EMILY CARR UNIVERSITYOF ART + DESIGNDesign Research Jour nalSpring 2012
Editorial Mandatecurrent is a multi-platform design journal that showcases creative, practice-basedand applied research. It functions as a site for design researchers, academics, students,professional designers, entrepreneurs, and the business community to ref lect oncontemporary design thinking—products and processes.Through a variety of forms and formats— faculty, staff and administration throughinterviews, case-studies, critical essays, reviews publication in print, online and as an iPad appand photo documentation, we challenge To demonstrate to the business communityresearchers to represent their processes as the economic value of managing design asiterative cycles of research and to skillfully a resourcenavigate information-led and practice-ledmethodologies. Current’s affiliation with Emily Carr University of Art + Design is vital to the journal’s functionCurrent is a continually evolving exposition on as a site for on-going dialogue betweenthe people and processes involved in design researchers in and across a variety of local,research. It is a platform for the cross-disciplinary, national, and international contexts—academiccross-sector professional communities of people and professional. The university context iswith educational and professional interests in the crucial to how we understand and illustrate acurrency of design thinking. practice-based design ethos in relation to anCurrent has the following goals that reflect its evolving ecology. Our learning community is aunique location in one of Canada’s most dynamic research space rich in critical and collaborativeArt + Design universities: inquiry and reflective self-practice. Research at Emily Carr is modeled on context-informed To illustrate the context that shapes practice- practice in a teaching/research nexus that isbased research and research-based practice responsive to human and ecological needs. To illustrate new processes and design thinking Current draws its power from a communityfrom project-based collaborations with a diverse of educators, practitioners, students, andrange of educational partners staff engaged in new models and networks To inform about current and future directions of innovation with educational partners fromin teaching, research, and learning in post- diverse sectors. We are explorers of the valuessecondary education and richness of human knowledge and agents of change and cross-disciplinary integration. A To showcase generative tools for co-designing community of thinkers and makers, we seek toand their benefits at the “fuzzy front end” engage with complex ideas, situations and in so To establish a transparent legacy of learning for doing to speak to teams of experts, as well as toundergraduate and graduate students, alumni, the very people who use our research outcomes.
04 16 ethnography & systems 5—8 / on the convergence health & well being 17/ introduction01 / editorial mandate of ethnography and design Rob Inkster David Bogen 18—21 / youth in transition 9—11 / Importing an ethics Jonathan Aitken model into creative research Lois Klassen, Glen Lowry & Julie York 22—25 / the Lions Gate Hospital Foyer project 12—15 / using verticality Jessica Carson Bobbi Kyle & Nick Ng
t arke cM ubli nd P Isla ille2636interactivity27/ introduction Stereoscopic 3D 37/ introduction ew o al vi Aeri anv f GrAlexandra Samuel Maria Lantin 44—45 / contributors28—31 / Interview 38—39/ Changing Views on Research:with alexandra samuel A Dialogue with Maria LantinCeleste Martin Glen Lowry32—35 / Designing The Vignellis: 40—43 / IlluminatingProcesses in ebook production Vancouver’s neonKendra Stalder & Paige LouieVivian Ziereisen
thnography Systems Lois Klassen , Glen Bobb Lowry i Kyle & Julie & Nic York k Ng / / Im using porting verticality into an creative ethics researc model h
05 e. But On The Convergence and of Ethnography rlow Thu een and Design / David Bogen etw et b Stre rgia Geo over the past two decades, designers of all stripes have begun integrating the lessons of est ethnography into their academic research and professional practices. Under the rubrics of on W “ref lexive,”  “participatory,”  “human-centred,”  “contextual,”  and “transformation tion design,”  the relationship between design studies and ethnographic approaches to cultural oca analysis has been progressively deepened and, at the same time, grown more complex. ite l offs During this same period, key developments in of the major professional design associations t an anthropology, sociology, and studies of material in North America—has recently produced an ry a and technological culture have transformed “Ethnography Primer” as a resource for working alle our understanding of both the context and the professionals. In the introduction to this rt G er A subject matter of ethnographic investigations. document, the authors state: “Designers need ouv These developments include: The critique of to understand the relationship between what anc the colonial history of anthropology and the they produce and the meaning their product he V rise of relational and reflexive approaches to has for others” and “ethnography informs by t ethnography; the emergence of studies of design by revealing a deep understanding ayed contemporary work and expert practice as a of people and how they make sense of their ispl distinctive area of ethnographic inquiry; and world.” The cover image for the “Primer” wa d the rise of Science and Technology Studies (image 2) makes a visual argument for a Eza (STS) as an interdisciplinary field that attends, dialogical relationship between ethnography ota among other things, to the complex relations and design. by K between “human” and “non-human actors.” tion At the same time, the version of ethnography alla Given these developments, there are strong and ethnographic methods outlined inInst grounds for claiming that design studies and the “Primer” are necessarily rather thin and ethnographically-informed studies of culture, utilitarian: Designers need to understand human systems and technical practice have, the complex human and cultural contexts, for some time now, been on a steady path of the meanings, and the implications of their convergence, and indeed, are now running on proposed designs, but—faced with the parallel tracks. (image 1) demands of client specifications, project deadlines, limited budgets, etc.—these It is now commonplace for professional design understandings need to be arrived at in ways associations to advocate for the incorporation that are relatively expedient and tuned to the of ethnographic skills and cultural awareness problems designers are working on directly. As as part of design curricula. So, for example, a practical matter, the recommendation of the the 2009 National Architectural Accrediting “Primer” appears to be that it is worth bringing Board (NAAB) standards for student an ethnographer onto the team at some point, educational outcomes establish criteria for where the role of the designer is to develop a “Critical Thinking and Representation” that brief that focuses the trajectory of ethnographic include the development of skills and applied analysis in ways that advance the project research strategies for “comprehending narrative and have demonstrated relevance to people, place, and context” across a range of the design solution(s). cultures and cultural settings. AIGA—one
Design Studies Games and game structures are a fairly universal feature of human societies. One general thing that can be said about game structures is that they consist minimally in a Ethnographic Studies set of conventions that mark certain actions as part of the game and certain others as peripheral or irrelevant to the state of play. So, for instance, if I am playing chess and I move image 1 / Design studies and My aim in this essay is to demonstrate that this ethnographically-informed my pawn one square forward, that is a move studies of culture have been “thin” version is inadequate for understanding in the game. If, alternatively, I move my coffee on a path of convergence the appropriate place of ethnographic research and now continue to run on cup to my mouth, that is something I am doing in design education as well as the relevance parallel tracks. “while playing chess,” but it is not part of the of cultural analysis to the actual issues and game, at least not directly so. Further, games problems that designers face in their daily have routine ways of beginning and ending, practice. My central argument is that— and within these, typical cycles of play (“moves” whether or not they are academically trained in chess, “innings” in baseball, etc.) Practically in ethnographic research—all designers are speaking, this means that—from a player’s “implicit ethnographers” in the sense that they perspective—a game consists in a kind of routinely employ methods of cultural analysis alternation between periods of intense focus on and documentation in ways that inform the game relevant activities, punctuated by periods design process, often in unseen ways. of more relaxed focus, disengagement, or rest. Rather than conceiving ethnography as a set of And typically these alternations between highlytechnical practice are, in fact, intrinsic to design.” expert methods that are somehow separate from focused and relatively disengaged periods are design, I wish to claim that these methods are well marked and monitored within the overall always already present in the design process. As conduct of the game. ethnographic studies of culture, systems, and a consequence, I want to advocate on behalf of“…there are strong grounds for claiming that Take, for instance, the case of card games, and a fully integrated—or “thick”—conception more specifically the game of bridge. Bridge of the relationship between ethnography and is a game typically played by four people, with design in which the ongoing cultivation of our two people on each team. Team members sit capacities for cultural analysis and ethnographic across from one another on opposite sides of a understanding is a core element in the square table. This physical design eliminates education and practice of all designers. the ability of team members to see each other’s In short, rather than merely being two fields cards, but (interestingly) maximizes their running on parallel tracks, I aim to demonstrate ability to see each other’s bodies and facial that there are strong grounds for claiming that expressions. ethnographic studies of culture, systems, and The play of bridge takes place in cycles, called technical practice are, in fact, intrinsic to design. “hands.” Once a hand begins, it is inappropriate (image 3) for any player to say anything that would allow other players to know what cards they We Are All Ethnographers / are holding or what they are thinking about By saying all designers are “implicit in terms of their strategy of play. And, indeed, ethnographers” I do not mean to imply that players monitor one another to ensure that designers are alone in paying attention to the no one gives away information unfairly, and a cultural context of their work. On the contrary, large part of the game of bridge is about being the argument I am making is that “attending able to figure out what people have in their to cultural context” is a pervasive feature of hands and what strategies they are following any socially organized activity, where what I solely with reference to the bids they make and mean by “cultural context” is the local and the cards they play. immediate conditions of “just what we are up to” in some specific setting. How these local It is in this sense that the mastery of the game analyses and shared understandings are made of bridge consists in a very specific, context- available within the context of their production sensitive form of cultural analysis: You need to is a matter of rather complex, if familiar, understand the rules of the game, but you also ethnographic work. Here, an example will need to understand how those rules play out in perhaps be helpful. specific game situations and specific strategies,
07and you need to be able to analyze the behavior “discourse on practice that is built into practice”of other players, as well as your own, relative to provides an indefinitely large resource foran understanding of both the rules of play and persons—such as ethnographers and otherthe social rules that constitute the larger social novices—who are trying to understand whatand material ecology of the game. the experts are up to in any given cultural group. Indeed, were it not the case thatThe Problem of Other Cultures / these kinds of resources are built into ourFrom this example it can be seen that bridge ordinary structures of social activity it wouldplayers invoke close-order cultural analyses as be impossible for us to accomplish one ofpart of their demonstrated mastery of the game. the central tasks of any culture: To transmitThis notion can be extended to other games local knowledge and cultural practice to a nextand other kinds of socially organized activities generation of members.such that, we are all, in a sense, engaged inpractices of cultural analysis all of the time as Distributed Cognition /participants in the ongoing constitution and My aim in the foregoing has been to point outcoordination of our lives together. The issue for that the so-called “problem of other cultures”designers—and, by extension, for all of us—is is not just an issue for ethnographers, it is anthat each of us possesses different kinds of issue we all face as persons who, at differentexpertise and different areas of cultural mastery, points in our lives, need to learn the language,and while it is interesting to deepen our practices, rules and sensibilities of unfamiliarunderstanding of those areas with which we are cultural groups. We learn these things notalready familiar, our concern is also—perhaps just by asking people to tell us what they arepredominantly—to understand the workings of up to, but by immersing ourselves in coursescultures, settings and ecologies of action that of practical activity—by doing things—and byare, in specific ways, different from our own. engaging with others in constructing reflective accounts and understandings of what we haveThe so-called “problem of other cultures” done. Although ethnographers have builtis perhaps the defining problematic of important specialized knowledge around theseprofessional ethnography. In simplest form, practices of learning, in the end, these methodsit consists in the idea that cultures are represent amplifications and refinementsrelatively bounded systems and that the job of of practical methods of communication andethnography is to assist members of one culture analysis that are part of the rich and complexto interpret and understand the practices and fabric of ordinary social life.their meanings of another culture throughthe application of professional methods of A further issue concerns the fact that notethnographic inquiry and analysis. all members of a specific cultural or expert group share the same perspective, position,However, as Bourdieu has pointed out, cultures knowledge, etc., vis-à-vis the system ofdo not just sit there waiting to be understood, knowledge and practice we, as implicitthey come to the table with ready-made practices image 2 / AIGA’s Ethnography Primer. ethnographers, are seeking to comprehend.for self-representation. What he discusses This cover creates a visual argument The issue here is more than the simple fact between ethnography and design.as the special position of the “informant”—a that different members of a culture or areaperson who is engaged by the ethnographer as of expertise have different versions of whatrepresentative of the larger cultural group—is they are up to. In complex societies andone example of how conditions for cultural organizations, different people occupy differentpermeability and cross-cultural understanding roles or positions that require different sorts ofare built into the local orders of practice that specialized knowledge and practice. Ethnography Designethnographers are seeking to understand in thefirst place.  The notion of expert “informants” In his book Cognition in the Wild, Edwinis, of course, notoriously problematic insofar as Hutchins provides a lengthy account of thedifferent members of a cultural group occupy steering of large ocean vessels (navy ships)different positions and will have different as a highly complex achievement involving An Ethnography Primerversions of what they are up to, the meaning of the coordination of many different peopletheir actions, and so on. The important point with very different kinds of technicalhere, however, is that, in addition to what they expertise.  Critical here is that no oneare doing, people are all the time reflecting on person actually possesses all of the knowledgeand talking about what they are doing, and this it takes to maneuver a ship. Rather, the ship
Design Studies pre-existing resources for learning and cultural understanding that are always already present in the social settings and cultural practices ethnographers are seeking to comprehend. Ethnographic Studies Further, I have argued that the relevance of ethnography for design consists at the very least in the ability of cultural analysis toimage 3 / Ethnographic works as a kind of technological apparatusstudies of culture, systems, draw attention to the depth and complexity of for coordinating and communicating theand technical practice are, socially distributed knowledge and expertise inin fact, a core element in distributed knowledge and expertise of thethe education and practice contemporary organizations, and, one might crew such that they can collectively accomplishof all designers. say, in contemporary social and cultural life. the tasks of steering and navigation. As I was writing this essay, I attended a The situation with a ship is not unlike other gathering organized by the City of Vancouver kinds of human organizations. Corporations, called the “Cities Summit,” where the hospitals, universities, laboratories, municipal mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, told a governments, and the rest, represent complex story about what he described as the “best organizations that bring together persons of investment in open technology” ever made by massively different skill sets and experience his administration. As one of their initiatives around common projects, physical and in open information government, the City of technological environments, and institutional Calgary equipped every snow-plow truck with identities. It is in this sense that any specific GPS and developed an application that would design—whether of a building, an artifact, provide the locational data of all the plows a communication system, or a process— to the city’s public website. Not only did this needs to address the conditions of its own almost eliminate phone calls to the City to embeddedness within this larger context of find out when the streets would be plowed, it culturally distributed knowledge and expertise. changed the way that people organized their days and their traffic patterns in the aftermath Conclusion / of snowstorms. My aim in this brief essay has been to give some initial sense of how cultural analysis is Although not world-changing, it is an excellent embedded in our routine social activities and to example of how a specific technological begin to imagine the implications this holds for intervention can be used to mobilize the ethnography, as well as for our understanding massively distributed intelligence of a city and of the relationship between ethnography and its citizens. It is well worth noting that this design. My central argument has been that “design solution” did not come from the city professional ethnography is, in its own right, a planners or the IT people, it came from the culturally embedded practice that draws upon maintenance department.citations Donald A. Schön, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in  Lucy Suchman, Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem or Human-MachineAction (New York: Basic Books, 1983). Communication (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Graham Douglas Schuler and Aki Namioka (eds.), Participatory Design: Principles Button (ed.), Technology in Working Order: Studies of Work, Interaction, andand Practices (New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993). Technology (London: Routledge, 1993) Donald A. Norman and Stephen W. Draper, User Centered System Design  Michel Callon, “Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation:(New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1986); Terry Winograd and Domestication of the Scallops and the Fisherman of St. Brieuc Bay,” in JohnFernando Flores, Understanding Computers and Cognition (New Jersey: Law (ed.) Power, Action, and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge? (London:Ablex Publishers, 1986); Brenda Laurel (ed.), Design Research: Method and Routledge, 1986), pp. 196-229; Bruno Latour, Science in Action (MiltonPerspectives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003); Bill Moggridge, Designing Keynes: Open University Press, 1987).Interactions (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007).  “2009 Conditions for Accreditation,” National Architectural Accrediting Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt, Contextual Design: Defining Customer- Board, pp. 20-22 (http://www.naab.org/accreditation/2009_Conditions.aspx)Centered Systems (San Francisco: Morgan Kauffman Publishers, 1998).  http://www.aiga.org/ethnography-primer/ Colin Burns, Hilary Cottam, Chris Vanstone, and Jennie  This is an allusion to Geertz’s concept of “thick” descriptions, orWinhall, “Red Paper 02: Transformation Design,” Design Council, ethnographic accounts that attend to the local contextual conditions ofFebruary 2006 (www.designcouncil.cino/wt/RED/tranformation/ human social behavior. See Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures:TransformationDesignFinalDraft.pdf ) Selected Essays (New York: Basic books, 1973). Pierre Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, Richard Nice (trans.)  Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice, p. 18.(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977).  Edwin Hutchins, Cognition in the Wild (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995).  http://www.vancouvercitiessummit.org/
09importing aresearch ethics modelinto creative research / Lois Klassen, Glen Lowry & Julie yorkdeveloping a university research agenda requires significant changes to the structure and specializationof an Art and Design institution; it also involves a radical transformation to the “art school” culture andoverall mandate. When Emily Carr set out to establish a Research Ethics Board (REB) in 2006, it wasresponding to a condition of eligibility for funding from the tri-council of federal research agencies—theSocial Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of HealthResearch (CIHR), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Morethan this, the development of an in-house REB has demonstrated how determined this eighty-seven year oldinstitution has been at prioritizing a top-f light “research enterprise.” In a very short time, Emily Carr has had the practice and the exact meaning or definitionenviable distinction of receiving research of human participant research. Paintingfunding from each of SSHRC, CIHR, and or photographing a portrait, creating anNSERC. This has meant that the Emily Carr animation of harm reduction for drug useREB has had to work quickly and effectively and addiction, or designing an open sourceto develop policies and approaches that website to share information from an NGO—are consistent with Emily Carr’s relatively all necessarily involve human subjects, butunique multi-disciplinary, practice-driven and do they require REB review and approval?creativity-focused research culture. As a result, There is no simple answer to this question.a key facet of the quasi-independent Emily The appropriate response has to do with theCarr REB office has involved educating and designation of “research” and the type ofsupporting a new research culture. As faculty knowledge the project hopes to produce. Whilemembers have come to secure tri-council creative practitioners have learned to adoptfunding with increasing frequency, they often the language of research and methodology tofind themselves in the position of rethinking or describe their own practice, the terminologyrevising creative practice to fit the exigencies may actually cause as much confusion as notof scholarly endeavour. Thus, the Emily Carr when it comes to the definition of humanREB is tasked with building a structure for subject research and the ethical responsibilitiesresearchers and instructors that supports involved for academics.emergent as well as established participant Published in December of 2010, the secondresearch projects. The following principles edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement:have so far guided the work of the Emily Ethical Conduct for Research Involving HumansCarr REB: “At the University, the purpose of (TCPS2) emphasizes a broad approachethics review of research involving human to research ethics that articulates uniqueparticipants is guided by three principles: opportunities for practitioners and researchersthe protection of research participants, the in creative disciplines. Integrating theseprotection of the Emily Carr of Art + Design guidelines into Emily Carr’s research policiescommunity, and the education of those and practices has produced a vital context forinvolved in research.” the discussion and exploration of researchWithin the context of the art and design ethics, across disciplines and faculties atuniversity, these three principles have come to the university. It could be argued that thistake on something of a specialized meaning, productive dialogue results in part from theparticularly around questions of creative dialogic nature of the TCPS2. Distinct from
its 1998 predecessor, the TCPS2 attempts to minimal risk to their participants. Both theemphasize the importance of flexibility and consolidated principles and the proportionateon-going review in a newly consolidated set approach require that the REB processes haveof core principles and in its insistence on on-going discussions with researchers andthe “proportionate approach to research ethics those who teach research methodologies. Thatreview.” By consolidating the eight core communication needs to reach beyond regularprinciples of TCPS1 into three comprehensive reports and formal reviews.statements–namely, the respect for persons, In keeping with this spirit of dialogue, the Emilya concern for welfare, and the principle of Carr REB has been working with the differentjustice—TCPS2 clearly outlines approaches faculties and faculty members to help articulateto the ethical treatment of participants during the unique requirements of creative practiceresearch that are dynamic and adaptable. research involving the participation of others.The revised guidelines are less dependent on This involves an on-going consideration ofthe categories and classifications that have the environment of creative research and keybeen the used to guide research practices and questions about ethics in participant research.terminology in the past. “Respect for vulnerable We are invited to think about and debate how thepersons,” for instance is no longer a unique Emily Carr REB process might be integrated intoprincipal but is now expected to be produced media practices like film, video, photography—as a result of all three core principles. In other areas of research and production with well-words, the TCPS2 appears to recognize the developed professional standards and practicesfluidity of power relations and the fact that all of consent and permission, that may or may notpersons hold vulnerabilities; it suggests that coincide with other academic standards.concern for the welfare of others requires thatresearchers carefully assess the unique needs of Industry standards and professional practiceparticipants within the context of their research conventions exist to guide and sometimesgoals and conditions. The inclusion of people govern how consent is negotiated in disciplinesin the research enterprise, regardless of their like filmmaking, journalism, photography,social vulnerabilities or institutional status—in community art, and others. Emily Carr, like mostsuch a way demonstrating the researchers’ art and design universities, offers professionalrecognition that research and knowledge can practice courses and public projects coursesflow across formal academic boundaries,— that teach undergraduate students to formulatewould, in the spirit of TCPS2, be taken as a release documents that reflect various levelsmatter of social justice. of involvement with participants. During the development of the Emily Carr REB, creativeSimilarly, the TCPS2 emphasizes a “propor- producers amongst the faculty have activelytionate approach to REB review.” Proportionate questioned the implications of integratingreview suggests that REBs need to be REB scrutiny into these varied practices. Theresponsive to the conditions in which they debates swirl around central questions ofoperate, as well as responsive to the balance concern in research and creative projects: Do allof harm and benefit proposed in the research creative projects that involve people need to beunder review. A proportionate approach means reviewed by Emily Carr REB? Are art projectsthat the REB will provide more scrutiny to research projects or not? Do all members ofprojects that propose a greater level of potential the community participate in research just byrisk than those which present no greater than definition of there involvement in the university?
11 citations  Address by Dr. David Bogen to the all university“The Emily Carr REB has come to understand meeting on January 5, 2012 at Emily Carr.research as professional practice that intends  Emily Carr Research Ethics Board,to extend or build on existing knowledge…” recommendations for amendment “Policy 5.1.2 Research Involving Humans Procedure”, pending publication, 2011To this end, the Emily Carr REB has come to expected to uphold Respect for Persons,  Panel on Researchunderstand research as professional practice Concern for Welfare, and Justice as guiding Ethics, “Highlights of TCPS2”, PDF, http://that intends to extend or build on existing principles in their work. Creative practitioners www.pre.ethics.gc.ca/knowledge through a disciplined inquiry or are also bound by the ethical conventions eng/policy-politique/systematic investigation, and through the and expectations of their cultural sector. This initiatives/tcps2-eptc2/dissemination of findings. Members of the means that they are expected to conform to Default/ accessed January 16, 2012.Emily Carr REB understand the significant the standards of their discipline, particularlyoverlap between academic research and what concerning how they achieve informed consent  The original 1998is alternatively referred to as creative practice and permission from their participants, edition of the TCPS listedand artistic inquiry. Not all artworks involving subjects, or collaborators. the following eight core principles: “respect forhuman subjects require REB approval. In human dignity”; “respect This is an area of dynamic debate withinArticle 2.6 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: for free and informed Emily Carr, as it is at other arts-based researchEthical Conduct for Research Involving Human consent”; “respect for institutions and universities across the vulnerable persons”;Subjects (TCPS2) a distinction between creative country. The Emily Carr REB in tandem with “respect for privacypractice and research is clearly articulated. and confidentiality”; faculty and administration looks forward “respect for justice and“Creative practice activities in and of themselves, do to participating in discussions with our inclusiveness”; “balancing not require REB review. However, research that counterparts in other universities and the harms and benefits”; employs creative practice to obtain responses from Tri-council. These discussions are particularly “minimizing harm”; and participants that will be analyzed to answer a useful to understand the implications of “maximizing benefit”. research question is subject to REB review.”  working with review models and standards that resources have developed in research settings that bear The TCPS2 application of this guideline Social Sciences and little resemblance to environment of creative Humanities Research expands on the designation of creative inquiry that has developed here. To help enrich Ethics Special Working practice activities. the debate, and to maintain a vibrant research Committee (SSHWC): A“Creative practice is a process through which an culture across all disciplines at Emily Carr, it Working Committee of The Interagency Advisory artist makes or interprets a work or works of is important for creative practitioners who Panel on Research arts. It may also include a study of the process of undertake work involving human subjects to Ethics (PRE), “Research how a work of art is generated. Creative practice self-identify their research aspirations and Involving Creative activities do not require REB review, but they to interrogate the boundaries between their Practices: A Chapter for Inclusion in the TCPS,” should be governed by ethical practices established creative practices and the knowledge practices 2008. within the cultural sector.”  of other conventional modes of academic pursuit. Recognizing that the imported REB Canadian Institutes While the creative practice leading to the of Health Research, model is dependent upon a responsive and production of art works is significantly Natural Sciences and dialogic approach, the Emily Carr REB has so Engineering Research different from other forms of academic far been informed by the discussions amongst Council of Canada, Social research, when it is undertaken under the peer creative practitioners and researchers Sciences and Humanities auspices of the university, artists, designers, Research Council of within the Emily Carr community. The Emily writers, and media makers are expected to Canada. Tri-council Policy Carr REB is enthusiastic about its role in Statement: Ethical Conduct adhere to the three core principles of TCPS2. guiding and supporting this debate. for Research Involving Creative practitioners of art-based research, Humans, December 2010. like others working in the university, are
Using verticality / Bobbi kyle & Nick Ng this article explores and elucidates the problems and processes involved in conceptualizing interior architecture for single-room micro-dwellings in urban Vancouver as part of the Ninety Square Foot Space project at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Solutions were developed based off of existing, client-built nine by ten foot rental spaces in downtown Vancouver. We focused our efforts on problem definition and re- framing, and identified the multiple stakeholders involved and their differing interests, in order to discern a feasible intersection within which to design. The intent of this project was to reconcile the issue of adding the basic furniture required for practical living (bed, couch, desk/table) while retaining ninety square feet of usable space. The resulting prototype seeks to offer a design solution that may be utilized in future rental developments as a means of increasing the number of affordable, small-space living environments in urban centres. Introduction / system through the use of discovery research. Urban design, space planning interior architecture, small living space habitat, modular design, hybrid furniture micro-living, 90 square foot living space vertical design Vancouver is home to a wide variety of These primary interest groups can be identified inhabitants including locals, tourists, students, as follows: the property owner (client), tenants business people, and working class people. (users), and contractors/maintainers (secondary The living spaces available in the downtown users). (image 1) core often remain inaccessible to students and Preliminary research revealed that each interest working class people due to the economics of group possesses its own unique set of problems the area. Our client, Instafund, is targeting this and needs; as Richard Buchanan states, the gap in partnership with Emily Carr students to “designer’s task is to identify those conditions retrofit existing, single-room accommodations precisely and then calculate a solution.” The with furniture installations that will better use challenge involved in formulating a solution these spaces to meet the needs of lower-to- for these distinct groups is that the interests middle income inhabitants. of each do not entirely correspond. Through Third-year design students working in teams our research however, we were able to identify of three were challenged to develop full- some of the issues that were common to each scale prototypes of built-in (non-removable) group. These commonalities included the furniture or architecture. The resulting design square footage of the spaces, the feasibility and had to meet the needs of not only the client, usability for all parties involved, the efficiency but also the intended target user. If successful of the space and materials used, and the cost for in the eyes of the client, the system may be all parties. implemented in two existing locations owned by the client, thereby refitting a total of 150 Design constraints provided / one-room tenancy facilities with the newly There were several constraints placed on redesigned furniture or architecture. our design team by the client during project initiation. These constraints included that Defining the problem / the design: As these redesigned spaces must fit within Could not exceed a $1000 fixed budget the rental system in place, our team adopted Susan Squires’ concept of “uncover[ing] and Must be configurable for different rooms understand[ing] the cultural system that frames Should be able to be produced in multiples human action to provide direction for creating” our proposed solution. This meant identifying Needs to leave space for a mini-fridge and a and understanding the multiple stakeholders bed (with the mattress being provided by (or different interest groups) involved in the the tenant)
13 Will ideally increase the length of tenant stay disorganized and cluttered, despite our best efforts. Many furniture items introduced into Should discourage multiple occupancy (the the spaces were discarded or left behind forspaces are intended for single occupancy only) the landlord or site management to dispose of Should discourage conventional cooking at the end of the tenancy. We also noted that(space is not zoned for stoves or hot plates) vertical space was never really used in any creative or meaningful way, with most space Materials and manufacturing should remain existing above eye level remaining unused andas sustainable as possible, thus excluding MDF ignored. We considered this neglected spacecomposite wood to be valuable real estate in terms of space planning.Research and methodology /Target user research Inspirational and existing product researchThe research and discovery conducted by our We considered a plethora of influences duringteam was completed in several different phases. the ideation phase of our development toWe were provided with a set of interests and inspire our design. Some of these sourcesconstraints from the vantage point of the client, included existing small-space living solutionsbut we lacked insight about the situation, such as yacht/boat cabins, recreational vehicles,needs and desires of the target users (tenants). train cabins, submarine facilities, and bus interiors. These examples of space managementTo gather this data we employed the following proved helpful, but did not lend well to a senseresearch steps and methods: of permanence in the space. Conducted a site visit to observe living Influence was also drawn by looking at urbansituations centres in other countries such as New York Photo documented the space and its and Hong Kong for existing examples ofsurroundings compact living. Most examples found possessed a considerably larger budget than what was Established user profile and target audience currently allotted, and therefore proved non-information viable on a limited budget. Other examples Conducted a tenant survey to gather opinions of small-space furniture included hybridized furniture, which strives to combine articles Utilized a co-creation kit (a creative kit such as a couch and bed.that enables the user to answer simple butinsightful questions in a tacit and visual way) Constructed a scale replica of the ninetysquare foot problem-space to examine therelevant issues in context CLIENT image 1 / Stakeholders and their unique set of needs Conducted “day-in-the-life” walk-through budget and limitations are identifiedstudies to glean information about how space & viability through discovery research.the space is moved through and used on a implementationdaily basis return on investment Established a needs vs. wants frameworkanalysis Constructed scale mock-ups of the objects commonthat must exist within the space (bed, fridge, shelter groundetc.) in order to account for their presence in modularity basic needsthe space construction safety/security ease of installImportant observations made during entertainment maintenancethe discovery process began with the comfortrealization that when conventionally sized SECONDARYfurniture is brought into the space, it often USER USERcreates additional problems rather thanviable solutions. The rooms began to look
vehicles, train cabins, submarine facilities, and bus interiors.”“We considered a plethora of influences during the ideationphase of our development…yacht /boat cabins, recreational Most of these solutions contained “Murphy style” beds (beds that lie flat against—and as to reduce the amount of effort needed to configure the space fold out from—flat surfaces and walls). These Allow space for alternate cooking and food hybrid solutions are attractive and work preparation methods well, but still carry the problem of requiring a determinate amount of free floor space in Reduce or control the mattress size to a which to fold the unit out. In this instance, the long twin space allotted was too small to accommodate these solutions, and would require repetitive To create a comfortable and inviting living movement of objects to operate. They also space require repetitive configuration of several different components by the user in order to The resulting approach and concept / be used in a practical way. To adhere to our now streamlined framework, our group attempted to empathize with each of Our design goals and approach / the three main interest groups. This allowed us Since, as noted by Buchanan, “constraints can to make further decisions about material types, best be visualized in terms of three overlapping costs, construction, modularity and aesthetic criteria for successful ideas: [feasibility, qualities. By identifying with and assuming viability, and desirability],” we narrowed our these three roles, our design team was able to design criteria even further in order to conceive avoid imparting too much of our own social, of a feasible, viable and desirable solution. cultural and aesthetic preferences. Following user and existing-product research, Our final concept iteration includes a platform our team identified a new set of refined design surface directly above an extra-long twin- goals in addition to those provided by the client sized mattress and bed frame. The goal of that we felt would strongly address the problem this platform is to permit the bed to nest sets we prioritized. These new, internally underneath when not in use, to enable the generated goals were as follows: bed to be wheeled out half way and locked in Find a way to retain the ninety square feet place to convert into a couch or lounge, and to of space allow the bed to be pulled out all the way from underneath the platform for sleeping. (image 2) Use the vertical space more efficiently A combination counter/desk surface is placed Meet the users’ basic needs and add on the platform above the bed, overlooking the amenities and comforts wherever possible rest of the space, to serve as a sitting, eating or working space. (image 3) Make the design emotionally durable (foster an emotional attachment and give a sense of This platform elevation enables us to solve permanence rather than disposability) several problems at once: Make most of the elements static in order It provides a sitting, sleeping, eating, studying to reduce the feeling of transience as well and working space together in one unit image 2 / This flexible system allows for the bed component to be pulled out from underneath the platform to serve as either seating space or for sleeping.
15 It downsizes at once the main living components to an acceptable scale for smaller spaces It accommodates the largest piece of furniture required in the space without reducing the square footage It effectively uses verticality, and needs only a small stepping stool for access It creates additional storage nested along the sides of the platform, thereby reducing the need for additional furniture It functions as interior architecture rather than removable furniture Its solidity and attached relationship to the space gives it a clear sense of permanence It is an enduring object that can be customized by simple colour and accessory choices or modifications The main components cannot be lost or stolen It can be constructed on site with locally sourced materials, and repaired and maintained as needed Outcomes / Undeniably, the greatest hurdle encountered image 3 / Using verticality in small living spaces conserves space while reducing the need for additional furniture. during our design process was the mediation of different interests. Traversing these any specialized training. The floor space has differences required careful consideration and been effectively cleared for users to move compromise throughout the problem-solving through comfortably, leaving ample room for references process. During this time we drew much additional amenities. Most importantly, the Squires, Susan. “Design inspiration from Donald Schön: space successfully fosters a greater sense Research.” Design Studies: A Reader. Eds. Hazel Clark of emotional engagement and permanence.“Designing is a social process. In every building and David Brody. New Furthermore, we hope that our strategy can York: Berg, 2009. 115-120. project, there are many different kinds of be used in future housing developments to Print. participants. [these individuals] pursue different increase the number of affordable, micro-living interests, see things in different ways, and even Buchanan, Richard. environments in other urban centres. speak different languages. [Any] theory of design “Wicked Problems in worth its salt must somehow take into account all Acknowledgments Design Thinking.” Design Studies: A Reader. Eds. of these tensions.” We would like to thank Karla Tull-Esterbrook, Hazel Clark and David our third teammate for being an insightful Brody. New York: Berg, We feel confident that the final prototype and invaluable partner in this project. We 2009. 96-102. Print. takes into account these tensions as identified also wish to thank the client, our investors during the design discovery process. Although Schön, Donald. and our design instructor, Christian Blyt, for “Designing: Rules, Types the concept could be pushed further (given his expertise and support in developing the and Worlds.” Design more time or a larger budget), we feel that the concept. We greatly appreciate the opportunity Studies: A Reader. Eds. solution is certainly “worth its salt.” Hazel Clark and David to design for such a dynamic problem space. Brody. New York: Berg, In conclusion, our prototype was developed We would also like to extend thanks to the 2009. 110-114. Print. with less than five hundred dollars worth University’s staff and shop technicians for of locally-sourced materials. The design is aiding and facilitating our design process, as configured for simple on-site construction well as our classmates for providing and can be reproduced by contractors without valuable feedback.
ealth & ell being Jonat han Jessica Aitken Carson / Yout / The h in transition Lions Gate Hosp ital F oyer ProjHos ect pita l be ds i na train ing room at th e Li ons Gat eH osp ital.
17Introduction / Health Design Labthe health design lab (hdl) is a vibrant research cluster at Emily Carr. It is a virtual lab, in thesense that no dedicated research facilities are involved. Rather, it is an intellectual “home” for designfaculty and students engaged in applied research projects in the general area of healthcare. Of course,this is a broad area of practice that spans all the design streams; it started at least 15 years ago with along-term collaboration on assistive devices with the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre.At present, from Industrial Design we see work involves the active participation ofprojects from a wood product design course local clinicians and other caregivers, of localthat include an elegant birthing stool for use hospitals and other care facilities, and ofin a delivery room, as well as a thesis project local companies and other research partners.of an intelligent chair for a dementia unit that Through this model, “design thinking” isrecognizes the occupant and plays a cloud based introduced to a system that is in need ofculturally appropriate play list. innovation, while students learn to develop their design skills in real-world situations.Communication designers are working on thedesign of a patient portal for BC Children’s The work at the Health Design Lab is anHospital, and on an iPad-based application example of design-based research, andwith social media components that allow young research-based design. Researchers approachpatients with chronic illnesses to manage their complex problems with a broad view thatdiseases more effectively. Interaction designers attempts to capture complexity, to understandare interested in data visualization for the previous approaches, and to linearize problemsoutputs of numerical simulations of emergency where possible. The work always involvesroom queuing, and on the interaction tools co-design with those intended to benefitneeded by nurses during shift change on a busy from the outcomes, and those intended toward. Much of the work has an architectural implement the solutions. It takes an inclusiveelement. For example a recent research view of product/process life cycle, consideringquestion involved the entrance foyer of Lions manufacturability, cost, training andGate hospital; how could it be re-designed maintenance, and sustainability issues.to incorporate the changing needs of the As with any research, process is documentedpatient and family population, and how could and reported to ensure others can benefitstakeholders be engaged in that re-design. from results.While the work is varied, some central themes Certainly, “design thinking” will not solveare clear. First, faculty and student research is all problems in the health care system. Buthighly applied. Design solutions are sought for equally certainly, this approach and this vibrantproblems that are important to the healthcare research cluster in particular, is contributingsector, which can lead to improved patient practical solutions that have real value inoutcomes, and where practical implementation terms of patient outcomes and other importantis possible in the near term. Second, the improvements.work is highly collaborative. Almost all the / Rob Inkster