Creative Design Lab (HCI206)

Irene Mavrommati

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During this course, students will practice on ideation (hands on during the lab) with several creative techniques. Students are expected to get accustomed to creative design methods that can be used in the first parts of a design process, as well as to learn about communication design and semantics. At the end they are expected to know design techniques to choose from and how to participate and organize a design ideation workshop.

6 ECTS

Course book:

Kumar, V. (2012). 101 design methods: A structured approach for driving innovation in your organization. John Wiley & Sons.

Ενότητες

24 Feb, introduction day to HCI course

Rationale for creative thinking was discussed, in the light of developments of the 4th industrial revolution.

Design is seen as an iterative process ? not as methodology. It includes design techniques (or methods) but not organised in a strict way, rather loosely used per stage of the design process.

 

Design is at the core of human activity; it defines what humans are.

The effort to classify design activity as being (or not) a scientific activity is irrelevant, as that question is invalid (Gedenryd, 1998).

 

Alexander, JC Jones 1960?s efforts to systematize design methods (treating design activity as scientific activity) later rejected effort tw systematic design methodology

 

Lawson (1980)

Design is a prescriptive activity Answering ?what it could be? or ?what it could be??

Designers try to define the future by forming an informed understanding of the present.

No optimal design solutions. No absolute method.

 

Schon (1983)

During the design process the designer iteratively reflects on the problem, provides elements of solutions, evaluated them, in iterative cycles of reconsideration and action based on the previous step.

 

Design activity is a problem solving activity, investigating and identifying aspects of the problem space.

designers should not design with fixed goals [(Simon, 1969), because design activity is a means to identify further design goals ? even goals that may be inconsistent with the original goals of the design activity.

Each situation that design generates is a starting point for a new design activity, and with this process one gradually identifies different aspects of the problem space.  (iterative process).

Design is systematic in its process

Not in the way it applies its methods

techniques that are analytical , others intuitive

 

no overall methodology,

3 broad iterative interascociated process phases:

thinking, designing, realizing

 

Design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues looks for an improved future result.

combines empathy, creativity and rationality to meet user needs and drive business success.

Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking is a creative process based around the "building up" of ideas.

There are no judgments early on in design thinking. no fear of failure -maximum input and participation in the ideation and prototyping/sketching encouraged.

 

Design Methods focus on:

Understanding the user and the context of use

Exploring possibilities and constraints by focusing critical thinking skills to research and

define problem spaces for existing products or services?or the creation of new categories; (Brainstorming)

Redefining the specifications of solutions which can lead to better guidelines for traditional design activities

Managing the process of exploring, defining, creating artifacts continually over time

Prototyping possible solution scenarios that incrementally or significantly improve the inherited situation

Trendspotting; understanding the trend process.

 

BROAD PROCESS vs METHODOLOGY

There is no single way to practice design methods.

inherent flexibility is in the design approach; it is a combined product of the right use of techniques and methods as much as of intuition and skill. (T. Winograd), (Cross, 2008).

 "Methodology should not be a fixed track to a fixed destination, but a conversation about everything that could be made to happen. The language of the conversation must bridge the logical gap between past and future, but in doing so it should not limit the variety of possible futures that are discussed nor should it force the choice of a future that is unfree."(Jones 1991)

Scenario Based Design (SBD) is a method that is underlying design ideation, and is the basis of many other techniques (that are often stemming from cinematography or creative writing). Techniques such as text scenaria based on personas, text descriptions, visual storyboards, video prototypes, card based ideation, etc, all step on scenaria descritprion.

Refer to the documents on Carroll's Senario Based Design (paper).

Also read the related sections in Kumars 101 Design methods , section EXPLORE CONCEPTS, paying attention to Persona Definition, Concept Scetch, Concept Scenarios,

and then Kumar's section: FRAME SOLUTIONS: Foresight scenario, Solution storyboard, Solution enactment.

Semantic interpretation of images was outlined. Examples from photography, art, advertising, social media and photographic reportage were discussed. Group practised in identifying the visual elements that act as visual signs, then inferring their interpretation (what they signify) was attempted, and subsequently we hilighted taking into consideration the context, the indidual interpretations, cultural understanding, collective or contextual understanding, and importance of text in the interpretation of an image.

 

Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method. Design as critique has existed before under several guises. Critical Design adopts a highly critical approach of prevailing social values and design ideologies, (it is based on Italian Radical Design of the 1970s), and builds on this attitude and extends it into today's world or projecting it to a future world, that is sometimes dystopic.

In industry, Critical Design is brought in as a useful perspective in creative design workshops, usually in the very first ideation phase steps, wants to form open and often provocative questions in order to establish an out of the box understanding of the problem space, from a heretic or distopical perspective. As an approach it can be considered as avant guard, and its not as straihtforward nor easy to comprehend, nevertheless it is a worthy perspective for students that want to explore the full spectrum of design thinking.

Please refer in the LINKS section, to the Critical Design Links and lectures, with description and project examples that will help you grasp this perspective.

Read also the 2 conference papers on a) Speculative and Critical design, and b) Critical Design as critique to the Status Quo, in Documents section.

Practicing in groups (brainstorming then snowballing), on creating scenaria, concept scetches, concept storybords, solution storybords, concept sorting, process organistation. The theme is COVID19 related issues, in an attept to practice concept creation techniques.

Pay special attention, in the book 101 Design methods: Methods: 5.13, 5.14, 5.15, 5, 16, 6.7, 6.8

Gamification techniques are often used for ideation. Their  benefits is that they offer a guided process, and help people relax, communicate, and have a common reference, and come up with ideas in a playfull but structured way. such methods that use gamification for ideation often use thematic card toolkits. Various card based methods are specially designed, and reported in the links related section: IoT tiles cards, IDEO user centered design toolkit, PLEX ideation cards method, MethodKit card sets, Triggers cards, bord of innovation, are to mention but some toolkits that have been more widely produced and used.

Refer to the section 5.9 of Kumar's book (Ideation game), to the Ideation games and game card techniques links section, as well as to the two related research articles: PLEX cards and Toolkits cards and games.

 

Wrap up / reflection the early design Process and most often used techniques during conceptualisation phase.

 Overall scema of design processes

 

Collaboration in design

  • With other designers
  • With multidisciplinary teams
  • With users (co-creation)
  • With stakeholders
  • Using crowdsourcing (requirements elicitation, evaluation, design visual elements etc)

 

WEEKLY COURSEBOOK READING: Collaboration in Creative design book,

chapters:

Introduction - Creativity and Collaboration in Creative Design (p.1)

Crowdsourcing User and Design Research (p.121)

and related to previous week lectures and Next week assignment: Designing with Cards (p.75) and Using Video for early interaction design (p.271)

 

 

Methods for early design conception

Senario based -i.e. Text, (personas). visual scetches, storybords , and via Gamification i.e. various card methods, bords
Enactment - ie. Role playing, video prototyping, cardboard prototypes, etc
With users - i.e. (co-creation) (prompts, interviews, observation, brainstorm, probes, ethnographic approaches, information collection)
Crowdsourcing
Data driven design

 

Practices for carrying them out

Group working
Brainstorming
Snowballing

Organisation

Plan time / define process (planning constrains, business and organizational context)
Manage process
Organise results
Organise inspiration (space, posters, mindmaps, input)

 

Early design process

Orderly succession of activities

Serendipity,

Iteration,

Flexible meshing of activities

Opportunistic

Addressing different abstraction levels/different conerns

Unplanned manner (specific activities and output not known apriori)

Design ideas crystalizing as design process progresses

 

As design progresses different possibilities are identified

Different paths explored

Some paths eliminated

Forming a deeper Understanding the design challenge

 

ITERATION is inherent

Representation of design concept should fit the iterative approach

 

Scetching concepts ? is a key practice

- Externalise thoughts, experiment, thing further, understand problem better

 

Early design process

Focus on how use of product/service,system is experienced by people, adopted, adapted, nurthured

FOCUSING on EXPERIENCE rather than service/system/artefact

Construct and communicate stories to pass the experience

 

Early design process

Sucession of

DIVERGENT thinking

Opens up options, brings in new perspectives and new information. discovery

With

CONVERGENT thinking

Analytical, structured, reducing options, elaborating

Design ideas crystalizing as design process progresses

 

 

 

 

Creative writing techniques are used towards idea generation, on the post-covid thematic.

D. Manias coordinates the workshop.

Invited lecture by V.J. Khan, ( 31 May 2021)

Excact Details to be announced

Students plan a creative design workhop and carry it out

 

 

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