Probing futures

a master project TU/e + Philips Design + Design Academy Eindhoven, presented at the DDW'18

How would our world look like 20, 30, 40 or 50 years from now? Will we monitor each individual on the planet to live a low-risk life? Will we replace organs, eyes, or other parts of our body with artificial alternatives? Will we upload our brains and live on a server? Or do we seek ways to embrace a life more related to mother earth? In this Design Fiction project, several potential healthcare futures are explored. The project is a collaboration between Philips Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Design Academy Eindhoven, and Frank Kolkman.

When designing and developing for an audience, as was done in this project, a wide range of different opinions have to be dealt with. A well-known example are robots and Artificial intelligence (AI). Some people only see the positive side and potentials: what if robots could take over all our work so we have full-time vacation? Others only see the downsides and risks: what if robots become smarter than people and start attacking us? Either way, the truth will be somewhere in the middle, but it is very important to capture such opinions and discover what society thinks of current developments. The goal of this project was to do exactly that by developing design probes for four potential healthcare futures – based on a framework by Philips Design – and exhibiting them during the Dutch Design Week (DDW) and within Philips to provoke a debate.

During the first part of the project, four teams each developed a design probe for one of the potential futures, which were exhibited at the Dutch Design Week.

The project was continued within another team and a fifth probe was designed based on the insights gathered at the DDW. This time, the focus was laid on preventive healthcare in the present time, which led to the design of a fictive device that helps parents to monitor their baby’s health and aids them in growing a healthy child.

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…).


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.


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.


kansei studies, kansei design

kansei studies, kansei design

A piece of waka makes your heart abate and kansei, which is a virtue of waka.

— Yoshida (1687)

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.

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.

paperjournal page

Main projects

Passage

A bachelor project by ChiYong Lim, Gracia Goh and Kate Vermeyen in Kansei design

Main publications

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.

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…

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.

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…

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:…

Lier Affectivité et Conception: l’Ingénierie Kansei

Lévy, P. (2008). Lier Affectivité et Conception: l’Ingénierie Kansei. Techniques de l’Ingénieur, AG2140.

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…


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.


Passage

Passage

A bachelor project by ChiYong Lim, Gracia Goh and Kate Vermeyen in Kansei design

(Extrait de mon HDR)

Passage est un projet réalisé en 2012 par Gracia Goh, Chiyong Lim, et Kate Vermeyen à l’Université de Technologie d’Eindhoven. Ces étudiants en design ont réalisé un projet basé sur la contexture kansei précédemment présentée. Passage s’intéresse au lieu de transition entre deux espaces physiques, c’est-à-dire à leur entre-espace. L’énoncé du projet invite les étudiant à réaliser un design pour l’entre-espace en évitant d’influencer l’expérience de l’un des deux espaces. Cet énoncé semble a priori phénoménologiquement incohérent, puisque l’expérience d’une chose extérieure à soi a nécessairement lieu dans un espace et demande de plus que l’attention de l’utilisateur soit dirigée au moins partiellement vers cette chose. Or non seulement l’entre-espace ne semble pas être un espace (mais plutôt une surface), et l’attention d’une personne passant une porte est le plus souvent dirigée vers l’espace dans lequel elle compte se rendre.

Après de multiples itérations incluant des fabrications de prototypes, des essais en situation, des réflexions basées sur la contexture kansei, etc., un remarquable design a progressivement pris forme. Passage est une installation montée sur le cadre d’une porte. Cette installation est composée d’une ligne de diodes électroluminescentes (LEDs RGB) projetée sur une feuille d’aluminium fine qui réfléchit la lumière en direction de la porte une fois entrouverte. Les diodes changent très lentement la couleur émise. La feuille d’aluminium ondule en fonction de la manière dont la porte est ouverte : une ouverture franche créera bien plus de turbulences qu’une ouverture lente. L’impression lumineuse projetée sur la porte est donc unique à chaque ouverture et à chaque fermeture.

Ce qui est remarquable dans ce design est que la projection lumineuse n’est pas visible par le passant lorsque la porte est complètement fermée ou franchement ouverte, si bien que l’interaction n’a lieu que dans l’action de l’ouverture de la porte. L’expérience commence dès que l’on commence à ouvrir la porte et finit avant que l’on ait fini de l’ouvrir. Non seulement l’installation se trouve (quasiment) localisée dans cet entre-espace, mais l’expérience est également localisée dans cet entre-espace : elle n’interfère quasiment pas avec l’intentionnalité du passant de passer dans l’espace suivant. L’objectif du design est ainsi atteint.

Outre certains descripteurs kansei « classiques », tels que le grain, l’interaction lumière-ombre ou la sensation d’une invitation à apprécier cet entre-espace, des descripteurs kansei spécifiques à ce projet ont été établis : l’instantanéité et l’insaisissable, et plus encore leur couple. Ce qui est remarquable est que cette expérience est prenante du point de vue de son expression, engageante par le geste, et que son intensité vient du fait qu’elle est très courte, inéluctable, et insaisissable : en un instant elle nous engage puis nous libère, sans qu’on puisse vraiment y échapper, ni en faire quoi que ce soit. Là est la beauté de ce design.

(Excerpt from my Habilitation)

Passage is a project carried out in 2012 by Gracia Goh, Chiyong Lim, and Kate Vermeyen at the Eindhoven University of Technology. These design students carried out a project based on the kansei context previously presented. Passage focuses on the place of transition between two physical spaces, i.e. their inter-space. The project statement invites students to create a design for the inter-space without influencing the experience of either space. This statement seems a priori phenomenologically incoherent, since the experience of something external to oneself necessarily takes place in a space and requires that the user’s attention be directed at least partially towards this thing. Yet, not only does the inter-space not seem to be a space (but rather a surface), and the attention of a person passing through a door is most often directed towards the space in which they intend to travel.

After multiple iterations including prototype production, situation tests, reflections based on the Kansei context, etc., a remarkable design has gradually taken shape. Passage is an installation mounted on the frame of a door. This installation consists of a line of light-emitting diodes (RGB LEDs) projected on a thin aluminium foil that reflects light back towards the door once it is ajar. The diodes very slowly change the emitted color. The aluminium foil undulates depending on how the door is opened: a quick opening will create much more turbulence than a slow opening. The light impression projected on the door is therefore unique with each opening and closing.

What is remarkable about this design is that the light projection is not visible to the passer-by when the door is fully closed or open, so that interaction only takes place in the action of the door opening. The experience begins as soon as you start opening the door and ends before you finish opening it. Not only is the installation (almost) located in this inter-space, but the experience is also located in this inter-space: it almost does not interfere with the passer-by’s intentionality to pass into the next space. The design objective is thus achieved.

In addition to certain “classical” kansei descriptors, such as the grain, the light-shade interaction or the feeling of an invitation to appreciate this inter-space, kansei descriptors specific to this project have been established: instantaneity and the elusive, and even more so their couple. What is remarkable is that this experience is engaging from the point of view of its expression, engaging by the gesture, and that its intensity comes from the fact that it is very short, unavoidable, and elusive: in an instant it engages us then liberates us, without us being able to really escape it, or do anything about it. That is the beauty of this design.


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.


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.