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Critical Design :: Is it just designers doing ethnography or does it offer something more for Interaction Design?


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This panel will explore whether Critical Design offers new insight as a method for articulating future interactions. Will its promise deliver or are Interaction Designers destined to experience the same feeling of disappointment that HCI practitioners felt after the novelty of Ethnography began to fade? Will the design fictions of Critical Design mature into design facts or will the demand to solve problems short circuit the method? Indeed, is problem solving per se an out-moded way of design thinking in the context of today’s multi-layered hybrid society?

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Critical Design :: Is it just designers doing ethnography or does it offer something more for Interaction Design?

  1. 1. Critical Design :: Is it justdesigners doing ethnographyor does it offer somethingmore for Interaction Design?Michael SmythChris SpeedMartin Brynskov
  2. 2. Requirements generation has astrong tradition within HCI
  3. 3. A rational, engineering focussedapproach to problem solving andrefinement
  4. 4. Interaction Design takes a more‘designerly’ approach andconsiders both the problem andsolution in a more fluid andintertwined manner
  5. 5. One method favoured by InteractionDesigners is ethnography Observation that that aims to provide insight into work, culture and behavioural practices
  6. 6. What happens when we need toextend the horizon to identifyemergent themes? What do you do when there is nothing to observe?
  7. 7. Design as a catalyst orprovocation for thought
  8. 8. Viewing the world through different eyesthereby questioning preconceptions
  9. 9. Archigram’s Walking City
  10. 10. Superstudio
  11. 11. Critical Design acts as a catalyst orprovocation for thought (AnthonyDunne, 1999)
  12. 12. Critical Design attempts tochallenge our assumptions andpreconceptions about the role thatproducts and services play ineveryday life
  13. 13. NonObject, Branko Lukic Rawphisticated cell phone - a deliberately unfinished finish makes us question our desire for perfection in our lives and objects
  14. 14. Tarati Touchless - Removal of thephysical barrier, letting us reach outand touch someone
  15. 15. CUn5 Superpractical Cell Phone -pure functionality taken to a higherlevel
  16. 16. How do we extend the requirementshorizon beyond existing systems inorder to identify emerging themeswithin a field?How do we begin to design concepts whenwe don’t know what the design space willlook like, let alone who the userpopulation will be?
  17. 17. Preckam Most :: Crossing the Bridge,Interaction Design Workshop,Magdalena Festival, Slovenia (2009)
  18. 18. An installation that sought to slowdown people’s journeys, to provide amoment for contemplation orreflection, or simply an opportunityto admire a view of the city
  19. 19. Crossing the bridge became adifferent experience
  20. 20. The act of taking photographsfacilitated chance meetings ....
  21. 21. .... exchanged glances that madeeveryday routines a little morememorable and special.
  22. 22. The Old Bridge was re-appropriatedas a gallery, people who had takenphotographs returned to walk thebridge and admire the work of theirfellow citizens of Maribor
  23. 23. For a few days the experience of thejourney was changed, crossing thebridge was different, somehow morejoyful
  24. 24. Fragments of Place :: The EdinburghFestival Fringe (2008)
  25. 25. An experimental work to explore the‘sense of place’ experienced bypeople engaged in interaction with apublic installation
  26. 26. Images and tags uploaded via MMSusing a short code
  27. 27. Interaction Barriers :: motivation &comprehension
  28. 28. Interactive experience is about morethan the push of a button or themovement of a finger How do we deal with a situated experience that increasingly resides at the boundary space where physical and conceptual worlds merge?
  29. 29. Michael SmythCentre for Interaction DesignEdinburgh Napier