Week 1: Understanding meaning in design

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design

“Introduction to week 1 … Lecture: Why are things the way they are? … 1c Lecture: Why should we design (more)? … Assignment 1: Mapping & deconstructing your morning ritual … 1d How to reflect on your work? … 1e Additional material”
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Summaries

  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Introducing the Delft Design Approach
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Introducing Design in Delft
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Explaining morning rituals
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1b Lecture: Why are things the way they are? > Why are things the way they are?
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1c Lecture: Why should we design (more)? > Why should we design (more)?
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > Assignment 1: Mapping & deconstructing your morning ritual > 1.3 Presenting your work
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1d How to reflect on your work? > Introducing Benchmarks: Benchmark video 1.1
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1d How to reflect on your work? > Benchmark video 1.2
  • Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > * Sofa session - Reflection on week 0: Welcome! > Sofa session week 1

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Introducing the Delft Design Approach

  • Hi! And welcome to this online course on the Delft Approach to Design.
  • In this course, we will introduce you to the basic principles of designing meaningful products as we teach it in Delft.
  • Learning to become a designer is about acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills, but also about gaining experience.
  • The teaching staff on this course is thrilled to not only tell you about design, but also to let you experience the act of designing yourself! You will have to get your feet wet! Each week, you will take classes, engage in design exercises and compare your performance to a benchmark.
  • As you go along, you will go through the design process from the early stages of framing your ideas to concept development and finally testing.
  • The design exercises are tied together by a design theme.
  • You will be designing a product to improve people’s morning rituals.
  • You also learn from the experience of practicing designers in the field.
  • Together, we hope that these elements provide you a unique online course on design.
  • As a designer one of the first things you want to learn is that deadlines can help you in making decisions – and making progress.
  • This week, we will first introduce you to the way that we teach designing in Delft.
  • We also explain you the design theme of morning rituals.
  • You will gain insight into a user’s world and learn how to use those insights to inspire your design process.
  • In week three, you will define a design challenge based on the insights that you have gathered.
  • You will generate ideas based on the design challenge that you formulated.
  • We will ask you to make a list of requirements that can guide further development of your design.
  • You will learn what a design concept entails and how to choose between concepts.
  • Week seven is about getting feedback from users on your design.
  • You will finish the course with a presentation of your final design concept where you have the chance to explain why your design is valuable and meaningful to its users! As you can see, there is a lot of exciting work ahead of us.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Introducing Design in Delft

  • All these products are designed and have an appearance.
  • To some, the design of a product’s appearance is all that designing is about.
  • We advocate and teach that there is a process that underlies the act of designing.
  • To a designer from Delft, designing is a verb first, and a noun second.
  • If you ask a designer from Delft about his or her definition of design, he or she will probably start talking about design as an activity and not directly about a product.
  • So what is designing about? Designing is about creating value and meaning to people.
  • Designing is also about innovation and creating new products.
  • The Delft Design Approach is a process for coming up with innovative designs.
  • Because designing is about creating new products, there is never a single right answer at the end of a design project.
  • For a single design problem, there are many possibilities to come up with a design that solves that problem.
  • We use them to allow you to have more control over complex and uncertain situations that are inherent to design.
  • Perhaps most of all, a student of design needs to have: An attitude to want to engage with the complexity of a real world design problem.
  • We invite you to dive into the Delft Design Approach and experience yourself what it takes to become a designer! “.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1a Introduction to week 1 > Explaining morning rituals

  • In this course we define a morning ritual as the set of activities from the moment somebody wakes up, to the moment when that person arrives at work or school or wherever else the day really starts.
  • By now, you will begin to see that everybody’s morning ritual is both very different from each other, but also the same.
  • People use all kinds of products during their morning rituals.
  • All these products influence the experience they have during the morning ritual.
  • A flimsy razor with a dull blade might give you a bad shaving experience and leave you with the feeling that you’re always clumsy in the morning.
  • You probably use all kinds of products that allow you to do so.
  • From a design perspective, morning rituals are not only about activities and products.
  • They are also about how people interact with products and their environment.
  • Or your Car? As you might start to see, people’s morning rituals are diverse and consist of many different activities, products, other people, maybe even animals.
  • As a designer, your main goal is to have a positive impact on the way people experience their lives, including their morning rituals.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1b Lecture: Why are things the way they are? > Why are things the way they are?

  • Hi. Everything around us has been designed: The city we live in, the car we drive, and all the products we use to start our day: the alarm clock, the coffee maker, the kitchen table, shower, toothbrush and razor.
  • Products have all kinds of properties: the materials they are made of, their shape, their weight, and colour, and their technical features; the kind of things we can more or less objectively describe.
  • Through associations and metaphorical connections, people project these expressive qualities on products and they may therefore disagree whether a product has a certain quality.
  • We may experience ‘convenience’ when using this automatic device, but at the same time we may feel a bit overwhelmed or dominated: “How can I make it stop!?” But WHY do we want to brush our teeth this way and use this electric device? why do we want to put a nail in the wall and thus need a hammer? Or why do we want to call home and believe we need a mobile phone? To understand why things are the way they are and why we interact with them the way we do, we need to look at the third level, the level where all reasons underlying a design come together For the electric toothbrush for example People like comfort and convenience, or people want a healthy set of teeth.
  • For the nails and the hammer: people want to be surrounded by beautiful things, or people cherish their memories And for the mobile phone: people do not want to disappoint other people, people like to feel important.
  • At this third level, which we call the context level look at all the reasons and considerations why things are the way they are, and what makes products meaningful to people.
  • These reasons are rooted in us, in people; in what we need and aspire, in what we consider important and valuable, in our concerns and expectations.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1c Lecture: Why should we design (more)? > Why should we design (more)?

  • Hi. In my first video I explained how to look at the designed world in terms of WHAT, HOW, and WHY.
  • If you have these kinds of thoughts, as I hope you do you think and feel like a designer; someone who sees opportunities to change the world for the better.
  • If you have these kinds of thoughts, you have started to think about a new context, a different set of reasons and considerations that may underlie the new design.
  • This is what designing is all about and it all sounds so deceptively simple.
  • Why would that be? First, you have to decide what factors to take into account in your new context: what is the set of reasons and considerations YOU want to work with? In other words, what will the ‘reason of existence’ of your design be; what is the effect, the experience, the behavior, you want to cause in the lives of people you are designing for? Obviously, these factors can come from many different sources and can be found anywhere.
  • In the human-centered design process that we advocate the factors stem primarily from understanding people and the world they live in.
  • When you want, or are asked, to design a new car, you could consider trends and developments in mobility, such as: Status is shifting from ownership to relationships.
  • Or people like the sensation of danger, but only when they know it is actually safe like in a rollercoaster These kind of factors can be found anywhere and you have to do proper research to find the ones you like and need.
  • You can look into the media and on the internet; you can carefully look around and listen to others; you can interview experts and consult scientific studies; and you can go outside and observe people or even talk to them.
  • You, as a designer, or, more likely, as a design team, have to decide what factors are relevant and interesting.
  • YOU have to make the choices and that makes you responsible for the final design and all its implications.
  • This makes designing such a beautiful activity and profession; and this makes designing as responsible as the work of an engineer or medical doctor.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > Assignment 1: Mapping & deconstructing your morning ritual > 1.3 Presenting your work

  • Maybe you were wondering how you can present your work in the best way.
  • We created templates to help you with organizing your assignment.
  • When you fill in your template be aware that you’ll have to communicate your answers to others.
  • If you have the idea that you didn’t communicate your ideas clear enough, you could make a small video of your work template to explain more details.
  • ” You can record your template while talking about the content.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1d How to reflect on your work? > Introducing Benchmarks: Benchmark video 1.1

  • If you would like to know how you were supposed to tackle the weekly assignment, or if you want to know if you have performed the assignment correctly, in these benchmark video’s we show you how by showing you our approach.
  • ” ” You can find our templates of the performed assignments online and together with the benchmark video’s you can use these to reflect on your own work or use them as input for peer reviewing.
  • Besides us showing you our approach every week an expert from the work field will evaluate on the assignment and will explain how he applies the method in practice.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > 1d How to reflect on your work? > Benchmark video 1.2

  • In this benchmarkvideo we have strategic specialist and expert of the week Matthijs van Dijk guiding us through the steps.
  • So what’s the first step? Step 1 try to describe your morning ritual as a whole.
  • The morning ritual, it’s a routine more or less right.
  • You don’t really have to think about it, that’s what I thought.
  • Then you’re already thinking about how you’re experiencing it so then you are at the end user level, so this is only about the ritual as such.
  • When you think about personalities, we came up with tight severe and boring as characteristics during the week when we compare it to the weekend.
  • Be careful if you have photographs that you don’t only collect the things that you want, how you want the ritual to see, instead of how it is.
  • A morning ritual is often it is disaster and hell.
  • Step 2 How do you interact with your morning ritual? The next stage is about, it is what you already have been doing a little.
  • To make you understand what rituals are all about but how you feel and what kind of relationship you have with the morning ritual.
  • Know what I mean? Love hate, it changes over time during my ritual.
  • So this is the one during the week or not? This is during the week definitely, yes And if you try to just as a first attempt to say something about the relationship you have with the morning ritual in the weekend? So there is a more intimate relationship? Yeah I think so.
  • I think that’s beautiful what you say that it is more distant.
  • Yeah but because it is still a morning ritual it’s not that intimate.
  • That’s interesting, because when I am thinking of my morning ritual.
  • So if you feel that this pleasure arises, because you understand how you feel, then we’re on the right track.
  • Step 3 understanding why your morning ritual is like it is now.
  • So we were talking about the what, the how, so the how is the interaction and now we move upwards in the story of pull.
  • So now we have to think why is it like it is, so why do we suffer? So indeed why do I make myself feel judged in my morning ritual.
  • There’s factors that kind of change in time and there’s factors that are stable in time, so lets try if we can see if we can find some factors underlyning what we see over here.
  • I think we have to start , so where do you think this distinction between weekend and during the week comes from? That’s time, probably right? For me it’s time, that I want to take care of myself.
  • Isn’t the factor a kind of principle that you want to take care of yourself because you want to become part of a bigger whole? So that’s the idea of kind of becoming a collective.
  • I think so when you look at the deconstruction it is interesting that if you do this deconstruction you understand the why, so why things are the way they are.

Week 1: Understanding meaning in design > * Sofa session – Reflection on week 0: Welcome! > Sofa session week 1

  • My name is Annemiek van Boeijen, educated here as industrial design engineer and now I’m working here as an Assistant Professor.
  • It was a great pleasure to read you introductions; with your morning rituals and to find so many design processes: Well done.
  • Let’s go to my room and then we will reflect on the design process.
  • Here you see an example where the design process is represented very linear.
  • It’s in the beginning a lot of chaos even, and there are more iterative circular reasonings in the design process and that’s visualised a little bit more here.
  • This is actually a nice one, because it shows also the aim that you actually finally design for the world.
  • There is a kind of effect that you will have on the world with your stuff here, with your design.
  • It starts with the user, the market, cultural aspects and the design research.
  • Then you have a phase, which is called here ‘innovation’ and then there is the concept development and the presentation.
  • There is still a lot here, which is about the engineering.
  • This is a totally different representation, which actually more communicates also our mood, that designing is a lot of tears and sweat.
  • Actually what I like about it, is that it is showing the creative and iterations that you make.
  • Especially in the beginning when you learn to design, it’s nice to learn your own way of designing and that it helps you in your design process.
  • It starts also with analysing and with a phase that you conceptualise and that there is a final design.
  • Interesting is to see that here is a step added and it says that there is a random last minute idea and I think that’s very nice, because sometimes you will see in your design process that you’ll have to start from the beginning again.
  • Finally, probably this is also a good graphic designer.
  • What I like about this representation, it shows not only the different phases in a design process, it shows also the activities and it shows also that it is the way you work.
  • It shows your perspective, with what kind of goal are you actually designing.
  • Ok here is a simple representation of our design process in the Delft Design Approach course.
  • It shows also the different phases: discover, define, design and deliver, we call it here.
  • In the discover phase for example, you will diverge and you’ll come up with a lot of ideas using your intuition and then there will always be a moment where you need to select, that you have to deside on certain ideas.
  • In between you also see the intermediate results, like the design challenge, the ideas, the concepts and the tested concept.
  • So actually it is very typical for designing that you always explore and go broad diverging and finally also need to converge.

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