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“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.” Albert Einstein 1954
Today’s technology offers humanity the ability to map, measure and observe intangible aspects of the human condition: the heartbeat, the voice, body heat, the list goes on. When such technology is harnessed in design it has the opportunity to facilitate an interactive exploration of the user’s own self and impact on their environment. This proposal is a response to this very prospect, calling upon the user as the principle creative instigator/s of movement and change within the design. Human stimulus is expressed through a variety of mechanisms that present the user with visual & sound-scape of their own reflection. Research in the form of literature review offers conceptual and methodological inspiration. Interviews with potential users fuel the process of conceptual development, which is later applied through the exploration of form. The technological requirements of the project are researched and produced in liaison with engineers and IT technicians. This project can reveal new perspectives on research based design, as the data of mapped stimulus broadens the scope of ongoing conceptual evolution and design application in the future. Most importantly, the project allows the user to creatively contribute to the expression and experience of their own reflection. In this way, the project aims to offer the user an environment in which they may discover a greater sense of self awareness through the exploration of the intangible.
Design facilitates the expressions and reflections of humanity and its environment through the spaces we inhabit, the objects we use, and the aesthetics that brings us pleasure. The spectrum of design encompasses and responds to that of our practical needs to the intangible realms of self fulfillment.
Keywords Human Mapping, Interaction, Intangibility, Application, Reflection
In this way, the user discovers tangible reflections of intangible aspects of themselves and their impact on their environment, gaining new understanding and self awareness. The user then has the opportunity to explore this dynamic relationship within the realm of design.
In his forward to Design and the Elastic Mind, Glenn D. Lowry proposes that one of design’s most fundamental roles is “the translation of scientific and technological revolutions into approachable objects that change people’s lives, and in consequence, the world” (Antonelli, 2008, p 4). The following proposal outlines the conceptual and practical approach, implications and scope for an interactive design project that translates intangible human stimulus into visual and audio reflections of the user themselves. Current literature and other designers work will be drawn upon to provide inspiration and context to my design. The project calls upon the user as the principle instigator/s of movement and change within the design. The design aspects respond to human stimulus, such as heat, heartbeat/ pulse, sound and movement, generating responses that are expressed through a variety of mechanisms. These mechanisms map tangible representations of these fundamental aspects of the human condition.
There are a number of projects that echo this concept of
User interactive design, and offer inspiration for both concept and methodology. Environmentally responsive projects such as Loop.pH’s Sonumbra (Antonelli, 2008, p180), KMA’s Waves and Flock (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, p309-315) illustrate how human stimulus (specifically movement) may be mapped to create kinetic scenery and structures. In all three examples, the user is intrigued with their own impact on the design, and is prompted to explore the range of possibility of the design’s expression with a sense of wonder and creativity. Arguably, such projects inspire and transport the user to a place of self discovery. Other projects of interest include Weather Patterns (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, p303), also by Loop.PH, which responds to weather variations through animated patternation on electroluminescent panels. Hyposurface by Mark Goulthorpe and dECOi Architects is a display screen that translates any external or electronic input into output such as logo’s, patternation or text (Hyposurface, 2009). These projects provide further conceptual and methodological examples of how data may be gathered and expressed through design in real time. The literature explored reveals many different methodologies that require external intangible stimulus to prompt tangible design representations in real time. With the exception of Weather Patterns, the user is offered creative contribution to their own experience. However it appears that there is an opportunity for further design exploration in terms of the breadth and application of this experience. For example, can young, old, able bodied and those with disabilities interact with a product to the same extent as each other? Furthermore, the unique design expressions of user stimulus hold untold opportunity for their application in future design outcomes. No research uncovered in this area has attempt-
ed this snowball methodology. Yet such a proposition is conceptually rich: gathering a visual representation of human movement, interaction, or other intangible stimulus and then using this as a basis for prospective projects. This demonstrates the realms of future possibility revealed through human mapping. The initiation of the design process involves the investigation and interview of many potential users: the young, old, disabled. These interviews will shed light upon their thoughts, needs, and ergonomics, and will shed light upon how those who are hearing or visually impaired may still holistically interact with the design. Dancers will be interviewed for their integral understanding of movement. The analysis of this research fuels the process of conceptual development, which is then applied through the exploration of form in mock-ups and prototyping. Design literature research will be wide-spread, examining their process, materials and textiles, methodology, and construction. In a practical sense, a greater understanding of interactive design must be gained, especially the range of devices available to transforms human stimulus (i.e. heartbeat, weight, heat, movement) into a method of output. This includes sensitive lighting, machinery and sources. Engineers and IT technicians will play a vital role in constructing a workable outcome. Recycled and salvaged materials will be used where possible, however all materials must be within budget. The implications for the introduction of such a project are ongoing. In the immediate sense, the project will be a design in its own right, yet also gathers data in the form of the innumerable mapped representations of intangible stimulus. These representations could form the conceptual basis for a
myriad of future projects and products. In this way, this project offers a new perspective on research based design and the userâ€™s own experience of themselves. The former, by instigating a design project that gathers research data that provides ongoing conceptual evolution and design application. And most importantly, the latter: by providing visual and audio representations of intangible aspects of the human condition; allowing the user to creatively contribute to the expression and experience of their own reflection. In the context of the responsive environment, the user may discover a greater sense of self awareness through the exploration of the intangible.
Introduction In order to inform and provide context to my design proposal, literature on design projects pertaining to three primary frameworks or methodologies will be examined. These are: interactive design, human movement & mapping, and visual representations of the intangible. In the framework of interactive design, Loop pH will be examined through their work Weather Patterns (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2005) and Sonumbra (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2006). Hyposurface (Goulthorpe et al, 2009) and L’echo du Silence (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, pp278-283) will also be drawn upon to inform this subject. Human movement and mapping will be explored through projects such as Motion Traces (Levin & Lieberman, 2004), Homographies (Lozano-Hemmer, 2006), and Waves (Monkman & Wexler, 2009). The work and methodology of Lab[au] will be drawn upon, and their project 12m4s (Abendroth, Decock & Vermang, 2006) examined. Literature on projects that focus on intangible topographies will be explored through the work of Levin and Lieberman (Levin & Lieberman, 2004). Loop pH will be touched upon (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, p.303), and Malte Wagenfeld’s work on the phenomenology of air examined in greater detail (Wagenfeld, 2008; Wagenfeld 2009). A critical review of the three different study cases will be carried out to clarify and contrast the areas of interest and those that will be applied to my own proposal. Additionally, areas that needed further clarification or greater depth research will be outlined. “Industrial designers of the past fifty years have employed to shift their attention from the object to the ‘user’; they are reminders of the great responsibility that comes with design’s
new great power of giving form and meaning to the degrees of freedom opened the progress of technology” (Antonelli , 2008, p22) My design proposal calls upon the user as the principle instigator/s of movement and change within the design. Human stimulus is expressed through a variety of mechanisms that map tangible representations of these fundamental aspects of the human condition. This project will bring to light innumerable representations of intangible stimulus, revealing a new perspective on both research based design and the relationship between humanity and environment. The mapped representations of intangible qualities can form the conceptual basis for a myriad of future projects and products. By offering the user the opportunity to delve into the dynamism of these intangible entities through tangible mapping, insight into one’s self in the context of one’s environment is gained. For the designer, it brings to light broadened application of design through the profound study of the humanenvironmental relationship. In this way, true mapping is created to communicate how humans move in space and adapt to the environment around them. Method One: Interactive Technology In his forward to Design and the Elastic Mind, Glenn D. Lowry proposes that one of design’s most fundamental roles is “the translation of scientific and technological revolutions into approachable objects that change people’s lives, and in consequence, the world” (Antonelli, 2008, p4). This section of the literature review will examine projects that utilize interactive technology as a principle framework for
design, with the User or environment providing the input or stimulus that is transformed into output such as sound, light, or movement. L’echo du silence (on the river Rhone, Geneva) by Architects Vehovar and Jauslin in collaboration with lighting design company Delux is a good example of this (Figure 1). Data received from river movements is integrated with audio input in real-time from around the installation, this creates a visual and audio sound/light-scape which responds to both the environment and the User (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, pp. 278-283).
Figure 2. Hyposurface, by Mark Goulthorpe and dECOi Architects
Another classic example is Hyposurface(Figure 2), by Mark Goulthorpe and dECOi Architects, a display screen that translates any external or electronic input into output such as logo’s, patternation or text (Goulthorpe et al, 2009). Loop.pH is a design studio that has produced technologically interactive projects, namely Sonumbra (Antonelli 2008, p180) which responds to human movement through light and sound (Figure 3), and Weather Patterns which shows weather variations expressed through animated electroluminescent panels (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, p.303).
Figure 3. Sonumbra, by Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl, Loop pH
Case Study One: Weather Patterns by Loop. pH Weather Patterns is a permanent light installation in the front windows of the York art gallery. The brief for the project was to improve the appearance of the building during morning and night time, using traditional decoration of the gallery with new technologies. For this reason, the project needed to be attractive to a large user group to encourage public involvement and interaction (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2006).
Figure 1. L’echo du silence by Vehovar and Jauslin Architektur in collaboration with lighting design company Delux
As part of their research, principle designers Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield researched software, lighting, and other projects about weather. The history of York gallery was
reviewed, in addition to literature in the form of online recourses and books (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2006).
work for design, and can be expressed through light, shadow and audio representation.
Gmachl and Wingfield explored the Fibonacci sequence and how natural patterns based on the golden ratio, and how it can be expressed in a large number. Through this, they made a spiral based matrix capable of reproducing basic movement, rotation and growth patterns (Figure 4). This sequence was ordered to respond to weather variations, and when fitted to the windows of the gallery, allowed the building itself to reflect the external climate. These additional light structures also ensured a greater level of safety around the building (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2006).
An example of this is the interactive Motion Traces by designers Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman (Figure 5), and producer Scott Ritter (Levin & Lieberman, 2004). A combination of computer-graphic video projections and color-controlled room illumination react to the movements of visitors in the space through a variety of light patternations on a screen. “The result is an architecture transformed by a lively, dynamic and interactive component of the environment” (Levin & Lieberman, 2004). Rafael Lozano-Hemmer also creates an interactive installation that is called Homographies. It is a large scale of light array that responds to the movement of people. Lights track people through the space and rotate with the peoples’ movement slowly (Figure 6). That create ‘labyrinthine’ pattern of light that create ‘paths’ between people (LozanoHemmer, 2006). Similarly themed, Waves by design studio KMA maps human interaction in public space through light (Figure 7) (Monkman & Wexler, 2009).
Figure 4. Weather Patterns, by Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl, Loop pH
Method Two: Human Movement & Mapping This section of the literature review will examine projects that utilize human movement or mapping as a principle frame-
Figure 5. Motion Traces by designers Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman
reflected in visual echograms and sonic objects projected along an adjacent screen (Abendroth, Decock & Vermang, 2006). People walking 12meters at an ordinary speed (4s), yet when more people moving through the space creates collective interaction between people to produce a collective audiovisual-scape. Specially developed software, motion tracking, infared cameras and ultrasound sensors allow the design to map human movement (Abendroth, Decock & Vermang, 2006).
Figure 6. Homographies by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Lab-au developed a new methodology that involves mixing principles from three different fields, communications and information sciences (language code structures), cognitive sciences (design and process methods) and architecture (production and conception of ideas) (Abendroth, Decock & Vermang, 2003). “LAb|au| developed a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach based on different artistic, scientific and theoretic methods, examining the transformation of architecture and spatio-temporal structures in accordance to the technological progress within a practice entitled ‘MetaDeSIGN’” (Abendroth, Decock, Plennevaux & Vermang, 2009).
Figure 7. KMA waves
Case Study Two: 12m4s by Lab[au] The installation 12m4s is an interactive audiovisual design that represents human movement by position, speed and orientation by using a visual (3d particles) and sonic (granular synthesis) dynamic space in real time (Figure 8). A person walking by the installation is followed by a visual and sonic trace, and any changes in direction create “turbulences”
Method Three: Intangible Topographies
Figure 8. 12m4s by Lab[au]
The intangible refers to that which is incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch (Dictionary.com, 2009), such as environmental forces, the emotions, and speech (among others). Design plays a role in transforming even the most elusive concepts into visual and / or structural representations. This section of the literature review will examine projects that utilize representations of intangible topographies as a principle framework for design. Like the previous topics covered, many of these projects incorporate technological (measuring) equipment and rely upon human or environmental stimulus in their methodology and process.
Figure 9. Weather Patterns by Loop. pH, York Art Gallery
We can see an example of this in the aforementioned design studio Loop. pH and their project Weather Patterns (Figure 11) in which weather variations are expressed visually through animated window panels (Lowther & Schultz, 2008, p.303). Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman produced series of projects which “dealt with the artistic possibilities of speech visualization” (Levin & Lieberman, 2004, p.2). They drew on research from Wolfgang Kohler’s psychology experiment from 1927 that aimed to connect sound and visual symbolism in addition to film sources and audio visual performances. The final projects were Hidden Worlds, RE:MARK (Figure 10), and Messa di Voice (Figure 11) (Levin & Lieberman, 2004, p.1-7).
Figure 10. RE:MARK by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman
Figure 11. Messa di Voice by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman
Case Study Three: The Phenomenology of Air by Malte Wagenfeld Malte Wagenfeld explored the phenomenology of air and in aims of using the insight gained in designing interior spaces (Wagenfeld, 2009, p1). Observation of the movement and patternation of air formed a large part of Wagenfeld’s process, photographing and videotaping the movement of leaves in the wind and steam that flows from gutters, cracks and buildings in Manhattan New York (Wagenfeld, 2009, p5-6). Wagenfeld wrote accounts, drew his experiences, and recorded wind and air audio. In deeper exploration, he experimented with smoke, a rotating mirror and laser beam to creating “a planar dissection of air… to render the air movement visible” (Wagenfeld, 2009, p6). He then introduced variable factors such as human movement, breath, fans and observed the results (Wagenfeld, 2008, p20-25) (Figure 12).
Critical Review The literature explored reveals many different methodologies, and expanded my understanding of how I may go about my project research and observation. I found the project 12m4s an intriguing way of showing different elements (movement, position, speed, time) to map like human movement. I especially appreciated their focus on spatial relationship as a central focus of the design, and the opportunity for many people to be moving within that space allows for continually changing and unknown results. I found it interesting that they developed their own methodology to apply to their projects; however its communication lacks clarity. The literature available pertained mainly to their vision as a design studio, their direction and new methodology; however this did not offer practical information relating to the application of the method. However, the project 12m4s offers inspiration for my own project from my understanding gained from their final result.
Figure 12. The Phenomenology of Air by Malte Wagenfeld
Loop. pH created a design that is a research project in itself, as the installation allows for the weather data expressed through patternation to be the design. There are many points of interest, namely the incorporation of creative aspects (aesthetic & concept) with practical aspects (light, safety, context).
“This ongoing phenomenological investigation of air… may never be fully quantified or defined in empirical terms, but these subtle perceptual qualities can be used to build a deep knowledge of our actual experience of air… and offer a viable way for the designer to envisage, manipulate and finally replicate atmospheric phenomena for interior spaces as a design imperative” (Wagenfeld, 2009, p13).
The approach was interesting but could have been conceptually deeper as technical production seemed to make up the majority of their process, especially in how to work with the lighting to create movement. Research into the environment itself, which was supposedly their central focus, was lacking. Through the literature available, it seems that conceptually and exploratively, Weather Patterns falls short.
In contrast, Malte Wagenfeld’s research into the air is rich with research, experimentation, and documentation of the topography. Although the methodology was simple, it was highly effective in producing his desired result, which was capturing visual representations of the invisible. Examples of this include heavily documenting his research through video, photographs and writing, in addition to building a machine to test theory and gain further insight. For my own research I will adapt a similar method to Wagenfeld’s. It has shown to be helpful in translating the intangible to the tangible and I appreciate its simplicity and thoroughness. Conclusion Literature on design projects pertaining to three primary frameworks or methodologies have been examined in order to inform and provide context to my design proposal. In the framework of interactive design the User or environment providing the input or stimulus that is transformed into output such as sound, light, or movement. Loop. pH was examined in detail, especially in relation to their work, Weather Patterns. Sonumbra was also referred to, as well as Hyposurface and L’echo du Silence. All three examples used technological methodology as principle frameworks for their design. Projects such as Motion Traces, Homographies, and Waves were examined as they utilize human movement and mapping as principle elements within their design, often expressed through light, shadow and audio representation. The work and methodology of Lab[au] was drawn upon, and their project 12m4s examined.
Literature on projects that focused on intangible topographies was also examined, transforming even the most elusive concepts into visual and / or structural representations. The work of Levin and Lieberman and Loop. pH was touched upon, and Malte Wagenfeld’s work on The Phenomenology of Air was examined. A critical review of the three different study cases was carried out to clarify and contrast the areas of interest and those that could be applied to my own proposal. Additionally, areas that needed further clarification or greater depth research were outlined.
Anthropometric analysis: Anthropometric analysis is to study, analyze and quantify the measurement of the human body. This generally refers to the proportions (and relationships of those proportions) rather than size. By taking anthropometric analysis into account a designer may increase the usability of the products as well as the ergonomics of the design. It is applicable to designs that interact with the human body in some way, and to develop a good understanding of how a design may be improved to work with a variety of different body types and abilities. Furniture is an obvious example, as it needs to be applicable to a wide group of users. It is significant so the product can be used comfortably by any user, therefore reaching to a broader group of users. This can fulfill both the desires and usability of the product for the user, and also fulfills the commercial viability due to its broad user group. Conceptual thinking: Conceptual thinking it is a term for the ability of understanding a problem, identifying patterns and implementing key solutions. It includes using creative, conceptual or inductive reasoning. Conceptual thinking is applicable when making judgments about the value and relevance of ideas and information. It can encompass critical thinking, problem solving, analysis and the dissemination of the possible solution/s. It may be applied through every stage of the design process, yet is most relevant in the early developmental stages of a project where planning and problem solving are imperative in forming the design. This can then become the basis for experimentation, prototyping and testing. Conceptual thinking is significant part of design methodology as it can propel, develop and troubleshoot the depth of a product or process. Because conceptual thinking is an important part of completing thorough research on a topic, when utilized, it increases the probability of good user experience and therefore the value of the design.
Documentation: Documentation is the collection and recording of information. Documentation can be both in the form of text and visuals such as photographs or videos. It is applicable in every process that the designer undertakes from the initial research to the review of the design in its completion. When designing a product it is significant to document the path of research to track the development of the design as evidence of your own understanding and integrity of the designers work. It is also important to research and study the documentation of other designers to see what has already been produced, what elements of these existing designs can be improved and what needs to be the focus of redevelopment. Elasticity: Elasticity is a term used to describe the flexibility of the concept or product, and its adaptability to changes caused to its environment or to the product itself. By understanding changing environment and the needs of the user, increasing the elasticity of the design will create a product with an increased flexibility and therefore an increased usability. Without sufficient elasticity, a product or design will fail to last in the changing climates of fashion, environment, technology and user need. Part of designâ€˜s important mission is to help the user to understand and to cope with a change in the design aspect. Elasticity gives the designer the ability to adapt to changes and create products which are flexible to change. This brings new concepts and ideas to the user that are easy to approach and are lasting in their application (Antonelli & Verchierini, 2008, pp. 14-15) Experiment: To experiment is to test a theory or principle in order to reveal what is not known by trialing different possibilities. This
might lead to new ideas and concepts. It may also highlight errors in design concept or specifications, in order to divulge new knowledge. Although one may conduct an experiment with a particular hypothesis in mind, the outcome is never predetermined. Experimentation is vital in the majority of design. It is a core element of research as the more experimentation conducted, the possibilities for the design are expanded as the designer takes different approaches gaining knowledge and adapting the design accordingly. It also ensures efficient use of resources (time and money) as it reduces errors in design and production. It is inseparable from design process as without experimentation the design may fail on a practical level â€“ from inefficiency or design errors, in addition to failure on the level of appeal, that the product does fulfill the desires of the user. Human Mapping: Human mapping is an interactive way of recording human movement, creating a tangible, responsive record. For example Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman design installation called Motion Traces, a combination of computer-graphic video projections and color-controlled room illumination react to the movements of visitors in the space through a variety of light patternation on a screen (Levin & Lieberman, 2004). It is applicable in the design as part of the research of how the human will interact in or with the design. Tracking human mapping is significant in design as it helps to understand how the human moves within a space, or around a product. In this way human mapping helps to make a design more user-friendly. Intangible: Intangible is something that is not physically real, such as environmental forces, the emotions, and speech (among others). For eg: a smell is a perception that can not be held or measured how ever the smell is real for a person receiv-
ing the scent. That which is intangible can cause a response such as the sound of a car horn stopping a car next to it. The horn itself is the product and the sound that the horn makes is the intangible purpose of this product. That which is intangible can be applied within research and analysis of a design in order to develop a greater understanding of the products itself or the effect it may have on its environment. It is significant to use the intangible as part of the design as the designer can bring more depth to the design itself. Design plays a role in transforming even the most elusive concepts into visual and / or structural representation, and can therefore be a different way of approaching investigation and research. MetaDeSIGN: MetaDeSIGN is a new methodology developed by Lab-au that involves mixing principles from three different fields: communications and information sciences (language code structures), cognitive sciences (design and process methods) and architecture (production and conception of ideas) (Decock & Abendroth, 2003). This can be applicable as a new system to approach design and technology by creating new path ways when developing a new technology. It can provide a different aspect of understanding in the field of design and technology. And therefore it is giving more to a designer by expanding the designer options to see and to adopt this new methodology (Lab[au], 2009). Panorama: Panorama refers to a widened or holistic field of vision. The panorama of a design takes into consideration all possible elements in a comprehensive study in order to expand the vision of the project as a whole. By using a panoramic vision within design, we may refer to the encompassing spectrum of concept and form within the work, its inspiration, and methodology as well as its construction process. It is signifi-
cant to gain a broad scope and to keep the ‘big’ picture in mind, and to ensure that all elements of a design are in line with the desired result. . To keep panorama creates an unobstructed and clear vision to keep design concept directed toward the end goal. Tangible: That which is tangible is something that is physical and can be touched. It is something substantial and tactile. Within design, something that is tangible contains many intangible elements within the design process such as conceptual thinking and brainstorming of ideas. It is applicable within design as it is essentially the end product of the whole design process. Any design involves tangible elements, otherwise it remains purely conceptual. Despite this, the intangible and the tangible are inseparable; a design can not get to the tangible stage unless it undergoes intangible conceptual stages. The tangible design may also interact with intangible forces. For example; using multimedia technology that is responsive to light and movement such as in the lighting installation Weather Patterns, by Rachel Wingfield & Mathias Gmachl, Loop. pH which uses lighting projection to map how the wind moves around York Art Gallery (Gmachl & Wingfield, 2006). It is significant in any design that is dealing with a physical product that is tangible, as it is the end result of the design process. Theoretical/Theory: A set of statements describing a concept or group of concepts of a design based on abstract reasoning and experience. That which is theoretical may be unproven, hypothetical or speculative but which may have a supporting argument which may prove the theory to be true. Therefore, that which is theoretical must be tested, confirmed or denied in order to be accepted as a viable understanding or process. Theoretical ideas and scenarios are highly useful
in conceptual thinking in order to fully explore possible outcomes and solutions. Therefore it is really important to adapt knowledge of this methodology to create a better design of understanding. Topographies: Topographies are a way of mapping in details. It is a term that can be part of design methodology, and can be a tool to understand how a design may be integrated into society. By charting information, topographies are applicable to the design process as they can be used in order to improve the process and ability of approach to design. As a designer it can be a really helpful tool as part of investigation, and understanding the area that been research, by giving way of thinking through the mapping that can bring patterns. User Experience: The user experience refers to how and to what extent individuals and groups may interact with a project, in addition to the possible benefit gained through interacting with this project. A functional design appeals to a wide group of people and therefore denotes its broad application and user experience. “Good design requires an understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of the target users of a new product or service, so that it can be designed to operate within their capabilities and meet their needs and desires.’(Schifferstein & Hekkert, 2008, p.166). As products are created for the user, User experience is applicable in every aspect of design. The target user may be better understood by exploring their abilities and inabilities, their age, gender, socio-economic grouping and education. This sheds light upon their needs, desires and to what extent that they can use the product. The significance of the user experience is paramount as it defines the usefullness of a product, therefore directly influencing satisfaction gained though interaction with that product, which ultimately de-
fines lasting demand for the design. Visualization: Visualization is an intangible mental picture of a potential end result, a method of vision beyond what we can physically see. It is through visualization that one can explore and brainstorm the realms of possibility of concept, process and product. Visualization is especially applicable in design when used as a tool in order to hypothesize and plan the concept, process and form of a design project from its conception to actuality. â€œThe visual form we adopt becomes driven by the tool or the topic we are presentingâ€? (Klanten, Bourquin, Tissot & Heerden, 2009, p.6). Visualization is highly significant in the conceptual stages of a design process. It may add a depth of meaning in the user experience which can challenge ideas and viewpoints, promote a feeling or association with the object, encourage contemplation and debate, and/or increase demand for the product or design (Levin & Lieberman, 2004, p.2).
“ ‘good’ design requires an understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of the target users of a new product or service, so that it can be designed to operate within their capabilities and meet their needs and desires.” John Clarkson, Human capability and product design
My project schedule is made up of five primary areas of focus : Research, Concept, Consultation, Design and Production.
Research is one of the most important parts of the design process as it explores what has been done in past projects, inclusive of triumphs and challenges. Visual and textual brainstorming will start the process in order to reveal the most effective avenues for research. I will research both practical projects and written theory to gain a rich understanding of my area of interest.
I will research through a number of methods to gain broad insight into the future of my design.
Observation Research Action
Interviewing Target Market Research
Analyse Case Studies
Review Case Studies
Observation: How people move in a space. Outdoor space or indoor. Target Market Research: It is imperative to know who is/are the user/s of the design. This ensures the design will suit user need, exploring their level of ability, age, etc. Interviewing : After the research of the target market it is really important to interview these future users to see what they would like to use or to work with Analysis: Information gained through the first three research stages must then be analysed. This ensures that an integrated understanding of the results is gained and to confirm that the direction of research is on track to achieve the desired outcome of the future design. Review Case Studies: Other designers or artist that share the same area of interest will be examined in order to explore what has been done, where they failed and why.
Brief Analyse Design Reviews
Brief: Asking questions of what I would like to do, to re-write my proposal
Analyse Case Studies: After researching other designers & projects, all the information must be analysed in light of the triumphs and challenges of the case studies. Documentation: It is incredibly important to document every step of the proc-
ess until its completion, such as writing, review, surveys, drawing, books, websites, designer names etc...
Consideration: To start to consider and investigate materials and costing.
Documentation: It is incredibly important to document every step of the process until its completion
The formulation of the initial idea for the design project.
Concept Visual Text
Brainstorming Brief Sketches
Design Possibilities Consideration
To interview specialists in their fields such as engineers, IT technitians and scientists, to recieve vital information and highlight potential problems in addition to possible solutions. Discussion with other designers that may have had similar problems, designs or those in the same field will support this process. In addition, consultation with individuals and user groups will clarify user needs and desires for the proposed design.
Brainstorming: After the initial stages of research, secondary brainstorming will further define and clarify my design project.
Brief: Answering all the questions that arose in the beginning of the research. Sketches: Sketch my first ideas and what I would like to design in context of my research, from rough sketching to the more definitive formulation of my design. Design Possibilities: The continuation, development and re-sketching of the design possibilities.
Design: Inclusive of sketches, mokups, testing, CAiD and detailing.
Documentation: It is incredibly important to document every step of the process until its completion.
Detail Sketches Mockups Making Testing
Analyse Detailing Figure 17.
The final step of the process, to bring the design to the completed look.
Detail Sketches: Take place after the steps of design possibilities in the concept. To start sketching full details of what will be the final design. Mockups Making: To make different scale mockups, and 1:1 made from different materials such as cardboard. Testing: To test the mockups by the user, including myself. To identify what works and what doesnâ€™t. Analyse: To analyse all the completed steps, to identify triumphs & challenges and to redesign where needed. Detailing: To finish all the design details, dimensions, materials, etc. CAiD: To produce it on CAiD with engineer drawing, rendering, exploded drawings, and details to be ready for manufactur-
Finishing Personation Exhibition Figure 18.
To establish broad and realistic timelines, under the assumption that production usually takes triple time than initial estimations. As in every other step of the process, documentation of production is imperative.
SEMESTER 1 Task
Brief brainstorming (visual/text) Research Observation Interviewing Analyse design reviews Research the target market Market research Review case studies Analyse case studies Re-write brief
Sketching Consult with I.T, engineers Documentation
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16
SEMESTER 2 Task
Sketching Consult with I.T, engineers Mockups Testing Concept refinement Prototyping
Feedback Refine rapid prototypes
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16
Tutorial Participation Task
My article review: Iannis Xenakis: Architect of Light and Sound by Alessandra Capanna In the article “Iannis Xenakis: Architect of Light and Sound” (Nexus Network Journal), Alessandra Capanna details the life and work of Iannis Xenakis. Most interestingly, the conceptual and theoretical framework of Xenakis’ work is examined, expressed through an interactive relationship between the mediums of Architecture, Music, and mathematics. Arguably, Xenakis’ most visionary work captures that which is seemingly intangible (music) and communicates this concept through a range of design processes. “The composition, therefore, is not only a metaphor of a logical process, but a representation of them projected sometimes into the world of sounds, sometimes into that of space, or into both in unison through those complicated structures of light, and sound…” This interplay between music and architecture is strikingly reflected by my personal investigation in aim of capturing physical representation of sound through the medium of industrial design. Xenakis elucidates, “… some relationships between music and architecture are very easy to intuit in a confused way, delicate to specify and to define, and it is not impossible to have doubts about them, because what is aesthetic is uncertain.” Xenakis’ words, “what is aesthetic is uncertain”, bring to light the infinite realms of possibility within this design topic, and define both the inspiration and the challenge in transforming the immaterial to the material. How else can one explore this
process in practical and measurable ways?
People that I reviewed links: My article that I reviewed • http://shahaker.wordpress.com/reading/iannis-xenakisarchitect-of-light-and-sound/ • http://shahaker.wordpress.com/reading/human-capability-and-product-design/ Mayuko’s proposal: • http://mayukoyoshida.wordpress.com/proposal/ Murray’s literature review: • http://muzza26.wordpress.com/literature-review/ Xisca’s Article review: • http://xm990.wordpress.com/literature-review/articles/ interactionrelabellingandextremecharacters/
Antonelli, P, 2008, Design and the elastic mind, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
current and developing design practices.
Paola Antonelli’s book, Design and the Elastic Mind, explores the current and developing design practices & possibilities that have emerged through recent advances in science and technology, and as a response to modern redefinitions of social climate and convention (which shapes user need).
Abendroth, M & Decock, J, 2003, Metadesign: the setting of a discipline, ARCA, vol. 178, p.2. English translation at http:// www.lab-au.com/
The first section of the book is wrtitten by Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at The Museum of Modern Art (NY) and offers and overview of the relationship between social revolutions and technological innovations that shape the designs of the modern world. Hugh AlderseyWilliams and Ted Sargent contribute essays that explore and evaluate some of the connections and separations of design, science & technology, inclusive of scientific discoveries of complex form within nature and chemistry and the technology that allows us to explore these previously unseen topographies. Peter Hall’s essay on Critical Visualization explores technology with focus on the translation of data into visual representation and mapping, and its impact and translation in design. The last section is again written by Antonelli, and reviews the transformation of individuals & groups into a collective whole through technological advancement and how design has responded to the relatively new ‘critical mass’ of users. The book is extremely well written and referenced, providing interesting material relevant to history, sociology, science and technology within the realm of design. Supported by broad references, numerous design case studies and thought provoking essays, Design and the Elastic Mind provides the reader with an overview, inspiration and context to
Abendroth, M, Decock, J & Vermang, E, 2003, Sonic space, Lab[au]. Viewed 20 August 2009, www.lab-au.com Abendroth, M, Decock, J & Vermang, E, 2006, 12m4s, Lab[au]. Viewed 20 August 2009, www.lab-au.com Abendroth, M, Decock, J, Plennevaux, A & Vermang, E, 2009, Metadesign. Viewed 20 August 2009, http://lab-au. com/lab-au/LAbau_feb2009_en.pdf The Lab[au] website offers an in-depth view into the philosophy, design process, & specific project briefs and overviews of Brussels based design studio Lab[au]. Information is divided into four major classifications: Lab[au], News & Archives, Projects and Theory. The Lab[au] tab offers general links for information about the design studio, the people involved, contact details, a subscription request for newsletters, RS feed & Twitter, and also a past project overview PDF available in English, Dutch and French. Secondary to this, a biographical section may be opened to reveal further information on Lab[au] members, events, media exerpts, projects and writings / interviews. The News and Archive tab offers a variety of links for all Lab[au] documentation, interviews and feature articles, inclusive of media releases, web article & blog coverage, international exhibitions & festivals, magazines and publications. The Projects tab allows the user to review Lab[au]
past projects by time or alphabetically. Opening the link to a project reveals detailed case study information inclusive of pictures, credits, overviews and media coverage specific to the project. The Theory tab opens links to a number of interviews and articles that document the theoretical (rather than project based) aspects of the Lab[au] philosophy and design process. Although the site has been created by Lab[au] and therefore cannot be classified as an objective review of their work and philosophy, it does contain a huge amount of invaluable information on their work and practice. To some extent, third party articles have been included, and the interpretation of the project success and value still lies with the reader. Overall, the Lab[au] website offers a detailed view of both the philosophy and design of the studio. Gmachl, M & Wingfield, R, 2005, Weather patterns, Loop.pH. Viewed 7 August 2009. http://www.loop.ph Gmachl, M & Wingfield, R, 2006, Sonumbra, Loop.ph. Viewed 7 August 2009. http://www.loop.ph This website presents London based design and research studio, Loop.pH, and offers rich detail in respect to the members of the studio, their research and projects. Tab/subject classifications include About, Commissions, Research Artefacts, Recent Exhibitions, Knowledge Sharing, Research Nodes, Press Downloads, Webs, Featured Projects, Publications, & Site Tools. The About section contains an overview of Loop.pH, their aims and focus, in addition to biographies of core designers Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl. The Commissions tab outlines general case study style information with images for a number of commissioned projects. The Research Artefacts
section contains a number of technologically innovative design products, such as sound-reactive wallpaper and lightemitting bedding (among many others) that serve the user in new ways through technology in design. The Knowledge Sharing section includes information on workshops, talks and institutes, where the reader can find resources and contacts for gaining more knowledge and skills in design and textiles with special focus on innovation and sustainability. Sections such as Recent Exhibitions, Press Downloads, Webs, Featured Projects & Publications are self explanatory, offering information relevant to their subject heading including case studies and literary references. Like other websites produced by the featured studio, the information available cannot be interpreted as impartial. However the Loop.pH site offers the user some unique resources, such as projects and workshops that invite community focus, collaboration, and innovative problem solving. In addition, information pertaining to their project briefs, process and outcomes are detailed and referenced in most cases, which offers the reader valuable insight into the designersâ€™ aims, research and final outcomes. Goulthorpe, M & Crespin, R, Dering, O, Descombes, A, Evangelisti, G, 2009, What is hyposurface?, Hyposurface Corporation. Viewed 7th August 2009, http://www.hyposurface.org The Hyposurface website offers an overview of Hyposurface, a display screen that translates any external or electronic input into output such as logoâ€™s, patternation or text, by Mark Goulthorpe and dECOi Architects. The website details the Product, its Uses, available Services, Installation and Contact details.
Primarily, the information on the website fulfils commercial means as a marketing tool. Each section describes the product, its possible commercial uses and adaptations, and information on leasing and serviceability. A bar along the lower quadrant of the site allows the viewer to watch video clips of the product in action. Although the information on the site is presented to ‘sell’ the product, the merits of the final product can be ascertained through the description and video footage. From a design research perspective, the site lacks valuable information into the initial concept planning & development and must be utilized for general information pertaining to the completed product. Levin, G & Lieberman, Z, 2004, In situ speech visualization in real time interactive installation and performance. The 3rd International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering, Annecy. This essay by Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman outlines the conceptual background of the theme of “In-situ Speech Visualization in Real Time”, in addition to detailed descriptions of the installations and performances. Information on Interactive Artwork includes the overview & implementation of both Hidden Worlds and RE:MARK, supported by photos of the projects. Information on the following project performance explores Messa di Voice. The paper draws from broad references, and offers the reader web references for further information. The background information is of marked value, detailing some of their inspirations and revealing the development of concept. The essay is written in academic style and therefore is intended for industry and academic purposes, and is therefore a classic case study example.
Levin, G & Lieberman, Z, 2004, Motion Traces. Viewed 28 August 2009. http://www.flong.com/projects/a1/ Flong is the website of Golan Levin, which primarily outlines his projects in collaboration with other designers and artists. As Levin is a university lecturer and director for the Studio for Creative Enquiry, it appears that much of the information is directed towards educational purposes. Project information complete with thumbnails can be sorted by Author, Date, Name & Type, and contains a range of information on Installations, Performances, Net Artworks, Sketches, Print, Curatorial, Commercial / Industrial and Miscellaneous works. There is also a Calendar tab with current and upcoming event information such as lectures and presentation, plus an archive option to view past event details since 2007. The Texts tab reveals a number of peer reviewed publications, media releases, essays, interviews, and project reports. In this section, one is also able to view PDF’s of particular project reports, which are an incredibly valuable tool for design research. In addition, there is a bio and contact pages, which offer full information on Levin, and the opportunity to join his mailing list and news feeds. The news feed contains a huge amount of information and general points of interest, in addition to such as student / design outlines and questions, clips of lectures and conferences and IT codes for creating shade, patternation and movement. Overall, the website is a great resource for students, designers, and people with design interest. It contains a huge amount of information on design projects, general points of interest, educational material and press / media articles.
Lowther, C & Schultz, S, 2008, Bright: Architectural Illumination and Light Installations. Frame Publishers, Amsterdam. The book Bright: Architectural Illumination and Light Installations offers the reader detailed case studies of designs that use light as their central concept. The photography of the projects are clear and plentiful, and portray the buildings and installations in action, often shown with people viewing and interacting with the design. The book covers design examples from interior to exterior, structures and installations. Design studioâ€™s are featured in a large spread, with focus on a couple of central designs, inclusive of an extensive write up of the project, its aims and processes, and including interview excepts from the central designers. The interactive design section was of special interest. It included many projects and installations with aims of evoking a range of human emotions, or prompting investigations from the user, within a particular cultural or social context. The case studies are well written and referenced, and appear to be written from an impartial perspective, in aims of sharing information on innovative design. The general information on the studio is helpful as it gives an overview of the philosophy of the studio or designer, providing context and relationship for the more detailed studies. The book is therefore an invaluable resource for students, educators and those with general interest in Architecture, all fields of Design, and Art. Lozano-Hemmer, 2006, Homographies. Viewed 2 September 2009. http://www.lozano-hemmer.com This website is the personal site of Ralph Lozano-Hemmer, who creates electronic interactive installations. The site fea-
tures are divided into sections of Projects, Texts, Biography, Images, Videos, Contacts & Links, and is also available in Spanish language. The projects section offers the viewer thumbnails and a blurb on each project, and can be opened to reveal more in-depth information. When opened, detailed description of the project, inclusive of the techniques used, the credits, and where it was exhibited are included, in addition to more photos. Links to relevant sites, articles, and videos can also be found here. The Texts section includes information on books by or edited by the author, including ISBN numbers. Books, Catelogues, Essays, Magazine excerpts and Interviews & Articles references can also be found here, some downloadable or viewable from the site. Full referencing information can be found to a number of texts in a comprehensive bibliography. . The images & video sections are self explanatory and contain the same still and moving images as the Projects section minus the text. The contact and links section provides information on the studio and galleries, plus links to some external content. Although created by the designer himself and therefore cannot be classified as impartial, the site contains good descriptive information for case studies and design research. The huge bibliography is an invaluable resource. The large amount of photos gives the reader a good understanding of the completed product and descriptions share an adequate amount of information relating to process and methodology, with the added bonus of the techniques used. It therefore holds merit for designers and students alike.
Monkman, K & Wexler, T, 2009, Waves, KMA. Viewed 20 August 2009, http://www.kma.co.uk The KMA front page contains an overview of the studio’s general aims and philosophy, in addition to recent work and contact details, inclusive of links to twitter and their facebook group. Their recent work is outlined in blurbs with thumbnail photos, some with links to video, press releases and external sites. Information is then available through three subcategories: Work, Press and Blog. The work section contains a chronically ordered listing of past work since 2005, which can be opened to reveal a blurb overview of the project, with videos and photos. Prior to 2005, there is a small biographical blurb for head designers Kit Monkman and Tim Wexler. The press section contains quote selection of glowing praise for KMA’s work, plus a bibliography of featured works. The blog contains brief write ups of activities, thoughts and news for Monkman and Wexler. The information available on KMA’s site is more obviously biased than the other design studio’s sites noted in this bibliography. It appears that the information would serve those of a general interest and prospective commissioners. The descriptions of the projects are interpretive and offer very little practical or methodological information. However, the photos, videos and texts are evocative, and the merits of the finished work is, as always, left with the viewer.
is an article included in the course readings for this subject. Written by Wagenfeld with a third party introduction, the article outlines some of his experimentation with creating visualizations of air. The article clearly explains Wagenfeld’s process through conceptual inception and initial research through the gathering of observational data. This was followed by experiments within a warehouse interior, first through observation with a laser, mirror and smoke, and then with the additional introduction of breath, fans, doors opening and human movement. The last paragraphs describe Wagenfeld’s overall observations, what he learnt, and changes in his outlook since the experiments, in addition to his thoughts on the continuation of this theme. The article is complete with photos of planar dissections of air and their changes with external stimulus, in addition to designs that came out of some of the experiments, and a CAD model of the warehouse. The article is well written and is useful for design research as it describes the full developmental methodology from conception to completion. Wagenfeld, M, 2009, The phenomenology of air, course reading from GRAP2221, RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 8 August 2009, RMIT University.
Wagenfeld, M, 2008, The aesthetics of air: experiments in visualizing the invisible, course readings from GRAP2221, RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 8 August 2009, RMIT University.
The Phenomenology of Air is an essay by Malte Wagenfeld, detailing his experimentation with air as in the aforementioned annotation, in addition to further projects that continue this theme.
The aesthetics of air: experiments in visualizing the invisible
First, Wagenfeld details his experiments with “The Aesthetics
of Air” Describes some of the scientific specifications and of atmosphere, in order to explain how atmosphere contributes to the aesthetic experience of an interior. This is followed by our senses of perception and how temperature, as a quantative method of data collection, must also be coupled with qualitative information. Therefore, the basis for Wagenfelds methods of research are established, and his experiences gathering this data through photo, video, and writing accounts of his experiences. The next section describes the experiment with a planar section of air, revealed through laser, a mirror, and smoke as described in the previous annotation. This concept progressed to the next phase: a series of performance-installations. In these performances the air was visualized through lasers, and performers moved through the space in a variety of ways that revealed the air as the central character, later inviting the audience members to also interact with the medium. Other progressions on the theme was a performance where people were able to view vapours rising from food they would later eat, and a “Crafty Smells” which explored how the sense of smell contributes to the creation of atmosphere. This experiment later included visual and auditory inclusion creating a specific exterior sensual context, displaced within an interior. The scope and implications of such findings is concluded in Wagenfeld’s final statements. The essay is highly descriptive, well written & referenced, and is an informative account of Wagenfeld’s experimentation and findings. It is therefore a great resource for students and designers as it outlines the ongoing exploration of this topography from inception the many projects that sprung from the theme.
Antonelli, P, 2008, Design and the elastic mind, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Abendroth, M & Decock, J, 2003, Metadesign: the setting of a discipline, ARCA, vol. 178, p.2. English translation at http:// www.lab-au.com/ Abendroth, M, Decock, J & Vermang, E, 2003, Sonic space, Lab[au]. Viewed 20 August 2009, www.lab-au.com Abendroth, M, Decock, J & Vermang, E, 2006, 12m4s, Lab[au]. Viewed 20 August 2009, www.lab-au.com Abendroth, M, Decock, J, Plennevaux, A & Vermang, E, 2009, Metadesign. Viewed 20 August 2009, http://lab-au. com/lab-au/LAbau_feb2009_en.pdf Barros, I, 2008, Simon heijdens: tension and ability, DAMnation, vol. 15, pp. 114-120. Dictionary.com, viewed 3 September 2009 www.dictionary. reference.com/browse/intangible Gmachl, M & Wingfield, R, 2005, Weather patterns, Loop.ph. Viewed 7 August 2009. http://www.loop.ph Gmachl, M & Wingfield, R, 2006, Sonumbra, Loop.ph. Viewed 7 August 2009. http://www.loop.ph Gmachl, M & Wingfield, R, 2008, Biomimetic architecture modeled on molecular structures and metabolism in living cells, Nobel Textiles, London. Goulthorpe, M & Crespin, R, Dering, O, Descombes, A, Evangelisti, G, 2009, What is hyposurface?, Hyposurface Corporation. Viewed 7th August 2009, http://www.hyposurface.org
Klanten, R & Bourquin, N & Tissot, T & Ehmann, S, (2008), Data Flow, Visualising Information in Graphic Design, Gestalten, Berlin Levin, G & Lieberman, Z, 2004, In situ speech visualization in real time interactive installation and performance. The 3rd International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering, Annecy. Levin, G & Lieberman, Z, 2004, Motion Traces. Viewed 28 August 2009. http://www.flong.com/projects/a1/ Lowther, C & Schultz, S, 2008, Bright: Architectural Illumination and Light Installations. Frame Publishers, Amsterdam. Lozano-Hemmer, 2006, Homographies. Viewed 2 September 2009. http://www.lozano-hemmer.com Monkman, K & Wexler, T, 2009, Waves, KMA. Viewed 20 August 2009, http://www.kma.co.uk Schifferstein, H & Hekkert, P, (2008), Product experience, Elsevier, USA Wagenfeld, M, 2008, The aesthetics of air: experiments in visualizing the invisible, course readings from GRAP2221, RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 8 August 2009, RMIT University. Wagenfeld, M, 2009, The phenomenology of air, course reading from GRAP2221, RMIT University, Melbourne, viewed 8 August 2009, RMIT University. Wikkipedia, 2009, Computer. Wikkipedia. Viewed 25th October 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer
â€œThe reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therfore, all progress depends on the unreasonable manâ€? George Bernard Shaw