design research


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  • Observation Participant observation (unobtrusive). Contextual/ immerse in flow of everyday life. Engage in same activity and observe when engagement is not possible. For design research: n eeds to have some structure to ensure useful info is collected. To avoid just describing what your participants are doing make specific headings on a checklist relating to what you are aiming to evaluate e.g. engagement, inter-generational social interaction to focus your attention. Other relevant techniques: shadowing (obtrusive).
  • Representing relations of people in space on a map after observing people’s behaviour in real world situations like a public square or a classroom; the maps show hierarchies and connections between people.
  • design research

    1. 1. Design Research Methods <ul><li>Design research methods are themselves “products” that need to be designed for different audiences, purposes and contexts – it really does all depend on what you want to do </li></ul><ul><li>(Eric Dishman: “Designing for the new old” in Brenda Laurel’s “Design Research: Methods and Perspectives) </li></ul>
    2. 2. The paradox of design research <ul><li>Both empirical and imaginative: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must go beyond what is visible… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yet grounded in the context of use… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From insight to performance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnographic field methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Informance”: performance, design improvisation for new kind of products or completely unknown users …(Bonnie Johnson in Design Research ) </li></ul></ul>
    3. 5. Observation techniques <ul><li>Originally from anthropology… </li></ul><ul><li>Different forms of participant observation </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual: immersing in the flow of everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>Guided: shadowing, following people and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging in an activity to observe when engagement is not possible </li></ul><ul><li>Different for design (time, resources, objectives) </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to have focus/ structure to collect useful information for a design (e.g. observing social interactions, use of objects, behaviours, use of space - these can be headings, representing research questions) </li></ul>
    4. 6. Documenting observations <ul><li>Photographs, video recording </li></ul><ul><li>Still image diaries </li></ul><ul><li>Notes on an observation sheet (1 per person or group) </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping, sketches, of places and people </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Illustrating particular points of interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time-based recordings: observing change or processes taking place over time </li></ul></ul>
    5. 7. How does observation inform design? <ul><li>What you make it out is crucial: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking for patterns or exceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation >interpretation > inspiration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating observations to a team </li></ul></ul>
    6. 8. Abstracting observations <ul><li>Susani, M. (2002). Mapping communication. Flow . Amsterdam, Doors of Perception. 2004: Conference report. </li></ul>Word of mouth Intimate Daisy The fish Butterfly
    7. 9. Communicating observations <ul><li>Telling stories… </li></ul><ul><li>… documentaries </li></ul><ul><li>… photo strips/ diaries </li></ul><ul><li>subjective </li></ul><ul><li>personal </li></ul><ul><li>details of everyday </li></ul><ul><li>context-specific </li></ul>
    8. 10. VIDEO: In the land of the deaf – Nicolas Philibert, France, 1992 <ul><li>Two situations: deaf kids learning sign language and deaf adults learning sign language </li></ul><ul><li>How are these two stories told? In what ways are they different? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the filmmaker try to illustrate? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of observations can we make out of this? </li></ul>
    9. 11. VIDEO: Lift – Marc Isaacs, United Kindom, 2001 <ul><li>The filmmaker spends a few weeks in the lift of a London apartment block </li></ul><ul><li>In what way is the observation study different from the previous film? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the film maker trying to achieve and how? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of detailed observations can we make out of this? </li></ul>
    10. 12. Observation <……………..> Intervention
    11. 13. Being There? <ul><li>When do you need to be a hidden shadow and when do you need to engage with people? </li></ul>
    12. 14. Mapping observations - previous experience? <ul><li>Different ways of representing space, movement and changes in time </li></ul><ul><li>Time-based sampling to get a sense of change </li></ul><ul><li>Use of maps as a creative process </li></ul>
    13. 15. Practice it <ul><li>Choose a site of production (one already visited, or which you know) and plan a research visit: </li></ul><ul><li>1) What would be some interesting questions/points to investigate? </li></ul><ul><li>2) Which kind of observation would be appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>3) Plan a script to capture specific activities (e.g. time-based filming, interview in situation, still photo diary) </li></ul><ul><li>4) Think of different questions you would like to ask people - try them out with others </li></ul>
    14. 16. Observation + time-based mapping <ul><li>45 mins - choose a production process (workshop in Design or coffee making) </li></ul><ul><li>Identify a role: ‘fly on the wall’ or active participant </li></ul><ul><li>Time based maps: one for 10 minutes of activity, two for 5 minutes and two for a minute of activity </li></ul><ul><li>Identify ‘characters’ based on their role in the process and typical (or unusual) behaviours </li></ul>