Monday, 29 September 2008

circles and arrows

Sometime I wonder what other people's research *look* like?

Mine, according to Jonathan, is 'circles and arrows'. Well... definitely spot on!

Well... I am a sticky notes & wallpaper freak as well... I guess if you look into my mind... you see these pink, orange, yellow and green notes all over...
Have to have a wall full of sticky notes diagrams on it in the office - that I call a 'Thinking Wall'...

Just modeled my PhD research landscape with Tom. We tried to play with some 3D ideas this time... just for fun... but it seems working fine, even simply with sticky notes - yes, how can you live without them ?!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

a new world

Terry Iwrin's lecture on the first day of Master of Design course, very impressive!

Terry talked about how assumptions projected by designer's world view influence their way of working and thinking and, of course, design. She talked about we as designers should find the balance between specialising in content and details and seeing connections between things.

She continued to argue that our worldview influence what we can perceive and what we cannot perceive, and designers (or professions that engage any kind of cooperation with other beings... basically that is everyone on earth...) should be aware of this pre-set bias of our own worldview and accept 'other ways of thinking'. I agree that the most important point here is that there is really no 'correct' way of thinking, only different styles of thinking. However, we as human have the power of influencing other ways of thinking by method, as simple as, conversation. Awareness is much more important than correctness!

Her touch on chaos theory is interestingly related to my own research in organistional dynamics, where certainty and control has become out-of-date way of organising. Instead, navigating through 'wicked problems' is the new topic. Understanding, exploring, and tolerating new phenomena, either inside or outside any individual/ group/ organisation becomes the key of surviving.

'Chaos is creative, flexible and often stable, but it always defies predictability and control. '

She also talked about 'wicked problems' (the problems that are often ill defined and has more than one solutions and... change over time...) and 'tame problems' (well, the opposite...) in terms of design problems. I just notice that Prof. Seaton Baxter is going to do a lecture on wicked problem on 7th Oct. He never disappoints me with his unique presenting style and always refreshing points~ can't wait!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

I am not a designer...

I came cross Nathan Shedroff 's quote about experience design on the website. His Experience Design is the first book I read about this subject -- about three years ago. Interestingly, Shedroff has a very complex and vague way to describe what is experience and what designer is doing with experience encounters. Emotions, Trust, Privacy, Ambiguity, Delight, Satisfaction and Personality... seems all relevant but also far from what one can 'design'. This vague view perhaps is a honest reflection on this pioneer designer's feeling of his own position in this changing world, as many other design pioneers.

Shedroff bravely states: I am not a designer.
" ... I believe that all experiences share particular characteristics that make them successful--whether these are online experiences, such as websites, or real, physical ones, such as theater, meetings, parties, products, environments, buildings, etc. In order to build successful, engaging, and meaningful experiences we must understand what makes experiences wonderful in all media. Certainly, most online experiences are pale and unsatisfying in comparison to those in the rest of our life.

The development of all experiences must create solutions to problems of information creation, interaction, and, of course, sensorial media (the visual, audible, tactile, and other sensory displays that form the solution that people experience. Issues of understanding and meaning (information) and usability and appropriateness (interaction) are cerebral solutions that are only expressible with very sensory components. However, the real problems--and the most interesting solutions--lie in these cognitive processes and not in the beauty of the finished experience. This isn't to say that beautiful experiences aren't important, but beauty without purpose is, ultimately, meaningless."

Perhaps, by saying 'I am not a designer' we can eventually free ourselves from the limits and bias we set for ourselves.