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The Application of the Firma Model


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Discover how the Firma Model by Jason Hobbs and Terence Fenn has been applied to social design challenges, it's use in education, for the self reflection of the designer and as a basis for a taxonomy of design tools and techniques. Presented at the Spring UXSF in Tokyo, Japan 2015 hosted by Sociomedia.

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The Application of the Firma Model

  1. 1. The application of the Firma Model Sociomedia UXSF 2015 Summer by J Hobbs
  2. 2. Hi. Again.
  3. 3. Hi. Again. Recap. Why the need for the Firma Model?
  4. 4. A humanistic approach to design should place improving people’s lives, individually and collectively, at the heart of its ambition. Design also requires that these solutions are accountable and sustainable.
  5. 5. A humanistic approach however does not mean that we can bias our research focus towards users at the expense of understanding complex problems in their totality.
  6. 6. Sustainability and accountability require that we consider all players in the problem-ecology such that we may place the well-being of the system centre stage. That the ultimate solution is humanistic is just one of the challenges we face as designers.
  9. 9. Case study
  10. 10. Designing with and for small- scale urban farmers in Soweto
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Michael Denne :
  13. 13. Enabling access to information
  14. 14. Hassenzahl’s Three Level Hierarchy of Needs
  15. 15. Methodology: Contextmapping (co-design)
  16. 16. Generative tools
  17. 17. Generative tools: Participants make and then reflect
  18. 18. Data Collected and coded
  19. 19. History • Apartheid • Poor communities • Lack of resources, infrastructure and access to land
  20. 20. Economy • Farming is regarded as a good career • Provide a good product • Compete with commercial farmers • Struggle to secure capital • Cant access price information • Farming business needs to improve • Contribute to the local economy
  21. 21. Culture • Farming is a common heritage • Strong oral tradition • Religious • African • Paternal • Culture of entitlement • Urban
  22. 22. Politics • Political favoritism • Government infighting effects service • Policy inconsistencies • Lack solidarity • JHB City has food plan- not effective in execution
  23. 23. Society • Farmers are perceived as not of value • Farming is not see as a career • (unless you are rich) • Community is grateful for produce • Security issues: theft and vandalism
  24. 24. Physical environment • Natural threats • Water accessibility issues • Waste and litter • Farming improves the environment • Difficult to access markets due to poor transport • Poor local amenities
  25. 25. Technological environment • Online banking • Love google • Olyx, Facebook, Whatapp, etc • Regard tech as a sign of progress • Find content often hard to understand • Farmers use the internet frequently • Hate browsing- cost to much in data
  26. 26. Legacy • Farmers had previous careers • Different ambitions • No formal jobs available • Desperation • Natural curiosity led them to farming • Knowledge gaps
  27. 27. Organisation • Socially connected to local community • Self organised • Farmers Forum • Struggle to organise themselves effectively • Clash with poor city organisation
  28. 28. Marketplace • Family consumption • Walk-ins • Schools, Nursery Schools, Hospitals • Spaza shops • Erratic consumers • Farmers have poor marketing skills • Threats: Commercial wholesalers, cheap unhealthy food
  29. 29. Users - Soweto Farmers • Formally educated • Family providers • Want sustainable farming • Relate well to other farmers • Aspire to be better farmers • Enjoy learning • Very committed to farming
  30. 30. The resulting strategy and solution remain contextually relevant
  31. 31. Further applications
  32. 32. The model for research
  33. 33. The model for research Ways to use the model: • Planning research activities • A tool for multi-stakeholder engagement workshops • Data mapping, tagging and categorization (affinity modeling) • Conducting research GAP analysis
  34. 34. The model for strategy
  35. 35. The model for strategy Ways to use the model: • For guiding and enriching ideation through, for example, facilitated co-design workshops • The validation of ideas as prototypes in testing under conditions that are reflective of the problem-ecology
  36. 36. The model for critique
  37. 37. The model for critique Ways to use the model: • It may also be applied in the critique of design work that has been conducted by other designers or organisations. • To apply across various design projects where a consistent model is required (for example, in a design competition spanning multiple topics), • Or in comparing work dealing with a single topic perhaps from radically disparate contexts (for example, three different design solutions for public transport, one from New York, one from Lagos and one from Warsaw).
  38. 38. Design tools mapping
  39. 39. It seemed to us that the logical next step for the development of the model was to identify design methods, techniques and tools that could be used during research, strategy and critique within the areas of concern.
  40. 40. Logical, yes. Easy, no.
  41. 41. IT’S A MESS!
  42. 42. IT’S A MESS!
  43. 43. 1. There are literally hundreds of techniques 2. Many techniques are the same but go by different names 3. Many techniques offer just minor variations on one another 4. Some techniques are just variations in application 5. Some techniques aren’t techniques at all: they’re methods or approaches 6. Sometimes names are just descriptors of groups beneath
  44. 44. In short, before we could begin we needed to do some IA
  45. 45. Scope: For the first iteration we would only include design techniques. We will enrich the index later with techniques from business, marketing, etc.
  46. 46. Sources: Again, we limited our references to 6 sources with the intention of enriching and testing ourselves later.
  47. 47. Sources
  48. 48. Sources
  49. 49. The index (1) Techniques, methods, approaches for the areas of concern across: 1. Research 2. Strategy 3. Critique
  50. 50. The index (2) Research, strategy and critique are too broad for the design process so we further mapped techniques (etc.) into a generic HCD design process DISCOVERY STRATEGY IDEATION TESTING PROTOTYPE
  51. 51. The index (3) A taxonomy, labeling and a lot of cleaning up!
  52. 52. The index 3: A taxonomy, labeling and a lot of cleaning up!
  53. 53. The index 3: A taxonomy, labeling and a lot of cleaning up!
  54. 54. The index 3: A taxonomy, labeling and a lot of cleaning up!
  55. 55. Working with students
  56. 56. 4th year digital design students are required to conceptualise a project from problem identification through to finished design solution.
  57. 57. Our first step in the process is to have them explore a problem of their choice through the use of the Firma Model for research.
  58. 58. Braamfontein use rs lega cy mark et organi sation economics politics history cultureandsociety unemployment Urbanpoor previous am bitions desperation curiosity Centralpoint educated Youngpopulation Pro-regenerationYouth aspire to work in Braam Shift in identity Art & design appreciation Cultural Hub Civic engagement Voyeuristic Hedonic Theft & vandalism Diversity Diversity Fashion brands Info overload Public agency Inclusive Socialdivide lack historical back- ground Social disparities Informal traders Established Consistantconsumer patterns Saturated Weekend go-ers interconnected Good communication Meet-ups self- organised Tech-savvy Development Business savvy Improvedcity management Univesities needmoreaccessto localmarkets no form al jobs physicalenvironment technologicalenvironment mass- urbanisation poverty Pvt owned buildings waste and pollution Nelson Mandela Bridge econom ically divided society servicedelivery issues Live& work climate changeCentral Renewed spacesBeautificationCultural ArcHeritage Sites Visual information Live music Dancing Perform ance art Efficient transport system Plethora of signage use the internet frequently own at least 1 mobile phone Popularity of internet cafes find most of their information via the net Facebook M xit IoT W earables M usic WhatsApp Urban regeneration characterised by the increased accessibility to the net range of phones vary from smart to dumbregard technology as a sign of progress Uber online banking SMSing natural threatsclose to informal markets Theatre Parks Art Meets global standards Meets global place standards RooftopsNightlifeTrafficRea Vaya Bicycles Focuson economic viability land distribution eduction gaps job creationSocial capital Creation of new m arkets Informal traders competing with pvt sector fast-paced Niche-stores New Money “World classcity” Urban poorEntrepenurialInvestments Exclusivity Young workforce Localvs international farmerslack solidalitary politicsof self-interest Pvt marketself-interest dealing with political favoritism dealingwithpoliticalaffiliations dealing with infighting in Governm ent poorpolicycontinuance Rhythm Pragmaticsociety Apartheid UrbanPoor Slumlords Colonial Oldmoney Disseminated Lackof education Buildings Lackof infrastructure Lackof interest Lackof resources Socialdisparities Snap Scan QR codes Device crazy! Technology Precinct WiFi Tasmin Jade Donaldson, UJ Dept of MultiMedia
  59. 59. kabelo mokhari, UJ Dept of MultiMedia
  60. 60. Anecia Pienaar, UJ Dept of MultiMedia
  61. 61. Tasmin Jade Donaldson, UJ Dept of MultiMedia
  62. 62. Self reflection
  63. 63. Thank you