Monday, 26 May 2008

Here is the solution and what was the problem?

I found this quote in the poster of the Questions & Hyphothesis Conference, organised by Design Reserach Network. I am currently writing up an abstract for them... Fingers crossed for me!

It states a interesting but ture situation in design research (eh, I guess it is the same in many PhD researches in the field of social science):
"Design Research has been self-conscious about its lack of systematic methods and theories in comparison to other academic disciplines. This self-consciousness, on the one hand, to a certain degree, has advanced the quality of design discourse; on the other hand, it has resulted in much research that is methodologically rigorous but conceptually weak. ‘Here is the solution and what was the problem?’ seems to describe the unfavourable character of much design research. It is forgotten that it is questions and ideas that give meanings and values to meticulously executed research."

I can clearly recall a discussion with my surpervisors about how PhD is sometimes a pot-rational process... Ooops... promised not to tell ;)

Friday, 23 May 2008

Naomi Klein's speech in Dundee

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein gave a quite powerful speech yesterday in Dundee University. It was mainly about her new book The Shock Doctrine. A thesis about what happened after a national crisis. She showed a rich knowledge about her researches into couple of Latin American and Affrican countries, along with a broad view of the global environment that impacts the crisis strategy carried out in these countries.

I 'd better not talk too much about the content of her book, as yet I haven't read it... Do not want to mislead anyone, including myself...

the movie on her website is worthy check-out.

I happened to read through one of her articels on her website about the earthquake in China, and her opinions on the current goverment reactions in the crisis strategy. Unfortunately, I cannot say I would totally agree with what she states... obviousely she still needs more time to do her research on China. As a country with a quite different history in captallism development, it might be too rough to judge it simple with a westernised evaluation system. Especially with her political position, it might be difficult for her to capture a strong, yet often over-looked by many researchers in the west, a cultural perspective in China's crisis strategy.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Mind the Gap...

Tom proposed the research title to be 'Mind the Gap: differences between theories and practice in the emerging field of experiential service design.' The first stage can be described as 'locating the platform...' mainly refer to the literature on existing theories and practice...

I've been given some thoughts on the conversation Bill had with me yesterday...
the ontological assumptions are out there, even with three graphs to go with ( well done~ us! ) the conceptual model is just started, we kinda get a blured image of what it is... it is not (yet) a model or process... the order and hierachy is not that important at this stage, get things out there with lots and lots of ontological assumptions will be the point. So far we settle with a 'checklist', framed according to the organisational activity or components... if we use Bill's favourite term 'skeletal' to describe the conceptual model, then we now have the backbone!

This morning, I actually think this is more of a map. To be honest, I don't even think the sequence is such a important thing while flexibility is what we propose. A map is more suitable, as there will be certain hierachy in it, but it allows more freedom to creat different pathways in different situations.

So maybe the second stage can be called 'bring a map...'...ha ha... I love it!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Dundee Degree Show 2008

went for the Degree Show in Dundee on Friday and find something very interesting in IPD (innovative prodcut design)... the three 'service design ' students that I talked to earlier in the semester have progressed well. Especially the idea of writ to the future has a strong potential to become a very interesting service system if developed a bit further. The text-order-music one is a bit pointless to me, maybe just because I am not a techy kind of persone...

It is quite funny that when students start to play with in this concept of 'service design', you see it turns from designing one product into designing many products... or one poster into a poster that shows on your mobile, on the wall and on the TV... something is missing there... eventhough I am not quite sure what is missing.

Compared with real-world practice, most of the student work stop in a conceptual level. The nature of inter-discipline in a 'service design' project somehow is lost if it stays in a conceptual level. Fundemantally it is the use of a service system that makes it valuable. By its nature, most of the services are produced simultaneously. Design ideas fail apart when it is produced, if the delivery system cannot work actively with the provider and consumer althoghter after implementation. Once designed, a product can be re-produced by machines at a certain quality guarantee. While service system have to be designed with a people system in mind. As for the education in service design, the people aspects as producers are still isolated from the design process.

For people as producer to be considered, the conceptual of management -- the science of organising people -- is inevitable here... that brings another level of complexity to the problem solving process... maybe 'service design' itself is really too complex and not possible to achive a full understanding at tha undergraduate level education... but I am still very happy to see students try to tackle such problems. Even the rising of such an awareness itself is healthy move to bring in fresh ideas...

I am very happy to see one of the service design solution is designed by a student coming to the Master of Design course next year... hope that she can carry the interest on 'service design' onto the master programme. It would be exciting to see people brings all these new thoughts into the research of service design!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Service Design Conference 2008

Just find this conference seems fit perfectly into my research...however, I am not going...wish that I could though...
All the presenters are quite heavy-weight researchers and practioners in service design...
Hope to go next year if they still have one!

" This year the service design conference takes place at the Hong Kong Design Center.

The conference will explore a range of issues in the customer’s journey such as how to look at the service process through the eyes of the customer; how to create visible evidence of customer value and lasting impressions of the service provider at touch points; and how service design can offer policy makers and practitioners a vision for the transformation of public services. Case studies will show how design-specific competences can be systematically developed within service organisations including those in the public sector. "

see the website of Service.Design.Network for details...