Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pieter Desmet Lecture

Pieter Desmet Editorial

Pieter Desmet is a designer, researcher and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Design at the Delft University of Technology.
He is the founder of the Design & Emotion Society and became a much requested international speaker after he†published†his book;†Designing Emotions.
The lecture that took place in front of the entire Design Academy body was based on a discussion of Pieters research in Design for Emotion; and more specifically
on the lawful nature of design emotions
Pieters main train of thought prescribed that although emotional responses to product design are subjective and therefore intangible, the process underlying these emotions is lawful. In his lecture, Pieter Desmet discussed some†universal principles in how emotions are elicited, and how these†can be used†to understand the complex and†personal nature of design emotions.

Following the lecture there was a intimate question time with a smaller group of students where various questions were asked, such as:
1. When were you first interested in emotion design?

2. I have read that you have stated there are general patterns in how products elicit emotions. Could you please explain further about one or more of these patterns?

4. In the bigger picture of design, how can you see emotional design influencing the well being of humans?

5. Do you also think that emotional design principles can be utilised in the design process to extend the life of a product as well as being utilised to encourage consumerism? how?

6. Do you go through a specific type of research procedure to describe whether the products you are endorsing are better for the environment or for the consumer than other products available?

7. What would you say to someone that might question the ethical responsibilities of an emotional designer that can possibly change someone’s behaviour either consciously or subconsciously through emotional design?

8. Where do you see your research going in the future?

There were other questions and all the answers that can be found on the accompanying video recording.
On the whole, the lecture was a great success with interesting questions and answers that many students enjoyed.

Anthony Dunne Lecture

Anthony Dunne Editorial

On January 23rd, Anthony Dunne, head of the Interaction Design Department at the Royal College of Arts (London) and former member of the Dunne & Raby design office, gave a lecture at the White Lady’s 5th floor open to all Design Academy students. After that he joined the master student’s group in a more informal discussion.
In both moments he tried to explain and gave very clear examples on his approach to design – the “design for debate”. He says that the design that is practiced “is out of synchrony with today’s world”, and that in this transition phase we must “redesign design”, experimenting and pushing concepts to their limits, as well as linking them to technology.
Instead of focusing on applications, Dunne’s “design for debate” focus on the implications of technology, on the effects it has or might have on us. He says that as designers we must notice the impacts of technology and point the directions we want it to go.
In his lecture he showed us some of his student’s works – as “Dressing the Meat of Tomorrow” by James King and “Sensual Interfaces” by Chris Wolbken – and works produced by his office, for instance the “Evidence Dolls” (Paris – Pompidou Centre, 2004-5), “Is this your Future?” (London, Science Museum, 2004), and the “Placebo” project (exhibited at MOMA), among others.
One main question that lies over Dunne’s work and that students asked him is why he doesn’t sell or introduce the products he conceives in the market, in order to give people the possibility to experience these interesting “museum-pieces” in a strongest way. “Placebo” was his only experiment where people could have the object in their houses, but even in this case it was a very limited group and for a limited time.
Anthony Dunne answered that industries are not interested in producing his objects. He tried it with some of them, for instance the “Compass table” (part of the “Placebo” project), but studies showed they would become very expensive and not commercially interesting. On the other hand, he also says that if his designs were produced, they wouldn’t be “for debate” anymore.
Anthony Dunne thinks that there’s potential for designers in other roles rather than just making products for the market. If there are museums specialized in design, these places should look for new scenarios and experiments, not present us things that are already in the shops. So, his position in design is to think of it in different ways, with new contents and ideas, relating it much more to science with a visionary but still realistic approach.
In this point comes another interesting question about Art “versus” Design: if the design exists only in museums and is made only to have a controlled experience of the user, then isn’t it an art piece with function, instead of a normal product? Isn’t design for debate just a design for designers?
Dunne goes back to his point and says that there are designers that work for mass-production, others make one-off series or work inside companies, and the world needs all these kinds of designers. But especially in the world of technology and electronics, designers are always asked to make skins, and not to elaborate ideas on the intentions of the objects. In his view there’s space for all this diversity to coexist, and designers should be more present in creating the concepts of the products, not only their look.
We agree and think that maybe actually there’s a lack of designers that produce debate, conceiving visions of our future life and inspiring designers that deal with different problems. A more critical approach is not only interesting, but also necessary in times when design seems to have its role and responsibility broadened.

Stuart Walker Lecture

Stuart Walker Editorial

Stuart Walker Article, 09 12 2007
Stuart Walker began our interview with a brief discussion of his new work
with Imagination @ Lancaster, a new initiative in the UK which concentrates
on interdisciplinary studies. It consists of PHD programs that conduct
research with other faculties, institutions and with industry.
In discussion of his new book, Sustainable by Design, he spoke about the
environmental and energy problems that our current systems propogate.
He posits that we currently live within a material culture where electronic
products have no value because they are immediately replaceable. The
book suggests ways to address this problem, including the creation of
objects that, after use, can be easily redistributed back into the built
environment. In this way, it becomes possible to reconsider existing
products as a material resource.
Walker focuses on electronic goods because there are virtually none
produced at a small scale, or on a local level. This is in contrast to more
craft-oriented products, such as furniture. However, it’s at the local level
that the electronics are discarded. It is on this part of the product lifecycle
that his work is focused.
The work shown in his book represents these ideas. He stresses that his
projects are only studies about the nature of functional objects, asking
questions about how we look at our built environment. As an academic,
he is able to work on a level removed from immediate consumer culture,
spreading his ideas through exhibitions and publications instead.
Last, Walker describes the myth of the “new.” He describes how newness
is immediately gone the moment you open the box, and this creates a
constant dissatisfaction with products, and an unending desire to buy more.
However, he notes that if we are able to build “elegant aging” into an object,
we can address this problem.
As a group, we appreciate Stuart Walker’s approach, and his theory that
it is important to acknowledge the ephemerality of objects, and to design
accordingly. However, we were often disappointed with the final results of
the work. His ideas of “re-presentation” and “re-appreciation” only address
product design at a surface level and put a new name to the age-old idea
of reuse. Furthermore, though the work can function very well as art, this
approach is very limited.

Stuart Walker Interview

Stuart Walker Interview Transcript, 09 12 2007
Rachel Griffin: So I thought it would be nice to first welcome you to
Eindhoven and the Design academy and then also to begin with you
speaking a little bit now about your current position at Imagination
@ Lancaster telling us what you guys are doing there, what kind of
projects you’re focusing on, so on and so forth.
Stuart Walker: I moved recently from the University of Calgary where I
was the Associate Dean of Research for a number of years and Professor
of Industrial Design, and the faculty of environmental design at the
University of Calgary is a small postgraduate faculty that concentrates
on interdisciplinary studies, industrial design, architecture, urban design
and planning, and environmental science—it’s really environmental
management—but it’s called environmental science. The design of large
scale landscape interventions, and management of that.
But it was founded on interdisciplinarity, so I was asked to take over
the position at Lancaster University which is a small research-intensive
University in the UK. Because they are setting up a new initiative which is
called Imagination @ Lancaster, which concentrates on interdisciplinary
studies and wants to set up new PhD programs and to conduct research
with other faculties, with other institutions and with industry. And thats the
kind of thing I was doing at Calgary.
It’s a rare opportunity, I think, that an academic gets to go in at the ground
floor and really build something from the start. And it was also back in
Britain, which I’d lived in Canada for 17 years and loved it, absolutely loved
it, but Britain is home for me, so that was an extra kind of enticement to go
back. So with the combination of the two, we decided to move back to the
UK. I’ve been there about a month and a half, two months.
Oh so it’s still very new!
It’s very new! We’ve just had the launch last Wednesday in London, at the
Design Museum.
Congratulations! So, stepping backwards, just for a moment, to
the book. You said something that I thought was very interesting,
comparing the sustainable design movement to religion. I thought
that was very potent, especially being in a department that focuses
on this sort of thing. So could you describe that idea further and
perhaps also it’s implications, if you feel that there are any for the
way that we deal with this issue.
Um, yeah, there’s a chapter in the book called Sustainabiity: the Evolution
of Contemporary Myth, which likens the sustainability movement, or our
current concerns, and articulation of sustainability, I liken it to a religion.
Now I don’t think it’s as profound as many of the religions, but I think in a
rationalistic, science-based world, where religion has been marginalized,

Rebecca Early Lecture

Rosan Bosch Lecture Editorial

Rosan Bosch, “WHY NOT?”

Rosan Bosch is one part of the duo “Bosch & Fjord” , she was born in Utrecht, but now she is working and living in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Rosan and Rune Fjord consider art to have a social and cultural importance in society. Art contributes to increasing the quality of life and takes part in creating refuges in society. Bosch & Fjord wishes to create a dialogue with the surrounding society and make art a natural part of everyday life.Read more about .
Bosch & Fjord create art projects in dialogue with companies, public institutions and others, where art gets a distinct function. Bosch & Fjord develops concepts and designs challenging space that directs towards a different usage, action and ways of thinking. The projects by Bosch & Fjord cut across expectations and professional groupings.
During the lecture she presented herself as an artist that is working with company in a sort of creative collaboration. The most interesting point come out during both the interview and the lecture, is probably her strong and creative approach at different projects experience and more her incredible collaboration with the company as an integrant part of the process.
Looking from the outside what Bosch & Fjord are doing, is quite surprising and unique how they are creating incredible art installation and transform them in an integrant part of an existing public or private space.
An example of they’re way of working is the project “Gumstrategy”, is a redesign of the Danish parliament that in a humorous way poses questions as to what democracy is and what democracy looks like. At visitors can experience a parliament where the politicians are discussing the future of the country sitting on fitness balls or wearing polar jackets in a cold, cold freezing room. In the new parliament the politicians are challenged into breaking habits and thinking new thoughts from different perspectives.

With Gumstrategy Bosch & Fjord wishes to open up for a discussion on democracy and pose questions like: what does democracy look like? How does the design affect the people who use it? What is the influence of the shape of the space and the materials on the government? How innovative and new thinking is a parliament really?

More practical but still unexpected is the result of the collaboration with Ordrup School in Gentofte, Denmark.
Bosch & Fjord has settled with traditional design of school interiors and instead created varied rooms with space for differentiated teaching and creative thinking. You will find heightened window seating where you can sit and watch the world outside, green platforms with round, red holes where discussions can buzz and bubble and large upholstered tubes where you can hide with a good book or to spend some time alone.
Rosan during the interview said: Thinking that all people are different, thinks differently and learn differently, wecreated a complete and challenging design at Ordrup School. The design is based in three concepts, 'peace & absorption', 'discussion & cooperation' and 'security & presence', that will separate the individual areas in distinct functions and create new rooms for learning. By separating the activities and creating varied rooms we created a space for dissimilarity in both teaching and play where the learning situation will be optimized.
The most interesting part of the project has been shown by Rosin during the lecture : the design process based with the employees and students of the school where habits and usual ways of thinking were challenged to move focus from the physical frames to functionality. During the fall Bosch & Fjord temporarily moved into the school and set the students and employees tasks that naturally could form part of the daily lessons. Organically formed pieces of carpet were used to create temporary territories and space for discussions, while Pippi gymnastics in each class hour brought movement as an integrated part of the lessons into focus. At the same time employees and students were given pads of yellow and pink post-it sticks to place on their favourite spots. This was supposed to show both parties an insight into each others different ways of thinking and considering rooms. The purpose of all assignments in the process was to challenge the traditional use of the rooms and create new ways of thinking rooms as active tools in the teachings.
During the lecture Rosan demonstrated her capacity to speak about her projects and her works with the same visual and poetic power of her installations, remembering to us an important and basic concept: there are no ideas too difficult to realize or situations too difficult to change.