Meta design and social creativity

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INTERACT 2007 talk on how to design for social creativity.

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Meta design and social creativity

  1. 1. Meta-Design and Social Creativity: Making All Voices Heard INTERACT 2007 PANEL 12 September, 2007 Rio De Janeiro, Brasil John C. Thomas IBM T. J. Watson Research Center [email_address] www.truthtable.com
  2. 2. Major Problem: <ul><li>Humanity’s Biological and Cultural History has Prepared us well for a World … </li></ul>
  3. 3. Major Problem: <ul><li>Humanity’s Biological and Cultural History has Prepared us well for a World … </li></ul><ul><li>That no longer exists! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Worse: <ul><li>Many of the same traits that were previously useful for survival are now lethally counter-productive; e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radical Greed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on what is Large, Fast, and Salient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Race for superior weapons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help our own in-group at the expense of all other out-groups </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Designers and the Design Process: <ul><li>Can easily perpetuate and accelerate the downward spiral because: </li></ul><ul><li>Designers are also human with their own biological and cultural biases </li></ul><ul><li>The Design Process can easily be an extension of cultural biases </li></ul>
  6. 6. Potential Exit Strategy? <ul><li>Meta-design process that utilizes diversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Among Cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Among Individuals within a Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age Diversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-culture Diversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ability Diversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>To Create a Space of Possibilities that extends even beyond the union of current cultures and individuals </li></ul>
  7. 7. An obvious example metaphor: <ul><li>The hottest (natural) temperature recorded on earth’s surface was 134 F, 56.7 C </li></ul><ul><li>The coldest (natural) temperature recorded on earth’s surface was -128.6 F, -89.2 C </li></ul><ul><li>But, a designer can clearly extrapolate and design for 5000 C or -373 C. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Similarly, dimensions of cultural & individual variation can generalize <ul><li>Using the existing range of ways that gender relationships exist in real cultures, one can imagine, postulate, consider many non-existent relationships and what they may entail </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals differ in terms of visual acuity, color perception and so on; one can imagine higher acuity, sensitivity to other frequencies of radiation, etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. One can also synthesize and generalize across cultures <ul><li>Example: Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language for physical architecture was constructed from examples of “what worked” across multiple cultures </li></ul><ul><li>A Pattern is a named solution to a recurring problem </li></ul><ul><li>A Pattern language is a lattice of Patterns that cover a domain </li></ul><ul><li>Example: People’s Access to Natural Water in London, Paris, San Antonio, San Francisco, Rio </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Gradient of Privacy in Private Dwellings. </li></ul>
  10. 10. A Pattern Language is meant to provide: <ul><li>Not a “template” or “fixed solution” to be repeated precisely … nor a set of “building blocks” that can only be inter-related in a fixed number of ways…but a true LANGUAGE; that is, a generative foundation for finding, formulating, and analyzing problems as well as tools of thought for providing solutions. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Voices of the Unheard: “Who Speaks for Wolf?” A proposed socio-technical pattern <ul><li>Available in Liberating Voices! A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>www.cpsr.org/program/sphere/ pattern s </li></ul><ul><li>Largely based on Paula Underwood’s “Who Speaks for Wolf?”: A Native American Learning Story. San Anselmo, CA: Tribe of Two Press. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Voices of the Unheard: Who speaks for Wolf? Visual by www.PDIimages.com
  13. 13. Voices of the Unheard <ul><li>A lot of effort and thought goes into decision making and design. Nonetheless, it is often the case that bad decisions are made and bad designs conceived and implemented primarily because some critical and relevant perspective has not been brought to bear. This is especially often true if the relevant perspective is that of a stakeholder in the outcome. Make sure every relevant stakeholder’s perspective is brought to bear early. </li></ul>
  14. 14. More socio-technical patterns <ul><li>http://www.cmi-patterns.org/ </li></ul>
  15. 15. References <ul><li>Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl, I. And Agnel, S. (1977) A Pattern Language . New York: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Bayle, E., Bellamy, R., Casaday, G., Erickson, T., Fincher, S., Grinter, B., Gross, B., Lehder, D., Marmolin, H., Potts, C., Skousen, G. & Thomas, J. (1997) Putting It All Together: Towards a Pattern Language for Interaction Design. Summary Report of the CHI '97 Workshop. SIGCHI Bulletin. New York: ACM. </li></ul><ul><li>Desurvire, H. and Thomas, J. (1993). Enhancing the performance of interface evaluators using non-empirical evaluation methods. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 1132-1136. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomic Society. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J. and Carroll, J. (1978). The Psychological Study of Design. Design Studies , 1 (1), 5-11. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J. and Kellogg, W. (1989). Minimizing Ecological Gaps in Interface Design. IEEE Software, pp. 78-86. </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J., Kellogg, W.A. and Erickson, T. (2001). The Knowledge Management Puzzle: Human and Social Factors in Knowledge Management . The IBM Systems Journal , 40 (4). </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas, J., Danis, C. & Lee, A. (2002). Who speaks for Wolf? IBM Research Report, RC-22644. Armonk, NY: IBM Corporation. </li></ul><ul><li>Underwood, P.(1993). The Walking People. San Anselmo, CA: Tribe of Two Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Underwood, P. (1983). Who speaks for Wolf: A Native American Learning Story . Georgetown TX (now San Anselmo, CA): A Tribe of Two Press, 1983. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Creativity Innovation and Change Fear; Reactionary Politics and Beliefs Laws, regulations, cultural “brakes”

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