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Bespoke Project by Justin Miller

Bespoke Project by Justin Miller



Community Centred Design Methods presented by Justin Miller from University College Cornwall at Dott Cornwall's Inspired event

Community Centred Design Methods presented by Justin Miller from University College Cornwall at Dott Cornwall's Inspired event



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  • Define what we do in the cluster, as both a investigation into the creative potential of digital tools for designing and making objects which fall predominantly within the craft and designer maker sector, so we are interested in innovative process and procedure development. In addition to these areas of research we are becoming more involved in research which is looking at how these technologies in conjunction with development in pervasive media and web 2.0 creates the possibility for new models of post industrial practice and refigures the relationship between designers and consumers/users. What is the impact on the creative production micro businesses (e.g. craft practices), what challenges and opportunities do these developments hold?
  • I am going to present this on going research project, funded by the digital economy programme , a RCUK and TSB funded programme which: ‘ Digital Economy is the novel design or use of information and communication technologies to help transform the lives of individuals, society or business . Research will help understand these technologies and why change is needed, what the impacts will be and who will benefit. In this cross-research council area, research can be driven by economic, social or technical need’.  Project Definition ‘ Bespoke’ is a multidisciplinary project investigating how digital systems and devices can increase social inclusion and improve lives. The project is working at a neighbourhood level, helping people to tell their own stories through hyper local news production, and then using these stories to inspire radically simple bespoke design solutions, created with and for people. The presentation will chart our overarching approach to the project and describe specific methods used at a number of stages in the project: this will include: The training and deployment of citizen journalists to report on the issues of interest concern within their own communities. The use of traditional ethnography to reveal issues within the community Methods used for engagement, gaining insights and identifying design requirements, (these would map onto a dott co-discovery phase). Incl. Participant Rural Appraisal and Physical tools for engagement and Probes Design concept metric based evaluation tools ( Bespoke kite mark) Early co-design stage developments. Reflections on possible project outcomes – New approaches and methods for participatory design, whether this is with individuals, families, groups or communities. Future plans It is intended that this project presentation will not only provide an example of research which brings a range of participatory approaches together to identify and address issues within in specific community, which I hope are of value to you in other contexts. BUT ALSO be an instigator of discussion around the issues and questions which are emerging, therefore I encourage questions and comments at any point.
  • Mention the breadth of skills within the team that is needed to tackle this project. Return to this again in conclusion, BIG Q Do we train designers to become skilled in a wide range of skills, which would include a range of tools for identfying key concerns or issues within complex individual, group or community contexts or do you teach them how to work within multi-disciplinary groups and recognise the value of methodologies and approached from other fields? The need for design to look beyond its established boundaries to other expertise and approaches, to collaborate with others is flagged up in Emily Campbell’s RSA essay ‘ you know more than you think’. My role In contrast to the digital product designers, who have skills in creating interactive systems and objects, and the computer scientists who can create script new procedures and create bespoke software, I bring a knowledge and experience in the creative engagement with digital design and production technologies to craft artifacts. I also have an interest in how developments in the world of digital making can open opportunities for new creative activities, small scale business opportunities and community production, which is something we hope develop in a future Bespoke project.
  • Wide context
  • One of the key objectives is to create simple and engaging analogue interfaces to digital content in order to allow those that are digitally excluded to benefit from the economic, social & cultural advantages which access to digital tools and content can provide. A significant element of the project sits within the area of Tangible Interaction Design research. As such we are concerned with creating rich experiences for people with real artifacts and spaces through harnessing analogue and digital materials in new and meaningful ways
  • Why we choose this estate some context Building relationships is slow and the more excluded the more time it takes. Even being involved in the estate in other projects for the last few years, it is still difficult to and time consuming to build relationships and encourage engagement. Mention cultural mapping project and their work with communities over the last few years Local stats here 2,323 households Average earnings in the area in lowest 10% nationally
  • Relate to Dott agenda Dott stands for Designs of the Time. We believe great design can make a positive difference to our lives and create a more sustainable, inclusive society. So we’re applying creative thinking, developing innovative design solutions and making change happen . Our projects are doing the things that really matter for people. We’re breathing new life into deprived areas .
  • This is the original proposition for how the three elements of our approach would work together.
  • Due to a range of reasons the journalism has taken longer to set up than originally thought. Therefore the 1 st round of activities has been driven by a more established design ethnography. BIG Q’s How do you engage a community into a process which they have previously felt excluded by and has misrepresented (or partially represented) their community in the past? What methods and technologies are most appropriate for training citizen journalists and capturing content? (i.e. written text, sound, video?)
  • Building relationships is slow and the more excluded the more time it takes. Even being involved in the estate in other projects for the last few years, it is still difficult to and time consuming to build relationships and encourage engagement.
  • Recognising the context in which we are working, local newspapers are under pressure, with sales dropping, there is a recognition that the is a desire for hyper local news which is postcode rather than regional or city specific. Many examples since 2005, especially in America and concentrating on online rather than print news. In the latest example of newspaper companies’ growing emphasis on deeper local coverage, New York Times Co . in mid 2009 launched a pair of Web sites covering several communities in Brooklyn, N.Y., and New Jersey. Chicago Tribune’s Triblocal project that create and distribute hyperlocal print editions from their online content. Emphasis on the hyper local being . In my experience, many people get very attentive when the postings are relevant within a few hundred households of where they live. Not sure if this is hyper, micro, mini or super-duper-teeny-tiny local . I tend to call it. Neighborhood Nokia have recently launched there N97 smart phones which include a mobile journalism application. The combination of a full keyboard, a hi res camera and good quality sound recording, along with the ability to submit your rich content stories through the phone network makes this phone an ideal roving reporter toolkit. We are testing these with our citizen journalists.
  • Big Q. how to engage with a community which is considered to be excluded? In contrast to Dott projects such as the Pengagen estate using students to make films about the community we aim to empower residents to make there own movies, ask their own questions. This group of young girls have been dedicated and dynamic in producing journalist material, following posts about Callon on the local newspaper site, editing unfavourable views and responding to what they consider misrepresentation of their community. They along with a range of other people from the area have been trained to use the N97’s and flip cameras in order to become citizen journalists.
  • The website is closely connected to the analogue hyper local paper, it will provide a place in which citizen journalists can post digital video and sound content, people can leave comments about the items in the analogue paper (through a range of mechanisms, including the blogging pad). These comments and media content will then be fed back into the analogue paper to spark discussion and debate which it is intended will drive the identification of community specific issues to be addressed by the design stage. http:// www.culturalmapping.co.uk/bespoke/main.php   Login:  bespokeadmin password: bespoke2007
  • Ethnography def A qualitative research method often used in the social sciences, particularly in anthropology and in sociology . [1] It is often employed for gathering empirical data on human societies/cultures. Data collection is often done through participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, etc. Ethnography aims to describe the nature of those who are studied (i.e. to describe a people, an ethnos ) through writing. [2] In the biological sciences, this type of study might be called a "field study" or a "case report," Ethnographic studies are usually holistic , founded on the idea that humans are best understood in the fullest possible context, including: the place where they live, the improvements they've made to that place, how they are making a living and providing food, housing, energy and water for themselves, what their marriage customs are, what language(s) they speak and so on
  • Fete as both a way of introducing people in the estate to the Bespoke team and using cultural probe type methods to gain some sense of peoples perception of the estate. This included a photography competition using disposable cameras, a chance to laser engrave your own personal badge, create your own emoticon bracelet, using the Callon-0-meter to show what you felt about where you live. The activities and associated outcomes, like the callon-o-meter and the emoticon bracelets did not result in any significant insights, a to some degree they were not expected to. However the associated discussions and the raising the profile of the project we were just starting was considered successful, but perhaps to much effort for the returns.
  • The ethnography involved a researcher for the project spending 3 months living in Callon and spending her time talking to a wide a diversity of people as possible. This process was helped by the connections already made within the community and the identification of key players (e.g. Colin Mackinson the Contour housing who has been central to the redevelopment of the estate over the past 10 years). This ethnographic study a literature review of debates associated with digital and social exclusion, moved the project original aim, which was to specifically address digital exclusion as a way of getting at social inclusion. This approach was found to be both inappropriate for the community we are working in and simplistic in its narrow focus on getting everyone connected to the web. We changed our focus to a more broad aim to improve lives, but retained the core concept of creating bespoke analogue interfaces to digital services Green spaces/environment Fishwick ward is one of very few urban areas in Preston which has close access to a large and protected green area. A new pond is being built on this land so that especially younger people can go fishing and enjoy the countryside that they have on their own backyard. A potential design requirement may be the ‘enhancement’ of outdoor activities in this green area. 2. Local music making The local music scene is flourishing. It is an area of creativity for local youths and an outlet for expressions about living in Callon. Local music producer Dub P was asking us questions about how to get his music out there. Currently Dub P only really makes his music available on his MySpace, he is keen to release his music in other ways. He is very proud of the Preston grime scene, and wants the rest of the country to hear it and see why it’s so special. 3. St thereas St Teresa’s Social Club used to be a thriving social centre. However, the club lost it’s license to sell alcohol recently and this has affected attendance. The building itself is also under threat of closure. This is distressing for clubs and individuals who meet there. As a design requirement, supporting in the activities at St Teresa’s social club could revive a key social hub in this area. 4. Crime and security This area of Preston has changed dramatically over the last five years and the safety of the area has improved because of local efforts. However, there is still a fear of burglary, including the worry that homes may be burgled in the night or when people are away on holiday. While there are CCTV cameras in most of the area, there is not much faith that burglars will be caught or possessions returned. Further technology might address issues of crime and security in the area to reduce fear of burglary. 5. Family and Technology When talking about Callon with residents, the emphasis often seemed to be about ‘now’ and the future. Any discussion of the past focused on how bad it was and the improvements that have been made. However, from snippets of conversations with residents there is a long and rich history to reveal and ‘remap’. This is something which could involve multiple generations of related families in a celebration of their lives and pride in the area. 6. Fundraising When community leaders and activists were asked what they wanted most to make their lives easier, they consistently mentioned long-term funding to sustain the community work they are doing in the area. In the absence of this they spend a lot of energy putting together bids for shorter term funding from ‘little pots of money’ that can only go so far. A design requirement might be to support this bidding process to facilitate more successful and continuous fundraising.
  • Participant Rural Appraisal is a technique that originated in development studies but has since been taken up in many urban and inner city development projects (Chalmers 1994). Chalmers is a key propent and these fit within an action research methodology. It begins with an acknowledgement that the researchers know next to nothing about the place where participants live. The participants, as members of the community being studied are the experts. The approach then is as non interventionist as possible and advocates "pass the pen" as its motto. PRA draws heavily on map making and ranking exercises. Participants are encouraged to make more and more detailed maps of their area. If they do it in separate groups they are encouraged to compare and comment on each others representations. In development studies it was often found to be surprisingly accurate and reliable. For example, when villagers estimate the population of their area they are often more accurate than census data (Ibid). Because the technique begins with an acknowledgement of ignorance it is expected that researchers will make mistakes and ask stupid questions. Mistakes are to be embraced and if a PRA session takes an unexpected turn this is considered positive Insights The mapping exersises were very useful in the getting different representations from different groups, whether that be related to age, gender or location of residence within the callon area, a few streets for children can make all the difference. These soughts of insights were useful in growing a broad understanding of crime and security, bit also a more general understanding of the area and influenced our thinking on if and where interventions into the area could be best sited. (eg. The centrality of the pad) Overview of PRA techniques Hundreds of participatory techniques and tools have been described in a variety of books and newsletters, or taught at training courses around the world. These techniques can be divided into four categories: Group dynamics, e.g. learning contracts, role reversals, feedback sessions Sampling, e.g. transect walks, wealth ranking, social mapping Interviewing, e.g. focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, triangulation Visualization e.g. venn diagrams, matrix scoring, timelines To ensure that people are not excluded from participation, these techniques avoid writing wherever possible, relying instead on the tools of oral communication like pictures, symbols, physical objects and group memory. Efforts are made in many projects, however, to build a bridge to formal literacy; for example by teaching people how to sign their names or recognize their signatures.
  • (note consent forms for all activities) Sorting and arranging techniques were also used, perhaps with less rich insights resulting from the visual data, however all activities were recorded and these maps may not have been the most successful probes, but where useful props and the activity associated with them allowed a informal and open-ended (but often gently guided) discussions to take place.
  • Inspired by Presense project 1999 Netherlands Institute of Design John Thackara, Bill Gaver, Roger Coleman, ect engagement tools Using objects and activities to both gain insights into family life, what is important to them as a group, or as individuals Objects created to act as both props and probes, some to be left with families to complete, some used to instigate discussions. schedule tower & activity stickers mapping relationship with the places, people and events in the area Family ritual bowl Extended Family tree family treasures book As in the Presense project, the aesthetics of the probes was considered important in the development (e.g. the family treasures book was intended to give a sense of significance and, however any attempt to control the format of responses was not necessarily adhered to!
  • The most significant and rich data source was not the probes themselves, but the discussion instigated during their completion or reflecting on them with the research team.
  • Book of concepts developed from workshops whose themes are guided by ethnography study. This was
  • Development of metrics used by us to decide on projects, but little community consultation. In next round we intend to make this process more inclusive and use the hyper local paper as a site in which concepts can be proposed, discussed, critiqued in order to help insure that the concepts are being developed into designs which are appropriate and relevant to the people we are working with and for.
  • Selected concepts – Audio blogging pad To stimulate discussion of articles in the printed paper we will support audio blogging on an associated website (Journalism Step 2). Readers will rate articles and record verbal comments for others to hear. This could be done alone at a PC, or through a public audio keypad device using article ID numbers printed in the paper or as a mobile phone app (Journalism Step 3). CCTV (Community Controlled TV) The Callon estate is densely populated with CCTV cameras, and the local residents have mixed feeling towards them. People are frustrated that they do not have access to the footage of these cameras. Bespoke are re-inventing CCTV to allow the residents to film themselves and show off their skills to the wider world. The footage will be uploaded with permission to YouTube for viewing. The first set of Bespoke CCTV will cover a local football pitch.
  • 3 Extended family hedge There are rich relationships within the families in the area. The ‘Family hedge’ provides a crafted, tangible and engaging means of digitally recording and linking stories and experiences with analogue family photos and treasured objects. It uses a physical family tree (hedge) as an interface for capturing and retrieving these stories which link people to people, people to objects and people to places. The traditional family tree tends to represent families in highly structured and simplified vertical bloodlines and seeks to situate individuals in an historical context, emphasising traditional notions of the family. In contrast the ‘Family hedge’ encourages inclusivity and the charting of existing extended family connections in all their contemporary complexity. 3a. Geo-located media A mobile phone application to follow the extended family hedge exploring memories of events located in the local area. These events will be captured through audio annotated media captured on the device in one of two contexts; an intimate family context and wider community history context. The device will also support mobile access to hyperlocal news in the area (Journalism Step 3). 4.Digital Busker Local artists and DJs are eager to collaborate and distribute local music to a wider audience. This could be done through a series of ‘busking box’ statues which play local music inside and outside the local area.
  • Forms of user engagement playing out in the Bespoke project 1.Anthropological fieldwork 2.Requirements workshops 3.Design workshops 4.Community journalism 5.‘Political’design considerations 6.Movement between individual, family and community-centred design Conclusions to date By the end of the project we hope to have demonstrated that: A multi disciplinary approach research in complex real world situations, which involve a large number of stake holders and therefore has a range of conflicting perspectives is a useful approach. Can designers by expected to know, fully understand and wield with skill all the methods and techniques necessary in all the stages necessary for useful interventions into a situation, from the co-discovery stage, all the way through to the co-delivery and legacy stages. QUESTION do we train designers to collaborate more or to try and become masters of a whole host of new skills? Community journalism and the production of a regularly updated hyper local news service (digital and analogue) is a successful method for identfying and debating issues within a local community. It has a range of benefits which include Training residents in the use of new media technologies Creating a community which communicates Provides a useful resource from which to derive design briefs and to have these critiqued by the people for whom they are intended. QUESTION Legacy- How do we create a sustainable model for this type of activity? How do we encourage engagement and continue input into this type of activity? That ICT solutions do not have to be delivered in a Hi-tec way or in an established computer screen based format. Creating analogue interfaces to digital content and services opens up the possibility for richer and more inclusive experiences of the capabilities of ICT. That digitally crafting Bespoke artefacts and interactive systems is a valid way of addressing social need and improving lives, whether for specific individuals, families, groups or communities. However these are procedures, processes and ideas which could be appropriated into other contexts or have wider commercial possibilities. This turns the inclusive design on its head, creating something very specific for a specific context does not necessarily exclude its application into other contexts. That the creative employment of new digital design and production tools in association with innovative interaction design can create objects which are both bespoke in form and content and are recognised as successful for this. That participatory methods GENERAL Many of the aspirations of this project can be related to the RSA’s design for resourcefulness and self-reliance, set out by Emily Campbell. We hope to look beyond encouraging a communicative community towards a productive community as a basis for self-reliance. Insights Where we are Where we hope to get to within the project How we hope to develop the project further DOTT PROCESSES Co-delivery Outputs and outcomes at this stage vary. Dott projects typically create innovative ways that people can engage with the design solution in the medium or longer term, including: Transferring ownership of the project to the community Ensuring project management skills are in place for implementation Scaling the project or business planning Ongoing design changes. Legacy Legacies can include the visible outputs from the projects or also embedded legacies such as: The thinking, ideas and practices that reside in, remain and continue being used by the individuals who participated on the projects. Participants who become champions for design, sharing new approaches of thinking and doing in their organisations and communities.

Bespoke Project by Justin Miller Bespoke Project by Justin Miller Presentation Transcript

  • Justin Marshall Research Fellow, 3D Digital Production Research cluster, University College Falmouth
  • Auto-Team Dr Katie Bunnell Research Cluster Leader, ceramic designer-maker Dr Justin Marshall Research Fellow, ceramic and mixed media artist, maker Tavs Jorgensen Research Fellow, potter Drummond Masterton Research Fellow, metal and mixed media maker Isabelle Risner PhD Research Student “ The integration of digital technologies into designer-maker practice: a study of access, attitudes and implications”
  • Increasing social inclusion through community journalism and bespoke design David Frohlich, Jon Rogers, Patrick Olivier, Paul Egglestone & Justin Marshall
  • Team and partners Team University of Surrey (Digital World Research Centre) David Frohlich , Design Ethnographer University of Central Lancashire (Sandbox) Paul Egglestone , Journalist University of Newcastle (Culture Lab) Patrick Olivier , Computer Scientist University of Dundee (Innovative Product Design) Jon Rogers , Digital Product Designer University College Falmouth (Autonomatic) Justin Marshall , Digital Maker ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Commercial Partners Lancashire Evening Post Simon Reynolds Nokia Research Centre Timo Koskinen 3D Systems European Ltd Colin Blain ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Steering group Emily Campbell (RSA), Bill Gaver (Goldsmiths), Kate Southworth (University College Falmouth), Tim Regan & Richard Banks (Microsoft), Timo Koskinen (Nokia), Simon Reynolds (Lancashire Evening Post)
  • Design in the digital world is changing
    • The revolution in user generated content and Web 2.0 is changing the relationship between consumers and producers, and blurring the boundaries between personal and published media
    • New tools and techniques for mass customisation of objects and services are changing the relationship between designers and the public, and enabling the creation of a broader spectrum of bespoke artefacts.
    • The combination of digital media with physical devices is leading to a form of ‘digital product design’ in which new digital behaviours can be given to familiar objects and surfaces
  • How can these trends be harnessed to improve quality of life and engagement with ICTs, especially in areas of high unemployment and social exclusion? On the bespoke project we aim to address this question at a neighbourhood level, combining community journalism with bespoke design to enable communities to create novel ICT solutions for their own needs. Why community journalism? Community content creation has been found to be empowering for communities in the developing world who are struggling to articulate their needs and take initiative to solve them. Web 2.0 tools enable this to be done in new ways across a range of spoken, written and visual media. Why bespoke design? Design is a form of practical problem solving and innovation which emerges from a creative dialogue amongst stakeholders. New bespoke design tools and participatory design methods are making it more accessible to ordinary people.
  • Where we are working Preston The Callon & Fishwick Estate
  • Objectives We aim to develop a new form of participatory design promoting the RSA vision of ‘design as resourcefulness’. This will involve the following steps.
    • Engage a local community in content and object innovation through a process of design-oriented ethnography.
    • Empower the community to voice its own issues and needs through a process of community journalism.
    • Design new kinds of bespoke digital connections between people within the community and to other people and services outside it.
  • Approach Community journalism Bespoke design Design ethnography
  • Approach: Phase 1 Community journalism preparation Bespoke design Design ethnography
  • Approach: Phase 2 Community journalism Bespoke design Design ethnography
  • COMMUNITY JOURNALISM PREPARATION PHASE 1. Engagement with local community groups in Callon & Fishwick
    • Contour housing
    • Fishwick Rangers
    • YMCA
    • St Teresa’s Social Club
    • Ablaze Youth group
    • People’s Voice Media
    • Unity FM
    • Preston FM Community Radio
    • Preston College’s Elev8 project
    • Surestart Preston East Children’s Centre
    • Individual DJs and musicians
  • Journalism partner activities Lancashire Evening Post Launching hyperlocal news tagging service Jan 2010 NOKIA Completed mobile journalism toolkit Nov 2009
  • Citizen Journalists Guardian Society article 17/3/10 Personal Blog
  • Ethno-journalistic news content C. Stories of social aspiration and change A. Community calendar and news across all the disparate organisations B. Stories on topics identified in the field research
  • Community journalism rollout plan
    • Produce and distribute hyper-local printed paper (March 2010)
    • Corresponding website that hosts comment, discussion and submissions to paper (May 2010)
    • Geo-located news and information (Sept 2010)
  • 1. 1 st Edition of Hyper Local Paper
  • 2 & 3. Associated website & news portal
  • Ethnographic fieldwork questions - Summer 2009 Who speaks for the community? How? What are the community’s own social issues? What is their relationship to technology? Community requirements and priorities for design intervention?
  • ETHNOGRAPHY PHASE 1. Methods of engagement, ways of gaining understanding of, insights into the area and identifying design requirements C o-discovery
  • Callon summer fete 2009 …Bespoke introductions and participation
  • Six community requirements areas identified through ethnography and investigated through workshops
    • Green spaces/
    • environment
    2. Local music making 3. Future of St Teresa’s social club 4. Crime and security 5. Information circulation & fundraising 6. Family and Technology
  • Crime and security- Participant Rural Appraisal
  • Family and Technology – Prompts, Props & Probes
  • Completed Probes
  • 1. Green spaces/environment 2. Music Making 3. St Teresa’s social club
  • 4. Security/crime 6. Family and technology 5. Information circulation & fundraising
  • Bespoke kite mark …for evaluating and comparing concepts Basis Kite Mark example… Extended Family Hedge
  • Design concepts selected for development, 1. Audio blogging pad 2. CCTV (Community Controlled TV)
  • 3a. Geo-located media 3. Extended family hedge 4. Digital Busker
  • http:// www.bespokeproject.org /