize full potential of the design,
interdisciplinary teamwork must be
implemented. The concept concerns
various performance and environmental
issues that are not field specific to one sole
profession. Collaborative team integration helps ensure all concerns affecting the
environmental performance are addressed
throughout the entire design-built phases
(Colbalt & Hughes Condon Marler, 2009).
Passive Design proactively focuses
on the building performance rather than
relying on the complexity of engineering systems. It is achieved by combining
energy efficient building envelopes with
the potential renewable energy of its surrounding environments. Overall, the con-
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cept addresses human comfort and quality
in regards to the environmental impact of
its lifecycle (Passive Buildings Canada).
Though this basic idea of removing
mechanical systems from building appears
unfeasible for some Canadians, Europeans have been creating passive design
buildings for numerous years. With their
diverse climates and conditions they have
created many alternative, efficient solutions to the concept. Yet, all were designed
with the sole purpose to provide the ideal
comfort and energy efficiency with sustainability and durability in mind.
References
Colbalt Engineering, Hughes Condon Marler:
Architects. ( July 2009). Passive Design Toolkit
[PDF publication]. (http://vancouver.ca/
sustainability/documents/58345PassiveKitBo
okPrt3.pdf ).
Edwards, W. (August 2008). Passive Solar Design
[Blog]. (http://www.buildgreen.ca/2008/08/
passive-solar-design/).
Maxxwell, S. (2012, January 14). Passive house offers
comfort, efficiency. Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved
from http://www.ottawacitizen.com/
Passive Buildings Canada (http://www.passivebuildings.ca/).
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Quality Control
Steps
Based off Passive Buildings
Canada standards
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Interior Architecture
From the
Inside Out
Steph Bolduc
In the world of architecture, numerous circumstances,
scenarios and dualities are faced. It is of the architect to
work through these challenges and turn idea into reality,
one that serves to improve the lives of the people who
inhabit the design manifested in its physicality.
Our modern 21st century world is constantly changing and
evolving, adapting to new socio-economic developments. Because these changes are often newly emerging in their own right,
they bring to life new fields or disciplines in order to adequately
respond to the growing demands. One of these disciplines
making great strides in the world of design is the profession of
Interior Architecture, a result of combining three distinct design
disciplines: Interior Design, Architecture, and Industrial Design.
The merger of these three disciplines aims to achieve better
integration of all aspects of interior space by allowing flexibility
for each to interact with one another, and is thus concerned with
how humans utilized structured spaces.
Though definitions may vary, as stated by the National Center
for Educational Statistics, it is the application of architectural
principles in the design of structural interiors for living, recreational, and business purposes. Professional Interior Architects
make use of knowledge and practice in architecture, structural
systems design, heating and cooling systems, occupational and
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safety standards, interior design, specific
end-use applications, and professional
responsibilities (National Center For
Educational Statistics, 2012).
To give some context on the formation
of interior architecture as a specific discipline, as our cities begin to densify, high
rises follow suit by growing in height and
in numbers. With this drastic shift to tall
urban structures comes a growing need
for their interiors to properly respond to
the diversity of their inhabitants and their
changing needs as dwellers.
As these interior spaces grow both
in need for change and complexity the
profession of the architect has now seen
a shift in specificity, thus creating the
profession of interior architects. The
merger of the three disciplines of Architecture, Interior Design, and Industrial
Design aims to achieve better integration
of all aspects of interior space by allowing flexiblility for each to interact with
one another. Interior Architects are thus
concerned with how humans utilize the
interiors of structured spaces.
As previously mentioned, Interior
Architecture is by nature a specialized
profession which draws from Interior
Design and Industrial Design to provide
a more refined and well rounded design
scheme. Applications of Interior Architecture can be seen in many different types of
scenarios ranging from, urban residential
units and adaptive re-use projects, to the
design of interiors of city buses.
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^ Figure 2: Gary Chang Apartment, Marcel Lam,
Hong Kong, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/
2009/01/15/garden/20090115_HONGKONG_8.html
^ Figure 1: Gary Chang Apartment, Marcel Lam, Hong Kong,
2009. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/01/15/
garden/20090115_HONGKONG_2.html
Focusing on the urban residential sector the inter-disciplinary
nature of interior architecture could help remedy some of the
issues relating to dwelling by providing spaces at the residential
scale that are adaptable to the changing needs of its occupants.
Aspects of Interior Architecture at the micro-urban scale can be
broken down into numerous specific uses. These uses can range
from the initial design and plan for use, the later redesign to accommodate a changed purpose, or a significantly revised design
for adaptive re-use of the building shell. The intensive focus
on designing adaptable personal spaces will also investigate the
integration of adaptable furniture. Furniture is often an afterthought in architectural design, or is merely a place holder in the
design process, thus often creating a disjuncture between the two.
The dialogue between adaptable furniture and the capability
of altering the volumetric characteristics of space should create
dwellings which are fully adaptable to various scenarios.
It is often hard to envision that any building can be used for
anything but its originally intended purpose. Many older buildings are now in decay or becoming vacant for various reasons, demanding to be re-thought and re-adapted in order to be used for
a different purpose. It is inevitable that buildings will age and human needs will change over time, thus increasing the need for the
adaptive re-use of these structures. Whether it is for conservation
reasons or public campaigns, numerous buildings must be left in
their original state on the exterior but its interior can be left to
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be re-programmed. Interior architects are
specialized architects that deal solely with
the architecture of a building’s interior,
thus have the ability to sensitively respond
to the buildings history, site context and
fitting new programming elements into
the older structure (Linda, 2009).
An instance of how Interior Architecture is used in the re-adaption of aging
infrastructure can be seen in architect
Gary Chang’s redesign of his 32 m² apartment in Hong Kong. The space changes
into 24 different configurations allowing him to custom tailor his dwelling to
suit his needs and adapt to various living
scenarios. The flexible interior is made up
of elements that slide on tracks, fold down
from walls and down from the ceiling that
shape various arrangements. He illustrates
and describes the process of the renovation in his book “My 32m² Apartment - a
30 year transformation”.
References
Berger, Mark us. Int|AR: Interventions|Adaptive
Reuse Journal, Vol 01, 2009
Linda, 7 Excellent Examples of Adaptive Reuse,
http://www.archi-ninja.com/excellent-examples-of-adaptive-reuse/, last updated 2009
National Center For Educational Statistics,
http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.
aspx?y=55&cipid=87968, last updated 2012
37
Interview with
Markus Berger
Steph Bolduc
Markus Berger is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Interior Architecture at RISD. He holds an
MArch (Diplomingenieur für Architektur) from the Technische Universität Wien, Austria and is a registered architect (SBA) in the Netherlands. Prior to coming to the US he practiced as an architect and taught
in Austria, India, Pakistan and with UN Studio in the Netherlands. He
co-founded and co-edits Int|AR and currently also heads his own design
studio in Providence, InsideOut Design.
SB: Interior Architecture is an emerging discipline with its roots seeming to stem
from Architecture, Interior Design, Industrial Design and Adaptive Re-use.
How would you define what Interior Architecture is and how does the field
distinguish itself and draw from these different disciplines?
MB: The recent interest in the field of Interior Architecture and Adaptive Re-use may make this field appear as a new discipline. I see Interior
Architecture as an age old practice, because as soon as humans started to
build, they had to start altering-, extending-, modifying their buildings and
structures. Interior Architecture can be defined as the art of “transforming an
unused or underused building into one that serves a new use”(Berger, 2009).
It is essentially a field at the intersection of architecture, conservation and
design of the built environment that takes an innovative approach on interior
interventions and the reuse and transformation of existing buildings.
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^ Adaptive Reuse, Eun Lee, Rhode Island
School of Design, 2011. Markus Berger
SB: The densification of our urban centers is
on a continuous rise. Along with this comes
an increasing demand for spaces that are
more adaptable to the diversity of human
conditions. With specificity placed on the domain of urban residential units, how do you
see the field of Interior Architecture changing the way we design these spaces both in
new construction and in adaptive re-use?
MB: Every built structure eventually faces three possibilities: demolition,
preservation or adaptive reuse. A study
in the UK (APR database in1994) has
shown that 34% of office buildings have
been converted to residential use. Given
the speed and amount of changes taking
place in and within programmatic typologies of urban centers, we will experience
a growing demand of appropriations of
these spaces for new use.
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SB: What kind of strategies are commonly used to determine the proper level
of intervention on the interiors of older
infrastructure both at the structural level
and material level?
MB: I argue for individual and
tailored intervention strategies that entail
issues of preservation, conservation,
alteration and interventions through
design. We may aim to keep interventions
on infrastructure, structure and material
to a minimum, while expanding the qualities of spaces and functions. The designer
needs to discover the potential of the
existing and then be able to expand this
potential through the right interventions.
MB: Unfortunately your question
targets one of the biggest problems we
face in Architecture. The essential qualities of indoor spaces have been neglected
in centuries of architectural education and
accreditation. We need a multi-sensual,
qualitative experience and understanding
of our indoor environment and it needs
to emerge from a discipline that takes
a holistic approach to spatial qualities,
socio-economic issues and highly reduced
energy needs.
SB: Interior spaces are of great importance
as they are the areas we inhabit and use
the most. What is your take on the level of
importance these spaces have and their potential to effect human conditions through
the experience they convey?
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Transformation Design
The Organizational
Power of Design
Methods
John Di Palma
Transformation Design is the use of a facilitated design approach – involving usercenteredness, rapid iteration, and tangible prototyping – with traditionally nondesign projects to catalyze change in organizational culture. Transformation Design
consultation with the client project team of “non-design” professionals forces the
project to be reframed. Intentional involvement with design activity develops design
intelligence, and participatory design techniques foster an appreciation for the user
as a critical stakeholder. This process is intended to develop adaptable capacity
within the client organization, which can be considered a design project in itself. It
advocates for the value of design methods, which are well suited for the increasingly complex systems that organizations must consider in the development of their
offerings. The emergence of this discipline is related to the increasing recognition of
unique designerly ways of thinking within the business community, evidenced by the
proliferation of Design Thinking literature.
Design is described as a distinct form of intelligence in Nigel
Cross’ collection of important works titled Designerly Ways of
Knowing (2007). Cross argues that we all possess some degree
of design intelligence and ability, because they are required and
developed by the everyday tasks of arrangement and selection.
However, he also stipulates that this ability must be developed,
nurtured, and maintained through experience with design
activity. At the higher levels of the practitioner and professional,
design activities are integrated into unique processes that support
constructive and abductive reasoning, which are particularly appropriate for addressing complex and uncertain problems. These
theories were essential to the formation of the modern framework of design as an academic discipline, and they continue to be
highly regarded in this growing field of research. By transposing
Cross’s ideas from the context of the individual to that of the
organization, we gain fresh insight that proves the continuing
relevance of his work.
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Transformation Design is an emerging
discipline that does just that – it recognizes the critical role of design methods in
the development of organizational design
intelligence.
The markets and problems faced by
today’s organizations are increasingly
complex, and are likely to benefit from the
holistic, system-based, and user-oriented
approach that is characteristic to design.
However, these same organizations may
not have traditional design departments
that they can look to for such insight.
Furthermore, their offerings may not
be regarded as the consumer-oriented
products that are typically associated
with design. Regardless, Transformation
Design seeks to reframe an organization’s offerings from a user perspective,
which necessitates the redefinition of the
organization’s clients – whether they are
patients, employees, or other businesses –
as end-users. Transformation design strives
to ingrain this designerly mindset within
client organizations through the facilitation of a non-traditional design project.
The client organization receives the dual
benefit of the transformation designers’
consultation pertaining to the immediate project as well as the development of
widely applicable designerly capabilities.
In 2006, The Design Council of the
UK set out to crystallize the discipline by
defining its characteristic methods and
applications with the publication of their
document RED Paper 02: Transformation
Design. They described the paper as a call
to action, and hoped that it would attract
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designers to this growing but underserved discipline. RED was an
interdisciplinary research and development team initiated by the
Design Council in 2004 and terminated shortly after the publication of RED Paper 02. This small group conducted first-hand
research through its projects as a design consultancy for both
the private and public sector, as well as research of other groups
such as IDEO’s Transformation Practice. Their earlier work, RED
Paper 01: Open Health (2006), illustrated their focus on participatory design methods that remained central to their perspective
on Transformation Design. A case study involving the development of a simple health service tool to facilitate communication
between diabetes patients and their doctors was documented in
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both of these publications. In the first,
it served as an example of the strategic
value of design methods and co-creation
in nontraditional areas. In RED Paper 02,
the co-creation with front-line healthcare
service providers was reframed as a transformative process for the client organization – a public healthcare institution.
Considering that it is external consultants who conduct Transformation
Design, it becomes clear that a certain
level of pre-existing appreciation for the
strategic value of design is required within
potential client organizations. The issue of
acceptance may have been simplified for
RED’s projects because of the government
affiliation and not-for-profit nature of the
Design Council. Fortunately, traditional
corporate strategy acknowledges the
importance of the product offering in
the creation of corporate value, which
can serve as a point of reference for the
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valuation of design. Managers seek to understand how potential
customers perceive their products, and how their offerings relate
to the preferences and priorities of key demographics. Traditionally, market research has been utilized for this purpose, but design
consultancies have been able to leverage this aspect of corporate
strategy to help define and establish the role of design strategy.
The ethnographic and investigative methods of design are naturally aligned with the insights desired in this area. Design may be
traditionally associated with styling, the incorporation of new
technology and materials, or brand identity, among other things.
The value of imbuing these diverse roles with a strategic purpose
through their close integration, as a design department or consultancy does, should be increasingly obvious to the managers that
are responsible for the development of corporate strategy.
The paradigm of Design Thinking has helped to foster an
appreciation for abductive and holistic thinking within management, which helps to give rise to design-friendly environments.
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Design Thinking attempts to advocate for design intelligence
at the executive level while largely neglecting the inextricable link
between design intelligence and design activity. The majority of
case studies used throughout The Art of Innovation illustrate the
power of design intelligence through design projects at traditionally product-oriented organizations such as Apple, Phillips, and
NEC. The lessons gleaned from these studies pertain largely to
the design groups, where the design activity takes place, while
other departments are left to simply “think like designers”. Unlike
Transformation Design, this perspective does not encourage the
reevaluation of organizational behavior beyond that of the design
department. Design activity continues to be removed from
management, and the fundamental issue of adapting to a complex
market is not addressed.
Transformation Design involves a greater portion of the
organization in design activity by framing the client organization itself as a design project. Whereas traditional design projects
Management may have gained familiarity
with some aspects of design intelligence –
as well as exposure to basic design lexicon
– through this framework. In the book
The Art of Innovation (2001), author Tom
Kelley discusses the benefits of rapid
prototyping as a means of making
problems tangible and failing early and
often in order to reach truly innovative
solutions. He also asserts that creativity in
groups is more productive, and beneficial
to the organization, than the lone creative
genius. This encourages the development
of a collaborative environment, which is
critical to a successful design department,
and represents a step towards a design-led
corporation.
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References
may seek to co-design with users, a Transformation
Design project will do so with various stakeholders
within an organization. Similarly, the Transformation
Design consultancy might also employ ethnographic
methods to study the client organization. The team
will use the design project as a means of assessing and
developing the design intelligence of the organization. This process is intended for organizations and
managers that would not otherwise be involved in a
traditional design process, and for their involvement
to rely on design activity that is directly applied to
the project. This illustrates the universality of design
intelligence to management, like Design Thinking,
while respecting the critical link to design activity.
The clients’ personal experience with design methods
develops pride in the project, and an appreciation for
the value of design activity and intelligence that is
more powerful that simply receiving the deliverables
from a design consultancy, no matter how strategically-minded they may be.
44
Burns, C., Cottam, H., Vanstone, C., Winhall, J. (2006). RED PAPER 02: Transformation Design. Retrieved January 15, 2012,
from Design Council Web site: http://www.designcouncil.
info/mt/RED/transformationdesign
Burns, C., Cottam, H., Vanstone, C., Winhall, J. (2006). RED
PAPER 01: Open Health. Retrieved January 15, 2012, from
Design Council Web site: http://www.designcouncil.info/
RED/health/REDREPORT01OpenHealth.pdf
Coughlan, P., Suri, J., & Canales, K. (2007). Prototypes as (design)
tools for behavioral and organizational change: A design-based
approach to help organizations change work behaviors. Journal
of Applied Behavioral Science, 43(1), 122-134.
Cross, N. (2007). Designerly ways of knowing. Basel: Birkhäuser
Verlag AG.
Hands, D. (2009). Vision and Values in Design Management. Lausanne: AVA Publishing.
Kelley, T. (2001). The Art of Innovation. New York: HarperCollins
Business
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LOcating
transformation
DESIGN
John di Palma
DESIGN LEADERSHIP
Human Capability
DESIGN
MANAGEMENT
Personal
Professional Task
Individual
society
Methods /
Process
Awareness
DESIGN
STRATEGY
services
products
Transformation
Design
Intelligence
Organizational
KNOWING
culture
Cultural
Reflection
DESIGN
THINKING
Corporate
Competence
Disruptive
Innovation
DESIGN-DRIVEN
Figure 1: John Di Palma
This diagram illustrates the spectrum between the seed
of narrow design awareness and the all-encompassing
worldview of designerly ways of knowing. A selection of
practices and ideas, including Transformation Design, are
located along this spectrum.
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Public design urban environment public
culture community installation interdisciplinary
design collaboration Fun Palace Utopian
Dymaxion House Plug-In City Cedric Price
Dome Collaboration Buckminster Fuller
Architectural Association Warren C
gram Mark Fisher Ron Herron’s Walking
ity Visual Effects Technological I
The Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Amplification
Pneumatics Pink Floyd Machine Aesthetic
Disassembly Road Crew Mass Production
ized Parts Tour Logistics Transport Trucks
uling Efficiency Entertainment Architecture
Audience Profit Gathering Pop Culture
Stage Event City Travel No Site Site scenography
scene stage theatre design event design
mance imaginary narratives constructed
tions exhibition designs relational art
tive audience action space agitprop spatial
mise-en-scène Engineer Design knowledge
focus stability structure appearance
tion coherent sophisticated infrastructure
context necessity development opportunity
bon-neutral environmental-thinking
istics space material integral-consciousness
veloping-process collaboration responsibility
correlation construction transformation
ence stage theatre film german expressionism
theme abstract expression theatricality
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public space
interdisciplinary
topian Living
rice Claverton
uller Peter Cook
Chalk Archialking City MobilInnovations
mplification
esthetic Assembly/
roduction Standardrucks Schedrchitecture
ulture Performer
scenography
design perforconstructed situaart participaspatial agency
knowledge merging
appearance collaborainfrastructure
opportunity carcharacterconsciousness deresponsibility
transformation audiexpressionism style
theatricality
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CONTEXT
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p u b l i c
d e s i g n
P l a c e s
f o r
p e o p l e
Natalie shalmon
This essay aims to understand and analyze the current
condition of public design. It examines various spheres
of public design, the intention of its projects and its
interdisciplinary connections, and discusses two case studies
of public design.
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What is Public Design?
The word “public” implies all members
of society, rather than a specific group or
individual. Therefore, public design can be
understood as design that is intended for
social uses and is accessible to all members
of society. It includes goods that are public
in themselves, or private properties with
a “public nature”, such as billboards and
building of the exteriors, that have a physical
and psychological effect on the members of
society. Public design may be permanent or
temporary, outdoors or indoors. However,
indoor public space tends to have more
restrictions on whom may use the space and
in what manner it may be used. Public design
can be approached from a wide variety of
disciplines and affect the aesthetic, symbolic
and functional characteristics of all public
spaces.
Interdisciplinary Connections
The subjects of public design are
diverse and widespread, and can be
approached from a range of disciplines,
from industrial design to architecture to
urban planning. However, public design
differs from disciplines such as urban
planning, in that it focuses on design
features of a smaller, more intimate scale.
The interdisciplinary nature of public
design also calls on public designers to
collaborate with professionals in different
fields. A public designer may work with an
architect to design a public building, with
a landscape architect to create outdoor
features or fixture; with an urban planner
to situate the design within the greater
urban infrastructure; with a community
designer to work on a project with specific
social concerns; with a communication
designer to design signage; with a fine
artist to create a public exhibition or
artwork; or with a government employee
to ensure compliance with laws and
regulations. As public design draws on a
multitude of disciplines, Figure 1 outlines
various dimensions of public design and
some of the design features they include, as
suggested by the Korean Society of Public
Design, as well as other sources.
Aims & Goals
While each public design project has
its own definitive aims, in general, public
design is meant for all members of society
to use and benefit from, while addressing
issues of community, culture and
economy in urban spaces. Public design
plays a significant role in establishing a
<Circular Bench, Esterni, Jair Straschnow &
Wouter Nieuwndjik, Bronx, NY, 2011
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city’s identity, differentiating it from other cities
and increasing its cultural value. By enhancing
the quality of public facilities and goods, public
design has the potential to stimulate the regional
economy and contribute to the development of
the tourism industry. Design in the public sector
also contributes to a society’s cultural foundation,
by addressesing aspects of everyday life, such as the
urban environment and public information, thus
encouraging urban growth and the development of
culture.
Public design aims to change the way citizens
experience the urban environment, making it
more beautiful, functional and playful, while
contributing to building a sense of community.
Rather than emphasizing quantitative principles,
such as mass production, public design emphasizes
quality, focusing on cultural and social elements of
design. This means that the practice is driven more
by service than by profit, and targets people that
do not fit the standard definition of a client. This
focus creates opportunities to build relationships
between individuals and their surroundings. “Now,
cities around the globe seek to promote the value
of life with rich creativity, and add culture to their
unique histories. Thus, public design has emerged
as a way to express urban identity, and establish
a creative cultural environment.” (Public Design
2011, 2011) Design in the public sector often
promotes inclusive and universal design in order
^ Aerial view of Heritage Field – the former Yankee Stadium
outfield is marked in blue, Bronx, NY, 2010.
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^ Bull Durham’s quote runs along the fence, Heritage Field,
Bronx, NY, 2010.
to allow equal accessibility to all members of society,
regardless of ability or age. Public design may also
help communities address social, economic and
environmental problems, encouraging new forms of
public engagement.
Due to the diverse and broad scope of public
design, there are very different kinds of organizations
that advocate for public design, including City design
commissions and international design festivals.
NYC Public Design Commission
New York City’s Public Design Commission
has been operating as a design review agency since
its establishment in 1898. The Public Design
Commission reviews proposals for permanent works
of art, architecture, landscape architecture and street
furniture, on city-owned property. Projects include
installations and the conservation of artwork as
well as “buildings, such as museums and libraries;
bridges and other infrastructure projects; parks and
playgrounds; and lighting and other streetscape
elements, including distinctive sidewalks, bollards,
and newsstands.” (NYC Design, n.d.) Proposals are
reviewed and approved during the Public Design
Commission’s monthly public hearings, wherein
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members of the community are encouraged to testify
and voice their opinions. The Commission also
curates and maintains the City’s public art collection
and historical archives of public works.
New York City’s Public Design Commission
consists of eleven members, includeding an architect,
landscape architect, engineer, communication
designer, fine artists and representatives of the
Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum
of Art and the New York Public Library. The
multidisciplinary background of the members of the
Public Design Commission ensures that public design
is considered from a variety of perspectives.
Since 1982, the Public Design Commission of
New York City has recognized exceptional public
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design projects with its Annual Awards for Excellence in Design.
Hundreds of submissions are reviewed every year and the
Commission is members select those of the highest standards to
receive awards.
Heritage Field is a commemorative project that received the
Design Award in 2010. The installation is located in and around
the original Yankee Stadium, which is now a community park,
and evokes the history and legacy of the former stadium. A
baseball diamond mimicking the original one is installed to allow
park visitors to run the bases. “Momentous events in history are
inscribed on benches and pavers and brought to life through
contemporary viewfinders that offer snapshots in stereoscopic
3D. Large-scale graphics on the outfield fence remind visitors
that baseball is a simple game: ‘Sometimes you win, sometimes
you lose, sometimes it rains’.” (NYC Design, n.d.) The Heritage
Field installation was a project of the Economic Development
Corporation, the Department of Parks & Recreation, Doyle
Partners (a communication firm), Cozzolino Studio (a product
design firm), Stantec (a design and consulting firm), Thomas
Balsley Associates Landscapes Architecture and van Geldern
Machine Company. The breadth of the design team speaks to the
interdisciplinary nature of public design projects.
collaborators esterni devise the projects presented
in Public Design Festival, along with international
designers.
Aiming to transform the way that people
experience and live in the city, the Public Design
Festival redesigns the city around citizens’ needs
and investigates ways that design can make the
urban environment more beautiful, comfortable
and functional. The festival proposes that in order
to improve peoples’ relationship with their city,
they must be open to sharing ideas, opinions and
information and to developing new collaborations. “It
means getting to know each other, your neighbours,
and your city, with its little squares, lanes, and hidden
corners. It means experiencing the city, rather than
just crossing it, imagining how it could be, and trying
to awarely re-design it.” (Public Design Festival,
n.d.) The Public Design Festival aims to inspire
administrations, companies and design studios to
rethink public spaces and develop cultural identity in
the city.
Circular Bench, presented in the 2011 Public
Design Festival, is a collaborative work by esterni
and Dutch designers Jair Straschnow and Wouter
Nieuwendjik. An innovative take on street furniture,
each seat of the Circular Bench can be flipped inward
or outward, giving users the choice of socializing or
not. This freedom of choice encourages socialization
and building relationships between people, but also
respects a desire for solitude. Circular Bench is now
Public Design Festival
Public Design Festival is an annual festival held in Milan,
Italy, that presents public design ideas and projects, ranging
from interventions to installations and services, throughout the
city. The festival is organized by esterni, a cultural association
that designs public spaces and services, produces collective
events, and develops communication campaigns. Employees and
Viewfinder and a selection of images that visitors can
^
52
^
browse, Cozzolino Studio, Heritage Field, Bronx, NY, 2010.
Wall installation, Heritage Field, Bronx, NY, 2010. 2
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industrial product that can be distributed on a large
scale and installed in parks and public spaces.
Public design is a field that spans a diverse range
of activities and practices, but its goal remains
a constant: to improve peoples’ quality of life
through the design of public space and facilities. The
increasing complexity of urban environments requires
design professionals that can incorporate concepts
from various fields to develop projects that contribute
to the city’s culture and encourage relationships
between people and the urban environment. In order
for public design to effectively attain these goals, the
design must address the context of the specific place
being addressed, including its history, environment,
unique culture and characteristics.
References
^ Circular Bench, esterni, Jair Straschnow & Wouter Nieuwndjik, Bronx, NY, 2011.
> Circular Bench, esterni, Jair Straschnow & Wouter Nieuwndjik, Bronx, NY, 2011.
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Gamboni, M. (2011). Public Design Festival 2011: Esterni Design Moves the City of Everyone.
Milan: Public Design Festival.
Lee, S.-I., Yoon, S.-K., & Kang, H.-M. (2007). A Study on the Revitalization of Public Design
for the Reconstruction of City Identity. Paper presented at IASDR07 International Association of Societies of Design Research, Hong Kong.
NYC Design: Public Design Commission of the City of New York. (n.d.). Retrieved February
11, 2012, from http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/home/home.shtml
Perkes, D. It’s Time for Us to Elaborate on “Public Design”. Gulf Coast Community Design
Studio. Retrieved February 10, 2012, from http://gccds.org/blog/?tag=public-design
Public Design 2011: Korea’s Leading Public Design show + Forum. (2011). Retrieved February
10, 2012, from http://publicexpo.co.kr/index.html?TPL=en_01_01.tpl
Public Design Festival. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2012, from http://www.publicdesignfestival.org/portal/EN/contents/generic_home.php?&
Yoo, E.-H., Park, J., & Kang, H.-J. (2009). Current Status and Issues of the Public Design in
Korea. Paper presented at IASDR2009 International Association of Societies of Design
Research, Seoul, Korea.
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BENCH / CHAIR
SHELTER
GARBAGE /
RECYCLING BIN
WATER FOUNTAIN
ASHTRAY
BATHROOM
STORE / KIOSK
PEDESTRIAN LIGHT
FENCE / GUARD RAIL
BIKE LOCKING POST
BUS STATION
PARKING LOT
ESCALATOR
CONVENIENCE
FACILITIES
TRANSPORTATION
FACILITIES
PARK
PLAYGROUND
CEMETERY
PLAZA
SIDEWALK
GROUND ATTACHED TO
PUBLIC AGENCY
VENDING MACHING
MANHOLE
UTILITY POLE
PEDESTRIAN LIGHT
PUBLIC
FACILITY &
PRODUCT
DESIGN
SUPPLY
FACILITIES
MAILBOX
FIRE HYDRANT
PHONE BOOTH
CLOCK
LAWS
& REGULATIONS
ADMINISTRATION
& POLICY
PUBLIC
DESIGN
POLICY
OUTDOOR
PUBLIC
SPACE
PUBLIC
SPACE
DESIGN
PUBLIC
DESIGN
PERMANENT /
TEMPORARY
INDOOR / OUTDOOR
SCULPTURE
MURAL
INTERACTIVE
PUBLIC
COMMUNICATION
DESIGN
PART OF FESTIVAL
PUBLIC
ART
INSTALLATION
EXHIBITION
ADVERTISING
MEDIA
CONSERVATION
PERMANENT /
TEMPORARY
ART GALLERY / MUSEUM
CITY COLLECTION
HISTORICAL ARCHIVE
54
FLAG
BANNER
SIGN BOARD
INDOOR / OUTDOOR
ART GALLERY /
MUSEUM
CITY HALL
POSTER
PLACARD
BILLBOARD
PUBLIC BUILDING
PART OF FESTIVAL
PR SCREEN
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CAR PASSENGER TERMINAL
CARGO TERMINAL
RAILWAYS STATION
SUBWAY / BUS STATION
TRANSPORTATION
FACILITIES
SPACE
AIRPORT
PORT
RESTING SPACE FOR DRIVERS
TOWN HALL
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
MILITARY SPACE
COMMUNITY CENTRE
RESTING PLACE
MEMORIAL
PRISON
CITY HALL
GOVERNMENT OFFICE
FOREIGN MISSION BUILDING
CULTURAL
PROPERTY
ADMINISTRATIVE
SPACE
GYMNASIUM
ATHLETIC FIELD
PERFORMING SPACE
WELFARE FACILITY
MEDICAL FACILITY
DAYCARE CENTRE
CULTURE
/ WELFARE
SPACE
MUSEUM
ART GALLERY
ROAD
PARKING LOT
TUNNEL
RAILWAY
INFRASTRUCTURES SPACE
ELEVATED ROAD
BRIDGE
IRRIGATION / WATER
SUPPLY FACILITY
EDUCATION
/ RESEARCH
SPACE
WATERWORKS &
SEWAGE
POWER PLANT
TOWN HALL
PUBLIC INFO. OFFICE
MILITARY SPACE
PRISON
ENVIRONMENT
APPEARANCE
UPGRADING
MEDIA
GOVERNMENT OFFICE
FOREIGN MISSION
BUILDING
LIGHT
SPACE
SOUND SPACE
MEDIA ART
GRAPHICS
MURAL
INSTRUCTING
/ GUIDING
MEDIA
STREET NAME SIGN
TRAFFIC POST
SUBWAY MAP
BUS ROUTE MAP
TOURIST INFO. MAP
GOVERNMENTAL
ADMINISTRATIVE
MEDIA
NATIONAL SYMBOL
GOVERNMENT SYMBOL
CERTIFICATE
OFFICIAL DOCUMENT / FORM
PUBLICATION
PUBLIC AGENCY WEB PAGE
DISTRIBUTION MEDIA
CURRENCY NOTE
COIN
POSTAGE STAMP
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Dimensions
DIMENSIONS
of
OF
public
design
PUBLIC
DESIGN
NATALIE SHALMON
PASSPORT
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REGULATORY SIGN
DIRECTION SIGN
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scenography
S t r a n g e
m u t t s
benoit-Simon lagacÉ
While still mainly associated in
vernacular language to its previous calling
in America, the term has particularly
enjoyed a wider and broader definition in
Europe as a field concerned with exhibition
designs, public event design and relational
art installation design. As its breadth and
scope have widened and deepened over
the years, a series of new pedagogical
programs have emerged in architecture
and design faculties in cities such as Berlin,
Zurich, Paris and Brussels, while new
conferences, biennales and publications
have increasingly attempted to solidify the
field’s new mandates. Contextualizing and
understanding the boundaries and activities
of this new field is becoming increasingly
important in order to truly unlock
and comprehend the potential of this
blossoming practice; one that attempts to
create a new type of designer that is at once
a spatial organizer of scripted narratives,
an author of constructed situations and an
agent of interaction and communication.
56
Once referring to the activities stemming from the art
of staging theatrical scenes and later evolving into the
framing of cinematic settings, the practice of scenography
is enjoying a renewed attention in recent years. In response
to the general and widespread dissolution of the fields
of knowledge and design characterizing the rise of postindustrial societies, scenography has undertaken the task
of redrawing its boundaries to define itself as a new design
scenario concerned with the spatial creation of events,
performances and imaginary narratives.
^ Atelier Brückner, Philosophie, Stuttgart, 2012
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< Vicenzo Scamozzi, Teatro all’antica, La Sabbioneta, 1590
and accessories of more ephemeral and
temporary use that would be able to
communicate a wide array of abstract
concepts. Scenography even from its
early beginnings was therefore as much
an exercise of pure spatial design of
scenarios as it was an instrument of
communication.
ARCHITECTURAL MIRROR WORLD
SPATIAL WRITING OF NARRATIVE SCENARIOS
Originating from the Greek words σκηνη (skene) or
scene and γραφειν (graphein) or writing, the practice of
scenography from the onset referred to the act of writing
theatrical scenes in space. The practice in ancient Greece was
directly related to the spatial translation of imaginary scenarios
found in the plot outline of plays. It is thus important to
understand that at its core, the practice was fundamentally
responsible for rendering visible both the concrete settings
of the actions and events in the play, as well as more abstract
notions such as emotions and moods. More than simply
being concerned with a series of fixed spatial arrangements,
the practice was thus actively involved in the design of props
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As the early forms of theatre
predominantly tied the scenes of a play
to the rudimentary limits of the physical
stage, the practice of scenography
was intrinsically linked with the field
of architecture and subject to its
domination. However, this spatial
confinement did not stop the evolution of
the practice in regards to the creation of
increasingly complex spatial constructions
and situations. Multiple examples exist
throughout history characterizing these
elaborate and sophisticated spatial
arrangements on stage, but perhaps none
are more famous and seminal than Andrea
Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza
built in 1585 and Vincenzo Scamozzi’s
Teatro all’antica in La Sabbioneta
57
constructed in 1590. In both instances, a whole other cityscape
was created in perspective behind the proscenium that elevates
the act of scenography as a pure extension of architecture and
successfully ascertained the discipline as one able of opening up
new parallel worlds in space. The spaces created in perspective on
the stage of both theatres became almost heterotopic and began
to invoke the power of scenography to mirror, distort and modify
the fabric of reality. (Foucault, 1967)
SHAMAN ORCHESTRATOR OF MULTIPLE FIELDS
In addition to its intricate links to architecture, scenography
seems to have established itself as a practice capable of
orchestrating an almost infinite array of fields of design that affect
the perception and construction of events in space. In opposition
to other perhaps more unyielding and dogmatic design fields,
scenography has always been profoundly concerned with the
discoveries of new methods of conveying meaning and setting.
Understanding how to coerce and orchestrate together a rich and
wide variety of elements emerging from the realms of architecture,
interior design, lighting design, furniture design, fashion design,
special effect design and graphic design is one of the key mandates
of the field. The activities of a scenographic designer can therefore
almost be more closely related to that of a mediator or shaman,
harmonizing a series of forces and elements together, than to that
of totalitarian and intransigent author. (Matthews, 2007)
< El Lissitzky, Meyerhold Theatre, Moscow, 1928
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^ Unknown Artist, Krasnyi Kazak Agit-Train, Unknown City, 1920
RUPTURE FROM THE STAGE
In attempting to frame the contemporary field of
scenography, it is also paramount to understand the
seismic shifts experienced within the profession as a
result of the radical changes in the theoretical realm
of theatre during the twentieth century. Crucial in
framing scenography as the practice of staging scenes
in public places, it is important to note the shift
away from the stage as the space of scenic happening
that was brought about through the works of Viktor
Shklovsky and Berthold Brecht. Their redefinition of
the form of the theatrical play and theirconceptions
of the role and interactivity of the audience
fundamentally changed the understanding of the
stage and the scene as they had been traditionally
understood for centuries. Through concepts such
as estrangement and defamiliarization, the fifth
wall created by the proscenium was destroyed and
began directly involving the audience within the
play to bring theatre into reality. This destruction
of the border between the scene the and audience
that propelled the exercise of scenography within
the public sphere was materialized through two
major watersheds. The first was the conception of
fundamentally new theatres such as El Lissitzky’s
“Meyerhold Theatre” and Walter Gropius’ “Total
Theatre”. These theatres placed the spectators all
around the actors while a series of new dynamic and
interactive architectural elements within the theatre
created fully immersive and interactive environments.
The second, was the advent of the agitprop
following the Bolshevik revolution. Agitprops – or
objects serving to agitate the masses to disseminate
propaganda – began appearing in an attempt to corral
crowds with flamboyant and eye-catching objects
and messages. The development of such objects and
the thirst of the population for public festivals and
plays in the USSR lead to the creation of a wide array
of de-centralized and ephemeral performances in
the streets and squares of cities through mobile and
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^ Liubov Popova, Earth in Turmoil, Moscow, 1923
interactive stage props. As a result, scenography had now
become a medium for new interventions, possible in any
context, where the audience became actors. Traditional pieces
of stage design were orchestrated in new and innovative ways
to propose the stimulating ‘mis-en-scène’ of a series of events
and actions to a new accidental and public audience.
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In recent years a series of interesting new offices
such as Raumlabor, Exyzt, Mésarchitecture and
Recetas Urbanas, have all begun to operate in
the blurred boundaries between art, architecture,
landscape design, urban design, event design,
furniture design and graphic design to create
scenographic spaces that, not only open up new
imaginative and fantastic spaces in society, but also
promote a new sociopolitical spatial agency. The
projects of the Canadian office spmb [São PauloManitoba] also concentrate on the construction these
types of interactive scenes in public space through a
wide array of more ephemeral techniques. Founded
by the duo of Karen Shanski and Eduardo Aquino,
their latest project realized in the context of the
“Nuit Blanche” in Montreal, “Mutts On A Leash”,
continued to explore ways of creating scenes in space
that incite public interaction. The project provided a
space along the Montreal Souterrain for flânerie and
encouraged people to sit and discuss in an unexpected
scene within their urban environment. The title of the
project – in reference to a type of informal roadside
benches found along the countryside of Brazil or
“cachorrinhos” for little dogs in Portugeuse – also
acknowledged the hybridity of the object and of
the intervention’s formal practice. Much like a dog
of many and uncertain breeds, the project aimed to
negotiate the links opened up by a design field such
as scenography between: private and public spaces;
imaginary scenes and real scenarios; and performative
spaces and exhibition spaces. It is the demonstration
and confirmation of a growing area of design that
is starting to validate Cedric Price’s claim that in
our contemporary societies, buildings might indeed
not always be the best solution to certain spatial
problems. Rather, punctual and more ephemeral
interventions that operate under the banner of an
inclusive and adaptive discipline such as scenography
are often capable of providing much more imaginative
and radically new types of spatial solutions and
experiences.
< spmb, Mutts on a Leash, Montreal, 2012
References
Foucault, M (1997) Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.
in N. Leach (Ed.), Rethinking Architecture (p.352) London:
Routledge
Mathews, S. (2007). Cedric Price as Anti-Architect. In T. Anstey,
K. Grillner, & R. Hughes (Eds.), Architecture and authorship
(p. P.142). London: Black Dog Publishing.
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entertainment design
c o n s t r u c t i n g
e v e n t s
Evan mullen
In 1964, Ron Herron, a member of the design
collective Archigram, envisioned cities walking on
their own, touring the world and linking to one
another and to fixed infrastructure. At the time it
was argued that Archigram’s “technological and
science fiction fantasies” (Phillip Drew, 1972) were
unrepresentative of concrete knowledge and were
contradictory to known science and possibility.
But by the late 1980s, Architectural Association
School of Architecture (AA) graduate, Mark Fisher,
had begun to realize Herron’s visions of city-sized,
transportable vessels capable of traveling the globe
and enveloping hundreds of thousands at each stop
along the way.
At the AA, Fisher had been a student of Archigram collaborator Peter Cook, designer of the Plug-In
City, and Cook’s influence can be seen in much of
Fisher’s work from the 1970s all the way through to
the present day. Fisher has taken the Plug-In City’s
ideas of machine aesthetic, mobility and prefabrication while subtracting the unrealistic notion that
people would actually live in these constructions. He’s
also realized what makes these portable megastructures economically feasible - people will pay money to
go to rock shows.
As a result movable cities became not places to
sustain every day life but rather places for leisure. And
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^ Comparision of Mark Fisher (right) and Cook (left)
> Mark Fisher, Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels, 1989
> Mark Fisher, Rolling Stones’ Tour Schedule, 1989
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the designers of these places have became not saviours
of the world but people who simply make the world
more enjoyable through the orchestration of events
and the construction of physical structures to house
them. The designers of these places and events are
entertainment architects.
What is the role of the entertainment architect?
Mark Fisher and his team tackle everything
from adapting standard industrial parts into custom
configurations, to sound and lighting design, to
creating narratives, to organizing tour schedules with
maximum efficiency. Time is a building material as
important as steel in the world of rock concerts and
each 3 hour show takes 2 to 4 days of carefully articulated travel and set up time. Pink Floyd’s Division Bell
Tour (1994) alone involved the set up and tear down
of three separate 180-foot stages and a crew of 161
people to move the 700 tonnes of steel in 53 trucks
across North America.
On top of these tasks, the entertainment architect
much be as, if not more, aware than the performers
for which he designs of the current state of popular culture and which turn it might take next. The
ephemeral nature of these structures allows them to
cater exclusively to momentaneous events rather than
lasting urban impacts, separating these works from
the architecture of the cities on which they land.
The result is somewhere between an architecture
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and an industrial product; a work that gains its
permanence through memory, documentation
and cultural relevance rather than heavy, durable
construction.
Fisher’s style has morphed from the pseudoindustrial aesthetic that was celebrated by Cook to
slick, out-of-scale post-modernism as exemplified
by his works for U2 in the mid 1990s. While these
forms may seem shallow and unauthentic because
they follow short-lived trends, they succeed in the
original intention of the Plug-In City, creating
“architecture as an event that can only be realized by the active involvement of its inhabitants,”
(Peter Cook, 1964) catering to and animated by
performers and audience alike to form a working whole. Like the rock stars themselves, Mark
Fisher’s success has come from doing the right
thing at the right time and making it accessible to
a wide audience.
References
Imbesi, L. (2010, August). Design of Event. diid,
n_45, 64-69.
Herron, Ron, and Reyner Banham. The visions of
Ron Herron. London: Acad. Ed., 1994. Print.
Holding, Eric. Mark Fisher: staged architecture.
West Sussex: Wiley-Academy, 2000. Print.
Lyall, Sutherland, and Ron Herron. Imagination
Headquarters. London: Phaidon Press, 1992.
Print.
Sadler, Simon. Archigram: architecture without
architecture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press,
2005. Print.
Steiner, Hadas A.. Beyond Archigram: the structure
of circulation. New York: Routledge, 2009.
Print.
Mark Fisher, Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon, 1997
^
> Mark Fisher, U2’s Popmart (In Construction), 1997
> Mark Fisher, Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels, Los Angeles
Concert, 1989
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mark fisher and
setting the stage
mind map
evan mullen
type of design suBhead
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Mark fisher
and setting
the stage
Evan mullen
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s t a g e
d e s i g n
m i s e
e n
s c É n e
Ann Le
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This article will be analyzing design techniques in the
occupational field of stage design, primarily investigating
the field in two different contexts, cinema and theatre. The
elements which this article will explore include creative
strategies used in developing and designing a scene,
audience perspectives with regards to set design, lighting,
space, costume and acting. In cinema the view is controlled
by the aperture, it is precise, contained - the audience sees a
curated point of view. In theatre, the stage is the scene, it is
a phenomenological experience for the viewer, the audience
is the personal presence of the performance. Moreover,
theatre provides a sensory experience of materials of the set
and engages the audience through the performance.
< Town Clerk towering over Dr. Caligari.
Exagerated height gives the expression of
dominance and power.
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Stage design is a profession that designs scenes
for theatre or film sets. Stage designers re-create
representations of a space, faux scenes, a sort
of alternate reality that is meant to be used in a
performance. The stage designers often works in
collaboration with lighting directors, actors, and
elements of the stage that affect one another, in
order to create a narrative story and a cohesive style
throughout the performance.
Conversely, this article will be analyzing and
comparing these two different performance based
environments in terms of case studies and examples
in cinema and theatre. For cinema, Das Cabinett Des
Dr. Caligari, where German expressionist painters
collaborate under the supervision of director Robert
Weinem, and for theatre, Blue Dragon in which
Robert Lepage plays a primary role as the mastermind
behind the stage design in addition of being the
director.
The cinematic example is a German Expressionist
film made in the year 1920. Under the production
company Delca Picture Corporation. It was written
by the theatre writers Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer
and the script was written in the way that“every
expression, every movement of players was written in
detailed instructions in the script.” (Adkinson 1972)
Originally it was to be directed by Fritz Lang (who
directed Metropolis a few years later) but the position
was given to Wiene instead. The scenes were designed
to represent the image of a fantasy as a reality. The
entire set was painted on canvas, and the ‘objects’ and
background were extremely exaggerated for dramatic
effect. As a result, the setting was not necessarily a
‘realistic’ representation per se’ but as an abstract
expression of the scene which was the graphic style of
the film. “Caligaris setting and themes intensified the
thoughts and emotions of the characters.” (Robinson,
1997)
In one of the scenes, objects are used as
expression. “Caligari fumes while waiting for the
town clerk” (Robinson, 1997). The town clerk was
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69
placed on an exaggeratedly tall stool and
desk that represents his authority. His
height gives him a looming condescending
gaze over patrons in the room, one of
the patrons including a very angry Dr.
Caligari.
The paintings were “complex and
ambiguous” (Robinson, 1997) accounts
for informal shaped to appear - vague
representation of the objects - substance
because they were no longer being viewed
as something “real” enabling a new
interpretion by the audience. Realism or
reality was no longer a valid representation and was not being read as a reformed
and changed in the imagination of the
viewers.
The lighting used was very stark allowing for these canvases to standout and
the abstract and deformed architecture to
come into the foreground. The characters
were allowed to become literally lighter
or darker, moving them either in front or
behind the lighting, to give a sense of a
joyful character or a sinister character.
The theatrical example, Blue Dragon,
is one part of the Dragon’s Trilogy.
This theatre production began in 1987,
originally including all (now divided)
three parts. The set of the Blue Dragon is
built as a two level section with divided
panels or rooms. The set is dynamic and
changes with each scene. Lepage allows
for physical collaborations between the
actors to take place and creates objects
that express the atmosphere and different
experiences. Parts of the section can be
isolated to create multiple scenes simultaneously and enabling the transformation
of the sets from scene to scene: “converting the space as tangible materials and a
physical resource for the actor to engage
with”(Dundjerovic, 2007).
In Blue Dragon, the only object that
is fixed is the framing. The theatricality
is developed over time and the characters
and actors become a part of the transformation and the scene. The “language
of the stage starts with the space and
the ways the performers’ action defines
it” (Dundjerovic, 2007), the stage thus
becomes dynamic. The characters are
sometimes expressed in multiple layers,
using the stage as a form of representation
of the character. Lepage often uses projections, silhouettes, and the actors as props
70
^ Canvas painted background. Exaggerated,
surrealist perspective
> Colour Poster for Das Cabinet Des Dr. Caligari
to create multi layered representations,
metaphors and characteristics of the characters which are shown simultaneously.
The audience participates in the transformation; the transformation becomes
a part of the experience and a part of the
performance. It creates a textual experience for the audience, no longer purely visual, allowing them to see the stage change
and the actors changing from scene to
scene. Transformation thus becomes a visual theme, as well as the phenomenological experience in Lepage’s Blue Dragon,
through the collection of elements of the
stage; lighting, stage, actors.
Both these examples use fixed sets,
where only one plane is seen at a time,
but are still dynamic within the narrative,
characters, and objects. They both
exemplify a portrait/pictorial style in
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setting, a visual frame that the audience is meant to
remain fixated on. The dissimilarity however in the
methods how they try to achieve their experimental
style, which is dictated by the differences of their
medium; cinema and theatre. Through the visual
lense of cinema, the audience view is controlled by
the director,. Weine uses Caligari as metaphorical
expression of reality through the painted canvas
which is methodically framed for a specific view.
Lighting is controlled and is harshly lit. With blatant
lighting a different substance is created in the way the
stage is presented, and the starkness of the paintings,
that is an aggressive yet playful.
Blue Dragon expresses through performance and
stages a textual experience where the transformation
is a part of the performance and becomes the
scene. “here, matter is transcended through stage
transformation and growth” and the audience is
part of the performance, because of their physical
presence.
Though both of these examples are very different
in their visual style, they are able to achieve an
experiential substance that is quite different from
their predecessors. Instead of trying to portray
what is necessarily “real”, or anything that is closer
to a physical reality, they both play with what
is real through experimentation. rather than to
fixate on reality, they play with different forms of
representations which allow the designers to create
depth and layers which create a stylisitic visual
experience. In Blue Dragon and Das Cabinett
Des Dr. Caligari it is more important to achieve
an experience with the audience, than it is thus to
represent a reality. The stage is used as alternate state
of reality that contains meaning and substance;
not just used as a background, but as a part of the
performance and representation. Both classifications
of stage design create a mise en scéne, a visual style,
where the stage becomes a part of the narrative and
directly participates in the telling of a story.
^ Blue Dragon - Two scenes displayed simultaneously
Silohuetted characters, layering of characters
^
References
Adkinson, R. (1972). The Cabinet of Dr.
Caligari a film by Rober Weine, Carl
Mayer and Hans Janowitz. London, Great
Britain: Lorrimer Publishing.
Eyre, R., & Wright, W. N. (2000). Changing Stages: A View of British Theatre In
The Twentieth Century. London, Great
Britain: Butler & Tanner Limited.
dundjerovic, a. s. (2007). Theatricaltiy of Rober
Lepage. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Robinson, D. (1997). Das Cabinet Des Caligari. London, UK: British Film Institute.
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Wood engineering
The
s t r u c t u r a l
i n t e g r i t y
of
d e s i g n
philipp stäheli
Making it work: that s generally seen
as the sole preconcieved purpose of
an engineer. Architects take care of
the visual design and engineers the
structural design. But great work
comes into being when professions
work hand in hand and knowledge is
thoughtfully merged. A row of virtuosic
engineers like Santiago Calatrava, Pier
Luigi Nervi and Peter Rice have proven
so.
Often the engineer’s work will not
receive as much attention as a designer
work since the engineer‘s primary
focus is on the structural stability of
a construction or a building and not
it‘s formal expression. This commonly
renders work more of a necessity than as
an improvment in quality. The architect
or designer on the other hand, will often
try to camouflage structural elements
in benefit of the clear appearance of
their designs and to hide their lack of
understanding for structure. A close
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collaboration of the two professions is therefore the key to a coherent design.
An architect should embed structural thoughts into his designs from the very
first moment in order to reach a profoundly sophisticated design. On the
other hand, the engineer be sensitive to the visual considerations in order to
lift general structures and infrastructures out of their context of necessity and
turn them into an experiential spaces.
Since the beginning of structural engineering, steel and concrete
engineering has always dominated the profession. And, even if it is a lot more
acessible and workable wood has always been seen as the material for small
scaled projects, as it was not thought of as suitable for heavy loads. Only
in the last twenty years, especially for the building industry in Switzerland,
has there been strong lobbying for wood and an increased development of
wood engineering. New technologies like CNC (Computerized Numerical
Control) or the welding of wood have allowed for an increased development
of wooden structures but will also enable new design opportunites. Even in
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^Expodach Hannover, Germany
> Lake Hills Suncheon Country Club, South
Korea, 2008, Ken Sungjin Min
the future though an engineer is primarely
responsible for calculations concerning the
structure, the impact of their work can go far
beyond that. The choice of carbon neutral
wood and its sophisticated appliance leads to
the solution of problems that are concerning
our society as a whole.
Hermann Blumer represents a rare
type in the profession that does not know
any limits in their technical designs. (see
interview). He has worked with world-wide
famous architects such as; Shigeru Ban, Peter
Zumthor, Herzog & DeMeuron and Norman
Foster. He introduced the beauty of wood
engineering to the world but also includes
system-relevant and environmental thinking
in his constructions. The characteristics
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>Metla, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Finland,
2004, SARC Architects
>Perez Cruz Winery, Chile, 2002, Architect Unknown
of wood are so diverse that a wood
engineering is confronted with a plethora
of opportunities but also problems
which allow him to design constructions
that can perform in far more ways than
just providing a structure or shaping
a space. Wood allows the engineers to
address the fields of insulation, noise
transmission, acoustics, humidity
regulation, heat storage and visual
appeal with only one material. Wood
is an organic material that reacts and
changes according to its surroundings.
This is not to mention that fitting this
many tasks in one wall or ceiling is not
an easy endeavour; even more so when
architects and investors get involved as
well. The same way the architect joins
the design with the construction, the
engineer joins the construction with
the design, just from the other end.
Engineers and architects have to meet
in the middle. Many architects will try
force construction constraints into their
design afterwards. This is something that
lead to an incoherent design. A clear
design can only be accomplished by an
integral consciousness of both the design
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^Perez Cruz Winery, Chile, 2002, Architect Unknown
and the construction from the very beginning of the development
process. Since the engineer is responsible for a project’s structural
security they are more likely to be interested in a efficient and secure
construction design, rather than in the design’s visual appeal. When
architecs stress their design wishes they rely on the engineer to
design the construction in a safe and effective way, since the design
of the construction has a high impact on a project’s costs, which
the architect takes responsibility for in the end. Therefore there is a
direct correlation between design and cost as well as the need for a
close collaboration between architects and engineers.
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an
interview
with
herman blumer
philipp stäheli
Stäheli: Hermann Blumer, you are one of
the leading wood engineers and developers
of wood-systems in the world. In 2011 you
lectured at the first wood conference in Cape
Town, what did you learn?
Blumer: The interest in wood is
increasing again around the world. Green
Building have become the solution. The
time has come to share experiences and
knowledge around the issue of wood in a
broader fashion than up until now.
Stäheli: What are the advantages of
working with wood as an engineer and in
what way is it different from working with
concrete or steel?
Blumer: At the start of the designs for
the new Tamedia building I was asked the
same question by Shigeru Ban. For a long
time I did not know the answer until I
said one would be closer to nature. Steel
and concrete have a higher performance
but specialise on a few functions. Wood
performs less in specific category but is
better in comparison. Thanks to this,
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one can use it for almost any application.
Wood is just more attractive, more
feminine. It becomes your closest
companion if you have worked with it for
a long time. Working with wood therefore
is teamwork with all kinds of characters.
Stäheli:What developments do you see in
wood-engineering? What are we moving
towards?
Blumer: At the moment we can see
development in free-form construction.
Wooden buildings become more
comfortable and soon we will not need
any more external energy. Houses become
higher but will not reach the sky. Working
with wood becomes worthwhile for the
young generation.
Stäheli: Are there upcoming problems?
Where are the limits to wood engineering?
Blumer: This is where I am a bad
interviewee. I never see problems but only
chances. There are never limits to me but
only challenges to overcome the limit.
Building with wood on Mars would be
a challenge for me. To freely span a roof
over 500 meters.
Stäheli: Many of the techniques that
brought wooden constructions back into the
mind of the profession are based on hybrid
materials like glued-laminated products
which contain a high percentage of glues.
Will we be confronted with a new kind of
rejection towards glue in the near future?
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Blumer: To begin with; glue is something entirely
natural. Nature uses a big palette of glues that ecologically
are no less good than the wood itself. Wood only becomes
a structure when single pieces of wood are connected or
when wood is coupled with other construction materials.
Therefore we have to develop the glues so that they are
as ecological as possible. In the past one showed with
bone glue how that could work. The science and the glue
producers are working on this, they have no place for
trash in their business model.
On the remark of rising glue usage and its correction we
try to find the way back to hard wood with new forms
of building. One example is Topwall (R). To build with
hardwood was successful with our Büttenhard project.
Stäheli: What are the important aspects in the
collaboration between engineer and architect?
Blumer: They are common destinies, unless one is
extensively strong in both disciplines. The keenest
buildings arise from a pingpong game between the two
professions. Not everyone masters the game of back and
forth with the ball. Many beat the ball over the table,
others are too hesitant and the ball is caught by the net.
Stäheli: You concentrate your work on product
development and its manufacturing processes but also on the
realisation of new construction designs. To what extent has
the work with famous architects like Shigeru Ban or Peter
Zumthor influenced the perception of your profession?
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Blumer: The architects gave me a tasks and I promised to realise
the designs but would not know how to most of the time. The
presure to perform made me think hard, relentlessly and in the
end creatively.
Stäheli: Do you think that your own work has changed after these
collaborations?
Blumer: The method of working has not changed, but their
effects and results have. For this, I am thankful to the architects.
Stäheli: You once said that (Interview Werk, Bauen + Wohnen,
2001) “...to follow an [architect’s] wishes demands tolerance. But it
is fascinating in a way.” What role do artistic thoughts play when
you develop products, solutions or new structures?
Blumer: To me as an artistic layman too, the appearance has to
be harmonious. Who does not like to build something beautiful,
I do not know such people. I broaded my knowledge during the
work with architects and I can realise quite beautiful designs
myself. I am proud about it. The elegance of the golfhouse in
Yeoju was realised in a close collaboration with the architects. At
the opening I almost fell into a trance.
Stäheli: Did you ever have ambitions to be artistic yourself ?
Blumer: No, I am missing the talent.
Stäheli: You developed two wood construction systems, Lignatur©
and TopWall©, which will allow for wooden buildings of
significant size to be constructed in cities. What is your position on
wooden buildings in the city? Many architects will decide to hide a
wooden project behind an “urban façade”.
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Blumer: With our ambition to conquer
the city we will have to hide wood for a
long time. Wood in the city ws common at
a time. Unfortunatley played a trick on us.
May our advance not end up in smoke fires.
Stäheli: It is your wish to use the current
social conciousness to promote wood as
a building material. If we assume that
in thirty years the majority of all new
buildings are realised in wood, do you think
that Switzerland and other countries will
be able to cover the demand for wood in a
sustainable fashion?
Blumer: To create this balance will
be the task of the present and coming
generations. More is possible than
what we can imagine now. Maybe it is
possible to realise the 2000 Watts Society
simultaneously.
Stäheli: What important challenge have
you yet to realize in your work as an
engineer?
Blumer: I am passanger on a ship of
dreams, everything is good, everything is
accomplished. More is extra, but not an
ambition.
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^ Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Clubhouse, South Korea, 2009, Shigeru Ban
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SCENARIO DESIGN
RETAIL DESIGN:
INNOVATIVE
TECHNOLOGIES
AND CUSTOMER
EXPERIENCE
KEHINDE OYELOLA
Over the years, Retail design has evolved to become a
medium for enhancing customer experience. This has
helped elevate various brands like Nike, Apple, Prada,
etc.
Since the consumer is the main focus, the retail
design pattern has been modified to engage the
customer by creating a personal relationship with the
brands and retailers. This bond can be achieved by
creating memorable experiences which appeals to the
customer’s senses, emotions and help showcase their
values and give a sense of belonging. This article will
focus on the contribution of technology and innovation in retail design.
Taking Prada as a case study, it has been able to
win the confidence of its customers by applying innovative technologies
THE PRADA EXPERIENCE
Founded by Miuccia Prada, Prada’s aim is not just
to make profit and be a leading brand in fashion but
to sell lifestyle and art through their store environment and user experience. This reflects in their retail
store design around the world. This was achieved by
employing prominent architects like Rem Koolhaas
(OMA) who designed the New York City and Los
Angeles stores and Herzog & de Meuron who designed the flag ship Prada Aoyama Tokyo Store.
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Rem Koolhaas
Rem Koolhaas, is the internationally acclaimed and
award winning author, theorist, urban planner, cultural researcher and architect behind Prada flagship
stores in New York and in Los Angeles. Co-founding
his design, and research firm Office for Metropolitan
Architecture (OMA), he embarked on series of principal projects from residential, commercial to urban
design projects. A few of these major works include
the Bordeaux House, the CCTV Headquarters in
Beijing, the Euralille complex in France and the Prada
transformer which will be discussed later in detail.
Remment Lucas Koolhaas was born in November
17, 1944, to a renowned Dutch writer and a film
critic father, Anton Koolhaas in Rotterdam, Netherlands. As a child of eight to twelve years, Koolhaas
moved with his father and siblings to Jakarta, Indonesia. Growing up there greatly influenced his career.
THE TECHNOLOGIES
Most of the designers and architects of the Prada
retail stores both in Japan and USA, employed the
service of IDEO, An award-winning, innovative
global design firm that designs products, services,
spaces and interactive experiences for organizations
and company brands based on human centered design
approach. IDEO achieves this by using three space
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^ Prada retail store Tokyo, Source - Herzon & de Meuron (2003)
^ Prada retail store New York, Source - www.retaildesignblog.net
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^ Optic Display Table, Source - Herzong & de
Meuron (2003)
^ Snorkel, Source - Herzong & de Meuron
(2003)
^ Interactive Monitor Snorkel, Source Herzong & de Meuron (2003)
^ Different positions representing different functions, Source - www.prada-transformer.com
models which are: inspiration, ideation
and implementation. These three steps
can be reassessed, where inspiration is the
opportunity or problem that motivates
the search for solutions. Ideation is the
process of generating, developing and
testing ideas. And implementation is the
path that leads from the project stage into
people’s lives (www.ideo.com/about/).
The technologies embedded in the
Prada project include: The snorkel, the
optic fiber display table, the RFID staff
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device, the store information architecture
and the interactive dressing room.
The Snorkel
During the design process, there was a
need to create a personal shopping experience, so the snorkel system was developed.
This system was an adaptation of a lamp
IDEO developed for the office building
of Helvetia Patria, an insurance company
in St. Gallen where the lamp could be
adjusted to different heights and positions
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via a flexible tube.
This idea enabled data in form of
images, sound and light and it can be
adjusted to meet the customers’ needs.
Herzog & de Meuron, (2003).
Optic Fiber Display Table
In order to appeal to the consumer, the
designers had to come up with a way of
making the display come alive, then the
idea of optic fiber embedded in a synthetic
resins came up which is a cost effective
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^ Interactive Dressing Room, Source - www.ideo.com
^ RFID Staff Device, Source - www.ideo.com
Interactive Dressing Room
This is simply an eight-foot-square
booth. These booths contain different
sensory technologies in which once the
customer is in, the glass becomes opaque
for privacy when trying on clothes and it
can be controlled from inside to make it
clear for people outside to admire. Also
these sensory technologies can detect
electronic tags on items which triggers
a touch screen that displays the item
information.
Innovation has been a great tool for
ensuring commercial success, and this can
only be achieved by thinking in a creative
and resourceful manner. Though retail
design has come a long way from back in
the late 50’s till now, it revolutionised to
involve innovative technologies, and there
is still potential for more advancement
and innovation.
The Prada Transformer
and innovative way of creating illumination without consuming excessive power
(Herzog & de Meuron, 2003).
RFID Staff Devices
This RFID technology is embedded
into the merchandise in the store, when
scanned immediate access to the database
of information is displayed of the merchandise. The wireless device also helps
provide information to the sales associate
about stock availability and inventory.
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This is another innovation from Rem
Koolhaas for Prada, located in South Korea. The concept of the Prada Transformer
is a mobile and flexible exhibition space
that can be transformed to accommodate
different activities, and can exist anywhere
it is needed.
This dynamic structure has four
distinct shapes which are hexagon, cross,
rectangle and circle, covered with an
elastic membrane and each shape creates a
different experience.
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REFERENCES
Frank, I. (2010). Thinking spaces. Zurich: Verlag
Niggli AG.
Herzog & de Meuron, (2003). Prada Aoyama Tokyo
Herzog & de Meuron. Milan: progetto Prada
Aerte srl.
Lockwood, T. (2010). Design Thinking. New York:
Allworth Press.
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PACKAGING DESIGN
THE ROLE OF THE
PACKAGE DESIGNER
AKIL WORRELL
Within the last fifteen years great effort has been made to develop
and implement sustainable methods in the world’s industrial
markets as an attempt to lessen the ecological impact. Corporations and companies have somewhat made an attempt during this
timeframe to ensure that their practices, products and services
are sustainable and up to date according to quality and service
standards. While some have genuinely made an effort to conduct
business in more ecologically responsible manner, some have
unfortunately been deceitfully jumping onto the “green” bandwagon in attempt to heighten their appeal; green-washing their
business practices. Sustainability and an ultimately eco-friendly
society cannot be achieved overnight and sustainable methods
cannot be implemented immediately to replace current systems
and ideologies already in place. The change will only be successful
and deemed practical if it is implemented gradually.
However, since then there have been vast improvements in
developing sustainable methods of consumer packaging in terms
of the use of innovative materials being utilized and the manufacturing processes involved. Manufacturers, and most notably
designers, have turned to sustainable materials and methods
of packaging as a means of decreasing the ecological footprint
which prior consumer packaging materials and methods have
caused. Product packaging transportation methods and practices
have also been revised, modified and reapplied to help eliminate
the carbon footprint however, revisions and improvements still
need to be made and implemented if any substantial improvements to be made and deemed successful.
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CURRENT AFFAIRS
Now let’s take a brief look at this fifteen year attempt to eliminate
to the carbon footprint caused by the materials and manufacturing processes involved with consumer packaging. For the past
fifteen years the most common materials used in packaging
manufacturing usually were various types plastic, Styrofoam and
paper-based substrates such as corrugated fiberboard/cardboard/
paperboard, foam-cor etc. Many countries have experienced
many problems when disposing of their packaging after consumption. Consumer packaging has been a topic of concern for
many environmentalist lobbies and organizations for quite some
time (Fisher & Shipton, 2009). There have also been strict laws
and guidelines implemented by countries to govern and regulate
the manufacturing, disposal and recycling of consumer packaging
with the number growing from 25 to 30 in the last 6 years.
However, there is still room for improvement and lots to be
reconsidered as consumer packaging still accounts for up to 30%
of landfill waste (Environmental Packaging Guideline, 2005).
Over the past two decades, efforts have been made to decrease the
ecological impact that consumer packaging has had on the environment. Also, consumers have become more conscious about
their purchasing choices as they’ve become more knowledgeable
of the environmental impact which their customary purchasing
decisions have brought about (Unilever Sustainable Development Overview, 2009). Packaging manufacturing processes have
also been at fault for adding to the current carbon footprint and
ecological concerns which the disposal of consumer. In addition
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to using environmentally harmful materials (petroleum based such as plastics and
Styrofoam) as base materials mainly for
consumer packaging, manufacturing practices and resources used throughout the
process have been deemed unsustainable
in terms of their energy consumption and
waste accumulation during the manufacturing problems. Sure, there have been
improvements in manufacturing processes
over past 6 years as well as new developments in packaging materials and innovative modifications done to cut down on
the quantity of material transported and
consumed. These few improvements have
somewhat helped to minimize the ecological impact which consumer packaging
has on the environment. The introduction
of biodegradable (plant-based) plastics
from the late 1990s and early 2000s has
given us some hope in making a real stand
in the battle to eliminate this negative
impact which packaging. Also, revising
and modifying manufacturing processes
and shipping protocols have also done a
good deal for the environment and has
improved efficiency in transporting/packing/shipping consumer packaging as fewer
trips are made when shipping/transporting thus less energy and resources being
consumed.
^ Styrofoam Packaging, Source - nexgadget.com
Consumer Responsibility
Consumers have also expressed their
concerns about the continued use of plastics in their product packaging, whether
petroleum or plant based. However, the
blame cannot be solely placed on the
companies and manufacturers producing consumer packaging. Consumers
also have a role to play in the effort to
eliminate the carbon footprint caused
^ Eben Bayer & Gavin MacIntyre
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^ Mycelium Packaging Molding, Source - ww2.hdnux.com
^ Manufacturing Process, Source - www.manufacturing.net/sites/
^ Mushroom Packaging, Source - cdn.humansinvent.com.s3.amazonaws.com
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by consumer packaging. And even after
vilifying the use of plastics especially in
the use of packaging, consumers have to
realize the importance of its use and how
it has complemented the life of the user;
can you imagine a world without plastics?
Any Suggestions?
Maybe it is possible. Maybe one day we’ll
never have to utilize plastics in our consumer packaging. Maybe inventors Eben
Bayer and Gavin Macintyre of ‘Ecovative
Design’ (http://www.mushroompackaging.com/) have an answer to such a
provocative question. Since 2007, Bayer
and McIntyre have been developing a new
alternative for petroleum based packaging product, not just an all alternative to
plastic use but also as an alternative to
using Styrofoam which is a common component in consumer packaging. In 2010
Bayer and McIntyre introduced a new mycelium polymer based alternative which
had been derived mainly from using
feedstock (corn, seeds, shaft, cotton husks
etc.) and mushroom roots. The Mycelium
root organism was proven to be successful,
effective, durable and efficient when put
to the test of containing various products
such consumer electronics, fragile vessels
such as wine bottles, computers parts and
even as far as furniture components i.e.
table tops, chair legs.
Unlike its petroleum counterpart,
Mycelium based packaging does not
require vast amounts of energy, resources
and machinery to manufacture it’s materials. The Mycelium root organism does
most of the construction on its own along
with added feedstock. Like plastics, the
mycelium alternative can be molded into
any shape or form and for any purpose
and can be utilized in various climates
across the globe. It also gets the job done
just as efficiently and effectively as petroleum based plastics and Styrofoam would;
maintaining product quality and likeness.
Mycelium packaging can be manufactured
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in small plants/facilities all over the world
and does not require any large amounts
of capitol, machine or man power. In
addition to this the materials used within
the mycelium packaging is 100% biodegradable and unlike the typical plastic and
Styrofoam counterparts, will not exist
for thousands of years after its initial use,
eliminating the chance of it harming our
ecosystem.
Well it looks like Eben Bayer and
Gavin MacIntyre have found a solution
to the ecological packaging (material)
problem. The methodology, resources
and output plan seems coherent with
the current ecological crisis, addressing
many issues facing the current ecological crisis. But will consumers willingly
buy into this packaging? Does it appeal
to the current aesthetic tastes (visually/
textually) of companies within various
consumer markets? And can it be printed?
Although these seems to be minor issues
as the bigger picture is being dealt with,
they still remain as issues which need to
be resolved.
When focusing on all of these areas consumer
behaviour becomes an influential factor in
each one these areas as it affects the success/
failure rate of each aspect.
So far, we have seemingly explored the
material, manufacturing, transportation and
distribution aspects of consumer packaging
with and evidence, statistics and market research has shown that we have placed a strong
emphasis on materials; revising their usage
and modifying the processes and substances
which go into producing them. However, the
ecological effect has not declined as drastically as we would’ve liked. Maybe it’s not solely
the materials we use but the way frequency
and rate at which we consume and dispose of
them; vilifying plastics and developing/producing new bio-degradable materials for our
product packaging purposes will not solve the
problem on its own. Maybe be if we looked at
all of the influential aspect all at once maybe
we can drastically make a change throughout
the current ecological crisis.
The Changing Role of the Designer
The role of the package has gradually been
changing over the last eight to ten years.
The package designer not only has to
consider the materials and structure of the
packaging as the sole responsibilities of his
role but he/she will also have to pay closer
attention to the manufacturing processes
of the materials, they use, the transportation and distribution patterns after
production but most importantly they
will also have to take into consideration
the human consumption factor involved
within the process in terms of its usage
and disposal (consumer behaviour). The
contemporary package designer must also
take into consideration the retail aspect
of the consumption paradigm; being
knowledgeable of effective product and
brand communication as well as product
placement (physically, competitively).
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REFERENCES
Fisher, T., & Shipton, J. (2010). Designing for
re-use: The life of consumer packaging. London:
Earthscan.
Selke, S. E. M. (1994). Packaging and the
environment: Alternatives, Trends and Solutions.
Lancaster: Technimic Publishing Company.
Walker, S. (2006). Sustainable by design: Explorations
in Theory and Practice. London: Earthscan.
Fiksel, J. (2009). Design for environment: A Guide
to Sustainable Product Development. New York:
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Wolf, N., & Feldman, E. (1991). Plastics: America’s
packaging dilemma. Washington, D.C.: Island
Press.
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TRANSPORTATION DESIGN
NATIONAL
CULTURES AND
AUTOMOBILE
DESIGN
MIAO GUO
The question of how culture could be integrated into the design
of a product, or to some extent, redesigned into it, is faced by
designers nowadays. Whitney and Van Patter (2004) report that
because companies aim to reduce product development time,
there is little time left for designers to impress cultural characteristics into their designs. Thereby, accurate and fast integration of
cultural characteristics into product design is one of the challenges in the current globalization dominant situation.
According to Don Norman (2012), the relations between
products and culture are different with the activities of use. Thus,
culture oriented design, in terms of accuracy, could be divided
into two different types. One is design for products about traditional activities, which are heavily determined by culture and the
other is redesign for product about technology-determined activities, such as the automobile, computer, and cellphone, which are
less influenced by culture. In addition, because of time restriction,
it is impossible to integrate lots of culture characteristics into
design for product of technology-determined activities. Besides,
culture itself is a very broad concept, which consists a pattern of
and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups (Kroeber &
Kluckhohn, 1952). Therefore, choosing the appropriate cultural
characteristics is a primordial issue.
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^ National Cultural Dimensions, Source - geert-hofstede.com
NATIONAL CULTURAL
DIMENSIONS & DESIGN
relationship, modesty, caring for the weak
and interpersonal harmony.
Geert Hofstede (1991) engaged 117,000
employees of IBM from 50 countries to
respond to a survey on organisational
behaviour. As a result the culture was
identified by five common dimensions,
indexed as follows:
4. Uncertainty Avoidance [UAI].
This is the degree to which the members
of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or
unknown situations.
1. Power Distance [PDI].
This is the understanding to which less
powerful members of institutions and
organisations within a country expect and
accept that power is distributed unequally.
2. Individualism versus Collectivism [IDV].
Societies in which the ties between
individuals are loose are considered
individualistic. In contrast, people in
collectivist societies are integrated from
birth onward into strong, cohesive ingroups.
3. Masculinity versus Femininity [MAS].
Masculine societies value achievement,
heroism, assertiveness, and material
success, whereas feminine societies value
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5. Long Term Orientation [LTO].
This can be interpreted as dealing with
society’s search for virtue, the extent to
which a society shows a pragmatic futureoriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view.
The National Culture Dimensions have
been widely used in cross-culture management and education research, such as cross
cultural business strategy and E-learning
implementation in education. In design
fields, the National Culture Dimensions
has also been use in human computer
interaction design, such as interface design
strategy based on cross-culture. In industrial design field, it also has been used to
research culture influence on designer.
The application of this theory might
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also be a way to support the culture-oriented design in the mass-produced industrial design. It might allow re-design some
parts of the product based on cultural
diversities to be both fast and efficient.
The following is a case study of the
Honda Civic car design. It compares the
differences of the Civic for two markets,
the Chinese and Canadian market, from
three perspectives: the launched models, exterior and interior. Some possible
interpretations of these differences are
discussed by referring to the five perspectives principles in National Culture
Dimensions.
Before we start, let’s see the diagram
showing the comparison of national
cultural dimensions of China and Canada.
As we can see, China gets much higher
scores in Power Distance and Long Term
Orientation. Canada seems to be an
individualistic country while China seems
to be more collectivist. There is not a big
difference in Masculinity versus Femininity and Uncertainty Avoidance.
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^ Nine generations of Civic 2012, Source - i2.sinaimg.cn
CASE STUDY: HONDA CIVIC
With development of automobile
industry, nowadays, vehicles are perfect
examples of integration of both globalization and localization. Many corporations
have set up a few design centres in different regions to study the local market and
human cultures, altering their vehicles to
adapt to the local consumers. Today, the
Honda Civic is the best-selling passenger
car in Canada and a top-10-selling car in
China (Honda Civic Canada’s best-selling
car for now, 2011). After more than 30
years of it’s debut, the 9th generation of
the Civic was launched in 2012. It was
designed by Toshiyuki Okumoto (chief
designer), who describes the new design as
“clean” and “energetic”.
best-selling import car for 28 consecutive
months here. In 1988, Honda of Canada
Manufacturing (HCM) switched to
producing the Honda Civic. It produces
the Honda Civic Sedan, Si and Coupe in
Plant 1, and the Honda Civic Sedan in
Plant 2. The vehicles produced at HCM
are sold in Canada and exported to the
United States and other export markets
(Honda Manufacturing, 2012).
In 1999, Honda established its first
joint venture plant in Guangdong in
China with the cooperation of the Dongfeng Motor Corporation. In 2006, the
Civic was introduced to China and was
manufactured there. In 2007, the Civic
Hybrid was first imported and sold to
China (Honda China history, 2012).
Honda Civic Introduction
Launched Models
The compact and nimble Civic made its
debut, with a two-door model in July
1972, followed by a three-door version
in September. Its design spurned the
traditional obsession with style and took
the “maximum value from the minimum
mechanical space” concept to the extreme.
From the initial model, the design helped
entrench it’s image as a familiar “people’s
car” (Honda in Canada began from
1969 with marketing motorcycles and
power equipment). Honda Civic was
first introduced in Canada in 1973, and
between 1976 and 1978 the Civic was the
While the 2012 Civic is sold worldwide,
differences in the name and the models
exist between markets in different countries. In Canada, the Civic model lineup
is comprised of Sedan, Coupe, Si Coupe,
Si Sedan and Hybrid with different trim
levels, such as DX, LX, EX and EX-L.
While in China, the lineup is much more
narrowed down with only Civic (equal
to Sedan), Type S (Si Sedan) and hybrid
with several trim levels, EXi, VTi, VTi
Luxury, 2.0 Type S and 2.0 Type S Luxury.
It is obvious that Civic has a wide range
of model lineups in Canada, hence it pro-
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vides consumers with more choices. This
may relate to dimension of Individualism
versus Collectivism. Comparing the score
of 20 for China, Canada scores 80 on this
dimension (it’s highest dimensional score)
and can be characterized as an individualistic culture. This translates into a looselyknit society in which the expectation is
that people look after themselves and their
immediate families.
From the design perspective, this can
be translated to people more likely to get
products customizable to fit their own
needs. Providing more choices in Canada
could be seen as a reasonable way to get
use to the culture here. In addition, in the
website of Honda, you might also find
that the Canadian website provides a direct option button named “build & price”
for consumers to customize their own car
while the Chinese website shows nothing
about this.
Exterior Design
It is said on the official website that the
9th gen Civic embraces the fundamental
concept of a “futuristic and distinctive
compact,” the direction introduces new
values that reach ahead of present day
needs and elevates the experience that the
Civic represents. There are many different details in the exterior design, but the
car door handle and the logos of cars for
China and Canada seems to be one of the
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^ Logo of Civic and handles on Canadian model, Source - automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan
^ Logo of Civic and handles on Chinese model, Source - news.xinhuanet.com/auto/
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features related to culture. The handle of
two models of Civic is different. The Chinese version uses the chrome door handle,
instead of the same colored handle of Canadian vision, it is also recessed with inside the door panel with a surrounded depression. It seems that the Chinese version
is miles better than the Canadian version
which is plain and lacks any garnishing
to lift up the looks. Again, in the Chinese
Civic, there is a very delicate, chromed
logo at both sides of the car showing the
VTi engine, and at the rear end, it also
has both VTi and Civic logo as well as the
Chinese lettering. The Canadian Civic is
much simpler with only one Civic logo
the rear end and nothing else. All these
might be explained from the dimension
of Power Distance. As sitting in the higher
rankings of this dimension, China is a
society that believes inequalities amongst
people are acceptable, while the Canadian
culture is marked low in this dimension.
Different from Canada, individuals in
China are influenced by formal authority
and are generally optimistic about people’s
capacity for leadership and initiative. This
also influenced Chinese consumers to
be more focused on expertise, authority,
experts, certifications and logos. Thus, in
the redesign process of Civic in China,
adding logos of both engine’s model and
the name of the car might be a way to fit
for the Chinese culture of a high Power
93
^ Interior of the Canadian Civic model, Source - www.thecarconnection.com
^ Interior of the Chinese Civic model, Source - www.thecarconnection.com
Distance score. All these logos not only
show the good quality of civic, but also
generate the desire for Chinese people to
own this car.
Interior Design
The 9th gen Civic has improved its interactive technologies for personalization
and convenience, along with enhancements to the performance, ride and
interior packaging. The instrument panel
was redesigned the to be slightly inclined
towards the driver, with the center console
angled to the left. As expected, overall
architecture is boxy, with clearly defined
edge for all panels. The middle portion
of the instrument panel is a lighter hue,
painted in dark silver. The same color
treatment is found in the gear console too,
which now is a simple rectangular design.
The air conditioning control (auto aircon
in VTi) is mounted lower and in a simple
rectangular black panel. The button for
the emergency stop is the only one obvious difference between Chinese model
and Canadian model, as well the mechanical or electronic control panels are at dif94
ferent trim levels. In the Chinese model,
this emergency stop button is red color
with white icon on it, while in Canadian
model it is dark grey with red icon.
It is clear that the button in Chinese
model is more recognizable than the
Canadian model. This can be related to
power distance. As mentioned before,
China holds the higher score in this dimension, and it can be deciphered as emphasising on importance of security and
restrictions or barriers to access. Thereby,
this button also should be explicit. However, in the Uncertainty Avoidance, China
and Canada have almost the same score
in this dimension, but Canada is slightly
higher in Uncertainty Avoidance and the
Canadian Civic model would emphasize
help systems that focus on reducing “user
errors”. This means that cars in Canada
should have a clear button of emergency
stop. However, it is opposite to the Power
Distance say infact.
There are other differences between
two versions in different market. For the
models of Canadian Civic, there is no fog
light only except the very luxury ones,
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^ Five models of Civic in Canada 2012, Source - automobiles.honda.com/civic
while all Civic models in China have fog
light with chrome surround. This could be
due to the slightly different market positioning in two countries. At the rear end,
tail light of the Chinese version is also
different from the Canadian version. The
Chinese Civic has an extra part of the tail
light on the trunk, while Canadian version seems to be simpler. It could be seen
as the Chinese Civic was redesigned to be
more luxurious than the Canadian version. The signal indicator of the Chinese
Civic is at the inner end of the headlamp
instead of the outer edge like Canadian
model. In addition, the Side mirror has a
simple integrated indicator also different
from the Canadian version which doesn’t
even have the indicator on the side mirror.
Therefore, the Chinese version has more
lights and signal indicators.
Are there factor all related to cultural
differences and national cultures? How
much important is culture factor in
automobile design? There are still many
questions need to be analysed.
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Conclusion
It is interesting to review this Civic car design in different countries by referring to
culture factors. National cultural dimensions in industrial design is still in the first
few phases and all principles are general
and not easy to be used in the really design process, even though the case study
explores some national cultural characteristics of the two countries which might
related to localized car design. However,
although national culture dimensions
haven’t been applied in the automobile
design, this article explores a close connection between localized car design and
national cultures. At the same time, it also
provides designers a new angle to review
localized product design.
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References
Don N. (2012). Does Culture Matter for Product
Design? http://www.core77.com/blog/
columns/does_culture_matter_for_product_
design_21455.asp
Hofstede, G. H. (1991). Cultures and organizations:
software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill.
Jagne, J., & Smith-Atakan, A. S. G. (2006). Crosscultural interface design strategy. Universal
Access in the Information Society, 5, 299–305.
Kroeber, A., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952) Culture. New
York: Meridian Books.
Moalosi, R., Popovic, V., & Hickling-Hudson,
A. (2010). Culture-orientated product design.
International Journal of Technology and Design
Education, 20(2), 175-190.
Razzaghi, M., Ramirez, M., & Zehner, R. (2009).
Cultural patterns in product design ideas:
comparisons between Australian and Iranian
student concepts. Design Studies, 30(4), 438-461.
Whitney, P., Van Patter, G. (2004). Human-cantered
innovation, NextD Journal, 3(1).
- (2012). Honda China history. Retrieved March
14, 2012, from http://www.honda.com.cn/
corporate/china/auto/history.html
- (2011). Honda Civic Canada’s best-selling car for
now. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http://
www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/10/17/
best-selling-cars.html
- (2012). Honda manufacturing. Retrieved March 14,
2012, from http://www.honda.ca/honda-incanada/manufacturing
- (2012). Honda targets world market as newcomer in
Automobiles. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from
http://world.honda.com/
95
ART & ARCHITECTURE
CROSS BREEDING
GROUNDS FOR
DESIGNING FOR THE
SENSES
VANCE FOK
The elusive sphere of art encompasses many disciplines, this includes architecture. However, definitively they serve separate functions, architecture has
it’s pragmatic purpose and art serves a wider abstract
function. Different as they may be, the two practices
bleed into one another with ease. Although, it is more
difficult for art to operate in the realm of architecture,
there are still numerous occasions where it does. This
fertile ground does not have a name nor do those
practicing inside it have a job title (aside from artist/
architect) but they are seen as explorers of a new land
and within this new space experiments give way to
objects that give a new breath to art, architecture, and
ultimately our culture.
In the space between art and architecture there
are many venues for exploration and recently an
interest in designing for the senses has created a
specific ground that artist/architects are exploring.
Dipna Horra, an Ottawa based artist, is one of those
exploring this realm especially in her recent works
that involve creating aural environments. In Avaaz,
Horra experimented in new grounds by meshing art,
architecture, and acoustics. Exhibited in the Ottawa
Art Gallery, the work brought an aural environment
into the gallery space. The dimly lit space was inhabited by simple architectural elements: a dining room
table, a subtle air vent, and a hung window. Inhabiting
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the table was a tea set, and in the corner was a trolley
filled with tea cups and saucers.
Upon first glance the work appears to be a simple
arrangement of everyday objects but upon spending
time in the gallery space a sharp realization occurs –
the objects in the space are emitting sounds. Dipna
captured the sounds using a molded silicone binaural
microphone appropriately called Dipna’s Ears. The
recorded sounds then played back inside the objects:
the tea pot told a story of migration, the sugar bowl
sung children’s songs, the window clashed with eerily
sounds, and the air vent chanted a foreign song along
side the clattering of kitchen wares.
Horra’s initial education lies in both art and
architecture. She began with a degree in architecture
and later with a graduate degree in fine arts. During
this time and as well afterwards she located herself in
multiple cities, staging exhibitions and completing
residencies. At the current moment Horra is a PhD
candidate at the Azrieli School of Architecture and
Urbanism.
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^ Dipna’s Ears, Dipna Horra (2010) Ottawa Art Gallery. Courtesy of Artist, Photo by: Ken Campbell.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DIPNA HORRA
Vance Fok: Can you comment on your approach to the work in general?
Dipna Horra: I am a media artist and
I’m multi-disciplinary, some people like
that word, some people don’t. I have a
fairly holistic approach and I like to work
through practice and intellectual research.
I am also a maker, so I approach it first
through ideas of making but these ideas
are based on some kind of inquiry and I
have a social and somewhat political to
this making.
I work in ideas of hybridity and transcultural synthesis – trying to understand
how the east and west come into my own
being and I try to explain that through
my work. I don’t always successfully do it,
sometimes the topic that comes out is not
what it’s going to be.
VF: Any influences or inspirations?
DP: I’m highly influenced clearly by
architects and artists. For example, institutions where I’ve seen work that’s really
blown me away. When I lived in New
York, I would go to MOMA PS1 and
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that’s where I encountered the work of
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.
I am also interested in miniature
Indian paintings and ancient forms of
building. Going to India was one of the
biggest inspirations of my life! Just being
in the Himalayas and visiting monasteries
and temples helped me understand different ways of being and building.
Sometimes I think my inspirations and
influences are not that high, it could be
something somebody says that I overhear,
it could be an action. I was inspired by
this sculpture of Gandhi that appeared on
campus and then it was the anniversary
of his death recently, so I put a garland on
the statue, it was inspiring as an action.
But I do look at artists, especially
female artists. There was a really great
exhibition at the national gallery in 1998
when I doing my first architecture thesis
called Crossings, the installations were
fascinating, that kind of thing really gets
me going.
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VF: Is it about equal that you get inspirations from both sides?
DP: In the last ten years, it’s been more
of towards art, but it has always been art
with some kind of spatial construct; such
as the works of Olafur Eliasson. However,
I didn’t abandon architecture during those
times, I was simply trying to understand
more the artistic side of it. Right now,
I think I’m at the best balance I’ve been
since I’ve developed the art side and now
I’m back for a PhD in architecture, but
sometimes one takes over the other. It’s
hard to not think like an architect, I think
I’m very pragmatic person, but that goes
the same when trying not to think like an
artist.
VF: You have been trading between those
two fields, would you say there is a clear
definitive boundary between the two?
DP: People can maybe define their
boundaries between the two. I think when
someone is observing my art, they may
make that distinction. Now that I am doing my PhD, I’m starting to see that there
are boundaries but I’m more interested in
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^ Avaaz, Dipna Horra (2010) Ottawa Art Gallery. Courtesy of Artist, Photo by: Ken Campbell.
^ Avaaz, Dipna Horra (2010) Ottawa Art Gallery. Courtesy of Artist, Photo by: Ken Campbell.
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crossing boundaries. I believe it’s in the
nature of how I operate. If I see it, it may
be interpreted more as a challenge or even
as a system that I have to subvert rather
than a boundary. While working through
a PhD, the challenge I’m facing right
now is that I want to come out with an
architectural voice but in my art-making,
I come out with an artist’s voice. So, it is
a negotiation between one another. What
I’m realizing is that through understanding the art-making process, I have a really
deep insight into architectural making.
So, ultimately, one is informing the other.
VF: What do you think of what artists/
architects are doing today?
DP: I’m still trying to figure that out.
There are a number of artists that come
from an architectural background or a
number of artists working within architecture, but I don’t have any specific example
in mind. There is Doris Salcedo, a sculptor, who works with furniture, one of her
pieces is a wardrobe filled with concrete –
or Rachel Whiteread. I’m not sure if they
have a background in architecture but
those kinds of objects are interesting to
me because they comment on the silence
of built form.
VF: How has your architectural training
affected your artwork?
DP: Well, it’s the training that I make
my artwork with. I got into art while I
was still working as an architect. I think
it is the training of knowing how to read
drawings, understanding layers, how
to build something, how to produce a
production schedule and getting it done
- those are things that artists does, but are
also present while working in architecture.
Architecture deals with a lot more than
art. As an artist I’m always thinking about
circulation in my installations. I don’t
know too many artists who will think
about that. So first thing I’ll do is draw a
plan, something that is much embedded
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in an architectural frame of mind. This
should be in an artist’s education, just as
the conceptual/imaginary side can be in
the architect’s education. My training has
given me a lot to work with, though I try
to forget most of it (laughs).
VF: Can you tell us a few things about
Avaaz?
DP: Avaaz means voice in Punjab
and it is about finding a voice and trying
to bring a trans-cultural site for sharing
stories by bringing an immigrant voice to
the forefront. It was also about criticizing
ways of being in the world in a positive
sense. Based on the success of Avaaz, I’m
really happy to know that all of these topics are things that people want to hear and
want to talk about.
Avaaz was really my first foray into
a multi-channel sound piece and it was
where I first started with making of speakers out of objects. It’s a material study even
though it’s end result is highly thought
through. The beginnings started with
‘How do you make a tea pot talk?’ It was
about the china and the frequency and
what sounds good and how you build it.
So there’s that side of it and then there’s
the stronger side - the cultural side. It
taught me about what I can say and how I
can say it and how I can bring certain subjects that are not necessarily openly talked
about not in architecture as much.
percussiveness. People would experience
this womb like space and I think the most
powerful thing was the sound. The sound
was what made it, it didn’t matter what
the visual was, it was sound that made the
cultural space of it.
I just started to understand the power
of sound but I’m not a musician so I
asked how do I work with the sound in
the way that? You know, it’s the sound
of the bomb that will kill you before the
physical effect of the bomb, it’s so visceral.
So if you were sitting at the Avaaz table
and you had your hands on the table, you
would feel the vibrations. So there was
something about making Avaaz and this
idea of experimenting with sound and
how I could bring forth invisible presences
like magic.
Sound also has the power to transmit
narrative and story. Eastern cultures are
based on aural transmission and this is
really powerful. This idea of a voice and
the woman’s voice, and it’s the daughter’s
voice capturing the father’s voice.
VF: Any advice for young artists?
DP: I always say that you have to have
the skin of a rhino (laughs). It’s not an
easy road but you just have to really tough
because you and your work is always
scrutinized and I would also say, don’t do
it (laughs)! But I would also say, do it!
Because it’s the most rewarding work you
can do.
VF: What brought you into experimenting
with sound?
DP: I was making videos when I was
in the school of architecture and then
later I made this one installation in 2005
called My Culture Includes My Scene at
the Ottawa Art Gallery. I used sounds
of my Hindi community chanting in the
temple and I used sounds of me as a child.
I worked with a musician who brought
in all these percussive table rhythms.
Most of the time in the installation it was
silent but then it would build up to that
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99
VISUAL
PABLO REINOSO
DHUNIA (2011)
LIGHT WALL (2000)
SOUND
LA PAROLE (1998)
DIPNA HORRA
BLOW-UP (2004)
TRANSIENT REALITY GENERATORS (2005)
GEORGE YU
AVAAZ (2010)
BALL
FoAM
HAPTICTEXTURE
KLUNK GARDEN (2009)
RIP CURL CANYON (2006)
CARSTEN HÖLLER
LUMENSCAPE (2009)
HYLOZOIC GROUND (2007)
MAGMA ARCHITECTURE
REEF (2009)
LEY + STEIN
ROTARY NOTARY AND HIS HOT PLATE (1987)
PHILIP BEESLEY
HIROO IWATA
HAPTICKINES
THESIA
TEST SITE (2006)
HEAD-IN/IM KOPF (2007)
MEDIA VEHICLE (2009)
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BASIC
ORIEN
TATION
A MIND MAP OF ARTIST/ARCHITECTS PRODUCING ‘DESIGNS FOR THE SENSES’
CATEGORIES ADAPTED FROM MALNAR & VODVARKA’S BOOK SENSORY DESIGN
YOUR RAINBOW PANORAMA (2011)
ARTIST
INSTALLATION / ART PIECE
UAL
/ ART PIECE AFFECTS ALL THE SENSES,
< INSTALLATION
HOWEVER SOME ARE MORE AFFECTED THAN OTHERS
ERNESTO NETO
)
ODOR
WALKING IN VENUS BLUE CAVE (2001)
LEVIATHAN THOT (2006)
DILLER, SCOFIDIO + RENFRO
ANTHROPODINO (2009)
BLUR BLUIDING (2002)
BALL + NOGUES
HAPTICSPATIAL
COMPRE
SSION
GELITIN
OLAFUR ELIASSON
COCKY EEK
SYMBIONT (2006)
NORMALLY, PROCEEDING AND
UNRESTRICTED WITH WITHOUT TITLE (2008)
THE WEATHER PROJECT (2003)
HAPTICTEMP
ERATURE
(2006)
SIC
EN
ION
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SCHOOL
NOTES
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105
A TIME OF GREAT
PROMISE
THOMAS GARVEY
In September 1973, the School opened its
doors for the very first time to a new class
of future designers and visionaries. The
Bachelor of Industrial Design at Carleton,
founded by Wim Gilles, offered a four-year
comprehensive industrial design curriculum that has since graduated close to 700
designers, many of whom now hold prestigious design positions in both Canada and
around the world.
In September 2009, the School established a Master of Design at Carleton,
advancing the knowledge of design by
building on the School’s experience and
strengths in the field of design education.
The two-year program of study examines
and incorporates multifaceted design
principles and practices that contribute to
the strategic value of design.
The focus of the Master of Design
program is to advance knowledge in
the field of design through the study of
advanced design principles and interdisciplinary design practices that contribute to
the strategic value of design. The primary
objectives of the program are to promote
design research, interdisciplinary design
development, strategic design planning,
and knowledge creation and dissemination. This is achieved through a program
of study that enables graduates to positively affect the greater integration of design
principles, methodologies, and interdisciplinary design development processes into
private and public sector business practice
(id.carleton.ca).
106
A director has the benefit of seeing a
School and its programs from a wide
range of perspectives but it is rare to have
the added benefit of having witnessed the
growth of a School in some form across
most of its lifetime.
Although not here for the very first
exciting days of building what would become a highly respected School around the
world, entering as students in the fall of
1977, our cohort was taught by founding
members and we came soon to know many
of the first students. Everyone shared the
feeling of excitement of joining a program
of study under great leadership that was
making inroads in a new field of study being developed in Canada.
It was a time of great promise.
Years of undergraduate study passed
quickly and the strong foundation gained
at Carleton led to opportunities for graduate study and work internationally. Over
the two decades away from Canada there
was steady news of the School’s successes
and the steadily growing influence of
its graduates across a wide spectrum of
business and other enterprises. The seeds
of real innovation continued to grow and
flourish and this fueled a strong interest to
return when the opportunity became available in 1999.
Many of the original faculty members were still here and it was a privilege
to work alongside those that had been
mentors. Books had been written, new
research tracks had been initiated, and the
intellectually stimulating life of passionFIELDS
ate students was still in full display. It was
evident that a succession of inspired directors had led with dedication. What was
also evident was that the School was still
flourishing as a result of the myriad of independent contributions people were making. In remarkable ways individual faculty
members, supported by an expert team of
technical and administrative staff, were
working with creative students on paths of
inquiry that were unique but that still built
on many of the founding principles.
In the decade since then we have
almost a completely new team and the
founding members have retired to new
challenges or have sadly passed on. Their
legacy however remains strong and the
original contributions of every new member since continue to build that strength.
The Master of Design, as one example, is
still in its early years but it is already very
clearly expanding the territory of inquiry
into critically important new areas that
reflect the combined individual aspirations
of all faculty and students.
In this regard it is with great excitement that I acknowledge the launch of
this new journal as the inspired work of
Professor Lorenzo Imbesi and his team
of international, interdisciplinary, and
thoroughly inspiring students. It is a gift to
our program and we expect it will succeed
and grow to have considerable influence in
the expanding intellectual pursuits of our
students. With care it will also expand the
role of interdisciplinary design studies to
enrich many others in our society as well.
It is again a time of great promise.
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AN EVOLUTIONARY VIEW
OF INTERDISCIPLINARITY
IN INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
LOIS FRANKEL
When the School of Industrial Design at Carleton
University was established in 1973, the founding Director, Professor Wim Gilles implemented a curriculum based on the International Council of Societies of
Industrial Design (ICSID) guidelines. The program
was founded on the premise that, “ engineering and
the social sciences encompass the disciplines which
enable an effective study of the problems of designing products for use in today’s complex context, to be
produced and offered to the public by today’s complex methods of manufacturing and marketing”. The
new profession of industrial design was a composite
of different disciplines related to product design in
what we might now call a hybrid discipline. Or perhaps we would call it “intra-disciplinary”, where much
of the knowledge from a variety of fields would come
to reside in one person– the industrial designer.
In 1973, the industrial designer may have been
a member of a design team along with professionals
from other disciplines. They may have brought their
skill set to bear at a specific phase of design development that would contribute to the commercialization
of a product. For decades, this linear productionoriented progression, with some iterative testing along
the way, was the prevailing approach to developing
products. This process is multi- or cross- disciplinary: where individual contributors come together
at definite key points in the design process under
the guidance of a project leader and return to their
respective disciplinary silos when all is done. Today
this linear design development paradigm is declining.
Networked, real-time knowledge-driven practices and
asynchronous, distributed global work systems are
replacing it. The designer can no longer integrate the
range of knowledge needed to solve complex problems in a multi-faceted working situation.
In response, designers are moving into more facilitative roles, where their innovative skills contribute
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to and often guide strategic decision-making– implementing design research and development practices to
solve ever-more complex design-related problems. Designers who are also skilled in interdisciplinary processes understand how to work in teams of professionals with different backgrounds; they have experience
accepting and respecting multiple perspectives; they
recognize that conflict, communication, and team
building are keys to achieving creative success. Today,
the essence of an interdisciplinary design mindset is
the confidence that the combination of the team’s
skills, building upon and beyond individual strengths,
will result in the appropriate design outcome.
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WHAT IS INTERDISCIPLINARITY
IN DESIGN?
WONJOON CHUNG
Recently, the term “interdiscipinarity” has been issued
in design fields because of its diverse and dynamic
nature for fostering team collaboration in design
processes. Due to current strong market competition,
technological complexity, globalized customer groups,
and their cultural and social diversity, the notion of
interdisciplinary collaboration, integrating multiple
perspectives and different domains of knowledge, is
getting crucial factors to develop innovative and successful design outcomes.
Interdisciplinary collaboration in design, however,
is not a new idea. Major design offices, such as that of
Henry Dreyfuss, conducted collaborative design work
as early as the 1930s (Poggenpohl, 2004).
This early collaboration, however, focused primarily on working with people in similar disciplines; for
example, industrial designers, graphic designers, and
interior designers worked together to increase the efficiency and productivity of a particular design project.
This type of collaboration put a heavy emphasis on an
individual’s division of labor; one could be part of a
project team without actually having to collaborate.
Currently, however, collaboration in design has shifted
from a primarily individual activity to a far more interdisciplinary collective one. It requires sharing ideas, exploring those ideas together, and integrating multiple
perspectives (Poggenpohl, 2004). Perry and Sanderson
(1998) summarized the collective nature of collaboration in design by asserting that “a design is no longer
recognized simply as a designer’s individual work but
rather as a situation in which joint and coordinated
learning activities occur.”
Then, what specific benefits could the interdisciplinarity offer for design practices? I think it could
promote people’s mutual learning among different
disciplines when each tries to understand others’
viewpoints, domain-specific knowledge, and particular
experiences, etc. which helps them to discuss the “com108
plexity and details of a product” (Holland, Gaston,
& Gomes, 2000) and the learning will influence for a
team’s creative ideation process. Though creativity has
most often been understood as an individual’s internal
cognitive process based on his or her life experience,
culture, obtained knowledge, and personal interests
(Campbell, 1969; Shneiderman, 2002), people tend to
generate more creative ideas in a social setting such as
interdisciplinary collaboration, because such a setting
offers easy access to diverse information (Mamykina,
Candy, & Edmonds, 2002). Csikszentmihalyi (1996)
explained the relationship between creativity and
collaboration as follows: “Creativity does not happen
inside a person’s head, but in interactions between a
person’s thought and a socio-cultural context.”
In summary, interdisciplinarity in design would be
a way to integrate different perspectives, an opportunity to reach consensus among diverse experts and
understand the rationale for their design decision,
which can facilitate “inter-functional integration” to
increase the efficiency of design work.
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INTERDISCIPLINARY
DESIGN AND PROTOTYPING
BJARKI HALLGRIMSSON
Interdisciplinary design is as much a way
of working as it is an inescapable reality
of what design has become in the 21st
Century. Academically it is an evolving
area of research that still has a number of
practice related challenges. Most of these
challenges lie in the nature of the complex
problems to which design is being applied.
Take for example the design of medical products, high technology devices,
transportation as well as projects dealing
with social innovation or sustainability.
These are complex design problems that
involve a host of stakeholders, end users
and conflicting design requirements. The
interdisciplinary process brings with it
many new challenges including vernacular, method and professional empathy.
One design method that is extensively
embraced to deal with such complexity is
prototyping.
Prototyping in a traditional sense uses
physical prototypes to study and test how
a new product will be used, and how it
will look and be manufactured. The term
has however expanded its meaning to
encompass any preliminary tangible form
of a product, service or system. There is
thus a wide range of different types of
prototypes. Regardless of application, they
share some common attributes.
First and foremost prototypes allow
interdisciplinary team members to rally
around something tangible. In this sense
prototypes become a shared vision and
thus engage the interdisciplinary process
through exchange of ideas and professional expertise. Secondly they encourage
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an iterative design process. This means
that the prototypes progress in fidelity,
which is a measure of refinement and
resolution. It is an important principle
of the design process, where problems
and solutions tend to evolve in unison.
As early prototypes are built, they also
tend to redefine and clarify the problem
in more detail. This is one of the major
benefits of the prototyping method, since
it tends to keep everyone on the same
page and prevents different disciplines
from becoming myopic and focusing on
premature specifications. Early prototypes
are more open ended and playful, as they
aid brainstorming and interdisciplinary
discussion, whereas later prototypes are
more refined and are used to verify design
decisions. An interdisciplinary iterative
approach is very different from a multi
disciplinary linear approach, where different disciplines work on trying to define
their requirements upfront in detail in
terms of a series of specifications.
An iterative prototyping method also
aids a more user centered design process.
Prototypes can for example be used to
explore user-centered scenarios, perform
user centered testing and verification that
ultimately culminates in solutions that
have been more considered from a human
rather than just technological perspective.
The prototyping method in itself is
however also evolving. New technologies continue to be developed that aid in
visualization and testing. At the same time
prototyping is becoming more integrated
with the research process.
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In conclusion it can be said that prototyping itself is evidence to the benefit of
an interdisciplinary design approach. This
is clear when one examines how different
disciplines and stakeholders affect the prototyping efforts by contributing input and
feedback to each iteration as the design
progresses. A series of iterative prototypes
thus form a chronological narrative that
speaks to an iterative interdisciplinary
design process.
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CONTRIBUTORS
Steph Bolduc
Lorenzo Imbesi
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Professor, Coordinator, MDes, Carleton University
WonJoon Chung
Patty Johnson
Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
Designer, North South Project, New Caribbean Design, Toronto
David Craib
Benoît-Simon Lagaçé
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Loredana Di Lucchio
Ann Le
Professor, Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Design,
Student, BArch, Carleton University
Technology of Architecture, Landscape, Environment
Evan Mullen
John Di Palma
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Kehinde Oyelola
Vance Fok
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Daniela Sangiorgi
Lois Frankel
Professor, Lancaster University, Imagination Lancaster, UK
Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
Phil Savignac
Martine Gallant
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Natalie Shalmon
Thomas Garvey
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Professor, Director, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
Philipp Stäheli
Michael Grigoriev
Student, MArch, Carleton University
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Akil Worrell
Miao Guo
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Student, MDes, Carleton University
Bjarki Halgrimsson
Professor, School of Industrial Design, Carleton University
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FIELDS An Interdisciplinary Design Journal
#
… is exploring the new scenarios and professions of design through their
interdisciplinary theoretical foundations and methodological practices;
… is mapping the landscape of the creative professions, their profiles
and work;
… is divided into three sections:
‘Concept’ is dedicated to the theoretical backgrounds and to critical
reflection;
‘Context’ presents the contemporary scenarios among designers,
investigating the processes and their work;
‘Object’ analyzes the new complex products emerging from the activity
of design, the advanced forms of experimentation and the strategies of
production.
Master of Design MDes - Carleton University
… is enquiring into new areas of research, new approaches and new
products ‘in-between’ tangible and intangible;
0