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Posts in category 'Design'

18 May 2011

Socially responsible design – more relevant than ever

Frieze
Jan-Christoph Zoels, Experientia’s design director, took part in an interesting discussion on socially responsible design for the “Design matters” section of this month’s frieze magazine, a leading magazine on contemporary art and culture.

The roundtable discussion was led by Eugenia Bell, design editor of frieze, and debated the largely unresolved relationship between design and social responsibility.

The six high-profile contributors included GOOD editor and New York Times columnist Allison Arieff, industrial designer Ryan Duke, activist, graphic designer, writer and programmer John Emerson, editor of Change Observer Julie Lasky, and designer and artist Damon Rich, as well as Experientia’s Jan-Christoph Zoels.

Starting with the strengths and limits of designing with a sense of cultural, ecological or economic responsibility, the roundtable went on to discuss the increased relevance of socially responsible design in our post-economic crisis world, as well as the increasing urgency of embedding sustainable solutions into everyday design, rather than consigning it to a niche.

Debating ethics, pragmatism and principle, the contributors emphasised the urgent need to engage people and governments in participatory processes, and to ensure that designers are taught not just how to design objects, services and processes, but also how to design them for the end-users, taking into account different cultural needs and barriers, and never backing down from new contexts and challenges.

The final question raised the issue of socially responsible design becoming simply window-dressing or branding by companies lacking a real moral compass, or well-meaning but misdirected attempts by groups who fail to address the underlying issues of a specific problem.

Read discussion

11 May 2011

Macro design for nation building

Uday Dandavate
In his paper “MacroDesign for Nation Building“, Uday Dandavate, founder and CEO of SonicRim Ltd., elaborates on the concept of MacroDesign, a public policy perspective in understanding the role of design and design thinking.

This article is written with the purpose of drawing the attention of policy makers – politicians, government officials, and public policy consultants – to a new way of improving how citizens interface with public institutions, services, infrastructures,and processes.

As the design community in India is mobilizing ideas to co-create a new vision for the expansion of its design education infrastructure, this article aims to help public officials better appreciate the contemporary relevance of design in conjunction with two other practices that have received greater attention and public investment: invention and innovation. Understanding the interrelationship between the three practices will help policy makers plan for and boost creative energy nationwide.

The concept of Macro Design provides a public policy perspective in understanding the role of design and design thinking.

Check also Dandavate’s paper “MacroDesign with Denmark” where he describes how Denmark is about to establish an Innovationcenter in Asia to facilitate closer cooperation between Asia and Denmark for strategic innovation and design and on Denmark’s unique potential as a partner country in the global arena.

11 May 2011

How Fidelity used design thinking to perfect its website

HBR
Frederick S. Leichter, chief customer experience officer at Fidelity Investments, reports in the Harvard Business Review on how design thinking practices have helped Fidelity gain important insight into meeting customer needs.

“In a matter of weeks, [Stanford University d.school] student teams conducted research, created prototypes and tested numerous concepts. The ideas included “future visualizers,” candy bars for savers, grandparent graduation gift packs, dynamic charts to illustrate savings progress, and a financial education program for kindergartners. The students found that even the brightest graduate students are turned off by complexity, financial jargon and fine print; Gen Y-ers, surrounded by tangible and virtual media, tend to lack reward recognition for long-term behavior and need motivation; and invariably, Baby Boomers not only remember their first savings-bank passbook, but have saved it and can find it to show you.

Ultimately, Fidelity used images of a 1970s bank passbook to create new ways to illustrate balance history and performance data on its website, giving customers positive feedback and providing motivation for achieving their savings and investment goals.”

Read article

14 April 2011

Call to participate at the Core77 Design Awards

Core77 Design Awards
As one of the jury captains for the inaugural year of the Core77 Design Awards, I am calling upon all Putting People First readers to spread the news about the award and help us get as many strong entries as possible.

The Core77 Design Awards
An Annual Celebration of Excellence, Enterprise and Intent

Recognizing excellence in all areas of design enterprise, the Core77 Design Awards celebrates the richness of the design profession and its practitioners. Dedicated jury teams around the world will judge 15 categories of design endeavor with the deadline for entries May 3, 2011.

In creating the awards program, Core77 have re-thought a lot of the elements of the design award model, and have come up with a recipe that is more inclusive and celebratory, leverages online scale, and decreases plane fuel. Five key ingredients to the program are:

1. Video Testimonials – Participants get to share their “real stories” with the judges personally and directly via short video submissions. Intended to be easy to make – videos can be low-tech, look-into-the-webcam recordings – these testimonials provide a unique opportunity to get across the intent and notable aspects of a design in a way that text and jpegs can’t.

2. Global-Local Judging – Bringing together the field’s brightest design minds, Core77 has selected 15 Jury Captains to lead 15 juries distributed around the world in cities such as Tokyo, Turin, San Francisco and Sydney. This unique judging process balances a broad global perspective with local expertise.

3. Live Web Broadcasts – Winners will be announced by jury teams in 15 different locations around the world – live – so the world can watch events unfold as they happen and hear from the jurors themselves the rationale behind their choices.

4. New Categories – Reflecting newer contemporary fields of practice with innovative categories such as “DIY” and “Never Seen the Light of Day,” this competition truly reflects what is happening in the wider industry and offers more opportunities to ennoble design enterprise in all forms.

5. A Trophy That Celebrates Teamwork – Breaking the mold for typical awards, Rich, Brilliant, Willing are approaching the design of the trophy with generosity in mind. Winners can flex their creative muscles by casting their own award in a material of their choice and can share the accolades by creating multiples for their team and contributors.

The top professional and student entries will win the inaugural trophy, and the Winners, Runners Up, and Notable entries will be published in the Awards Gallery and across the Core77 online network. Please take a moment to visit the site and learn about the unique features of the award program and share it with your friends and colleagues. http://awards.core77.com/

And here is the inaugural line-up of categories and Jury Captains:

Products: Julie Lasky, Editor of Change Observer, New York, USA
Jury team

Soft Goods / Apparel: Peter Kallen, Design Director of NAU, Portland, Oregon, USA

Furniture / Lighting: Max Fraser, Editor & Publisher of London Design Guide, London, United Kingdom

Graphics / Branding / Identity: Steven Heller, author/commentator, and Co-Chair of the MFA Designer as Author at the School of Visual Arts, New York, USA
Jury team

Packaging: Mark Christou, Creative Director of Pearlfisher, New York, USA
Jury team

Interiors / Exhibition: Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa), Tokyo, Japan

Interactive / Web / Mobile: Jon Kolko,Executive Director of Design Strategy at Thinktiv and Founder & Director of Austin Center for Design, Austin, Texas, USA

Transportation: Lars Holme Larsen, Co-Founder of KiBiSi and Founder of Kilo Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

Service Design: Fran Samalionis, Innovation Coach of BT Financial Group, Sydney, Australia
Jury team

Design for Social Impact: Ashoke Chatterjee, development volunteer and Former Director, National Institute of Design (India), Ahmedabad, India
Jury team

Strategy / Research: Mark Vanderbeeken, Senior Partner, Strategic Communications at Experientia, Turin, Italy
Jury team

Design Education Initiative: Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, Associate Professor in Design Anthropology and Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at Swinburne University,Melbourne, Australia

DIY / Hack / Mod: Christy Canida, Community & Marketing Director of Instructables, and Eric J. Wilhelm, CEO of Instructables and Co-Founding Partner of Squid Labs, San Francisco, CA
Jury team

Speculative Objects / Concepts: Branko Lukic, Founding Partner of Nonobject, Palo Alto, California, USA
Jury team

Never Saw the Light of Day: Aric Chen, design journalist and Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, Beijing, China

7 April 2011

Experientia presentation at Fuorisalone, Milan

Designing Innovation
Irene Cassarino, Experientia’s senior open innovation expert, will be speaking on Designing for Sustainable Change at the Hub Milan on Friday, as part of the Hub’s Inspirational Conversations series at this year’s Fuorisalone in Milan.

The conversations are part of a wider event, entitled Designing Innovation: Ideas, works and story tales, that involves workshops, exhibitions, and inspirational conversations with the protagonists of Italian social innovation.

Irene will speak together with Eva Teruzzi, director of business R&D at Fiera Milano. Together they will address how to develop awareness of sustainability and conduct business regarding our future technologies.

“When we plan a new urban environment, we need to think of a 100-year-plus horizon,” says Irene Cassarino. “The main challenge is to create an environment that responds to the needs and ambitions of different communities of inhabitants (different also across time), in terms of long-term sustainability objectives, which are themselves uncertain and constantly evolving. This, in our experience in Helsinki (Low2No) and Denmark (FredericiaC), means ‘planning for sustainable change’. When planning technology applications that are people’s future, how can we work with companies and public administrations to develop sustainable change solutions?”

The Hub Milan is the Italian node in an international network of social, creative and professional entrepreneurs. It provides space and resources for people to be inspired, get innovative, develop networks and identify market opportunities, while building up an arsenal of experiences that will help them to truly change Milan and the world. The Hub Milan focuses exclusively on social and innovation and the people that promote it.

The Hub is located in via Paolo Sarpi 8, Milan. Irene will speak at midday on Friday April 15th and (free) registration is required.

6 April 2011

The problem with design education

Donald Norman
University industrial design programs are usually cloistered in schools of art or architecture, and students in such programs are rarely required to study science or technology.

That bothers Don Norman, former head of research at Apple and an advocate of user-friendly design.

Having traditional design skills—in traditional artistic pursuits like drawing and modeling—isn’t enough, he says, because the creators of good products and services also must have a working knowledge of everything from the technical underpinnings of microprocessors and programming to the policy aspects of information security.

Read article

1 April 2011

Free Experientia backgrounder on EU’s new, more holistic innovation policy

EU Innovation Union
Major emphasis on user-centred design, open innovation and social innovation in new EU innovation strategy

On 6 October 2010, the European Commission adopted the “Innovation Union“, a strategic approach to innovation, which is to become a main tool to reach the Europe 2020 targets that will underpin the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth the Europe 2020 strategy is aiming for:

  • Employment: 75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed
  • 3% of the EU’s GDP (public and private combined) to be invested in R&D/innovation
  • Climate change / energy: greenhouse gas emissions 20% lower than 1990, 20% of energy from renewables, and 20% increase in energy efficiency
  • Education: Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%, and at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
  • At least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion

The Innovation Union will focus Europe’s efforts on tackling major societal challenges, such as climate change, energy and food security, health and an ageing population.

Design and creativity have major prominence in the new EU innovation strategy, with a particular emphasis on (user-centred) design, open and co-creative innovation, and social/public sector innovation, as described in detail in the European Commission Communication and Rationale for Action, published on 6 October last year.

In other words, European innovation policy is moving beyond a technology-only approach and becoming more holistic, by embracing design, openness and broad social issues.

It will take some time for this new focus to spread to local, regional and national governmental institutions across Europe, who still often identify innovation with technological innovation.

To help speed up this process, Experientia, the international user-experience design consultancy based in Torino, Italy, has gone through the European Commission documents in detail, and a 5-page backgrounder highlights those sections that are of major relevance for design companies, design support organisations and therefore also industry organisations.

The text in the backgrounder is mainly excerpted from the Communication, and sometimes expanded with text from the Rationale for Action or from the Innovation Union website.

Please feel free to use this backgrounder to lobby for a more holistic innovation approach also in your own regional context.

Download backgrounder

21 March 2011

Experientia intern wins Gore-tex and La Sportiva boot design challenge

Gina Taha design for La Sportiva
Experientia intern Gina Taha has just been announced a winner in the GORE-TEX® Experience Tour project “Design your very own trekking boots” with the GORE-TEX® brand and La Sportiva.

Gina’s design (graphic) was chosen from a short-list of ten, and will now be produced at the La Sportiva factory.

Innovations in Gina’s design include extra heel cushioning and flexibility for natural foot movement, a larger shoelace area, to provide more support for women’s fluctuating foot size across the month, and a back hook for easy carrying.

Gina was interested in the challenge, as she is an experienced hiker and camping chef, and liked the idea of designing something she would use in her travels.

Originally from Colombia, Gina grew up in New York. She has degrees in Advertising and Communication Design, Packaging Design and a Master’s in Industrial Design for Sport in Italy. At Experientia, she is working on people-centred design ideas for sustainability and new styles of urban living.

16 March 2011

Faculty openings in design & human engineering at UNIST in Korea

UNIST
In December Experientia signed a five-year research and education collaboration agreement with the Design and Human Engineering School (DHE) of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) – Korea’s new top university – in a quest to change the way that design is seen and practiced in Korea.

As part of its commitment to have at least 20% of its faculty from outside Korea, the university is now recruiting full time tenure-track faculty in the areas of industrial design (including UX, interaction design and design strategy), human factors, and engineering systems.

Spread the word.

15 March 2011

Experientia intern wins UNICEF 2010 INDEX design challenge

Teddy Bag
Experientia intern, Ane Eguiguren, together with her team partner François Verez, has been announced the winner of the INDEX: Design Challenge 2010.

The UNICEF challenge encouraged young designers to envision solutions to education in developing countries.

UNICEF in collaboration with the Danish not-for-profit organization INDEX launched the challenge in June 2010, and more than 1000 students from 29 countries across the globe joined the competition which resulted in 115 submitted design solutions.

From a short-list of seven, Ane and François’ “Teddy Bag” project was selected as the design with the most potential to be realised with the highest impact.

The Teddy Bag is a fully-recyclable backpack created for children to use in emergency situations, or in areas lacking education facilities. It is a lightweight backpack, which the child can use to carry equipment to school, but then transforms into a desk and chair for the child to sit on and study at, at school or even at home.

The INDEX Jury selected the Teddy Bag according to criteria of form, impact and context, commending it for having “the child in the centre and for a design where impact could be measured easily”. The jury also commended the thorough iteration process the winners went through, their testing and the broad product range that can be extended from the design.

The selection process included a workshop in Copenhagen, where short-listed teams worked with the Jury, advisers and experts to develop their initial concepts into go-to-market ideas.

The two young designers are now working with UNICEF, in an effort to conduct further field testing and hopefully implement the project.

Read press release
Watch video
Download submission (pdf)

15 December 2010

Designing (for) women

Erica Eden
AIGA has uploaded the videos of the 2010 Gain conference.

Erica Eden, senior industrial designer at Smart Design, and co-founder at Femme Den, was one of the speakers with her talk “Designing (for) Women: Bridging the Gap Between Assumptions and Realities“.

Femme Den, said the host introducing Erica on the video, “is a group inside Smart that focuses on women, as consumers, as final users but also as designers. [...] They look at women as a departure point for an ‘extended usership’ project. Extended usership is when you look at a minority that might have some kind of setback like being a woman and you decide to actually take that as a departure point for the design process to be used by everybody.”

Abstract
Why is gender important? Smart Design’s Femme Den explores the gap between assumptions and realities about women. As practicing designers, they apply new ways to design for the elusive women’s market. To create products and experiences that women love, designers must better understand their lives, as well as their clients’ objectives and perspectives. Femme Den co-founder Erica Eden will discuss methodologies to meet the needs of, and effectively communicate with, these three interconnected groups.

Watch video
Download transcript
Download slides

New York Times story on Erica Eden

13 December 2010

Designing for collaborative consumption

Michelle Thorne
Michelle Thorne, international project manager at Creative Commons, spoke at TEDxKreuzberg on Designing for Collaborative Consumption. She posted her slides and speaking notes online.

Important characteristics of Collaborative Consumption:

Critical Mass
Firstly, you need enough goods or services on offer to make the platform attractive enough for users. Supply draws more demand. Couchsurfing isn’t going to work with two couches on offer.

Idling Capacity
This is about spare cycles. All the unused, material surplus that bolsters collaborative consumption. And it not just about products that sit unused on storage shelves, but also untapped skills, times, spaces. These resources have to be available, like in the drill example, and sharable.

Commons Governance
For these platforms to work, you need appropriate mechanisms for collaboration within legal, social and technical frameworks. There are great tools for this, and definitely the potential to develop more. Conflict resolution has to be cheap and easy, and resource providers need ways to participate in the decision-making process.

Trust
This is one of the most important pillars of collaborative consumption. Without trust, you don’t have continued and meaningful participation and growth. Trust has to be cultivated and facilitated. It’s not just available instantly, but grows organically through the service and positive experiences. Clearly defined boundaries of who’s participating and a way to key at bay trolls, spammers, and frauds, and other elements that harm the community. This requires effective monitoring and reputation management, plus graduated sanctions for people who violate community rules.

Read full story

(via Bruce Sterling)

21 November 2010

Singapore needs to place anthropology before technology

Design Singapore
“We need to place anthropology before technology,” said Richard Seymour, Co-founder, Seymourpowell, at the sixth annual meeting of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of the DesignSingapore Council, that came together to recommended ways to use design to boost productivity in Singapore.

The panel, chaired by Mr. Edmund Cheng, is comprised of renowned international design-related and business leaders from the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia.

The Panel identified key imperatives that foster a stronger link between design and outcomes. The fundamental concept revolves around the need to broaden the definition of productivity to consider behavioural economics such as the value of culture, community and diverse experiences that are unique to Singapore.

“We need to place anthropology before technology. We need to understand how people are and make sure that the products and services are compelling to the end-user. To do so, we need to expose decision-makers to creative processes outside of their usual environments, injecting a broader bandwidth of knowledge and creativity,” said Richard Seymour, Co-founder, Seymourpowell. “Mediocre ideas become commoditised rapidly. This exposure will create an environment that could bring the brilliant idea back.”

Interesting also the recommendations at the end, with the IAP proposing a national innovation programme with the overall goal of championing new value creation through design.

Read article

5 November 2010

The evolved user experience

UX Magazine
Alexander Negash, analytics and user experience manager at the American Cancer Society, discusses on UX Magazine how to adopt social technologies in user research to get rapid, up-to-date user information and feedback, and to drive UX design and product strategy.

“Today, social technologies have made it less challenging for UX teams to involve users in the full project lifecycle, from initial phase of co-ideation, to ongoing iterations and testing during the design and development phases. In an environment where there is an ongoing relationship with the user that encourages flow of fresh ideas and feelings, changes in user behavior become more predictable compared to an environment where there’s a very limited day-to-day relationship with the user.

Involving users in the product development cycle is of course not a new concept; it has been practiced by user-centered design (UCD) teams for a long time. The difference today is that social technologies enable ongoing user interaction with the product in real time, allowing product designers to vet ideas with users, and learn from users’ concerns and firsthand experiences.

Social technologies offer opportunities for UX teams to lead the way in creating revolutionary concepts for product design and development as well as new and innovative ways of involving users in the product lifecycle.”

Read article

2 November 2010

Exposing the magic of design

Jon Kolko
Jon Kolko has published on UXMatters a sample chapter of his forthcoming book, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner’s Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis.

Read chapter

26 October 2010

Seeing the world from the East

Green Seoul
Last week I was in Seoul, South Korea. My third visit. And it struck me again how fast Asia, and South Korea in particular, is moving economically, and hence also in the design field.

Being in Seoul, you don’t notice any crisis. Construction is everywhere. Growth is tangible. And change is fast. While last year, the city was grey and full of concrete, now the City Government, headed by a self-proclaimed “design obsessed” Mayor, has moved to fill every available space with trees and green. On a massive scale – Seoul’s metropolitan area has 25 million inhabitants – it makes quite an impact and boosts the city’s quality of life. Even bicycles and bike paths are starting to show up in this car-crazy city.

This rapid change will continue and as UX-designers we need to be aware of it. As Keoun “Ken” Nah (interview here), Director-General of Seoul World Design Capital and design management professor at Hongik University, told me over a glass of wine: “We have been giving design thinking courses to CEO’s here and it has been very successful. We have a very smart class of CEO’s . You tell them to read a book, and when you meet them again, they have read five.” Ken by the way moved back to South Korea after a thirteen year stay in Boston, because he “missed Korea’s more dynamic environment.”

Koreans are learning fast and will add their own distinct approach to the design field. The problem they have is language. Not much of what goes on there in the design field is reported on in English language media, which tend to focus on the Western world, and the few other places where we understand the language: India, English and French speaking Africa.

Donald Norman is one of the user experience thought leaders who senses the power of this 50 million person nation and now spends quite some time teaching at KAIST, South Korea’s top science and technology institute, where he is a visiting professor. Also the intenational acclaimed LIFT conference has been hosting a South Korean edition for a few years now.

Much can be expected still from this nation of Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo. More thoughts soon about Korea’s design developments when I come back from the Busan Design Week in mid-November.

15 October 2010

mobile + africa

mobile + africa
A contingent of Stanford University d.school students recently returned from Kenya, where they spent two weeks working with Nokia Research Africa, and the University of Nairobi, developing health-related mobile applications. The trip was the culmination of months of work in connection with a new class at the d.school, “Designing Liberation Technologies,” which will be offered again in the coming academic year.

“Designing Liberation Technologies” is (at least in its current iteration) an experiment in remote, user-centered design. Starting in April, Stanford d.school students from a diverse array of disciplines – including computer science, medicine, business, law, education – worked with computer science students at the University of Nairobi to identify the design needs of health care providers and low-income mobile phone users in Kenya. The students then developed prototypes of mobile applications to support delivery of health services in urban areas. In August, a group of students travelled to Nairobi to meet with NGO partners, test prototypes, and advance plans for the future.

Read article

11 October 2010

Experientia supporting Flemish applied research on mobility and sustainability

Flanders InShape
Experientia is excited to be working on two applied research projects for Flanders InShape, a Flemish design promotion agency that supports and advises small and mid-size companies in Flanders, Belgium on matters related to product development and design.

The ASSIST project, in collaboration with Enthoven Associates, is focused on improving mobility and communications for people with motor disabilities, whereas the EVENT project (conducted with FutureProofed) supports Kortrijk Xpo in becoming the most sustainable trade fair and congress complex in Belgium and one of the top five most sustainable fair complexes in Europe by 2020.

With these applied research projects, Flanders InShape aims to augment the efficiency and effectiveness of product development in Flanders and to improve the competitive position of Flemish companies through the development of products with higher added value for the customer.

ASSIST – Improving mobility and communications for people with motor disabilities

The Assist project, which Experientia conducts in collaboration with acclaimed Belgian design consultancy Enthoven Associates and care organisations Centrum voor Zorgtechnologie and In-HAM, aims to develop new concept ideas for assistive technologies for people with motor disabilities, using a people-centred design process. Although aimed at a Flemish context, the project focuses on international technological and design projects.

In the first phase of the project, Experientia has conducted a comprehensive benchmarking of current assistive device solutions for people with walking difficulties. The benchmark explores both on-body assistive devices, which are always in contact with motor disabled people, such as wheelchairs, rollators and standers; and assistive environments, including public transportation, mobile applications and accessibility.

Experientia will also contribute to the creation of scenarios for use during contextual observation to validate the design opportunities found in the benchmark. Enthoven Associates is currently conducting the user research and jointly the partners will then take the insights further, supported by a creative workshop to generate ideas, into design concepts.

EVENT – Sustainable event management project

The Event project sees Experientia team up with Futureproofed, a sustainable design consultancy, and Kortrijk Xpo, a conference and trade fair venue in Kortrijk, Belgium, to explore ways to make events more sustainable. The ambitious goal of this project is to make Kortrijk Xpo the most sustainable trade fair and congress complex in Belgium and one of the top five most sustainable fair complexes in Europe by 2020.

Trade fairs, congresses and events are key areas of concern for sustainability, because they involve a large number of diverse players both directly and indirectly (e.g. stand builders, lighting installers, textile manufacturers, etc.) and because time criteria often become more important during assembly, disassembly and transport, than any concern for sustainability.

This project will explore how impact can be best achieved, though good planning, preparation and usage of the right materials and products.

Futureproofed will carry out a carbon footprint analysis of Kortrijk Xpo, whereas Experientia will benchmark international best practice on sustainability for trade shows, expositions, and major public events. Together with Futureproofed, we will build a behavioural change framework, and conduct participatory workshops and concept development for more sustainable practices.

This exciting project builds on the themes that Experientia is currently exploring in our Low2No project in Helsinki, and is in keeping with our overall company commitment to sustainability.

7 October 2010

Donald Norman on design without designers

Donald Norman
In his latest Core77 contribution, the acclaimed Donald Norman reflects on the role of testing versus creativity in design and innovation.

“There is a trend to eliminate designers. Who needs them when we can simply test our way to success? The excitement of powerful, captivating design is defined as irrelevant. Worse, the nature of design is in danger.” [...]

“Design without designers? Those who dislike the ambiguity and uncertainty of human judgments, with its uncertain track record and contradictory statements will try to abolish the human element in favor of the certainty that numbers and data appear to offer. But those who want the big gains that creative judgment can produce will follow their own judgment. The first case will bring about the small, continual improvements that have contributed greatly to the increased productivity and lowering of costs of our technologies. The second case will be rewarded with great failures and occasional great success. But those great successes will transform the world.”

Read article

5 October 2010

Depth of field: Film in design research

Depth of field
Timo Arnall and Einar Sneve Martinussen have published the article “Depth of field: discursive design research through film,” which discusses the role of film in interaction and product design research, and the use of film in exploring and explaining emerging technologies.

“This article is about the role of film in interaction and product design research with technology, and the use of film in exploring and explaining emerging technologies in multiple contexts. We have engaged in a reflective design research process that uses graphical, audiovisual, and time-based media as a tool, a material and a communicative artefact that enables us to approach complex, obscure and often invisible emerging technologies. We give a discursive account of how film has played an intricate role in our design research practice, from revealing the materiality of invisible wireless technology, to explaining complex technical prototypes, to communicating to a public audience through online films that may fold broader social and cultural discourses back into our design research process. We conclude by elaborating on discursive design approaches to research that use film as a reflective and communicative medium that allows for design research to operate within a social and cultural frame.”

Summary of key points and embedded videos
Article (pdf)