Artefactual emptiness - On appropriation in kansei design

Artefactual emptiness – On appropriation in kansei design

Lévy, P. (2020). Artefactual emptiness - On appropriation in kansei design. Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2020, KEER2020 ([on CD]). Tokyo, Japan: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

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Appropriation is the phenomenon by which an artefact is adapted for a specific use, distinct from the original design intention. By essence, it cannot be planned by design. However, it is a major aspect in the experience one may have in interaction with an artefact, as it leads to the feelings of ownership and to the effective situatedness of the artefact. It is therefore significantly contributing to designing for sustainability and for the everyday. This paper intends to address how design can consider the possibility of appropriation. Taking a kansei design approach, inspired from the nishidian philosophy on perception, we introduce the notion of artefactual emptiness as a space provided by design and left to the user to adapt the artefact for its integration in the habitability of the world. This space is made accessible and inviting by involving irregularities, suggested by Yanagi Soetsu as a means towards beauty, and implemented in design through micro-considerations and micro-frictions. Artefactual emptiness leads to beauty in experience, expected from a kansei perspective and made possible by kansei design. This work on appropriation through kansei design also leads to question the attention appropriation should have in other domains of kansei research, especially kansei evaluation. It calls for finding ways in kansei research to evaluate over time the kansei effect of appropriation on experience.


Exploring Public Playgrounds through a Data-Enabled Design Approach

Exploring Public Playgrounds through a Data-Enabled Design Approach

van den Heuvel, R., Lévy, P., Vos, S., & Hummels, C. (2020). Exploring Public Playgrounds through A Data-Enabled Design Approach. Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1145/3393914.3395865

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A shared goal set by many local governments is to stimulate physical activity in neighborhoods. Public playgrounds play an important role in governmental policies for promoting physical activity. Although these playgrounds are generally considered beneficial for participation in physical activity, detailed data on their use is lacking. As a result, it is not clear to policymakers whether their policy choices are the right ones and designers cannot sufficiently align their design choices with the actual behavior of their end users. This Work-in-Progress presents a sensor-based data collection approach to collect detailed data in a real-life setting over a longer period of time. With this, we adapted the Data-Enabled Design process towards public environments by combining a quantitative sensor implementation alongside qualitative research. We show findings from two months of data collection on seven playgrounds and discuss next steps in the Data-Enabled Design framework.


The Office Jungle: A Vision for Wildness to Turn Offices into Jungles

The Office Jungle: A Vision for Wildness to Turn Offices into Jungles

Nieuweboer, I., Damen, I., Brombacher, H., Lévy, P., Vos, S., & Lallemand, C. (2020). The Office Jungle: A Vision for Wildness to Turn Offices into Jungles. Companion Publication of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, 341–344. https://doi.org/10.1145/3393914.3395818

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The Office Jungle is an experimental office environment designed to make offices more “wild”. Through this demonstration and associated design vision, we make a first attempt to reflect on and to define what characterizes wildness and how it could empower people in more playful and active lifestyles, particularly in the workplace. In our understanding, wildness is not an exclusive property of nature, but rather a condition that can be designed for. How wildness can be designed is described here in a set of design principles called “Design for Wildness”, inspired by the work of Gibson. The Office Jungle, a large geodesic sphere of 2 meters in diameter, is part and parcel of these design principles and can be used as a tool to design other wild environments. Such environments could benefit people working in the office, many of whom have been suffering the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.


Design research and innovation framework for transformative practices

Design research and innovation framework for transformative practices

Hummels, C., Trotto, A., Peeters, J., Lévy, P., Alves Lino, J. & Klooster, S. (2019). Design research and innovation framework for transformative practices. In Strategy for change (pp. 52-76). Glasgow, UK: Glasgow Caledonian University. ISBN: 978-972-789-482-6

In this chapter, the concept of Transformative Practices is introduced, i.e. shared relative steady ways of living and working with others (Wittgenstein, 1993), including specific configurations of actions, norms and knowledge (Freeman et al., 2011) and related tools and environments, focused at addressing our societal challenges, by transforming (elevating) our personal and social ethics and related behaviour through designing new ways of interaction with each other and the world. Through design research and innovation within these practices, we work together towards social-culturally, environmentally and economically sustainable communities.


Designing for the everyday through thusness and irregularity

Designing for the everyday through thusness and irregularity

Lévy, P. (2019). Designing for the everyday through thusness and irregularity. In Proceedings of 8th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2019. Manchester, UK: Manchester Metropolitan University.

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The concept of ‘everyday’ is a central topic in design, and this paper argues for more attention and discussion on the everyday than what is currently done in design research. By elaborating what the everyday is, designers can better formulate a perspective on people’s lives and experiences, and therefore can better contribute to the enchantment of the everyday through designing. To contribute to this effort of clarification and enchantment, we first attempt to clarify the concept of everyday and thereafter suggest notions originating from Japanese philosophy to address the everyday in design. The everyday is described mostly through the process of quotidianisation of the unfamiliar towards the familiar. To support designing for the everyday, we propose to focus on Japanese notions: thusness and irregularity. Thusness invites to consider the experience of the here-and-now as being the active relation with the entirety of the world through interaction. Irregularity invites to keep something unexplained in the design, eliciting possibilities of exploration, openness, change, and the shift of perspective. Finally, three relatively practical design concepts, namely micro-considerations, micro-frictions, and (es)sential details, are proposed to support application of thusness and irregularity through design.


A Design Approach towards Affording the Trend of Privacy

A Design Approach towards Affording the Trend of Privacy

Muller, D.A., & Lévy, P. (2019). A Design Approach towards Affording the Trend of Privacy. In Design Interactive Systems Conference, DIS19. New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3322276.3322324

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Society is affected by the consequences of data collection, and there are trends visible in law, the public debate and technology that could make a privacy-conscious future possible. We study how to avoid data collection from the perspective and the role of design, to provide a starting point for new developments in this context. We do so by presenting a portfolio that exemplifies a range of possible design contributions. We show how to design smart products for retail and smart home while avoiding data collection, how to convince clients through design, and how to use design to spread awareness. We present design notions and reflections that stem from this portfolio for the synthesis of new designs, that further explore the potential of design in practice that affords the trend of privacy.


Le temps de l'expérience, enchanter le quotidien par le design

Le temps de l’expérience, enchanter le quotidien par le design

Lévy, P. (2018). Le temps de l'expérience, Enchanter le quotidien par le design. Compiègne University of Technology, France

La cérémonie japonaise du thé est un moment d’expérience esthétique et éthique du quotidien, une harmonie entre objets, êtres, lieux et pratiques. Elle nous rappelle que les objets du quotidien, cœur même de notre culture matérielle, sont d’une beauté profonde et porteur d’une éthique admirable, et passent pourtant le plus souvent inaperçus. À la croisée d’une réflexion sur une approche « japonaise » en design au travers de l’étude du kansei, et d’une réflexion sur le design en IHM portée par les théories de l’embodiment, cette recherche interroge d’abord l’hégémonie culturelle occidentale du design en IHM, et établie ensuite un décentrage culturel de la discipline en prenant la philosophie et la culture japonaise comme théorie. Il en résulte un nouveau regard sur le design, autant en réception qu’en production, porté par une éthique de la relation, une expérience de l’ainsité, et une esthétique de l’irrégularité. Ce regard invite le design à enchanter le quotidien, lui proposant de considérer les détails de la réalité telle qu’elle est vécue, et de créer des moments d’inattendus, sources d’étonnement et de nouveaux possibles. Invitant donc à un décentrage culturel du design, cette recherche propose une approche originale pour un design du quotidien, et contribue à voir en lui une source esthétique et éthique majeure, pour développement de l’être, de sa sensibilité, et de ses valeurs.

Transcription de ma soutenance d’HDR

Je voudrais vous remercier d’être là aujourd’hui.

Je suis très heureux et honoré, de pouvoir soutenir mon HDR à l’Université de Technologie de Compiègne, et ce pour plusieurs raisons.

D’abord parce que l’UTC a mis au centre de son projet pédagogique en ingénierie les Technologies et Sciences de l’Homme, et a dédié une de ses filières au design industriel. Une vision dans laquelle je me retrouve totalement.
Mais aussi parce que c’est à l’UTC que j’ai commencé mes études et obtenue mon diplôme d’ingénieur en 2001.
C’est aussi par l’UTC que j’ai mis un premier pied au Japon, au travers de mon projet de fin d’étude en devenant responsable de l’innovation pour Décathlon au Japon.
C’est également à l’UTC que j’ai été initié à la recherche, sous la supervision d’Anne Guénand.
C’est également à l’UTC que j’ai rencontré pour la première fois en 2002 Prof. Yamanaka, dont j’ai eu l’honneur qu’il devienne mon directeur de thèse lors de ma thèse doctorale à l’Université de Tsukuba en Kansei Science obtenue en 2006.
C’est également à l’UTC que j’ai rencontré pour la première fois en 2003 Prof. Overbeeke, de l’Université de Technologie d’Eindhoven. Lors de mes visites en Europe, je n’ai cessé de rendre visite à l’UTC et à TU/e, me plongeant dans une réflexion sur le design et les théories liées à l’embodiment. Et en 2009, j’ai eu l’honneur de devenir assistant professor à TU/e dans le groupe de recherche Designing Quality in Interaction alors dirigé par Prof. Overbeeke.
Par la suite, une fois installé à TU/e, des collaborations ont continuées avec l’UTC, et notamment sur les sujets de la perception croisée et de la substitution sensorielle avec Prof. Lenay.

C’est donc dans une forme de continuité que je suis heureux de soutenir mon HDR aujourd’hui.

Plan

Ma présentation se structure en quatre parties.

Je vais d’abord expliquer mon approche en recherche au travers du design, approche qui structure mon activité.

Je vais ensuite présenter ce que j’appelle mon expérience japonaise, issue de mon expérience au japon et de mes réflexions sur le Japon, qui ont été déterminants pour un tournant de ma perspective sur le design.

C’est ce tournant que je vais ensuite expliquer, ainsi que ce qu’il a induit dans ma recherche.

Et finalement, je vais expliquer les conséquences de ce tournant pour le design, et notamment à propos des rituels du quotidien.

Recherche au travers du design

La recherche en design invite à une participation des compétences et de l’attitude du designer au sein de l’activité de recherche. La participation du design dans l’activité de recherche est pertinente si elle est accompagnée d’une réflexion associée à l’action, permettant la création de connaissances.

Cette recherche, liant action et réflexion, s’appuie sur la réflexion en action et sur l’action proposée par Schön (1983).
Cette approche est en adéquation avec les théories liées à l’embodiment, brillamment amenés au design par Dourish (2001).

La recherche au travers du design que je mène se structure principalement sur deux éléments :

  • La constructive design research qui invite à l’expérimentation de dispositifs conçus pour la recherche. L’ouvrage Research-through-Design (Koskinen et al., 2012) en est un marqueur majeur.
  • Le développement de l’outil de recherche des portfolios annotés proposé par Bill Gaver (2012), qui structure une analyse d’un corpus d’artefacts soit conçus dans le cadre du projet de recherche soit extérieurs à lui.

Le rôle du prototype est central dans cette approche, mais change de nature par rapport à celui pris classiquement en design : il n’est pas un modèle premier, proche de ce qui sera à produire en série, mais ce que Frens (2006) appelle une hypothèse physique, et Hengeveld (2011) une hypothèse expérientiable, un barbarisme très éloquent et qui correspond tout à fait au rôle du prototype.

Finalement, cette approche demande également un projet pour que le design puisse agir et contribuer à la recherche. Reprenant les termes de Sennett et les adaptant au design, Hummels qualifie cette demande de localisation de la question de recherche, qui peut alors être suivie par une réflexion en action permettant son questionnement, et une réflexion sur l’action pour un dépassement de la question de recherche au-delà du projet lui-même.

Telle est mon approche de recherche en design.

Expérience japonaise

Avant de devenir assistant professor à l’Université de Technologie de Eindhoven, j’ai passé à peu près 9 ans au Japon, essentiellement affilié à l’Université de Tsukuba, au laboratoire de Kansei Information Science, dirigé par Prof. Yamanaka, qui a également été mon directeur de thèse pendant mes études doctorales.

L’étude du Kansei a été pour moi un fil conducteur qui m’a permis d’avancer sur deux sujets fondamentaux dans ma recherche :

  • Un approfondissement de mon intérêt porté à la relation affective au monde vécu, ce qui m’a progressivement amené à m’intéresser aussi aux notions liées à l’embodiment.
  • Une curiosité personnelle et intellectuelle pour la culture japonaise, et pour ce qu’elle dévoile de la beauté du quotidien.

Concrétisation du beau

En particulier, je me suis intéressé à la Voie du Thé, qu’Okakura (1906) décrit dans son ouvrage célèbre Le Livre du Thé comme étant le culte du beau de l’ordinaire au quotidien. Et je me suis également intéressé à la cérémonie japonaise du thé, qui en est une expérience ritualisée mise en forme par Rikyu au XVIe siècle.

Pour illustrer ce que j’y ai vu, je voudrais prendre l’exemple d’un court moment de la cérémonie, illustré par la photo que vous voyez ici. Une fois que le thé léger a été servi, l’invité principal demande à l’hôte s’il peut contempler des objets utilisés pour le thé. L’hôte lui présente alors le chashaku et le chaire, le chashaku étant la petite spatule permettant de prendre le thé du chaire, qui est le conteneur du thé. Le diamètre de chaire est d’environ un tiers la longueur de chashaku. L’hôte pose le chashaku à deux nattes de distance du bord du tatami devant l’invité principal, et aligne le centre du chaire avec le centre du chashaku. Une fois que l’hôte s’est retiré dans la salle d’eau, c’est-à-dire la cuisine, l’invité se rapproche face aux deux objets, de façon à ce que ses genoux soient à deux nattes du chashaku. Assis en seiza, il pourra alors confortablement alors – dans un confort culturellement japonais – manipuler et contempler les deux objets présentés à lui.

Ce qui m’a impressionné ici est que Rikyu a réalisé une proposition esthétique d’harmonisation qui correspond à un système de valeurs (ne visant pas l’efficacité ou l’efficience), dans un souci esthétique, éthique et social, et qui permet la concrétisation du beau.

La cérémonie du thé comme design

Ce qui m’a amené à considérer que Rikyu (1522-1591) a transformé une proposition de valeurs, celles du bouddhisme et de l’étiquette wabi de son temps, en un système situé d’artefacts, d’acteurs sociaux, et de signes permettant une expérience engagée et sociale de ces valeurs.

Cette transformation repose sur le développement de la technologie de son temps répond à une attente sociale de son temps. Ce système est une proposition esthétique.

L’idée que la formalisation de la cérémonie japonaise du thé réponde à un « attente sociale de son temps » invite déjà à repenser le rituel non pas comme une répétition figée d’une séquence d’actions, mais comme une pratique du quotidien ré-interprétable en un temps et en un lieu.

De plus, la réalisation d’une proposition esthétique permet la mise en perspective de cette proposition esthétique par la pensée japonaise, et ouvre sur les notions de contexture et de la temporalité de l’expérience du quotidien, notions que l’on va questionner par la suite.

Mujirushi ryohin

Cette proposition esthétique se retrouve encore dans le design contemporain, comme par exemple chez mujirushi ryohin, plus connu sous le simple nom de muji. Si on analyse ce qui a été écrit sur la marque, ainsi que ce que les principaux acteurs qui ont participé au développement de la marque et du design – notamment Kenya Hara et Naoto Fukasawa – ont expliqué sur la philosophie et la vision de muji, on retrouve le plus souvent trois notions clés qui caractérisent le design de muji et semblent en adéquation avec des valeurs incarnées par la cérémonie japonaise du thé.

  • Le simple invite à considérer ce qui est évident ou essentiel, dépouillé de tout superflu.
  • L’ordinaire se penche sur ce qui apparait classique ou usuel, et utile à la vie de tous les jours. Cela invite également à une considération de l’habitabilité, notion chère à Alain Findeli.
  • Finalement, le vide concerne un espace de possibilités laissé ouvert par le design, à remplir par l’utilisateur (ou interactant) avec l’artefact, afin d’adapter la proposition de valeur à son lieu et à son temps au sein de son quotidien.

La proposition esthétique proposée par Rikyu se retrouve dans un design contemporain, celui de muji, et en l’occurrence ici un cuiseur du riz.

Tournant

À partir de cette observation sur le thé, et en observant un corpus d’artefacts issus du travail de designers contemporains japonais, cette proposition esthétique visant une forme d’harmonie entre valeurs, corps, gestes, etc. a provoqué un tournant dans mon regard sur le design.

En regardant la cérémonie japonaise du thé au travers de la lentille du design, j’y ai vu la cérémonie du thé comme prototypique d’un design basé sur la culture japonaise, ce qui a profondément secoué ma perspective sur le design.

J’ai donc retourné la lentille et regardé le design au travers de la lentille de la cérémonie du thé, et j’y ai vu une absence d’un cadre théorique permettant au design d’expliquer la cérémonie du thé. Et cette absence a alors laissé place à un manque à combler par un décentrage culturel du design.

Ce décentrage invite à redéfinir le rituel non pas comme une répétition à l’identique d’une séquence d’actions, mais comme une proposition esthétique qui permet d’être reconsidérer à chaque fois au quotidien.

Il apparait de plus que le rituel est à la fois social et singulier, et de plus toujours réinterprétable par ceux qui le proposent, les designers, et par ceux qui le vivent.

Le design est donc requestionné à l’aune du rituel, et le rituel est requestionné au travers du design.

Philosophie et culture japonaise

Pour réaliser ce décentrage, je me suis intéressé à la philosophie et la culture japonaise. Bien que je n’ai pas le temps ici de développer cette étude, je liste ici les principaux sujets sur lesquels mon attention s’est portée :

  • L’éthique de la relation de Watsuji, publiée en 1934 ;
  • La philosophie de Nishida (et un peu plus généralement de l’École de Kyoto) portant sur l’expérience, dont le principal ouvrage a été publié en 1911 ;
  • Les écrits de Dōgen sur le temps, datant du XIIIe siècle ;
  • Et le travail sur l’idée bouddhiste de la beauté développé par Yanagi et publié plus récemment en 1972.

Cadre pour le design

De cette étude, il en résulte que la proposition esthétique de la perspective japonaise étudiée ici se base sur deux axes sur lesquels le design peut agir :

  • L’ainsité, qui propose de porter le regard au-delà de l’interaction homme-machine, considérant un maximum d’éléments qui constituent le monde vécu, ainsi que leurs relations et l’harmonie globale. Elle suggère donc une méthode prenant le monde vécu comme point de départ, et non pas la relation homme-machine comme cela est classiquement fait, et visant une intégration harmonieuse de l’artefact conçu.
  • L’irrégularité propose une vision éthique pour le design du quotidien. Elle vise non pas une forme de perfection – très souvent considérée en design industriel–, mais la dépasse en se présentant comme une source de liberté et ouvrant des champs de possibles au sein de l’interaction.

Les deux photos présentées à gauche de l’écran sont, en haut, un motif de broderie conçu par Akira Minagawa en 2005, et en bas, un ensemble de manches de chasen (le fouet permettant de mélanger le thé pendant la cérémonie) imprimés 3D lors du projet de master de Shigeru Yamada que j’ai supervisé en 2016.

L’irrégularité dans le design de Minagawa consiste à faire un grand nombre de points de broderie au même endroit, si bien que la machine ne peut plus faire le point à l’endroit demandé à cause d’une trop grande densité de fil, ce qui fait que l’aiguille se tord pour pouvoir continuer à faire un point. Cela résulte en un ou plusieurs points de broderie réalisés dans un endroit non-planifié, et donc en une irrégularité.

Dans le cas du chasen, nous avons réalisé un manche de chasen basé sur un design paramétrique (la forme est décrite par une formule mathématique). Les six modèles sont réalisés par différentes vitesses d’impression. De droite à gauche, la première impression est faite à la vitesse standard de la machine, comme indiqué par le fabricant de la machine, puis 2, 3, 4 et 6 fois plus vite. Lorsque que nous avons montré ces manches de chasen à un groupe de maîtres du thé, considérés comme experts dans cette expérimentation, c’est le deuxième qui a été significativement le plus apprécié. Ce manche présente à la fois une possibilité d’être utilisé convenablement, et également une irrégularité subtile qui rend l’objet beau. On voit dans cette expérimentation que l’irrégularité est perçue comme belle.

La contexture du quotidien

Ce que l’ainsité et l’irrégularité m’ont permis est d’ouvrir à nouveau la question du quotidien et en particulier des rituels du quotidien. On questionne ici ce que les gens ressentent au quotidien, particulièrement au niveau esthétique. Les rituels sont justement un moment intéressant pour le design puisqu’ils donnent aux pratiques du quotidien un espace d’attention.

Or l’idée d’une proposition esthétique dont nous parlions tout à l’heure, nous renvoie à un regard esthétique de l’expérience dans l’ici-et-maintenant, et donc à ce que j’appelle une contexture.

Dans cet espace d’attention qu’est le rituel, il y a une texture, c’est-à-dire un travail sur la forme par l’organisation de l’espace, par le choix des objets, de la gestuelle et des pratiques… Cette texture est concrétisée par le rituel. Notre approche questionne donc la contexture livrée par la proposition esthétique du rituel et vise un équilibre qui permette une forme d’harmonie.

De plus le rituel comporte des aspects qui relèvent du social et du singulier. Pour le comprendre, il faut donc l’interroger à la fois sur ses aspects sociaux et singuliers. Pour saisir le singulier, cela fait environ deux ans que je demande à mes étudiants, qui ont des compétences suffisantes pour faire correctement des petits films de cette nature, d’en faire un sur un de leur propre rituels du quotidien. Ces films sont ensuite visionnés, discutés et analysés. Ceci est une méthode, parmi d’autres, visant à saisir des éléments constitutifs de l’expérience complexe, intime et implicite du quotidien, qui relèvent du singulier et qui visent une harmonie au sein de cette expérience.

La temporalité du quotidien

J’ai également mené une autre expérience visant à explorer un rituel du quotidien, et prenant pour objet sur mon chocolat chaud du matin. Ce que cette expérience a montré est que la question de la contexture, permettant donc d’aborder la proposition esthétique, questionne également nos valeurs temporelles, le plus souvent en opposition à l’efficience qui souvent en design industriel et en design d’interaction s’impose à toute question de la temporalité.
On se pose donc ici la question des valeurs de temps que l’on donne à ces expériences du quotidien.

Comment peut-on caractériser la temporalité du rituel, différemment de la théorie du flow par exemple, proposé par Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, visant lui aussi l’efficacité ? On vise ici une proposition esthétique qui questionne la temporalité, qui invite à prendre le temps : dans cette proposition, qu’est-ce qui valorise de s’arrêter pour écouter une musique, pour contempler un paysage, etc. C’est une autre question majeure ouverte par ce programme de recherche.

Enchanter le quotidien par le design

Ma recherche est donc une recherche en design, basée sur une contexture, un questionnement de la valeur temporelle, et un cadre théorique structuré sur l’ainsité et l’irrégularité.

Le but est d’utiliser la question de la contexture et de la temporalité, pour inviter la composition d’une expérience du quotidien. Et j’aime emprunter le propos de Bart Hengeveld, qui compare une telle composition à celle de la musique.

Cela se fait en résistance à la culture occidentale du design industriel, qui se focalise quasi-exclusivement sur l’efficience et l’efficacité, et qui semble résister à questionner l’émotion et l’irrégularité. La Design&Emotion Society, établie il y a une douzaine d’année et principalement portée par le Département de design industriel de l’Université de Technologie de Delft aux Pays-Bas, qui a d’abord bien fonctionnée, et qui est actuellement au point mort et en discussion pour comprendre ce qui fait que ça n’a finalement pas si bien fonctionner que cela. J’espère que cette recherche apporte une perspective originale au sein de cette discussion.

L’irrégularité est pour moi au centre de la démarche. L’irrégularité permet une absence de clôture, évite un design qui viserait une conduite réglée par une optimisation des moyens pour un but prédéterminé. Elle contribue à mieux comprendre le design, et à poser une épistémologie du design sur le fait qu’un dispositif totalement prévisible et régulateur – qu’il soit social, culturel ou technique – ne permet pas l’invention ou la transformation.

L’irrégularité nous empêche donc de tomber dans le piège d’une production industrielle visant la perfection et la reproduction à l’infini, et valorise l’idée de surprise, d’accident, d’ouverture sur des possibles, autant au niveau des processus de conception et de fabrication, qu’au niveau du résultat.

Et ce programme de recherche vise à enchanter le quotidien par le design.

Une dernière réflexion

Ceci m’amène à une dernière réflexion sur ce programme de recherche.

L’ouverture opérée par mon regard sur la cérémonie japonaise du thé au travers du design propose quelque chose d’autre au design. Elle questionne à nouveau le sujet et le lieu de la recherche en design : elle pose la question des rituels du quotidien.

La recherche en design doit être réappropriée par un design proche de la pensée de l’Art&Craft et des arts décoratifs, c’est-à-dire d’une pensée qui se penche sur les arts de vivre, et qui nous renvoie des valeurs esthétiques et des propositions d’équilibre pour l’expérience sensible. Cette ambition de proposer des équilibres a plutôt été oubliée dans la recherche actuelle en design – et je me réfère ici aux communautés de recherche dont je fais partie, à la savoir le SIGCHI et la DRS – qui vient plutôt du design industriel et visant une forme de perfection, c’est-à-dire une fin de toute réinterprétation.

Le design doit avoir pour objectif de proposer des arrangements esthétiques visant des propositions d’harmonie entre artefacts, espaces, gestuelles, valeurs, etc., et non pas exclusivement de promouvoir l’efficacité et l’efficience, effort pourtant dominant dans la recherche en design actuelle et particulièrement dans les lieux d’enseignement technologique.

J’y vois donc une forme de résistance au fonctionnalisme, si bien installé dans la culture de la recherche en design, inspirée par le design industriel.

Ce qui est important pour un tel design est l’enchantement du quotidien, c’est-à-dire une attention pour un arrangement esthétique harmonieux rendu visible par la contexture : requestionner des normes qui ne le sont plus par le design, chercher un équilibre esthétique global dans le quotidien permettant l’expérience du beau.

Je vous remercie.

Transcription of my defense for Habilitation

I would like to thank you for being here today.

I am very happy and honoured to be able to defend my HDR at the Compiègne University of Technology, for several reasons.

First of all, because UTC has put Technologies and Human Sciences at the centre of its pedagogical project in engineering, and has dedicated one of its educational programme to industrial design. A vision in which I find myself completely.
Also because it was at UTC that I started my studies and obtained my engineering degree in 2001.
It was also through UTC that I set foot in Japan, through my final year project by becoming head of innovation for Decathlon in Japan.
It was also at UTC that I was introduced to research, under the supervision of Anne Guénand.
It was also at UTC that I first met Prof. Yamanaka in 2002, and I had the honour of having him become my thesis director during my doctoral thesis at the University of Tsukuba in Kansei Science obtained in 2006.
It was also at UTC that I first met Prof. Overbeeke, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, in 2003. During my visits to Europe, I never stopped visiting UTC and TU/e, immersing myself in a reflection on design and theories related to embodiment. And in 2009, I had the honour of becoming an assistant professor at TU/e in the Designing Quality in Interaction research group then headed by Prof. Overbeeke.
Later, once settled in TU/e, collaborations continued with UTC, particularly on the subjects of cross perception and sensory substitution with Prof. Lenay.

It is therefore in a form of continuity that I am happy to support my HDR today.

Plan

My presentation is structured in four parts.

I will first explain my approach to research through design, an approach that structures my activity.

I will then present what I call my Japanese experience, which comes from my experience in Japan and my reflections on Japan, which has been decisive for a turning point in my perspective on design.

It is this turning point that I will then explain, as well as what it has led to in my research.

And finally, I will explain the consequences of this turning point for design, and in particular about everyday life rituals.

Research through design

Design research invites the participation of the designer’s skills and attitude in the research activity. The participation of design in the research activity is relevant if it is accompanied by a reflection associated with the action, allowing the creation of knowledge.

This research, linking action and reflection, is based on reflection in action and on action proposed by Schön (1983).
This approach is also in line with embodiment related theories, brilliantly brought to design by Dourish (2001).

The research through the design I conduct is mainly structured on two elements:

  • Constructive design research, which invites experimentations with devices designed for research. Research-through-Design (Koskinen et al., 2012) is a major marker.
  • The development of the annotated portfolio research tool proposed by Bill Gaver (2012), which structures an analysis of a corpus of artefacts either designed as part of the research project or external to it.

The role of the prototype is central to this approach, but changes in nature compared to what is traditionally considered in design: it is not a first model, close to what will be produced in series, but what Frens (2006) calls a physical hypothesis, and Hengeveld (2011) an experiential hypothesis, a very eloquent barbarism which I think corresponds entirely to the role of the prototype.

Finally, this approach also requires a project so that design can act and contribute to research. In Sennett’s words and adapting them to design, Hummels describes this request to localize the research question, which can then be followed by a reflection in action allowing it to be questioned, and a reflection on action to inquire the research question a fortiori, beyond the project itself.

This is my approach to design research.

Japanese experience

Before becoming an assistant professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology, I spent about 9 years in Japan, mainly affiliated with the University of Tsukuba, at the Kansei Information Science Laboratory, directed by Prof. Yamanaka, who was also my thesis director during my doctoral studies.

The study of Kansei has been for me a guiding principle that allowed me to progress on two fundamental subjects in my research:

  • A deepening of my interest in the affective relationship to the lived world, which gradually led me to also become interested in notions related to embodiment.
  • A personal and intellectual curiosity for the Japanese culture, and for what it reveals about the beauty of the everyday.

Concretisation of the beautiful

In particular, I have been interested in the Way of Tea, which Okakura (1906) describes in his famous book The Book of Tea as the cult of the beautiful of the ordinary in the everyday. And I have been especially interested in the Japanese tea ceremony, which is a ritualized experience of the Way of Tea, established by Rikyu in the 16th century.

To illustrate what I saw there, I would like to take the example of a short moment during the ceremony, illustrated by the photo you see here. Once the light tea has been served, the main guest asks the host if he or she could view objects used for tea. The host then introduces him to the chashaku and the chaire, the chashaku being the small spatula to take tea out of the chaire, which is the tea container. The chaire diameter is about one third the length of chashaku. The host places the chashaku two mats apart from the edge of the tatami in front of the main guest, and aligns the centre of the chaire with the centre of the chashaku. Once the host has withdrawn into the water room, i.e., the kitchen, the guest approaches the two objects so that his knees are two mats from the chashaku. Sitting in seiza, he will then be able to comfortably manipulate and contemplate the two objects presented to him, in a culturally Japanese comfort.

What impressed me here is that Rikyu has made an aesthetic proposition towards harmony that corresponds to a system of values (not aimed at effectiveness or efficiency), with aesthetic, ethical and social concerns, and that enables the realization of beauty.

The tea ceremony as a design

This led me to consider that Rikyu (1522-1591) transformed a proposal of values, those of Buddhism and the Wabi etiquette of his time, into a situated system of artefacts, social actors, and signs enabling an engaged and social experience of these values.

This transformation is based on the development of the technology of his time in response to a social expectation of his time. This system is an aesthetic proposal.

The idea that the formalization of the Japanese tea ceremony responds to a “social expectation of its time” already invites us to rethink the ritual not as a fixed repetition of a sequence of actions, but as a practice of daily life re-interpretable in a time and place.

Moreover, the realization of an aesthetic proposal enables the perspective of this aesthetic proposal by Japanese thought, and opens on the notions of contexture and temporality of the daily experience, notions that we will question later.

Mujirushi ryohin

This aesthetic proposal is still found in contemporary design, as for example in mujirushi ryohin, better known simply as muji. If we analyse what has been written about the brand, as well as what the main actors who have participated in the development of the brand and design – notably Kenya Hara and Naoto Fukasawa – have explained about muji’s philosophy and vision, we find most often three key concepts that characterise muji’s design and seem to be in line with the values embodied by the Japanese tea ceremony:

  • The simple invites to consider what is obvious or essential, stripped of all superfluity.
  • The ordinary focuses on what appears classic or usual, and useful for everyday life. It also invites to consider habitability, a concept dear to Alain Findeli.
  • Finally, the void concerns a space of possibilities left open by the design, to be filled by the user (or interactant) with the artifact, in order to adapt the value proposal to one’s place and time within one’s daily life.

The aesthetic proposal proposed by Rikyu is reflected in a contemporary design, that of muji.

Turning point

From this observation on tea, and by observing a corpus of artefacts from the work of contemporary Japanese designers, this aesthetic proposal aiming at a form of harmony between values, bodies, gestures, etc. has caused a turning point in my view on design.

Looking at the Japanese tea ceremony through the lens of design, I saw the tea ceremony as prototypical of design based on Japanese culture, which has deeply shaken my perspective on design.

So I turned the lens over and looked at design through the lens of the tea ceremony, and saw a lack of a theoretical framework for design to explain the tea ceremony. And this absence gave way to a gap to be filled by a cultural decentration of design.

This decentration invites us to redefine the ritual not as an identical repetition of a sequence of actions, but as an aesthetic proposal that allows us to be reconsidered every time in our daily lives.

It also appears that the ritual is both social and singular, and always reinterpretable by those who propose it, the designers, and those who live it.

Design is therefore questioned in the light of the ritual, and the ritual is questioned through design.

Japanese philosophy and culture

To achieve this decentration, I studied Japanese philosophy and culture. Although I do not have time here to present the details of this study, I list here the main topics on which my attention has been focused:

  • Watsuji’s ethics on relationship, published in 1934;
  • Nishida’s philosophy (and a little more generally of the Kyoto School) on experience, whose main work was published in 1911;
  • The writings of Dōgen on time, dating from the 13th century;
  • And the work on the Buddhist idea of beauty proposed by Yanagi and published more recently in 1972.

Framework for design

From this study, it results that the aesthetic proposal of the Japanese perspective studied here is based on two notions on which design can act:

  • Thusness, or suchness, which proposes to look beyond human-machine interaction, considering a maximum of elements that constitute the lived world, as well as their relationships and the global harmony. Therefore, it suggests a method that takes the lived world as a starting point, and not the human-machine relationship as it is traditionally done, and aims to a harmonious integration of the designed artefact.
  • Irregularity offers an ethical vision for the design of everyday life. It does not aim for a form of perfection – very often considered in industrial design – but goes beyond it by presenting itself as a source of freedom and opening up fields of possibilities through interaction.

The two photos shown on the left of the screen are, at the top, an embroidered pattern designed by Akira Minagawa in 2005, and at the bottom a set of chasen handles (the whisk used to mix tea during the ceremony) 3D-printed during Shigeru Yamada’s master project that I supervised in 2016.

The irregularity shown in Minagawa’s design is made through a large number of embroidery stitches intended to be made at the same place, so that the machine can no longer make the stitch because of too high thread density. This causes the needle to twist to continue making the required stitch. This results in one or more embroidery stitches being made in an unplanned location, and therefore in an irregularity.

The chasen handles were based on a parametric design (the shape is described by a mathematical formula). The six models were produced at different printing speeds. From right to left, the first print was made at the standard machine speed, as indicated by the machine manufacturer, then 2, 3, 4 and 6 times faster. When we showed these chasen handles to a group of tea masters, considered experts in this experiment. The second was significantly more appreciated. This chasen handle has both a possibility to be used properly, and also a subtle irregularity that makes the object beautiful. We see in this experiment that irregularity is perceived as beautiful.

The contexture of everyday life

What thusness and irregularity enabled is to reopen the question of everyday life, and in particular the rituals of everyday life. We question here what people feel in their daily lives, especially in terms of aesthetics. The everyday ritual is precisely an interesting moment for design as it gives everyday practices a space for attention.

However, the idea of an aesthetic proposal that was discussed earlier brings us to an aesthetic view of the experience in the here-and-now, and therefore to what I call a contexture.

In this space (or moment) of attention that is the ritual, there is a texture, i.e., an inquiry on form by the organization of space, by the choice of objects, of gestures and practices… This texture is concretized by the ritual. Therefore, our approach questions the contexture delivered by the aesthetic proposal of the ritual and aims at a balance that allows a form of harmony.

Moreover, the ritual includes aspects that are social and singular. To understand it, it is therefore necessary to question it both on its social and singular aspects. To capture the singular, for about two years I have been asking my students, who have sufficient skills to make small films of this nature, to do one on one of their own daily rituals. These films are then viewed, discussed and analysed. This is one method, among others, to capture elements of the complex, intimate and implicit experience of everyday life, which are singular and aim at harmony within this experience.

The temporality of everyday life

I also conducted another experiment to explore a daily ritual, which was based on my personal morning hot chocolate. This experiment has shown that the question of the contexture, enabling to approach the aesthetic proposal, also questions our temporal values, most often in opposition to efficiency that often imposes itself on any question of temporality, especially in industrial design and interaction design.
This raises the question of the time values that are given to these everyday experiences.

How can the temporality of the ritual be characterized, for example differently from the flow theory, proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, also aiming at efficiency? We are aiming here at an aesthetic proposal that questions temporality, that invites us to take time: in this proposal, what values stopping to listen to music, contemplating a landscape, etc. This is another major issue addressed by this research program.

Enchanting everyday life through design

My research is therefore a design research, based on the contexture, a questioning of the temporal value, and a structured theoretical framework on thusness and irregularity.

The aim is to use the questions of contexture and temporality to invite the composition of a daily experience. And I like to borrow Bart Hengeveld’s words, who compares such a composition to that of music.

This is done in resistance to the Western culture of industrial design, which focuses almost exclusively on efficiency and effectiveness, and which seems to resist questioning emotion and irregularity. The Design&Emotion Society, established about a dozen years ago and mainly led by the Department of Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, which first worked well, and is currently in standby to discuss and to understand why it didn’t work so well in the end. I hope that this research brings an original perspective to this discussion.

Irregularity is at the heart of the approach. The irregularity enables an absence of fence, avoids a design that would aim at a controlled behaviour by an optimization of the means for a predetermined goal. It contributes to a better understanding of design, and to suggest an epistemology of design on the fact that a totally predictable and regulating system – whether social, cultural or technical – prevents invention or transformation.

Therefore, irregularity prevents us from falling into the trap of industrial production aiming at perfection and infinite reproduction, and enhances the idea of surprise, accident, openness to possibilities, both in the design and manufacturing processes and in the results.

And this research program aims to enchant everyday life through design.

One last thought

This brings me to a final reflection on this research program.

The opening made by my inquiry on the Japanese tea ceremony through design proposes something different to design. It questions the subject and the place of design research afresh, as it raises the question of everyday rituals.

Design research must be reappropriated by a design that is close to the thinking of Art&Craft and the decorative arts, i.e., by a thought that focuses on the arts of living, and that reflects aesthetic values and proposals for balance in the sensitive experience. This ambition to propose balances has rather been forgotten in current design research – and I am referring here to the research communities to which I belong, especially SIGCHI and DRS – which comes rather from industrial design and aims at a form of perfection, i. e., to an end of any reinterpretation.

The objective of design must be to propose aesthetic arrangements aimed at proposals for harmony between artefacts, spaces, gestures, values, etc., and not exclusively to promote effectiveness and efficiency, yet a dominant effort in contemporary design research and particularly in technological education places.

Therefore, I see this research as a form of resistance to functionalism, so well established in the culture of design research, inspired by industrial design.

What is important for such a design is the enchantment of everyday life, that is, an attention to a harmonious aesthetic arrangement made visible by the contexture: questioning again norms that are no longer visible by design, seeking an overall aesthetic balance in everyday life that allows the experience of beauty.

Thank you very much.


Contemplating the impossible

Contemplating the impossible

Lévy, P. (2018). Contemplating the Impossible, presented at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. October 19th, 2018.

Introduction

First, I would like to thank Stephan Wensveen for the organisation and for making this day a such a special one, from start to end (although who knows how it will end…).
I am very glad to be here. It is an honour to participate to this symposium, and to have the role of opening the series of presentations. It is also a challenge I must say. Kees has been enriching the life of many of us, and I believe many of us would have something valuable to tell based on sharing experiences with Kees. I am very conscious of this privilege.

Times ago, discussing this symposium with Stephan, the idea was to have one eye looking back at what Kees brought to us and hoped for the design community, and to have the other eye on the future trying to tell our current students, to remind our alumni and ourselves some aspects Kees carried through his work, that we may bring further.
I have the honour and the challenge to operate this eye gymnastic and to share with you today what I see.

Contemplating the impossible

Today, in this speech, I will try not to bore you with details of the inaugural lecture of the late Prof Kees Overbeeke, “The Aesthetics of the Impossible”, that he gave in 2007, 11 years ago in exactly a week. Today offers an occasion for me to bore you with a contemplation of some of the key ideas raised during this lecture, and to contemplate them from where and when I stand today. And much have happened in between.

Today is also for me the occasion of getting bold again in the tradition of DQI. For the ones who hoped this was the past, bear with me and I’ll promise I will try to be soft. For the ones who miss it at times, hope you can enjoy.

For the ones who did not meet Kees, I would like to briefly introduce him. Late professor in our department of Industrial Design, Kees had a significant impact on the design and CHI communities all over the world, especially on the topics related to embodiment in design for interaction. But that would not tell much about the guy, by far. If he is remembered and celebrated in such a way as today, is because his ideas, his generosity, his friendliness and appreciation to all, impacted many individual lives, many of us both intellectually and humanly. He is, for many, one of these very few people that significantly meant something to us. He is a moment in the development of thoughts and attitudes.

His inaugural lecture was entitled “the aesthetics of the impossible”. The notion “impossible” demands here a little clarification, which is to me twofold:

  • Aesthetics, which is the core of design for interaction is ungraspable. It is only when and where it happens, in the here and the now. And then it is gone, suddenly as it happens. It is unique and impossible to grasp. Standardisation is impossible and actually not wished, as it would lead towards an extreme level of boredom and dissatisfaction. Systematic research is difficult but should be challenged.
  • Impossibility is also in the complexity we encounter in design: that is, in the variety of disciplines our students are facing (challenging skills, knowledge and practices), and in the inherent complexity of interaction and of experience. To address this impossibility, design approaches require a greater balance between making and thinking (supported by reflection on action, which I will address again later).

Therefore today, to contemplate the impossible, I will especially focus on three aspects: believes, teaching and research, making and thinking. And I will do so by freely mixing what Kees said (at least the way I understand it) and by my reflection on it. For the flow of my discourse, I will often borrow from Kees’s inaugural lecture without systematically mention it.

Contemplating believes

Kees explains:
Every scientist, as well as every designer, has a body of knowledge, as well as a galaxy of believes (that is my wording).

Knowledge is established through research activities and transmitted through teaching. It is about how things are. Believes contribute to envisioning how things ought to be. They result from philosophy, intuition, awareness, experience, from our being-in-the-world, in a giving culture, in a giving timeframe.

Believes are guides for where we go, where we look, we what we do, and what strikes us. They condition our engagements, our motives, our stance and our actions in the world. Less than a month ago, Bill Buxton, lecturing here at TU/e, was reminding us the importance, and actually the necessity of having a compass and a horizon in design practice and design research. It is essential for good design (given that this design intends to contribute to the making of a better world).

In the current context where the most striking thing we know is that we do not know where the world is going, because of its complexity, because of challenges that we are aware of but do not fully comprehend, because of tensions we feel but that are not clear to our sight. This is made even more complex by our relation and use of technology: as we praise it and support its development and its use in society, yet questioning it at the same time.

Knowledge and believes then are necessary in design practice, design education, and design research.

A few believes that Kees mentioned during his inaugural lecture, are worth remembering:

  • “Design is about people. It is about our life and dreams, about our loneliness and joy, our sense of beauty and justice, about the social and the good. It is about being in the world”.
  • Meaning emerges in interaction and cannot be detached from action. This demands a primacy of embodiment and a primacy of action.

Considering these two first points, a few consequences can be suggested here. The first two ones are also stated by Kees:

  • A design theory must be a theory of action (and I would add of transformation, which I will discuss later). This theory should focus on embodiment in the first place, and on meaning in the second place. Reflection in/on and for action is a source of knowledge and a creator of new and valuable perspectives on and for design, on and for the world.
  • Design research and practice are powerful source of knowledge. As I will discuss it later, research and education should be highly interwoven.

To these two considerations, I may add the following:

  • Design research is not solely an applicative research but contains also, and actually is for a large part, a theoretical research, with the condition that we give space to it. Design theory, constitutive of design research, is a theory of action. If design would to be a science (in the modern sense of the term, which I have throughout the years got progressively to agree with), it would be a transformative science, as any other science with transformative outcomes, such as engineering or chemistry (when it tries to create a new molecule for example). Design is not a descriptive science, such as ethnography, physics trying to describe the phenomenon of gravitation, or chemistry trying to describe a natural chemical reaction.
    Design (being practice, education, or research) is about transformations, and is specific as it is about action, about people, and about ethics.
  • Therefore, I would challenge any reduction of the world or the experience of it, to data. In this crucial moment, where data related technologies become so predominant, with incredible and promising outcomes, design practitioners and design researchers should obviously embrace such technologies, as well as not forgetting that the experience of the world is embodied, is affective, and symbolic. We are beings with a history, culture, ethics, visions and dreams.

Contemplating teaching and research

This is especially important when considering the necessity of aligning research and teaching. Kees reminded us clearly and simply the necessity to align both activities for the academic world.

He told us: “expressivity, beauty and meaning are at the core of design”. In 1999, I (being Kees while in Delft) pointed out the mismatch between teaching and research. Research was about structural aspects of perception, and teaching was about beauty of interaction. I could not change the teaching, so I changed the research. “Emotion became important, which is not obvious as a research topic in the technical background that was then in Delft and now here.”

The PhD of Stephan Wensveen is one of the first and a clear example of research work on emotionally intelligent products. Already then he noticed the challenge and the necessity of interacting in a continuous and simultaneous way with products (topic that was still challenged in the PhD of Jelle Stienstra just 2 years ago). Many related topics were then developed further in various ways throughout most PhDs executed in the DQI research group. And I am no surprised that Stephan today pushes the research further and focuses on questions related to the “aesthetics of the intelligence”.

Recently, our students are facing a progressive increase of topics the design community is engaging in (design based on big data, A.I. and other learning algorithms, but also service design, social design…). All these increase challenges and complexity in their education and their future work. They also face a progressive increase of technological solutions at hand to make their designs.
Now that teaching is challenged by many other topics (related to technology and society), I think It is important for us, as a leading academia in design, to keep focusing where our skills are: as we interact with data through interfaces, being either sensors or actuators… “how do these become meaningful and beautiful to us?” is our core question. Mastering data management (among others) is certainly important, however, providing meaningful, rich and beautiful interactions is the heart of design.

This demands to care for human and their actual experiences as beings-in-the-world, and to keep design teaching and research focusing on this. Only then, when students will embody that by being curious, sympathetic and independent, only then they will embody and act the richness design may provide. Taking again the lines from Kees: “But the only way to develop curiosity, sympathy, principle, and independence of mind is to practice being curious, sympathetic, principled and independent. For those of us who are teachers, it isn’t what we teach that instills virtue, it is how we teach. We are the books our students read most closely”
“Let us practice what we preach”. Let us care, through our teaching, what our students learn and become.

Contemplating making and thinking

The electronic and digital interfaces are loaded with buttons that demands little of our motor-perceptive skills, and too much of our cognitive skills.
This situation leads to standardized and efficient interactions, as well as to boring and poor ones if we consider the human being in its entirety.

Making simple buttons by default is, to my point of view, a triple failure:
First, as we already mentioned it, it fails the possibility to provide beauty in interaction, beauty and care in the experience. It fails the heart of design.
Second, it is defeating the idea that design is about challenges and only addressing these challenges will help, in the long term, to find novel, effective, rich and beautiful ways of interacting.
Third, the button degrades our contact with the world. When there is no experiential relation between the activity of pressing a button and the functional and experiential consequences of doing so, there is also less space for grasping the world, that is for sensemaking. Proposing poor interaction solutions (by opposition of making rich interaction solutions), makes us designer and us users less to experience our being-in-the-world, and therefore inepter (or more moronic is you prefer).

The button here is obviously only the archetype of a quick and easy decision making, yet leading to boredom, poverty in life experiences, and flattening both designers’ and users’ minds.
Our design skills exploring possibilities of rich interactions are therefore not only a way to make user’s experiences and life better, but also a way to advance in design research: exploring through making (using design skills well), and reflecting in and on action is what design can do best, and contribute to the most in the world of academia in the first place, and in the world in the second place.

Finally, as Kees reminded us, we need to keep in mind that we are too many that know, and not enough that make. Reflection on action should be the drive to push design practice and design research further. “in our effort to understand reality, we have been too much abstracted from it”.

Contemplating transformation

As mentioned before, design is about transformation, transformation of practices in societies and in our everyday life. Understanding reality, which means understanding our everyday life, is to transform it:

Étudier la vie quotidienne serait une entreprise parfaitement ridicule, et d’abord condamnée à ne rien saisir de son objet, si l’on ne se proposait pas explicitement d’étudier la vie quotidienne afin de la transformer. Guy Debord

Studying the everyday life would be an absurd undertaking, and anyway fated to catch nothing of its object, if studying the everyday life would explicitly be with the intention to transform it. Guy Debord

And I would like to conclude with this notion of everyday transformation, being actually my research topic which I believe I have built partly on the considerations I have discussed today.

Although this word, “everyday” is so much used in the world of design, addressing it is not as obvious as it seems, and is often actually avoided or subverted. As things become part of our everyday, a process called quotidianisation, they escape from our attention, giving us peace of mind. They stop questioning us, and we stop questioning them. This way, they progressively disappear from our awareness. Perec even speaks about amnesia, rather than lack of attention. What can be extraordinary when new, becomes infra-ordinary through the process of quotidianisation.
Questioning the everyday requires exploring the infraordinary, which demands exploring tiny and often personal details that we are obviously not aware of in the first place. Exploring the everyday to transform it demands to get aware and to understand its most tiny details, which as Coyne & Mathers explain “often appear irrational from a third-person perspective, but most often rational from a first-person perspective”. Therefore, designing for the everyday demands a continuous and structuring dialog between an exploration at the first-person perspective, to create a rational, observing and transforming ones’ own everyday life to comprehend these rationales, and a third-person perspective that enables us to design for others.

I have found the sensibility, the attention to tiny details and the beauty in the everyday in the Japanese culture and philosophy, from which I have elaborated a theoretical framework for designing for the everyday. This framework relies indeed on Japanese philosophers and thinkers, such as Nishida Kitaro or Yanagi Soetsu who through their work have pointed out where beauty relies in the everyday, as well as designers, such as Naoto Fukusawa and Kenya Hara who through their work have not only designed but also reflected on their making to show the values of paying attention to the everyday towards human and social elevation, and have made it existing in our societies all over the world, through companies such as Muji.

Designing for the everyday is to me a clear example of what design claims to do, yet actually (and for now!) fails to do properly. The hope of making design research education and practice an actual unique and yet not isolated contributor to a betterment of our world, goes through a repositioning on what design can do best: focusing and creating meaning in interaction for people’s experiences, using at full reflection in and on action to make sense of the world as it is lived, making sure to enrich the beauty of our everyday life. All that stands in the way of abstraction, standardization.

Contemplating the impossible

To finish on Kees’s considerations: “It is our role, scholars and industrialists, to define a new project for design. We have to avoid remaining in a problem-solver perspective, and to wake-up and let grow the challengers that is in each of the designers we are educating.”

We must dream, to give youngsters hope.

Thanks to Kees for all this teaching, that even in challenging times remain constitutive of our design compass.
La reconnaissance est la mémoire du cœur.

Thank you


The beauty of making hot chocolate, an inquiry on designing for everyday rituals

The beauty of making hot chocolate, an inquiry on designing for everyday rituals

Lévy, P. (2018). The beauty of making hot chocolate – an inquiry on designing for everyday rituals. In Design Research Society 2018, DRS2018. Limerick, Ireland: Design Research Society. https://doi.org/10.21606/dma.2017.514

paper

The everyday is often mentioned in design, yet hardly inquired. The everyday is about what is banal, infraordinary, not memorable, as well as about the force that makes things habitual, endotic. In the research encompassing this paper, we question the everyday and explore opportunities to enchant it by design. This paper focuses more specifically on the design of everyday rituals, and aims to propose a descriptive framework to ‘read’ and compose such rituals. The elaboration of the framework is done based on a case study: the making of a hot chocolate in the morning. Through an autoethnographical approach, the main dimensions of the framework are determined (place and time, essentiality, and strength) and discussed. Throughout this inquiry, the value of a first-person perspective while designing for the everyday is discussed, as well as its relationship with the third-person perspective. This framework proposed points out the importance of quick iterations and of the consideration of consequences of design decision at all levels of the everyday ritual (structural, temporal, aesthetical, ethical…).


The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2018, KEER 2018

The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2018, KEER 2018

Lokman, A.M., Yamanaka, T., Lévy, P., Chen, K., Koyama, S. (Eds). 2018. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research 2018 – KEER2018. Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. ISBN: 978-981-10-8612-0.

The proceedings gather a selection of refereed papers presented at the 7th International Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research 2018 (KEER 2018), which was held in Kuching, Malaysia from 19 to 22 March 2018.

The contributions address the latest advances in and innovative applications of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research. The subjects include:
– Kansei, Emotion and Games
– Kansei, Emotion and Computing
– Kansei, Emotion and Wellbeing / Quality of Life
– Kansei, Emotion and Design
– Kansei, Emotion and Health / Ergonomics
– Kansei, Emotion and Multidisciplinary Fields
– Kansei, Emotion and Culture
– Kansei, Emotion and Social computing
– Kansei, Emotion and Evaluation
– Kansei, Emotion and User Experience

The book offers a valuable resource for all graduate students, experienced researchers and industrial practitioners interested in the fields of user experience/usability, engineering design, human factors, quality management, product development and design.


Analysis of the Design and Engineering-process towards a First Prototype in the Field of Sports and Vitality

Analysis of the Design and Engineering-process towards a First Prototype in the Field of Sports and Vitality

Janssen, M. A., Heuvel, R. van den, Megens, C. J. P. G., Levy, P. D. & Vos, S. B. (2018). Analysis of the design and engineering-process towards a first prototype in the field of sports and vitality. In Proceedings of 12th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, 2(6), 297. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2060297

paper

The scope of technology has expanded towards areas such as sports and vitality, offering significant challenges for engineering designers. However, only little is known about the underlying design and engineering processes used within these fields. Therefore, this paper aims to get an in- depth understanding of these type of processes. During a three-day design competition (Hackathon), three groups of engineers were challenged to develop experience-able prototypes in the field of sports and vitality. Their process was monitored based on the Reflective Transformative Design process (RTD-process) framework, describing the various activities part of the design process. Groups had to keep track of their activities, and six group reflection-sessions were held. Results show that all groups used an open and explorative approach, they frequently swapped between activities, making them able to reflect on their actions. While spending more time on envisioning and creating a clear vision seem to relate to the quality of the design concept.


Light behavior design: violation of unification principles and the effect on the user experience

Light behavior design: violation of unification principles and the effect on the user experience

Dassen, W., Wensveen, S., & Lévy, P. (2017). Light Behavior Design: Violation of Unification Principles and the Effect on the User Experience. In Design Interactive Systems Conference, DIS17 (pp. 259–263). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/3064857.3079157

paperacm library

Technological advances increase the possibilities for the aesthetics of interaction and the user experience. This is a growing field in the Human-Computer Interaction community (HCI). However, Lenz et al. [3] show that little is known about the relation between experiences and interaction. The current study explores this relation through the design of an interactive lamp. We compare a direct and a delayed coupling between the user’s action and the reaction of the light. The results provide empirical evidence that deliberately violating one of the unification principles (i.e., delayed response) triggers a more positively engaged experience. We discuss the result and further implications for design research.


Enhancing co-responsibility for patient engagement

Enhancing co-responsibility for patient engagement

Neutelings, I., Lévy, P., Djajadiningrat, T., & Hummels, C. (2017). Enhancing co-responsibility for patient engagement. The Design Journal, 20(sup1), S2273–S2283. https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2017.1352743

paper

In this paper we share a theoretical perspective of co-responsibility, developed by a consortium of a university, a private company and a hospital. On this perspective we will base design interventions towards improving the experience and specifically the engagement of cardiovascular patients after the disease has occurred, a phase referred to as secondary prevention. Co-responsibility argues that responsibilities of different people in society are intertwined with each other, not in the sense that people share the same responsibilities, but in the sense that people’s responsibilities are interdependent. We discuss the opportunities and challenges for design from a co-responsibility perspective through examples of co-responsibility encouraging design artefacts. We argue that such an approach offers the opportunity to support more sustainable engagement by attuning patients, their family and friends, and medical professionals to each other to increase their team performance, address their internal motivation and create a win-win situation.


3D-modeling and 3D-printing explorations on Japanese tea ceremony utensils

3D-modeling and 3D-printing explorations on Japanese tea ceremony utensils

Lévy, P., & Yamada, S. (2017). 3D-modeling and 3D-printing explorations on Japanese tea ceremony utensils. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions, TEI17 ([on CD]). Yokohama, Japan: ACM Press. https://doi.org/10.1145/3024969.3024990

paperacm library

Technological advances increase the possibilities for the aesthetics of interaction and the user experience. This is a growing field in the Human-Computer Interaction community (HCI). However, Lenz et al. [3] show that little is known about the relation between experiences and interaction. The current study explores this relation through the design of an interactive lamp. We compare a direct and a delayed coupling between the user’s action and the reaction of the light. The results provide empirical evidence that deliberately violating one of the unification principles (i.e., delayed response) triggers a more positively engaged experience. We discuss the result and further implications for design research.


What matters for ritual visualization, towards a design tool for the description and the composition of rituals

What matters for ritual visualization, towards a design tool for the description and the composition of rituals

Lévy, P., & Hengeveld B.J. (2016). What matters for ritual visualization – Towards a design tool for the description and the composition of rituals. Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2016, KEER2016 ([on CD]). Leeds, UK: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

Our lives are highly shaped by rituals. The way we wake up, the way we prepare tea or coffee are two of the many rituals many of us have constructed. As they structure our everyday lives, it is crucial to understand how to design them from a kansei design perspective. This Research-through-Design inquiry contributes to a larger research of addressing the way to design rituals. An annotated showcase of three ritual design projects is proposed. From the analysis of these three projects, we suggest 11 points of attention for the construction of a ritual visualization tool. This tool is expected to be used not only to support the analysis and the assessment of rituals, but also to contribute to the composition of rituals, towards the design of experientially rich rituals from an interaction perspective.


Reinventing the (steering) wheel, A kansei design approach for novel driving experience

Reinventing the (steering) wheel, A kansei design approach for novel driving experience

Kennedy, R., & Lévy, P. (2016). Reinventing the (steering) wheel – A kansei design approach for novel driving experience. Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2016, KEER2016 ([on CD]). Leeds, UK: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

Over the last decades, the integration of digital technology in the automotive industry has caused important transformations for interaction design in regards with secondary controls, but much less in regards with primary controls. However, not only primary controls remain the dominant artefact to interact with in the driving experience, but also distracted drivers (i.e., interacting with secondary controls or other artefacts while driving) are a major reason of accidents. In this paper, we introduce a design project on the steering wheel, taken from a kansei design perspective. Based on a kansei design framework, structured by three stages (Expression, Gesture, Affect), we observed the way drivers interact with various forms of steering wheel in order to create design propositions for greater and safer driving experiences in the context of novel driving conditions, i.e., with novel technologies and recent driving techniques. This overall project aims at revisiting fully the driving experience, while inquiring further the framing of a direct kansei design approach.


Gesture-based and Haptic Interfaces for Connected and Autonomous Driving

Gesture-based and Haptic Interfaces for Connected and Autonomous Driving

Terken, J., Lévy, P., Wang, W., Karjanto, J., Yusof, N.M.., Ros, F., & Zwaan, S. (2016). Gesture-Based and Haptic Interfaces for Connected and Autonomous Driving. In I.L., Nunes (Eds.) Advances in Human Factors and System Interactions, Proceedings of the AHFE 2016 International Conference on Human Factors and System Interactions, July 27-31, 2016, Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA (pp. 107-115). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41956-5_11

paper

While user interfaces for in-vehicle systems in the market are mostly button- and screen-based, advances in electronic technology provide designers with new design opportunities. In this paper, we propose applications of these novel technologies for several aspects of the current and future driving context. We explore opportunities for gesture-based and haptic interfaces in three different areas: establishing shared control between the driver and the autonomous vehicle; providing situation awareness to users of autonomous vehicles while engaged in other activities; connecting drivers to fellow drivers. We argue that these interface technologies hold the promise of creating richer and more natural interaction than the traditional vision- and audio-based interfaces that dominate the current market. We conclude by outlining steps for further research.


Perspectives en design d’interaction

Perspectives en design d’interaction

Lévy, P. (2016). Perspectives en design d’interaction, presented at La Pré-Fabrique de l’innovation – UdL, Saint-Étienne. June 10th, 2016

Dans l’esprit de pluridisciplinarité qui a animé le worshop #illuminov – éclairage connecté lors de la semaine du 25 au 29 avril dernier, j’ai le plaisir de vous convier à la présentation de Pierre Lévy, assistant professor en design à l’Université de Technologie de Eindhoven, qui se tiendra le vendredi 10 juin à la Pré-Fabrique de l’innovation à 14h30.

Au travers de ses travaux de recherche, Pierre Lévy s’intéresse à l’implication des théories de la perception et de la phénoménologie, dans les domaines du design d’interaction (embodied interaction design) et du design Kansei (regard japonais sur la sensibilité et l’affectif) – sujet pour lequel il a été invité de nombreuses fois pour des conférences à l’internationale. Diplômé d’une thèse en science du Kansei de l’Université de Tsukuba au Japon, il est actuellement président-élu du Groupe Européen du Kansei (EKG).
Lors de cette présentation, nous discuterons de l’approche en constructive design research, et la perspective qu’elle propose sur l’attention réciproque entre l’homme et l’artefact, et sur la notion d’”irrésistibilité” en design d’interaction.
Cette approche ouvrira sur l’exploration menée par Pierre Lévy en “design de rituels”, qui se place à l’intersection du design kansei et et du design de systèmes. La présentation se construira autour d’exemples de projets concrets développés par l’Université de Technologie de Eindhoven, susceptibles d’intéresser tout autant les chercheurs que les praticiens du design. L’intervention et les échanges se feront en français.
Fabien Labarthe (IRAM-Télécom Saint-Etienne, Laboratoire Elico, Centre Max Weber).


IxD&A #30, Special issue: On Making

IxD&A #30, Special issue: On Making

Marti, P., Frens, J., Hengeveld, B., & Lévy P. (Eds). 2016. Interaction Design and Architecture(s), special issue: On Making. ISSN: 1826-9745.

Table of content

Patrizia Marti, Joep Frens, Bart Hengeveld, Pierre Levy. Preface, pp. 3-14. (download)

Raúl Tabarés-Gutiérrez. Approaching maker’s phenomenon, pp. 19-29. (abstract)

Julian Stubbe. Material Practice as a Form of Critique, pp. 30-46. (abstract)

Katrien Dreessen, Selina Schepers, Danny Leen. From Hacking Things to Making Things. Rethinking making by supporting non-expert users in a FabLab, pp. 47-64. (abstract)

Yana Boeva and Ellen Foster. Making: On Being and Becoming Expert, pp. 65-74. (abstract)

Patricia Wolf, Peter Troxler. Community-based business models: Insights from an emerging maker economy, pp. 75-94. (abstract)

Antonio Rizzo, Giovanni Burresi, Francesco Montefoschi, Maurizio Caporali, Roberto Giorgi. Making IoT with UDOO, pp. 95-112. (abstract)

Ask people about the great breakthroughs in human life and you will hear answers such as “when man made fire” or “the invention of the wheel” or “electricity”. All moments where humankind gained more control over their world through something “man-made”.

Man is a maker. But even though the act of making in itself seems to be a stable, integral part of our being, how we make is far from stable. Moreover, with every new innovation new forms of making have opened up. We base this on the notion that ‘making’ and ‘thinking’ are thoroughly intertwined: our tools for making also shape our thoughts about making; we think through our tools and material.


Exploring the challenge of designing rituals

Exploring the challenge of designing rituals

Lévy, P. (2015). Exploring the challenge of designing rituals. In V., Popovic, A., Blackler, & B., Kraal (Eds.), the Proceedings of 6th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2015 ([on CD]). Brisbane, Australia: Queensland University of Technology.

paper

Our lives are a collection of rituals. The way we wake up, the way we leave or enter our home are two of the many rituals each of us have constructed, and they structure our everyday lives. However, designing rituals remains challenging because of the nested structures of events within a ritual (temporal complexity) and the required consistency between the ritual and the involved artifacts. In this first Research-through-Design iteration, we introduce a workshop done to explore the way to design rituals from an interaction design perspective. Our inquiry addresses such approach and aims at proposing tools to support the design or the evaluation of daily rituals. The workshop was structured by a introduction session (a Japanese tea ceremony) and two iterations leading towards the design of a high-resolution ritual and required artifacts for welcoming people home for Dutch students. Findings mainly pointed out different starting points for designing rituals, suggested the pervasive effect of engagement in rituals, and proposed a descriptive tool to provide the designer with participants’ perspectives in and affect by the ritual.


The Chatter Door, designing for in-between spaces

The Chatter Door, designing for in-between spaces

Duel, T., & Lévy, P. (2015). The Chatter Door, designing for in-between spaces. In V., Popovic, A., Blackler, & B., Kraal (Eds.), the Proceedings of 6th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2015 ([on CD]). Brisbane, Australia: Queensland University of Technology.

paper

The project presented in this paper is part of a broader research addressing in-between spaces and the designing of experiences taking place there. The project focuses on door frames, and inquires the way to improve social interactions taking place ‘at the door’. To do so, the approach is structured on an Experiential Design Landscape in order to create an in- between space with audio traces and to evaluate these traces impact on people’s behavior change. Our hypothesis is that sound traces triggers behavior changes. Evaluation is done quantitatively through the measurement of the door movements, and qualitatively based on laddering techniques mapped out in a mean-end chain. The results show no significant impact of the audio traces on people’s behavior change. However, emotional reactions could be observed. Although this first step revokes our hypothesis, it also has provided insight for further inquiry on in-between spaces.


Impact of perception theories on kansei design

Impact of perception theories on kansei design

Lévy, P. (2014). Impact of perception theories on kansei design. Journal of Japan Society of Kansei Engineering, 13(1), 21–26.

paper

The everyday is often mentioned in design, yet hardly inquired. The everyday is about what is banal, infraordinary, not memorable, as well as about the force that makes things habitual, endotic. In the research encompassing this paper, we question the everyday and explore opportunities to enchant it by design. This paper focuses more specifically on the design of everyday rituals, and aims to propose a descriptive framework to ‘read’ and compose such rituals. The elaboration of the framework is done based on a case study: the making of a hot chocolate in the morning. Through an autoethnographical approach, the main dimensions of the framework are determined (place and time, essentiality, and strength) and discussed. Throughout this inquiry, the value of a first-person perspective while designing for the everyday is discussed, as well as its relationship with the third- person perspective. This framework proposed points out the importance of quick iterations and of the consideration of consequences of design decision at all levels of the everyday ritual (structural, temporal, aesthetical, ethical…).


Perception Theories and Kansei Design

Perception Theories and Kansei Design

Lévy, P. (2014). Perception Theories and Kansei Design. In P., Lévy, S., Schütte, & T., Yamanaka (Eds.), the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2014, KEER2014 (pp 287–297). Linköping, Sweden: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

Approaches to create artifacts taking kansei into consideration are multiple and are shared among various disciplines, such as kansei engineering, kansei science, and kansei design. In this paper, I focus on the discipline of kansei design and show that various approaches exist within this discipline. These can be characterized based on their focus: either the physical or the interactive materiality of the artifact. Indirect kansei design, mostly focusing on the physical materiality, is based on indirect (or mediated) perception theories. It often relies on representations, models, and metaphors to provide meaningful input to the design. Direct kansei design, mostly focusing on the interactive materiality, is based on direct (or ecological) perception theories. It mainly relies on the designerly attitude of the designer in the process, and apprehend design meaning to emerge from the reflection upon design exploration within the process. Describing and differentiating these two approaches show how kansei is considered differently by different approaches of kansei deign, looking forward a dialogue between these approaches in order to obtain a greater insight on kansei and on its consideration for designing.


Rite de transition, a design choreographic exploration of cultural value exchange, through development of intercultural ritual artefacts

Rite de transition, a design choreographic exploration of cultural value exchange, through development of intercultural ritual artefacts

Kint, J., Klooster, S., & Lévy, P. (2014). Rite de transition – a design choreographic exploration of cultural value exchange, through development of intercultural ritual artefacts. In P., Lévy, S., Schütte, & T., Yamanaka (Eds.), the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2014, KEER2014 (pp 1115–1125). Linköping, Sweden: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

This research project is called Rite de transition. By means of DesignChoreography, an approach developed by Sietske Klooster, we explore the rituals revolving around traditional Turkish marriage. In due course, inspired by an emotional and auto-ethnographic interpretation of the explored rituals, Klooster designs a novel ritual and artefact that intend to embody shared values, hence intercultural exchange. We choose for a bodily first person approach as we estimate that the complexities of the modern world – i.e. cultural clashes and the breakdown of cultures – require a radical change in tackling these issues. We suggest to move away from pure rational analytic approach our society adhered to. We are on the verge of a new era that embraces diversity and organic interaction that cannot and does not have to be standardized, fixed or rigidly defined anymore. Our approach is based on embodiment and phenomenology, allowing us to diverge from narrowing down broad societal and cultural issues to mere rational thinking and judging. We use DesignChoreography as a vehicle, since the knowing and making body can experience meanings and values that lie underneath visual appearance. By doing so we bring about our bodily understanding for intercultural interaction and exchange.


The bases of direct interaction design

The bases of direct interaction design

Lévy, P. (2013). The bases of direct interaction design, presented at Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan. December 3rd, 2013.


Direct interaction design

Direct interaction design

Lévy, P. (2013). Direct interaction design, presented at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. November 19th, 2013.


Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework

Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework

Lévy, P. (2013). Exploring constituents for kansei design, towards a framework. the Proceedings of 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, IASDR 2013 (pp 148–159). Tokyo, Japan: Shibaura University of Technology.

paper

Next to the well-developed and recognized kansei engineering and kansei science, the discipline of kansei design still appears as emerging and explorative. In this paper, after presenting succinctly the theoretical basis of the first two disciplines, I compare them with and focus more in detail on the bases of kansei design, along with an inspiration in Japanese philosophy and culture. In order to structure further the discipline, necessary for the creation of a robust and specific design framework, I describe the constituents of the discipline, i.e., the notions the designers should take into consideration to either describe and explore kansei through designing, or to reflect upon and validate kansei designs (especially interactivity aspects). Finally, these constituents are illustrated by two kansei design projects showing their value and the current explorations done on the topic of interactive materiality in kansei design.


Matter of transformation, designing an alternative tomorrow inspired by phenomenology

Matter of transformation, designing an alternative tomorrow inspired by phenomenology

Hummels, C., & Lévy, P. (2013). Matter of Transformation: Designing an Alternative Tomorrow Inspired by Phenomenology. Interactions, 20(6), 42–49. https://doi.org/10.1145/2533713

paper

In this month’s cover story, Caroline Hummels and Pierre Lévy propose an alternative, value-based vision for design: Can we create alternative ways to engage with the world based on trusting our senses? Where intuition is as valuable as logic? Where commitment and engagement are valuable assets for growth? Where people can take a first-person perspective and be in the moment, instead of forever worrying about efficiency? Growing out of a long history of work in the Designing Quality in Interaction group at TU Eindhoven, Hummels and Lévy’s vision is rooted in phenomenology and the ideas of 20th-century philosophers such as Dewey, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Over the course of the article they build their case for this new approach, highlighting projects that illustrate aspects of the vision they outline. As the cover image hints, even typically mundane objects such as vending machines can produce rich, aesthetically rewarding experiences when their design is inspired by phenomenology and its associated values such as embodiment.


Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design

Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design

Lévy, P. (2013). Beyond kansei engineering: the emancipation of kansei design. International Journal of Design. 7(2), 83–94.

paperjournal page

For over three decades, kansei engineering has expanded greatly and has become a significant discipline both in the industrial and the academic worlds. In this paper, I present the current situation of kansei engineering, and plead for the emancipation of other disciplines, as part of kansei research as well. By reconstructing the historical path of kansei research and exploring the variety of disciplines within kansei research, I point out the opportunities for kansei design to emerge. Whereas kansei engineering and kansei science have found their roots in scientifically established approaches (respectively engineering and brain science), kansei design intends to return to earlier Japanese philosophical or cultural works to rediscover the essence of kansei, and to use them as inspirational means for design. This new discipline certainly needs to be elaborated further. Therefore, this paper aims to contribute to the elaboration of a more expansive point-of-view in design research regarding the relationship between human beings and their immediate environment.


Holism and kansei design, kansei beyond borders

Holism and kansei design, kansei beyond borders

Lévy, P. (2013). Holism and kansei design – kansei beyond borders, presented at the International Colloquium on Kansei and Design 2013, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan. August 30th, 2013.


Portfolio for the University Teaching Qualification (BKO)

Portfolio for the University Teaching Qualification (BKO)

Lévy, P. (2013). Portfolio for the University Teaching Qualification (BKO). Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

portfolio

My name is Pierre Lévy. I am currently assistant professor at the Department of Industrial Design of Eindhoven University of Technology. I have been studying in France, in Canada, and in Japan. I have studied mathematics, mechanical engineering, psychophysiology, and design (which has been the continuous topic over my studies). I have been working in companies in France and in Japan, and in universities in Japan, in France, and in The Netherlands. My teachings have touched upon design, cognitive science, phenomenology, Japanese culture, and psychophysiology (all topics in regard to design).
From this I can satisfactorily see that I have been ‘travelling’ in the world of design education, and writing for the BKO portfolio is for me an opportunity to step back, and reflect on my vision, my role, and my work as an educator.


People, Place, Process: Lessons Learnt on the Path to a d.school

People, Place, Process: Lessons Learnt on the Path to a d.school

Hillen, V., & Lévy, P. (2013). People, Place, Process: Lessons Learnt on the Path to a d.school. the Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering Design 2013, ICED13 ([on CD]). Seoul, Korea: The Design Society.

paper

Since 2006, Design Thinking education programs for master-level students have been developed at Ponts ParisTech, a leading French engineering school. This paper presents a longitudinal study of the creation and dissemination of Design Thinking (DT) as a discipline to educate top-level French students for innovation. From 2006 to 2012, 53 projects were carried out by a total of 224 students. A review is made of the instructional design of those DT projects, from local experiments through the creation of a d.school supported by the French Ministry of Education and Research to the dissemination of DT nationally. From this, key lessons are drawn for faculty members wanting to set up and disseminate DT in their own university. The paper advocates that a DT professor becomes a staging director who should consider three elements – people, place, and process – in order to create “the right conditions for students to innovate” (Leifer, Stanford). A faculty member’s task thus defines itself as the art of creating the best conditions for driving students’ journeys of exploration within a specific context, and represents a transformative and learning adventure.


Designing for Perceptual Crossing: designing and comparing three behaviors

Designing for Perceptual Crossing: designing and comparing three behaviors

Deckers, E.J.L., Wensveen, S., Lévy, P., & Ahn, R. (2013). Designing for Perceptual Crossing: designing and comparing three behaviors. the Proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'13 (pp 1901–1910). Paris, France: ACM. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2470654.2466251

paperacm library

Perceptual crossing is the reciprocal interplay of perceiving while being perceived. In this paper we discuss the last iteration of our ongoing research project on designing for perceptive qualities in systems of interactive products. We describe the design of explorative behavior in an artifact to enable the artifact and a person to engage in perceptual crossing. The explorative behavior is compared to the following and active behavior, the results of two earlier iterations. Through the iterations we formulated, applied and evaluated design relevant knowledge in the form of seven design notions. These notions inform design-researchers and design-practitioners on how to design for perceptive qualities in systems of interactive products. Here we specifically focus on how the artifact detects active perceptive behavior of a person, and how the artifact becomes aware of bygone perception and anticipates on future perception. An experiment shows how participants preferred the resulting explorative behavior that is closest to our theoretical framework based on phenomenology.


Designing for perceptive qualities: 7 showcases

Designing for perceptive qualities: 7 showcases

Deckers, E.J.L., & Lévy, P. (2012). Designing for perceptive qualities: 7 showcases. the Proceedings of Design Interactive Systems Conference, DIS12 (pp 496–505). Newcastle, UK: ACM. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2317956.2318030

paperacm library

In this paper we describe seven showcases, namely ‘BeTouched’, ‘Dawe & Valle’, ‘Wonderturf’, ‘IN2WACO’, ‘Blow!’, ‘ShyLight’ and ‘PeR’, that give relevant insights on how to design for perceptive qualities in artifacts. Designing these perceptive qualities hypothetically enables a person to engage in a reciprocal perceptive interplay with the artifact: perceptual crossing between person and artifact can happen. This paper is part of an ongoing research in which we designed, built and evaluated several artifacts with perceptive qualities and in which we discovered a set of design notions. The theoretical model and the design notions involved in this research-project are introduced. The showcases illustrate and give value insights on the application of the theoretical model and the design notions.


Designing for perceptual crossing: applying and evaluating design notions

Designing for perceptual crossing: applying and evaluating design notions

Deckers, E.J.L., Lévy, P., Wensveen, S., Ahn, R., & Overbeeke, K. (2012). Designing for perceptual crossing: applying and evaluating design notions. International Journal of Design. 6(3), 41–55.

paperjournal page

In this paper we describe our research on how to design for perceptual crossing between person and artefact. We present the design-research process, the design and evaluation of the designed artefact PeP+, short for perception pillar plus, and the generated design relevant knowledge. In our previous research we formulated a number of design notions, namely Focus the Senses, Active Behaviour Object, Subtleness, Reaction to External Event, Detecting Active Behaviour Subject, Reflecting Contextual Noise and Course of Perception in Time. These notions are relevant for designing perceptive activity in an artefact to allow for perceptual crossing between a person and this artefact. The person is able to get the feeling of sharing a common space with the artefact: to feel involved. To further investigate these design notions we reconsidered and implemented them in the design of PeP+. We discuss how the different design notions are applied in the artefact and show their relevance in an experiment. In this experiment we compare three behaviours, namely random, following and active, of PeP+ that are the result of the development of the design notions. The experiment gave insights into the development of the design notions and the experience of the person. This research uses phenomenology as a theoretical framework. Theory is used as inspiration and is the basis for synthesis.


Involving psychophysiological knowledge in Kansei design

Involving psychophysiological knowledge in Kansei design

Lévy, P., Kim, D., Tsai, T.J., Lee, S.H., & Yamanaka, T. (2012). Involving psychophysiological knowledge in Kansei design. International Journal of Design Engineering. 5(2), 122-141. doi:10.1504/IJDE.2012.053018

paper

This paper introduces a design method using psychophysiological research output as an inspiration means for the design of products taking user?s Kansei highly into consideration. The development of this method is itself a part of a series of design methods based on the collaboration of the research fields of psychophysiology and design. As case studies, two design projects following this process are introduced. Firstly, the colourful rain umbrella lets its user to experience grapheme-colour synaesthesia. Secondly, the sensorial socialising smartphone informs about the user?s digital social network activity by the means of warmth, a non-invasive tactile technique. Informed by psychophysiological literature, this design is shown to be not only informational of the network activity, but also motivational towards greater social experience. This approach enables psychophysiology not only to inform and support design ideation, but also to enrich the value of the design concept by bringing new arguments.


The multi-disciplinary nature of kansei research: an historical approach

The multi-disciplinary nature of kansei research: an historical approach

Lévy, P. (2012). The multi-disciplinary nature of kansei research: an historical approach. Penghu, Taiwan.

During the last three decades, kansei engineering has expanded greatly and has been highly recognized both in the industrial and the academic worlds. Nowadays, the term ‘kansei engineering’ is so strong in the kansei community that activities related to kansei, but not to engineering, keep on naming themselves kansei engineering research. This prevents the emancipation of other kansei disciplines, the enrichment of the field by the multiplication of point-of-views, and the dialogue between disciplines to understand better what kansei and kansei related disciplines are about.
By presenting the historical path of kansei research and exploring the variety of disciplines within kansei research, I point out the multi-disciplinary nature of kansei research. Thereafter, I focus on three disciplines directly related to the making of physical artifacts: kansei engineering, kansei science, and kansei design. Whereas kansei engineering and kansei science have found their roots in scientifically established approaches (respectively engineering and brain science), kansei design intends to return to earlier Japanese philosophical or cultural works to rediscover the essence of kansei, and to use them as inspirational means for design. A case study of kansei research through design is also presented.


Special issue: kansei research in Europe

Special issue: kansei research in Europe

Lévy, P. (2012). Special issue: kansei research in Europe, presented at the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2012, KEER2012, Penghu, Taiwan. May 22-25, 2012.

Many academic laboratories and companies in Europe have worked in kansei research. As on other continents, kansei engineering is the most important discipline, but is not the only one. The disciplines in Kansei Research in Europe are multiple, as are their origins. This multiplicity of disciplines and points-of-views creates a great opportunity for the development of the field in Europe.
As an expression of the interest for kansei engineering, Europe has recently welcomed two major conferences related to Kansei Engineering: ICBAKE2009 (including KEAS2009) in Cieszyn, Poland, and KEER2010 in Paris, France. For this last edition of the KEER conference, 32% of the presentations were presented by European researchers, and 40% of the attendants were affiliated in Europe.
However, there is no European community on Kansei Research, neither officially nor practically. Laboratories and companies have not found yet the way and the means to create such community, which would certainly help the promotion and the development of Kansei Research in Europe.
In this presentation I would like to show an overview of the European presentations at KEER2010, as a starting point to scan the current state of Kansei Research in Europe. I hope this presentation will elicit reactions towards the construction of such European community.


When Movement Invites to Experience: a Kansei Design Exploration on Senses' Qualities

When Movement Invites to Experience: a Kansei Design Exploration on Senses’ Qualities

Lévy, P., Deckers, E.J.L., & Restrepo Cruz, M. (2012). When Movement Invites to Experience: a Kansei Design Exploration on Senses' Qualities. In the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2012, KEER12 ([on CD]). Penghu, Taiwan: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

In this paper, we introduce a Research through Design on Sensual Dynamics, and explore four design projects (namely Be Touched!, Sound Flowers, Shylight, and Blow!) from which we extract design notions providing valuable insights on how to design with and for the senses’ quality ‘reciprocity’. ‘Sensual Dynamics’ designs are artifacts that are able to sense one person and to behave upon her presnece to invite for movements enhancing the perceptive experience. Such an artifact is therefore at the same time the object of the experience as well as the trigger for a greater perceptive experience.


Developing a design approach, exploring resistance and ambiguity

Developing a design approach, exploring resistance and ambiguity

Trotto, A., Hummels, C.C.M., & Lévy, P. (2012). Developing a design approach, exploring resistance and ambiguity. In the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2012, KEER12 ([on CD]). Penghu, Taiwan: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

Designers face the world’s complexity at an experiential level. We consider Making (synthesising and concretising) an essential activity of designers, prior to Thinking (analysing and abstracting), because only through experience – a result of acting in the world – we achieve meaning, funnelling human intentionality. Making enables designers to explore the unknown by trusting their senses and their kansei, exploring resistance and ambiguity and by tapping into their intuition. Because ‘intuition begins with the sense that what is not yet could be’, it involves skills, as skills are our way to make sense of the world, transform it and to cater for ethics.
In this paper we describe a one-day workshop that has been held during the CHItaly conference 2011 in Alghero, Italy. During that day, we explored how the integration of points of view, using intuition through skills can communicate and create a richer meaning. The assignment was to design an empowering and enabling tool that allows a person to begin to experience another person’s skill. To be able to design such a tool, designers had to go through several steps of documenting and reflecting upon their own and each other’s skills.
We reflect on the experience and explain how this approach can support the integration of points of view, which is considered to be formed by personal experience, by skills, and by kansei.


Making the world through kansei: 3 Approaches

Lévy, P. (2012). Making the world through kansei: 3 Approaches, presented at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan. March 16th, 2012.

symposium page


Psychophysiological Applications in Kansei Design

Psychophysiological Applications in Kansei Design

Lévy, P., Yamanaka, T., & Tomico, O. (2011). Psychophysiological Applications in Kansei Design. In & M., Shi (Eds.) Kansei Engineering and Soft Computing: Theory and Practice (pp. 266-286). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-61692-797-4.ch015

paper

In order to describe emerging methods and means for Kansei design, this paper overviews three approaches involving an intense collaboration between the fields of design and psychophysiology:

  • The use of tools built for psychophysiology and of techniques based on constructivist psychology theory, in order to support designers ‘inspirational work focusing on human beings’ behaviors, experience, and mental constructs.
  • The use of knowledge created by psychophysiological research as an inspirational source of knowledge and as a conveyor of it for all along the design process. This approach takes into account the latest scientific progresses in psychophysiology, and concerns greatly about the scientific nature of the considered knowledge.
  • The use of psychophysiology tools to complete design requirements. Each approach presented here is supported by an applicative example. These interdisciplinary approaches lead towards the structuring of Kansei Design as an application field of Kansei Science.


Ohlala: Exploring the Relation between Content Completeness and Emotional Experience

Ohlala: Exploring the Relation between Content Completeness and Emotional Experience

Lévy, P., Kuenen, S., Overbeeke, K., Uchiyama, T., & Yamanaka, T. (2011). Ohlala: Exploring the Relation between Content Completeness and Emotional Experience. In N., Roozenburg, L.L., Chen, & P.J., Stappers (Eds.), the Proceedings of International Association of Societies of Design Research 2011, IASDR11 ([on CD]). Delft, The Netherlands: Delft University of Technology.

paper

Among other explorations, the field of telepresence technology has looked at ways to create a feeling of telepresence based on the transfer of minimal information. On this topic, the Cololo project has taken an extreme position by proposing the experience of 1-bit communication.
Based on the observation of Cololo in use, it is shown that content is not necessary to trigger an emotional experience. This paper introduces a novel dimension to be taken into consideration in communication technology: the content-completeness dimension, ranging from non-content to hyper-content. Furthermore, we built the Ohlala framework, aiming to explore the content-completeness dimension. Based on Ohlala, by way of a research through design, we intend to explore further the relations between this dimension on communication and emotional experience.


Luciole, lighting up the design process

Luciole, lighting up the design process

Lévy, P., Wijnen, J., Hummels, C.C.M., & Vinke, A.A. (2011). Luciole, lighting up the design process. In P., Marti, A., Soro, L., Gamberini, & S., Bagnara (Eds.), the Proceedings of 9th ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction Facing Complexity - CHItaly (pp 103). Alghero, Italy: ACM. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2037296.2037323

paperacm library

The Industrial Design Department of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is continuously developing and putting in practice a holistic and integrative educational approach, focusing on designing intelligent systems, products, and related services for societal transformation. This approach requires students to continuously reflect upon their design process and their results. Therefore, we are exploring how to support them in documenting and reflecting on their design projects.
This paper introduces the first design iterations of Luciole, a design process visualisation tool based on and integrated in the educational model of TU/e.ID. These first iterations show clearly the students? benefit of using Luciole. This tool supports students in their design processes and in their reflection upon them. It is viewed as a tool to assist reflection upon designing, communication with coaches, and assessment.
Finally, a first functional prototype of Luciole is introduced, as a means for further research. A long term user-test is currently conducted in order to validate the actual relevancy of Luciole as a tool to support education at TU/e.ID, and to evaluate the students? appreciation and use of the tool.


Kansei et kansei design

Kansei et kansei design

Lévy, P. (2011). Kansei et kansei design, presented at l'École Nationale Supérieure de la Création Industrielle, Paris, France. March 31st, 2011.

Auparavant, il a été maître de conférence en “Service Product Design” a Chiba University et à la Kansei Information Design de University of Tsukuba, au Japon. Docteur en Science de cette même université, il a un master d’ingénieur mécanique de l’Université de Technologie de Compiègne. En tant que chercheur, il s’est intéressé à tous les aspects de partage (des connaissances, espace, temps, compétences, motivation …), conduisant à la socialisation et à la créativité. Il pense que la recherche kansei et le design sont deux approches d’ouverture d’esprit qui peuvent apporter des idées originales aux mondes universitaires, industriels et sociaux. Une approche phénoménologique peut aider à mieux comprendre et à améliorer leurs relations, souvent complexes, avec les différents aspects du monde en réseau.


Bringing Forth Constructivist Education Assessment: A Frame of Reference to Inspire and to Support Design Education

Bringing Forth Constructivist Education Assessment: A Frame of Reference to Inspire and to Support Design Education

Lévy, P., Hummels, C.C.M., & Vinke, A.A. (2011). Bringing Forth Constructivist Education Assessment: A Frame of Reference to Inspire and to Support Design Education. the Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices ([on CD]). Rome, Italy: CGPublisher.

paper

The Industrial Design Department of Eindhoven University of Technology is continuously developing and putting in practice a holistic and integrative educational approach, focusing on designing intelligent systems, products and related services for societal transformation.
During the semester, each student is supported by a personal coach, by assignors and experts, who eventually provide feedbacks on the student’s learning, achievement, and reflection upon learning. During the end-of-term assessment, students are evaluated on their overall development (taking skills, knowledge, reflection, attitude and identity into account). After describing the rational of the educational system of TU/e and its process in practice, this paper focuses on the introduction of a new educational tool aiming at supporting education, assessment included: the Frame of Reference.
The holistic quality of the educational system allows the personalisation of the entire student career. Therefore, there are as many visions and student paths as the number of students. Each student is different from others in terms of their knowledge, skills and experience. Consequently, no standardized criteria can be properly applied to the evaluation procedure.
The Frame of Reference is structured as an intelligent space, both physical and virtual, and adaptive to the visitors’ expectations and experience. It offers referential works and development of design students (prototypes, reports, showcases…), illustrating stages of and processes for competency development and over-all development as a designer. The Frame of Reference is introduced and described as a place for sharing points of views and experiences, between students, coaches, experts, assessors, and external visitors. It is designed to inspire and to support students as well as staff, by creating a comprehensive and clearer, yet non-homogenous vision of what students throughout the department achieve, of how this is evaluated and how this contributes to students’ overall competence of designing.


The origin of experience

The origin of experience

Lévy, P. (2011). The origin of experience, presented at the the seminar series Catch the Future, the Department of Industrial Design of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, Korea. March 8th, 2011.


The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010, KEER 2010

The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010, KEER 2010

Lévy, P., Bouchard, C., Yamanaka, T., & Aoussat A. (Eds.). 2010. The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010 – KEER 2010. Paris, France. ISBN: 978-4-9905104-0-4.

Conference guide

On behalf of Arts et Métiers ParisTech, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to Paris for the International Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research: KEER 2010.
This event has been co-organized by the Japanese Society of Kansei Engineering, the Taiwan Institute of Kansei, and Arts et Métiers ParisTech. KEER 2010 is organized for the first time in Europe, more specifically in Paris. We are all the more proud to host this conference within our School, which is one of the oldest Schools of Engineering in France, with a culture that focuses strongly on innovation in technology and processes.
The overall theme of the conference is ‘Crossing places, crossing experiences, crossing minds’. We sincerely hope that the conference will set a strong ground for future scientific and cultural exchanges. With time, we hope that the contacts you will make here will help construct long-lasting bridges between our cultures, and bring us closer together in mutually beneficial work relationships. We have been fortunate this year to receive many contributions from 25 countries worldwide, which added up to 410 submitted papers and posters, over 230 of which were selected in the final program. In the next three days, we have organized 7 simultaneous sessions to host presentations from the authors, as well as two keynote presentations every day. We hope each and every one of you will find nourishment for your scientific curiosity and for future lively and fascinating debates.
I am greatly thankful to all authors for their excellent contributions, to the program committee members, and to the referees for their contribution and valuable insight during the reviewing process. I would also like to thank all the people who have helped with organizing the conference: Prof. Hisao SHIIZUKA (Kogakuin University, President of JSKE), Prof. Kuohsiang CHEN (National Cheng-Kung University), Prof. Toshimasa YAMANAKA (University of Tsukuba), Prof. Yu-Ming CHANG (Southern Taiwan Universty of Technology), Assistant Prof. Pierre LEVY (Eindhoven University of Technology) and Assistant Prof. Carole BOUCHARD (Arts et Métiers ParisTech). Particular thanks go to the members of the KEER 2010 organizing committee here in Arts et Métiers ParisTech.
Welcome to Paris. We wish you all a very fruitful and convivial conference.

Améziane AOUSSAT
Conference Chair

The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010, KEER 2010

Lévy, P., Bouchard, C., Yamanaka, T., & Aoussat A. (Eds.). 2010. The Proceedings of the Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010 – KEER 2010. Paris, France. ISBN: 978-4-9905104-0-4.

paper

The concept of ‘everyday’ is a central topic in design, and this paper argues for more attention and discussion on the everyday than what is currently done in design research. By elaborating what the everyday is, designers can better formulate a perspective on people’s lives and experiences, and therefore can better contribute to the enchantment of the everyday through designing. To contribute to this effort of clarification and enchantment, we first attempt to clarify the concept of everyday and thereafter suggest notions originating from Japanese philosophy to address the everyday in design. The everyday is described mostly through the process of quotidianisation of the unfamiliar towards the familiar. To support designing for the everyday, we propose to focus on Japanese notions: thusness and irregularity. Thusness invites to consider the experience of the here-and-now as being the active relation with the entirety of the world through interaction. Irregularity invites to keep something unexplained in the design, eliciting possibilities of exploration, openness, change, and the shift of perspective. Finally, three relatively practical design concepts, namely micro-considerations, micro-frictions, and (es)sential details, are proposed to support application of thusness and irregularity through design.


Kansei research in Eurasia

Kansei research in Eurasia

Lévy, P. (2010). Kansei research in Eurasia, presented at the the TIK Symposium 2010, Taihung, Taiwan. October 23rd, 2010.

The International Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research 2010 (KEER2010), held at the Arts et Mètiers ParisTech in Paris, has been a promising event for the future of Kansei Research in Europe. For the first time, numerous European researchers in Kansei Engineering and related topics met not only each other, but also their colleagues from all over the world. For the first time, a European community on Kansei research gathered and exchanged knowledge and views on Kansei with the Asian communities.
I would like to take the chance of this presentation to frame again the current situation of the European research on Kansei, and to position it from an Eurasian perspective. To do so, I will take two steps:

  • A review on the history of Kansei research will show the early implications of European philosophy in the ‘academic establishment’ of the term Kansei and of the philosophy of Kansei. This aspect is crucial as it shows already existing bridges between Asian and European thoughts, and stresses points for reciprocal interests and future collaborations.
  • A picture of the current Kansei research in Europe will show main driving European activities on Kansei research. To do so, I will present a review of KEER2010, picturing the presence of European researchers in the field of Kansei and related topics. Although this picture, based only on the outcome of KEER2010, may not be complete, it will render the great possibilities of further Kansei research development in Europe.

With this presentation, I hope to be able to clarify better the current situation of Kansei research in Europe, towards greater involvement of Europe in this field, towards better exchange between Europe and Asia for a more international Kansei research community.


Developing sensory functions: transfer human senses from contextual perception

Developing sensory functions: transfer human senses from contextual perception

Tsai, T.J., Lévy, P., Ono, K., & Watanabe, M. (2010). Developing sensory functions: transfer human senses from contextual perception. In P., Lévy, C., Bouchard, T., Yamanaka, & A., Aoussat (Eds.), the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research International Conference 2010 - KEER2010 (pp 304–313). Paris, France: Japan Society of Kansei Engineering.

paper

Approaches in interaction design were explored a hyperspace that human cognitive actions and interactive system in both two end. Recently, this dualism in diverse direction is integrated in a notion of context, which had brought from social science as the manifest of implicit interactions that makes ‘sense’ from human actions or activities. In this research, we applied perception in ecological view to capture the stimuli of context in its dynamic nature, and proposed a notion of sensory function in extracting the transfer character of sensorimotor as transmitting signals to perception. Firstly, a theoretical approach in integrated context and perception was reviewed as the nature of stimuli and sensorimotor that can offer a grounded knowledge to carry images of context to perceptual actions. Secondly, we practiced a process in conductive way to analysis and synthesis the transfer function as a notion of sensory function. Thirdly, an application of prototype was built for order action that situated in a coffee shop, and implemented with a concept of ‘waiter cup’. To conclude, this study may be important to support incentive observation at the early design stage, and provides a tool to exploring contextual perception in designing interaction.


感性価値の高い化粧品開発にむけた手法と考え方感性認知脳科学的視点から考える感性価値創造 [Kansei Science and Kansei Value Creation through Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences]

感性価値の高い化粧品開発にむけた手法と考え方感性認知脳科学的視点から考える感性価値創造 [Kansei Science and Kansei Value Creation through Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences]

Yamanaka, T., & Lévy, P. (2010). 感性価値の高い化粧品開発にむけた手法と考え方 感性認知脳科学的視点から考える感性価値創造 [Kansei Science and Kansei Value Creation through Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences]. Cosmetic Stage. 4(33), 1-11.

paper

Prospective psychophysiological approach for Kansei design: knowledge sharing between psychophysiology and design

Prospective psychophysiological approach for Kansei design: knowledge sharing between psychophysiology and design

Lévy, P., Yamanaka, T., Ono, K., & Watanabe, M. (2009). Prospective psychophysiological approach for Kansei design: knowledge sharing between psychophysiology and design. the Proceedings of International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2009 - IASDR09 ([on CD]). Seoul, Korea: Korean Society of Design Science.

paper

This paper introduces an interdisciplinary design method, based on psychophysiological knowledge used as inspirational means for Kansei design. After describing the interest for such method, this paper describes each step of the method, from pre-ideation steps to actual design process based on the knowledge of human behavior phenomena and of their mechanisms. This description is supported by two examples. The teaching of this method to design master students pointed out not only the great possibilities of this method as an interdisciplinary approach in Kansei design, but also the difficulties of using scientific literature and knowledge in design.


Introducing research activities: Knowledge Sharing and Creativity with Kansei Design

Introducing research activities: Knowledge Sharing and Creativity with Kansei Design

Lévy, P. (2009). Introducing research activities: Knowledge Sharing and Creativity with Kansei Design. Journal of Japan Society of Kansei Engineering, 8(2).


The Repertory Grid Technique as a Method for the Study of Cultural Differences

The Repertory Grid Technique as a Method for the Study of Cultural Differences

Tomico, O., Karapanos, E., Lévy, P., Mizutani, N., & Yamanaka, T. (2009). The Repertory Grid Technique as a Method for the Study of Cultural Differences. International Journal of Design. 3(3), 55-63.

paperjournal page

Culture is typically approached in the field of design through generic, cross-domain constructs. In this paper we provide an alternative methodological approach to exploring cross-cultural differences by studying the idiosyncratic views of individuals with regard to existing products. We operationalize this approach through the Repertory Grid Technique, a structured interview technique motivated by Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory, and propose a content-analytic procedure combining quantitative and qualitative information. We further propose the use of three distinct metrics in the analysis of personal constructs: dominance, importance, and descriptive richness. Dominance of a construct is measured through the relative percentage of a construct category over the total sample of constructs. Importance is measured through the elicitation order; this assumes that constructs elicited first are more salient and important to the individual. Descriptive richness relates to the diversity of a class of constructs. Some constructs might be uni-dimensional while others might tap to a number of distinct facets. The use of these indices enables the quantification of the different ways in which individuals perceive and differentiate between products. By identifying how individuals respond to a rich set of stimuli within a given domain, we inquire into their values and the qualities they appreciate within this restricted domain. Cultural values are thus explored in relation to a set of stimuli. We tested this procedure through an exploration of the ways 17 Dutch and 16 Japanese industrial designers valued a set of pens.


Colourful Rain, Experiencing Synaesthesia

Colourful Rain, Experiencing Synaesthesia

Lévy, P., Kim, D., Tsai, T.J., Lee, S.H., & Yamanaka, T. (2009). Colourful Rain – Experiencing Synaesthesia. the Proceedings of International Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces - DPPI09 ([on CD]). Compiègne, France.

paper

This paper introduces a Kansei design method using psychophysiological research output as an inspiration means for the design of products taking highly into consideration user’s Kansei. The development of this method is itself a part of a series of design method creation based on the collaboration of the research fields of psychophysiology and design. The Kansei design method is based on four major steps involving both a classic design process and a literature investigation in psychophysiology. The main difficulty for the Kansei designer is to take into consideration the scientific rigor of the literature and to succeed to describe properly the behavioural phenomenon(a) she/he wishes to involve in the design process. As an example of design output, the colourful-rain umbrella is introduced. This umbrella lets its user to experience a rare synaesthetic perceptive phenomenon: all sounds in the rainy street are also perceived as colours (visually). To do so, the synaesthetic phenomenon is detailed from a psychophysiological point of view.


Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Study Keywords

Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Study Keywords

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2009). Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Study Keywords. Kansei Engineering International. 8(2), 179–185.

paper

The aim of this paper is to present the project undertaken by the authors to describe Kansei and to structure Kansei design studies. Indeed, the current fuzziness on Kansei research structure complicates the global comprehension of this field and seems to be a hindrance to Kansei design education and internationalisation. To improve both of these aspects, this paper proposes a comprehensive description of Kansei and Kansei Studies, explains its specificity compared to “classic” research fields, and introduces a list of 131 Kansei Study Keywords which will be used in further projects to structure Kansei sources of knowledge and improve Kansei knowledge development, Kansei research, and Kansei education.


Methods and Means for Kansei Design

Methods and Means for Kansei Design

Lévy, P., Yamanaka, T., & Tomico, O. (2009). Methods and Means for Kansei Design. the Proceedings of ErgoDesign Forum 2009 ([on CD]). Lyon, France.

paper

Through the example of three projects, this paper describes emerging methods and means used in the field of Kansei design studies:

  • The use of tools built for psychophysiology and for constructive psychology in order to support designers’ work focusing on human beings’ behaviours and mental schemes;
  • The use of knowledge created by psychophysiological research as an inspirational source for industrial design, taking into consideration the latest scientific progress in psychophysiology;
  • The use of psychophysiology tools to complete design requirements. Each point presented here is supported by an applicative example.


Neural networks involved in artistic creativity

Neural networks involved in artistic creativity

Kowatari, Y., Lee, S.H., Yamamura, H., Nagamori, Y., Lévy, P., Yamane, S., & Yamamoto, Y. (2009). Neural networks involved in artistic creativity. Human Brain Mapping. 30(5), 1678–1690. doi:10.1002/hbm.20633

paper

Creativity has been proposed to be either the result of solely right hemisphere processes or of interhemispheric interactions. Little information is available, however, concerning the neuronal foundations of creativity. In this study, we introduced a new artistic task, designing a new tool (a pen), which let us quantitatively evaluate creativity by three indices of originality. These scores were analyzed in combination with brain activities measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results were compared between subjects who had been formally trained in design (experts) and novice subjects. In the experts, creativity was quantitatively correlated with the degree of dominance of the right prefrontal cortex over that of the left, but not with that of the right or left prefrontal cortex alone. In contrast, in novice subjects, only a negative correlation with creativity was observed in the bilateral inferior parietal cortex. We introduced structure equation modeling to analyze the interactions among these four brain areas and originality indices. The results predicted that training exerts a direct effect on the left parietal cortex. Additionally, as a result of the indirect effects, the activity of the right prefrontal cortex was facilitated, and the left prefrontal and right parietal cortices were suppressed. Our results supported the hypothesis that training increases creativity via reorganized intercortical interactions.


User's appreciation of engagement in service design: The case of food service design

User’s appreciation of engagement in service design: The case of food service design

Lévy, P., & Wakabayashi, N. (2008). User's appreciation of engagement in service design: The case of food service design. the Proceedings of International Service Innovation Design Conference 2008 - ISIDC08 ([on CD]). Busan, Korea.

paper

This research focuses on the engagement in service design. It aims at understanding how users appreciate or not their own engagement in the service process. As a case study for the experiment, various ways of ‘making tea’ were used, and were presented to the subject. Based on the repertory grid method and the means-end chain technique, subjects’ preferences and mental model evaluation structure were captured and analyzed. As a result, two major aspects were extracted: the preference for easiness of preparation, and preference for control over the preparation process. Finally, it was noticed and discussed that engagement in service design was perceived as positive for social services, but bothering for personal one. Also, user’s control and service feedback to the users’ senses were discussed and proposed as service design recommendations.


An Approach on Functional Analysis in Developing Guideline for Designing Service-embedded Product

An Approach on Functional Analysis in Developing Guideline for Designing Service-embedded Product

Tsai, T.J., Lévy, P., Ono, K., & Watanabe, M. (2008). An Approach on Functional Analysis in Developing Guideline for Designing Service-embedded Product. the Proceedings of International Service Innovation Design Conference 2008 - ISIDC08 ([on CD]). Busan, Korea.

paper

In recently, we designers aimed at discovering new domain of service and product to find the opportunities in order to create users need or demands in their daily life. However, the guidelines are still neglect for us to process design thinking for solution output. In the first part of this paper, the notion of service-embedded product (SeP) will be defined in environment of service-product-integration. And we described approaches for designing interaction of SeP for improving qualities as the background. For this matter, we found the function in designing is not only inferred to the product itself and more in service and needed systematic approach. Thereafter, we proposed a Functional Analysis tool, which adapted from the APTE® in solve complex problems by analyzing values through the functions. For this purpose, a list of keywords related to service-product-integration and designing interaction, was extracted from 432 articles from CiNii during the period between January and May 2008. The result presents and constructs several terms for guideline in describing designing interaction functions, such as Information Tangibility, Gateway Accessibility Network Protocol and Product Affordability, to be used as core concepts to design interactions for SeP. By these results, we intend to develop a design tool for SeP in Service and Product Design (SPD) filed in the future.


Development of Competences for Service Design

Development of Competences for Service Design

Ono, K., Lévy, P., Ishizuka, A., Hachima, S., & Waatanabe, M. (2008). Development of Competences for Service Design. the Proceedings of International Service Innovation Design Conference 2008 - ISIDC08 ([on CD]). Busan, Korea.

paper

Objective of this research is to clarify crucial competences for designers who design service and competences that education institutes should develop for future service designers.
To refer about Service Design, firstly, it is necessary to clarify each of two concepts, design and service, that both are elusive.
In this research, design is treated as a process to create a meaningful new option through doing simulation of creation, imagination (of people who will enjoy the benefit) and evaluation.
Regarding service, this research shows that a concept of service includes several different concepts and those are able to be categorized into two major concepts.
One is the concept of service in a narrow sense, which there are nothing left after goods are bought and sold and nonphysical economic goods to provide satisfaction and utility (e.g. cleaning shop, hair salon, etc). Another is the concept of service in a broad sense which is economic nonphysical combination of goods of products, information and narrow services for getting satisfaction and utility (e.g. restaurant, car dealer, hotel, etc). Consequently this research proposes that broad service is that we should cover and the competence we should develop is to do cycle in a level of combination of products, information and narrow services.
However about the way to develop the competence, if the simulation of creation, imagination and evaluation is the exclusive means in order to create a meaningful new option, it might be impossible to start to do the simulation in a level of narrow services without any knowledge and experience and also difficult to find the excuse that designer should be competent for the simulation in a level of narrow services.
Therefore, by expanding the ability of imagination which enhanced by repeating the simulation in a level of products and information as conventional design process to the level of service, the competence for creating meaningful new services in a narrow, also broad service should be developed.


Kansei Engineering|Science, Trans|Interdisciplinary Research

Kansei Engineering|Science, Trans|Interdisciplinary Research

Lévy, P. (2008). Kansei Engineering|Science – Trans|Interdisciplinary Research, presented at the KEER International Symposium 2008, Taipei, Taiwan. October 2nd, 2008.


Designing based on the evoked metaphor, Case study

Designing based on the evoked metaphor, Case study

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2008). Designing based on the evoked metaphor - Case study. In D., Marjanovic, M., Storga, N., Pavkovic, & N., Bojcetic (Eds.), the Proceedings of 10th International Design Conference 2008 (pp 1095 – 1104). Dubrovnik, Croatia.

paper

Kansei physiological measurements and contructivist psychological explorations for approaching user subjective experience during and after product usage

Kansei physiological measurements and contructivist psychological explorations for approaching user subjective experience during and after product usage

Tomico, O., Mizutani, N., Lévy, P., Takahiro, Y., & Yamanaka, T. (2008). Kansei physiological measurements and contructivist psychological explorations for approaching user subjective experience during and after product usage. In D., Marjanovic, M., Storga, N., Pavkovic, & N., Bojcetic (Eds.), the Proceedings of 10th International Design Conference 2008 (pp 529 – 536). Dubrovnik, Croatia.

paper

The aim of this article is to explore the suitability of psycho-physiological measures (e.g. levels of pleasure, excitement and comfortableness during the usage obtained from physiological measures) and psychological explorations (e.g. users’ reflections about their needs for interaction obtained from an interview) for approaching user subjective experience during and after the interaction with a product takes place (explorative usage and reflection processes).

For this purpose the 2-point Electroencephalogram (EEG) comfort measurement is used to gather realtime information about how a person feels during the interaction with a product and the Repertory Grid Technique (RGT) interview is used to gather information about what people’s primary goals and concerns are and about the meaning placed on the purpose outside the immediate experience (after interacting with a product).


Explaining kansei design studies

Explaining kansei design studies

Lévy, P., Nakamori, S., & Yamanaka, T. (2008). Explaining kansei design studies. In P.M.A., Desmet, S., Tsvetanova, P., Hekkert, & L., Justice (Eds.), the Proceedings of Design and Emotion Conference 2008 - D&E08 ([on CD]). Hong-Kong: School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

paper

Within the last thirty years, Kansei studies have become an important field of research in Japan. More recently, foreign researchers have become more and more interested in understating the approach, despite the difficulties related to the cultural dimension of Kansei and Kansei studies. The aim of this research is to propose to westerners a clear description of what Kansei and Kansei studies are, and how it is different from classic western approaches on sensory or emotion design. Using this description of Kansei studies, a brainstorming has been organized to determine a list of keywords (KSK) used to structure and map comprehensively Kansei-related source of information. Moreover, a participative tool, called KanseiTako, is introduced. This tool aims at providing researchers, educators, and students, with an organized and useful set of knowledge sources to structure comprehensively the research field and the education in Kansei studies.


Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Studies Keywords

Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Studies Keywords

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2008). Kansei Studies Description and Mapping through Kansei Studies Keywords. the Proceedings of International Symposium on Emotion and Sensitivity 2008 - ISES08 ([on CD]). Daejeon, Korea.

paper

The aim of this paper is to present the project undertaken by the authors to describe Kansei and to structure Kansei design studies. Indeed, the current fuzziness on Kansei research structure complicates the global comprehension of this field and seems to be a hindrance to Kansei design education and internationalization. To improve both of these aspects, this paper proposes a comprehensive description of Kansei and Kansei Studies, explains its specificity compared to ‘classic’ research fields, and introduces a list of 131 Kansei Studies Keywords which will be used in further projects to structure Kansei sources of knowledge and improve Kansei knowledge development, Kansei research, and Kansei education.


Kansei-Physiological Measurements and Constructivist, Psychological Explorations for Approaching User's Subjective Experience during and after the Product Use

Kansei-Physiological Measurements and Constructivist, Psychological Explorations for Approaching User’s Subjective Experience during and after the Product Use

Yamanaka, T., Tomico, O., Mizutani, N., Yokoi, T., Cho, Y., & Lévy, P. (2008). Kansei-Physiological Measurements and Constructivist – Psychological Explorations for Approaching User's Subjective Experience during and after the Product Use. the Proceedings of International Symposium on Emotion and Sensitivity 2008 - ISES08 ([on CD]). Daejeon, Korea.

paper

The aim of this paper is to present the project undertaken by the authors to describe Kansei and to structure Kansei design studies. Indeed, the current fuzziness on Kansei research structure complicates the global comprehension of this field and seems to be a hindrance to Kansei design education and internationalization. To improve both of these aspects, this paper proposes a comprehensive description of Kansei and Kansei Studies, explains its specificity compared to “classic” research fields, and introduces a list of 131 Kansei Studies Keywords which will be used in further projects to structure Kansei sources of knowledge and improve Kansei knowledge development, Kansei research, and Kansei education.


Interdisciplinary Design Method for EcoDesign, Introducing Kansei research for design to EcoDesign

Interdisciplinary Design Method for EcoDesign, Introducing Kansei research for design to EcoDesign

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2007). Interdisciplinary Design Method for EcoDesign – Introducing Kansei research for design to EcoDesign. the Proceedings of 5th International Symposium on Environmentally Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing - EcoDesign2007 ([on CD]). Tokyo, Japan.

paper

This paper presents an interdisciplinary design method and shows its relevance for EcoDesign. Interdisciplinary design intends to design a product considering its entire context, by the participation of various disciplines. A metaphorical level is required and built in the design process in order to involve properly all disciplines. This continuous participation of every involved discipline makes this design method fully interdisciplinary and relevant for EcoDesign. After introducing the objectives of EcoDesign and interdisciplinary design, the method of interdisciplinary design method will be detailed. This description will be useful to understand how interdisciplinary design works, and how it can be useful for EcoDesign. Finally, it will be suggested that Kansei research for design, which is at the origin of this research, can be a source of new development to improve the quality of human factors in EcoDesign.


Kansei and Kansei Studies: an Overview towards Kansei Design

Kansei and Kansei Studies: an Overview towards Kansei Design

Lévy, P. (2008). Kansei and Kansei Studies: an Overview towards Kansei Design, presented at the the International Symposium of the 21th Century COE Program for the Promotion of Kansei Science for Understanding the Mechanism of Mind and Heart, Tsukuba, Japan. September 9th, 2007.


On Kansei and Kansei Design: a Description of a Japanese Design Approach

On Kansei and Kansei Design: a Description of a Japanese Design Approach

Lévy, P., Lee, S.H., & Yamanaka, T. (2007). On Kansei and Kansei Design: a Description of a Japanese Design Approach. the Proceedings of International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2007 - IASDR07 ([on CD]). Hong-Kong: School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

paper

Kansei design methods are successful in the Japanese industry and academic worlds. Outside Japan, their level of development and recognition is nothing compared with the situation inside of Japan. One of the reasons is that there is currently no comprehensive description of Kansei and Kansei studies written for the international community. This paper intends to provide such description, to analyze involved cultural differences, and to describe how Kansei is involved in the Japanese design approaches. To do so, an overview of main descriptions of Kansei is realized and synthesized into a comprehensive and useful description. Thereafter, Kansei study objectives and methods are analyzed and their differences with that of western approach. Finally, the implication of Kansei in Japanese design is explained. This research intends to improve western understanding of Kansei, and to improve mutual understanding in both industrial and academic worlds between East and West.


Creating an Evoked Metaphor for Kansei Design

Creating an Evoked Metaphor for Kansei Design

Lévy, P., Yamanaka, T., Wang, L., & Igarashi, H. (2007). Creating an Evoked Metaphor for Kansei Design. the Proceedings of International Conference on Kansei Engineering and Emotion Research - KEER07 ([on CD]). Sapporo, Japan.

paper

The Kansei design method allows interdisciplinary workgroups to process design projects using an original knowledge sharing system. This system is based on the SECI Model, already recognized as one of the most efficient models for creative projects. To minimize knowledge distortions due to the interdisciplinary quality of the workgroup, a tool called Evoked Metaphor is inserted to the SECI process. Thanks to the Evoked Metaphor, all shared knowledge can be understood intuitively by any member of the design workgroup, and can be validated on disciplinary points of view. This allows any member of the workgroup, regardless her/his own specialty, to participate to any step of the design process and to communicate with other members. This paper recalls the way the Evoked Metaphor can be used in the Kansei design process, and focuses on its construction method. To illustrate the construction process, an example is proposed concerning a car navigation project.


Towards a definition of Kansei

Towards a definition of Kansei

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2006). Towards a definition of Kansei. the Proceedings of 2006 Design Research Society International Conference, Wonderground 2006 ([on CD]). Lisbon, Portugal

paper

This paper introduces a new research aiming at defining the term Kansei using western philosophical concepts. In the literature, all definitions of the term Kansei are imprecise, even incorrect in most of the case. This is mainly due to the fact that Kansei is a Japanese term, which does not have direct translation in any western language. However, a deeper research has to be pursued to bring the research in Kansei, in Kansei Information, in Kansei Science, and so forth to an international level. This objective requires many research fields to meet in an interdisciplinary research environment following the example of previous works done in other fields, but also trying to link Japanese and Westerns concepts. This paper is an invitation for interested people to contact the research team.


Interdisciplinary workgroup methodology based on Intuition, Application to a communication tool design based on Kansei information approach

Interdisciplinary workgroup methodology based on Intuition, Application to a communication tool design based on Kansei information approach

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2006). Interdisciplinary workgroup methodology based on Intuition – Application to a communication tool design based on Kansei information approach. Kansei Engineering International. 5(4), 31–40.

paper

The artifact is a complex element. Besides its elementary dimensions (material, functional and formal), the artifact is composed of much more dimensions: ergonomic, emotional, cultural, and even ethologic or theological. To take into account this great quantity and diversity of dimensions, the designer’s work has to be widened out. Necessarily, this goes through an interdisciplinary approach, i.e. through an interdisciplinary workgroup activity. Nevertheless, this brings issues, notably concerning knowledge communication and sharing. For each variety of knowledge (tacit, prescriptive and descriptive), interdisciplinary activity provokes issues either because of disciplinary ontology differences, or because of human subjective understanding differences. Intuition is a mental process which is able to minimize these issue effects. We then propose a methodology based on intuition, structured on the theory of Ba, on the SECI Model, which an evoked metaphor (EM) is added to. Through the EM, each member of the workgroup is able to participate to every steps of the design process and to communicate with other members, thanks to an intuitive understanding permanently validated by involved disciplines. This creates an efficient interdisciplinary dynamics and the realization of fully interdisciplinary projects. To illustrate this methodology, the design of MATiK is introduced as an example. MATiK is an original workgroup communication system based on a Kansei information approach. In order to understand the expected functionalities of MATiK and to design it, the EM is set up. Considering basic aspects of an extensive workgroup operative process, the Loft is defined as an EM. The Loft offers an opportunity to understand MATiK’s original functionalities, MATiK’s design, and MATiK’s functional and technical requirements intuitively. This methodology, based on the EM, asserts its relevancy for interdisciplinary design. Its strength comes from the fact that the EM links all the levels of the design process (the idea/concept level, the reality level, and the technical level) and makes their understanding accessible to all members thanks to intuition.


MATiK, CMC design by Kansei Information approach

MATiK, CMC design by Kansei Information approach

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2006). MATiK – CMC design by Kansei Information approach. the Proceedings of Kansei Engineering and Intelligent Systems - KEIS'06 ([on CD]). Aizu, Japan

paper

In this paper, we introduce the work-in-progress of the design a CMC (Computer-Mediated Communication) system called MATiK. The originality of this design is not only the result, i.e. MATiK, but also the Kansei Information based design methodology used to design it. The later uses intuition as a knowledge-sharing process among the design workgroup members. An original conceptualizing tool (the Evoked Metaphor) is introduced in the paradigm of the sharing knowledge process (the SECI Model) to allow members of the interdisciplinary design workgroup to work together upon individual and disciplinary differences. MATiK includes an original function simulating the “cocktail party phenomenon” in the information flow management system of the CMC. This new function improves drastically the quality of social aspects of communications over computers by taking into considerations subjective and social aspects of all the users. Therefore, this paper proposes to discuss the implications of Kansei on sharing knowledge to overpass the current limits of the information technologies, before introducing MATiK and its design process.


Kansei information approach for an interdisciplinary design method proposal based on intuition

Kansei information approach for an interdisciplinary design method proposal based on intuition

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2006). Kansei information approach for an interdisciplinary design method proposal based on intuition. In D., Marjanovic (Eds.), the Proceedings of 9th International Design Conference 2006 (pp 1475 – 1482). Dubrovnik, Croatia.

paper

Considering the complexity of the artefact (artefact means here human construction, to be opposed with the Nature construction. It gathers objects, processes, services and their systems), great design improvements can succeed thanks to an interdisciplinary approach. However, interdisciplinary knowledge sharing encounters many issues, due to disciplinary ontology and human subjective understanding. For designers to adopt an interdisciplinary behaviour, a method is required. This paper introduces a methodological solution, based on intuition.


Interdisciplinary design for the cyberspace by an approach in kansei information, Methodology and Workgroup Communication Tool Design Approach in Kansei

Interdisciplinary design for the cyberspace by an approach in kansei information, Methodology and Workgroup Communication Tool Design Approach in Kansei

Lévy, P. (2006). Interdisciplinary design for the cyberspace by an approach in kansei information – Methodology and Workgroup Communication Tool Design Approach in Kansei. University of Tsukuba, Japan

DissertationAbstract (en/jp/fr)

The evolution of humanity, and notably of societies which are composing it, is marked all along its history, by evolutions, verily revolutions, of communication technologies (invention of spoken language, written language, of printing techniques, and so on. . . ). The digital technology and the advent of the Internet are significant steps of this evolution. Nowadays, the impressive development and the intrusion of information technology at every level of the society, at the institutional levels as well as the private ones, bring the need for a new social and societal paradigm based on the knowledge and intelligence economy. This new paradigm includes the concept of Cyberspace to denote the virtual space for human and social exchanges based on human knowledge and experience. Each human being is a center of this paradigm. The individual, owner and retailer of intelligence, is emphasized by her/his own experience. Considering Chisei and Kansei, both cognitive elements of each individual, and descriptive and tacit knowledge, owned by each individual, there is a necessity to consider subjective (or personal) dimension in social communication while designing tools for the Cyberspace.
The actual evolution, brought by the new information technologies, makes possible for each individual to share and announce one’s own knowledge with the rest of the group (by extension, with the whole humanity), whatever its size or nature. This is certainly a revolution. This is at the beginning of a new context allowing the design of relevant tools enable to help humanity to understand its common action. This understanding reaches to Collective Intelligence, a new opportunity for human community to progress. Thus there is a real need for new design objectives: creation of tools for Collective Intelligence.
Kansei, translated in English as a mental sense of subjectivity, is influencing human relationships. It has an influence on both the ideation and the understanding of interpersonal communication. Thus, Kansei becomes a key point in social context behavior of each individual, influencing not only the social context it-self (its structure and its operation), but also the information flow. Therefore, Kansei Information can contribute to integrate human subjectivity aspects in the design of tools for the Collective Intelligence.
Considering these points, the aim of this study is to understand how Kansei Information can contribute to the creation to the creation of a design methodology for Collective Intelligence, and thus to the improvement of communication structures of interdisciplinary workgroups.


Introducing MATiK service, Proposition for a new IT communication system through an approach in Kansei

Introducing MATiK service, Proposition for a new IT communication system through an approach in Kansei

Lévy, P., & Yamanaka, T. (2004). Introducing MATiK service – Proposition for a new IT communication system through an approach in Kansei. the Proceedings of 2004 Design Research Society International Conference - Futureground 2004 ([on CD]). Melbourne, Australia: Monash University.

paper

Even though IT is a very convenient tool for virtual communities to correspond, limitations are many and, for most of them, already known. This paper focuses on the issues related with tacit knowledge and subjective communication. The aim is to introduce an original software taking user’s subjectivity into account to optimize information flow.
This research has been launch as a part of the 21st Century COE Program, sponsored by the MEXT, aiming at structuring Kansei as a science. Three laboratories with different specialties are working on this common program. As various knowledge is sharing between various people, a quick multiplication of mailing-lists occurred, creating a chaotic situation, preventing efficient communication. The wish to share knowledge (a fortiori tacit one) would fail if nothing was done.
MATiK is introduced as an original communication system satisfying determined requirements for optimized information sharing in an interdisciplinary workgroup. This introduction is done by pointing out the lack of currently existing systems: there is no consideration of the link between message content and user’s specificities. This link is shown as a solution for information flow optimization.
Then, a similarity concept, the loft, is introduced in order to explain the global operating procedure of MATiK, i.e. its information flow management. This ideation process, through highly subjective similarity concept, is favoring Kansei design approach. Next step of MATiK design will be presented in further publications.


Illustrative Industrial Interactions Through Kansei - Towards a dynamic reflection of Kansei in the Marketing/Design/Engineering relationship

Illustrative Industrial Interactions Through Kansei – Towards a dynamic reflection of Kansei in the Marketing/Design/Engineering relationship

Sanabria, J.C., Lévy, P., & Lee, S.H. (2003). Illustrative Industrial Interactions Through Kansei – Towards a dynamic reflection of Kansei in the Marketing/Design/Engineering relationship. In H., Aoki (Eds.), the Proceedings of 6th Asian Design International Conference - 6thADC ([on CD]). Tsukuba, Japan: University of Tsukuba.

paper

The industry of product conception mainly involves decision makers from the fields of marketing, design and engineering. In this study, the perception of the information through this process that influences the decision makers was analyzed through a survey riding on a Kansei approach. This approach emphasizes the influence of the professionals’ personality and characteristics. The subjects’ average perception of the concepts was retrieved through positioning them into a map without considering their individual influence. On a second phase, it was showed that the lack of issues, such as personality or individual characteristics, limited the possibilities of the map. The analysis began with the definition of the fields marketing, design, engineering, and Kansei, and a brain- storming for obtaining the keywords related to the three fields interaction. The resulting keywords were redefined and distributed on a pilot-map with an x-axis divided into user/product, and a y-axis divided into tangible/intangible. For validating the pilot-map the same survey was applied to professionals involved in marketing, design and engineering and the results were projected originally into an average map without considering personal data. On account of the limited information retrieved on this map, a group of wider maps was generated considering personality and characteristics.
Integrating the Kansei approach by considering personality of the subjects, improved the possibilities of the model and gave rise to a source of flexible patterns of information that improved the understanding of the industrial environment relationships. In the future, the final mapping system may be used as an observation tool for magnifying the different possible intersections and patterns between the professionals involved in the fields of marketing, design and engineering and as a platform for further analysis of industrial interaction.


Including Interdisciplinary to Industrial Design

Including Interdisciplinary to Industrial Design

Lévy, P., & Guénand, A. (2003). Including Interdisciplinary to Industrial Design. In A., Folkeson, K., Gralen, M., Norell, & U., Sellgren (Eds.), the Proceedings of 14th International Conference on Engineering Design - ICED 03 (pp 665-666 (exec.summ.)). Stockholm, Sweden http://dx.doi.org/DS31_1042FPD

paper

The product is a complex element. In addition to its material, formal and functional dimensions, products are based on many other dimensions, which are of a sensory, emotional, cultural, historic (and so on) nature. Product design unceasingly tries to design products by taking into account of their complexity and thus of a maximum of these dimensions. An enlargement designer’s work necessarily goes through interdisciplinary. That is all the more significant since interdisciplinary design leads the way for sustainable design, which will enable the design to progress again, and will also enable the designer to be finally able to respect its social responsibilities which he or she bears as a creator of industrial products. This paper intends to present how the education of designers can influence efficiently the profession to integrate interdisciplinary into the industrial design process. Lastly, we present the research in progress at the Department of Industrial Design of Compiègne University of Technology, developing an assistance tool for interdisciplinary pedagogy in the education of industrial design. This tool not only aims at accompanying the student in his or her interdisciplinary pedagogic projects, but also the teaching team to set up interdisciplinary pedagogic teams.


Design industriel et interdisciplinarité, Méthode et outil d'intégration de l'interdisciplinarité dans la formation pédagogique initiale du design industriel

Design industriel et interdisciplinarité, Méthode et outil d’intégration de l’interdisciplinarité dans la formation pédagogique initiale du design industriel

Lévy, P. (2002). Design industriel et interdisciplinarité – Méthode et outil d'intégration de l'interdisciplinarité dans la formation pédagogique initiale du design industriel. Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France

dissertation

Le design industriel est une activité créatrice, qui s’inspire de connaissances ayants des origines variées, et dont l’objectif est d’établir les qualités multiples des objets, des processus, des services et de leurs systèmes durant leur cycle de vie complet. Ainsi, le design est un facteur central pour l’ ‘humanisation innovante’ des technologies et un facteur crucial des échanges culturels et économiques.
La communauté académique est unanimement d’accord pour affirmer que le design possède pour ‘objectif secondaire’ important de mieux comprendre le résultat de son travail: l’objet. Une orientation de type interdisciplinaire du design industriel peut l’amener à accomplir cet ‘objectif secondaire’. L’ ‘attitude interdisciplinaire’ n’est pas étrangère au design industriel. Depuis plus de soixante-dix ans, le design est souvent allé chercher les connaissances et les outils de disciplines variées afin de développer – et de résoudre – les problématiques auxquelles il s’est trouvé confronté.
L’objectif de cette recherche est de montrer qu’une ‘attitude interdisciplinaire’ formalisée du design industriel peut lui permettre d’atteindre cet ‘objectif secondaire’ et d’en faire bénéficier la société dans son ensemble.