La question du quotidien est remarquable le sujet du quotidien n’étant que très peu, et souvent assez mal traité en design. Le terme quotidien est beaucoup utilisé dans la littérature en design (e.g., (Hallnäs & Redström, 2002; Norman, 2013; Saito, 2007; Wakkary & Maestri, 2007)), mais la notion elle-même est très peu traitée. Pour illustrer cela, on pointera par exemple la simple omission de la description de cette notion dans l’ouvrage classique du Design de tous les jours de Don Norman (2013) ou encore dans celui sur l’Esthétique de tous les jours de Yuriko Saito (2007). Utilisant ces exemples, j’ai initié une discussion sur la liste de diffusion PhD-Design mailing list (P. Levy, personal communication, April 4, 2017) faisant appel à la communauté de la recherche en design pour déterminer les directions possibles en vue de clarifier le concept de quotidien. Cette discussion a permis à la fois de confirmer le flou entourant la notion du quotidien en design, et de désigner des directions pour une telle clarification, et nous en emprunterons certaines par la suite. Mais au-delà de ces deux points, elle a également contenu une remarque qui a retenu mon attention. Un chercheur émérite a indiqué que tout en ayant cherché à comprendre la façon dont le design interroge le quotidien, il a en même temps renoncé à essayer de le définir. Pour lui, ce terme fait partie d’un ensemble de termes tellement constitutifs du design qu’il varie avec la perspective prise sur le design. Définir le quotidien nécessiterait de définir le design.
Je suis en désaccord avec cela. Certes, tenter de définir le design est un travail qui s’est toujours révélé insatisfaisant, et est a priori problématique. Mais ces tentatives sont aussi en soi une force pour la discipline car la pluralité des perspectives s’est avérée être utile pour une remise en question continue de la discipline, de son évolution, et surtout de la considération de sa propre complexité. Elle a également contribué à porter un échange sérieux et constructif avec les disciplines connexes. Redström (2017) suggère même que « la présence de différentes définitions est instrumentale puisque nous essayons de comprendre et d’articuler ce que sont les choses telles que design et designer ; l’absence de cette définition unifiée n’est pas un vide conceptuel de notre pensée mais en fait une stratégie effective pour surmonter certains types de complexité ». A l’instar du design, étudier le quotidien et tenter d’en formuler une description n’a pas pour but de figer la notion par une formulation que l’on aimerait salvatrice. Bien au contraire, elle a pour ambition première une exploration, c’est-à-dire un voyage dont la destination est inconnue et en fait secondaire. Explorer le quotidien au travers du design, c’est avant tout tenter de créer une perspective sur nos vies et nos expériences, sur le banal, et sur le design. Elle invite à développer une approche par laquelle le design pourra transformer le quotidien, ressaisissant sa beauté profonde sans le dénaturer. Étudier la vie quotidienne afin de la transformer, afin de l’enchanter.
Cet axe de recherche tente donc d’ouvrir le territoire du quotidien et de ses valeurs, le territoire de nos vies dans ce qu’elles ont de plus réel, éloignées de ces expériences que l’on nous dit être extraordinaires parce qu’en fait inatteignables, et que l’on ne peut donc qu’en rêver. Ma proposition est de se pencher sur ce qui est là, tous les jours, et bien souvent oublié ou ignoré dans nos vies et dans le design (Pérec parle d’anesthésie). S’intéresser au design pour le quotidien, c’est chercher dans le banal, dans le commun, dans l’endotique ce qui est beau ou ce qui peut le devenir.
Le temps de l'expérience, enchanter le quotidien par le design
The Habiliation (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches) "endorses the recognition of the candidate's high scientific level, the originality of his approach in a field of science, his ability to master a research strategy in a sufficiently broad scientific or technological field and his ability to supervise young researchers". (Arrêté du 23/11/1988)
The Japanese tea ceremony is a moment of aesthetic and ethical experience of everyday life, a harmony between objects, beings, places and practices. It reminds us that everyday objects, the very heart of our material culture, are of profound beauty and bear an admirable ethic, yet most often go unnoticed. At the crossroads of a reflection on a “Japanese” approach in design through the study of kansei, and a reflection on design in HCI driven by embodiment theories, this research first questions the Western cultural hegemony on design in HCI, and then establishes a cultural decentration in the discipline by taking Japanese philosophy and culture as framing theory. The result is a new perspective on design, both in reception and production, driven by an ethics of relationship, an experience of thusness, and an aesthetic of irregularity. This perspective invites design to enchant everyday life, offering it to consider the details of reality as it is experienced, and to create unexpected moments, sources of astonishment and of new possibilities. Inviting a cultural decentration of design, this research proposes an original approach for everyday design, and contributes to seeing it as a major aesthetic and ethical source, for the development of the being, of its sensitivity and its values.
Barely out of bed,
performing at the spoon
the brown of the hot chocolate
À peine hors du lit,
La performance à la cuillère
du marron du chocolat chaud
Our lives are a collection of rituals. The way we wake up, the way we leave or enter our home, the way we prepare our suitcase before going on a trip are just simple examples of the many rituals each of us have constructed and that structure our everyday lives. These rituals are not rigid procedures, but a seemingly established series of activities from which experiential meaning emerges, and by which personal values are expressed.
The aim of this course is to address these qualities embodied in rituals from an interaction design perspective, and to explore the relation between the designed artefacts and the rituals they are involved in. Through this exploration, we will gain insights in the reciprocal nature of these influences between the artefacts and the ritual (and by extension the experiential meanings and the expressed values). The final discussion will address the merits of addressing rituals in interaction design, and how to design for meaningful rituals.
To address this course through a project, we will first turn to a Japanese tea ceremony, which is one of the most elaborated and rich rituals and one of the pillars of the Japanese craftsmanship culture. By extracting key characteristics of this ritual, we will start a design exploration to conclude with a concept at the end of the first week. The entire module focuses on one ritual (to be decided), and each group will focus on one artefact within this overarching ritual. The second week focuses on opportunities of a series of prototyping iterations to reach details. Each of them being concluded by a discussion on the reciprocal influences between the artefacts and the ritual and the implication on the interaction design process. The final day will close the module by a demonstration of the ritual with the newly designed series of artefacts.projects 03 November 2014 2014-11-03T16:27:15+02:00 The aim of this course is to address these qualities embodied in rituals from an interaction design perspective, and to explore the relation between the designed artefacts and the rituals they are involved in.
This elective invites students to consider and deepen (both hands-on and through reflection) their understanding of the relationship between aesthetics and various concepts from human sciences that are at stake in the design process for transformation, including philosophy, psychology, sociology and economics.For this aim, three frameworks are introduced and discussed (examples):
- complex thinking,
- lenses & perspectives,
- embodied theories,
- transition theories.
Throughout the elective, students analyse the implication of these frameworks on the designs they create (as aesthetics propositions), and of designs on these frameworks. To reflect on their practice based on the three frameworks, students visualise all noticeable shifts in their designs, in their processes and in relations between and within these frameworks.
This reflection will be supported by a frequential redesign of an everyday design, seen as an embodied experience of an aesthetical and ethical proposition.
Learning objectivesThe learning objectives of this course include:
- Identify, structure and illustrate relations between design (as aesthetical propositions) and other disciplinary fields within human and social sciences,
- Reflect on the impact of design on society and on oneself.
For example, should we focus on local challenges starting from an individual perspective, e.g. your grandmother with dementia that can’t live independently anymore, or should we focus on global challenges starting from the bigger perspective, e.g. how can society maintain a healthy lifestyle? Should we invest more in artificial intelligence and new technological possibilities to tackle our challenges, or should we invest more in the socio-cultural values needed to tackle our challenges? And should we focus on moonshot projects that yield systemic change in 2040 or 50, or should we start today designing for tomorrow?
During this one hour session you will get acquainted with Designing for Systemic Change through interviews with international experts (via videos), 3 presentations of best practices, and having a lively panel debate.projects 03 October 2019 2019-10-03T16:27:15+02:00 Many societal challenges require a systemic approach towards change. An approach where multiple stakeholders together create insight in the challenge at hand, and explore possible directions for systemic change. This session explores the concept of Designing for Systemic Change, including: what is it, how do we approach it, and what are the challenges we face?
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.projects 03 September 2019 2019-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 In this Design Fiction project, several potential healthcare futures are explored in a collaboration between Philips Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Design Academy Eindhoven, and Frank Kolkman.
Stephan was appointed full professor of ‘Constructive Design Research in Smart Products, Services and Systems’ in the Department of Industrial Design on May 1, 2017. He will deliver his inaugural lecture ‘Constructive Design Research’ at 16:00.
Additionally, there will be a series of lectures by staff and students including Pierre Levy, Caroline Hummels, Luke Noothout and Angella Mackey.
Guest speakers include Bill Gaver, from the University of London, who will give a talk describing how he and his team has designed DIY devices that people can make themselves: ‘The first is for a collection of cameras and an audio device designed for Cultural Probes studies. The second, a ‘wildlife’ camera that uses computer vision to trigger image capture when it sees movement.’projects 09 October 2018 2018-10-09T16:27:15+02:00 Preceding the inaugural lecture of prof. Stephan Wensveen, you are cordially invited to attend the Kees Overbeeke symposium at the Senaatszaal in the Auditorium, on Friday, October 19, 2018.<br/><i>On the legagy of Prof. Kees Overbeeke</i>
The nature of design thinking projects requires a great capacity to solve situated-inquiry problems (versus technical problem solving – Schön). Design thinking requires practitioners to become reflective professionals. This piece of research provides a protocol and tools to guide their journey of self-reflection:
- A new action research protocol (derived from Pedagogical Action Research) for design thinking practitioners,
- A conceptual framework (People Place Process) to guide design thinking development, in both academic and business environments,
- A scale-up model to develop design thinking pedagogy at the scale of an individual educator, a university and a government,
- An activity framework for both academic and business users to identify competences developed with (and required for) design thinking projects
Pedagogical action research represents the oldest strand of action research, reaching back to the Science of Education movement in the late nineteenth century (Bain, Boone) and revived in the early twentieth century by the work of John Dewey. The ultimate goal of reflective teaching is to develop teachers’ skills in ‘‘reflection-in-action”, i.e., their ability to frame and reframe problems, find solutions instantly on the basis of their interpretation and analysis of the situation, and construct new meanings and directions for future actions (Schön). The protocol and tools developed in this research have been adapted to design thinking projects, both in academic and business contexts.projects 23 May 2017 2017-05-23T16:27:15+02:00 The nature of design thinking projects requires a great capacity to solve situated-inquiry problems (versus technical problem solving – Schön). Design thinking requires practitioners to become reflective professionals. This piece of research provides a protocol and tools to guide their journey of self-reflection.<br/><i>Doctoral dissertation of Véronique Hillen</i>
The Practice of Constructive Design Research is a conversation proposed by Stoffel Kuenen at the DRS2014 conference.
'Catalysts (=invited participants) for the conversation were researchers in this field: Lorenzo Davoli, Mahmoud Keshavarz, Pierre Lévy and Ambra Trotto. In order to feed and frame the conversation, I made a video containing statements taken from interviews with more consolidated researchers: Pelle Ehn, Daniel Fällman, Caroline Hummels, Johan Redström and John Zimmerman.' (Stoffel Kuenen)
projects 03 September 2012 2012-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 The Practice of Constructive Design Research is a conversation proposed by Stoffel Kuenen at the DRS2014 conference.</i>
This thesis starts with a Manifesto, bold, passionate and ambitious. Goals are set high, as to commit to a major endeavour: how can design contribute to a new civilisation. The first version was written in 2006 in Bertinoro, Italy, where Caroline Hummels, Kees Overbeeke and I were giving a workshop on Aesthetics of Interaction for the University of Bologna. In this Manifesto, we declared our belief and proposed a vision, concerning how design can change Western thinking towards pervasive ethics. By pervasive ethics I mean a social praxis aimed at justice and freedom, which pervades society in a capillary way, becoming a Universal attitude that makes people aware of their own rights, able and willing to contribute to seeing their own rights and those of all people fulfilled. I called this approach Rights though Making. The manifesto stated a mission1, which was later applied and validated. The main lines of thoughts of the manifesto have been respected and enforced through several actions. This thesis will describe these actions, the underlying theory and the related reflection both on the approach and on the outcomes. The Manifesto integrated the points of view of the writers, united by a common drive, in a world riddled with all sorts of social uncertainties. In the Manifesto we declared our intention of preparing and doing workshops with students of different nationalities, stimulating the integration of skilful points of view among future designers. When the Manifesto was written, there was not yet a concrete strategy on how to empower people towards pervasive ethics. The only anchor point was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We wanted the values contained in this document materialised, embodied in (intelligent) products or systems. Both the outcome of what we were envisioning (intelligent products or systems empowering towards the realisation of human rights) and the process of realising it (workshop) had to work towards ethics. This was all I knew at that point. Later I designed the way to do it, based on this solid and enthusiastic shared vision.
Throughout the years, the underlying theoretical framework started to acquire its own body. Only after the realisation of the first 5 workshops (out of 7 in total), was I able to explicitly structure and describe the platform of theory that was supporting my endeavour. These actions (the workshops), contributed to the formation of a body of knowledge, of which the potential strength and soundness until then had exclusively been perceived through intuition. This tacit knowledge was dredged out, reflected upon and refined, through iterations of reflection-on-action, in which the “active” parts were the individual workshops.
Thus the forming of this theoretical platform, the refinement of the research quest or design challenge and giving the workshops were overlapping in time and closely intertwined. For clarity, in this thesis I chose to position them in the following order:
- Part 1: defining the design challenge / research quest and the Rights through Making Approach;
- Part 2: illustrating the theoretical framework underlying the whole work. This theoretical framework is formed by three elements: (1) Ethics (2) Making and (3) their integration, i.e. how Making empowers towards Ethics: the core of the RtM approach.
- Part 3: describing how this theory is applied in design workshops and how the Rights through Making (RtM) approach evolved;
- Part 4: reflecting on the overall research experience and the underlying personal motivations.
Before this central body I placed and introductory part, containing acknowledgments, rights of the readers, synopsis (this chapter) and tables of contents. After the fourth part, I positioned a part called “Annexes”, which is composed of two main sections:
- In the first section I present the RtM workshops in detail, in regard to both the process of each RtM workshop and their evolution;
- In the second section, I illustrate the direction in which I envision the diffusion of RtM in the future, through the realisation of an Internet platform.
Light through Culture is an international design school which explores the theme of complexity in learning environments. The aim of the school is to weave the newest technologies and the rich existing culture into a new canvas for making and thinking. The school was funded in 2011 by Patrizia Marti (University of Siena) and Kees Overbeeke (Technical University of Eindhoven).
This ehibition proposes a reflection on the individual vs. social perception of human rights, exploring 2 fundamental and controverted articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 13: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Visitors travel through an interactive path, where they experience the application or the negation of such rights. This concurs in stimulating and reinforcing a reflection on their relevance and universality.projects 15 January 2012 2012-01-15T16:27:15+02:00 Light through Culture is an international design school which explores the theme of complexity in learning environments.</i>
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.
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”.
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 youpublications 19 October 2018 2018-10-19T10:30:52+02:00 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. Lévy, P. (2018). Contemplating the Impossible, presented at Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. October 19th, 2018.
Stewart has received:
- the Core77 award for best interaction design student work
- the Golden A’ design award in engineering and technical design
Stewart is a tactile interface designed for a fully autonomous car. Self-driving cars offer obvious benefits such as faster travel and enhanced safety. However, they also eliminate a sense of freedom, expression, and control while driving.
Stewart’s objective is to accommodate a healthy relation between man and machine, to be achieved by an intuitive and expressive form of interaction.
Stewart provides you with constant updates about the car’s behaviour and its intentions. If you don’t agree on the car’s next course of action, you can manipulate Stewart to change this. Stewart will learn from you as you can learn from Stewart, hopefully resulting in a mutually trustful relation.
Interaction through Stewart will bring about a haptic discussion about what the car’s next move will be. Who will win this discussion? Who knows best?
Stewart is on: core77 | Design News | BBC | Creative Applications Network | and many other places…projects 03 September 2019 2019-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 Stewart is a tactile interface designed for a fully autonomous car.<br/><i>a final bachelor project by Felix Ros</i>
The prototype was inspired by the moment of perceptual crossing that occurs when you meet a stray cat in the street, and a moment of anticipation makes time stand still, as you and the cat try to figure each other out.
Using a single sheet of folded paper and embedding it with motors and custom-built touch-capacitive sensors, an object which breathes and responds to the presence of human touch was designed, creating the perception that the Kinetic Fold is alive.
Prior to interaction, there is perception. Perception is intrinsically rising from one's actions and from what one senses. These are the way one is connected to the world: acting is the way one impacts the world, sensing is the way one captures it. At this level, in direct contact with the world, there is no information, but energies (or forces). It is these energies and these forces that designers deal with (consciously or unconsciously) when putting a new artefact in the world. This primacy of perception towards interaction is the main focus of this workshop, proposing an approach to effectively taking it into consideration in the design process.
For design practical reasons, design should focus on qualities of senses. For example, touching is local, reciprocal, and private. It is where I touch, I am touched by what I am touching, and nobody else can touch what I touch. On the other hand, smell is at a distance, possibly unidirectional, and public. These are qualities of senses that can be useful for design. To be so, these qualities need to determined and mapped. Moreover, we may seek differences between static and dynamics qualities of senses.
Finally, designers should comprehend these qualities and engage them in order to find opportunities for design - how can I make something private at a distance? How can techno challenge these qualities (e.g. headphones make sound private)? What implications for design?projects 03 September 2013 2013-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 The primacy of perception towards interaction is the main focus of this workshop, proposing an approach to effectively taking it into consideration in the design process.
This doctoral project investigates whether and how to design for perceptive qualities in systems of interactive products from a phenomenological point of view. It sets out to form and frame a new perspective on designing an artefact's intelligence from a quality- and action-centric approach, rather than a functional approach. Artefacts and the systems they create become increasingly intelligent and disappear to the background of our environment. How do we understand all these intelligible connections that systems create in our environment when they are invisible and highly flexible? Moreover, how do we design for such systems of intelligent and interactive artefacts? I am convinced that if we want to design for successful intelligent systems that are perceptible to and evolve around its user, the artefact's intelligence has to build on the direct interaction with its user(s). It is shown that, by designing for perceptive qualities, the system's activity becomes meaningful to its users. Moreover, the user activity becomes meaningful to the system in the course of the interaction.
The work is inspired by and directly synthesises from theory. The theoretical starting point and the generated design-relevant knowledge, in the form of design notions, are a leitmotiv through this work. Three main chapters are structured around this connecting thread. In each of these chapters, designing plays an essential role. The first chapter follows a minimalist approach in context and in implementation to bring forward fundamental knowledge for designing. The second chapter investigates the added value of the generated knowledge for designing, and a step is made towards design practice. In the third chapter, a third-person perspective corroborates the first-person approach and findings. It is crucial that these three chapters feed into each other to inform, inspire and validate.projects 23 May 2013 2013-05-23T16:27:15+02:00 On May 3rd 2013, Eva Deckers has received a Ph.D. degree CUM LAUDE on the topic of Perceptive Qualities in System of Interactive Products.
We are accepting technology more and more into our lives as means to enhance the experience of the everyday. Intelligent products and systems are omnipresent, weave into our everyday life, and consequently have the power to transform our society. Adoption of these systems in our environments invites for exploring further how we interact with our environment.
This research is grounded on the phenomenology of perception and ecological psychology, considering perception to be active. Perception is result of the dynamic coupling between a person’s action in relation to her or his environment and the sensory input this environment provides. In other words, we have to act to perceive and we concentrate our senses in the direction of the stimuli: e.g., turn our body around to see what is behind us, in order to perceive.
The research focuses on how interaction with interactive artefacts can add intrinsic value on space being experienced as a transitory space. Four topics are introduced to investigate our experience of space as transitory space: ritual, space, light and craft. They serve as the backbone of the project and we could say that the ritual is the means for the technology (light) to enable the value (sense of place) to emerge in interaction with (hand) crafted artefacts. In this project I investigate if an interactive lighting installation can trigger our sense of place and belonging in spaces.
Throughout this project I follow a ‘research-through-design’ approach. This is an approach where products are designed to explore implications of theory in context. The idea of perceptive qualities in interactive lighting installations is explored, and I question if an interactive artefact contributes to the experience of transition and allows for a greater feeling of involvement in the space. The project is divided into three cases:
- In the first case (Homelab), different light behaviours and interaction in a home situation are explored.
- Simultaniously, we investigate the relationship with an interactive artefact in context. In the second design case (Videolab), the influence of an additional object on the space being experienced as transitory space is explored. In the third design case (Mirror), the gained relevant designknowledge is united and expressed in a concluding interactive light object.
- With this project I aim to get a grip on how interaction with interactive artefacts can add intrinsic value on space being experienced as transitory space.
(Nadine Amersvoort)projects 03 September 2012 2012-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 Intelligent products and systems are omnipresent, weave into our everyday life, and consequently have the power to transform our society. Adoption of these systems in our environments invites for exploring further how we interact with our environment.<br/><i>by Nadine Amersvoort</i>
This research project focuses on how to design for perceptive activity in artifacts in order for crossing in perception of expressivity between person and artifact to happen. It is part of the research of Deckers et al (2011), on designing for perceptual crossing between person and artifact. In their work they propose a series of design notions which are meant as a tool for synthesis when designing for perceptive activity in artifacts. In this research we follow a research through design approach in order to generate design specific knowledge on the application of these design notions when designing an artifact capable of showing expressivity through its perceptive behavior. We designed LUMA, an dynamic light design capable of expressing a variable level of excitement thought its perceptive actions. We conducted research using the LUMA design in order to investigate how the stage of perception of expressivity can be reached in an artifact and if crossing of perception of expressivity can happen over the course of interaction between person and artifact. For this we specifically investigate the relation between the perceived expressivity and the occurrence of a cross-influential interplay of expressivity between person and artifact. The results of our experiment show that clarity in variability of this expression is essential for this interplay to occur. We discuss possible changes to the design to improve the clarity in variability of expressivity as well as further research steps.
(Koen Beljaars)projects 03 September 2012 2012-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 This research project focuses on how to design for perceptive activity in artifacts in order for crossing in perception of expressivity between person and artifact to happen.<br/><i>by Koen Beljaars</i>
Monty a curious entity that has the ability to perceive activity within its field of vision. When Monty detects activity it will gradually move towards the activity until it is in centre of its perception. If its interest is kept on the activity long enough, Monty becomes engaged and will start taking pictures of the activity.
The envisioned environment in which Monty can be used is a designer’s working environment. Here Monty will mainly be interested in the activity of the designer which will lead to process pictures of all the activities performed by this designer. This in turn gives the designer the possibility to reflect on his own process by scrolling through the visual representation of his activities. And will give him process pictures that can be used for communicative purposes.
Due to its curious nature Monty might not always be focused on what you are doing. He can however be temporarily motivated to move towards a particular area on your desk.
(Rens Alkemade)projects 03 September 2012 2012-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 Due to its curious nature Monty might not always be focused on what you are doing. He can however be temporarily motivated to move towards a particular area on your desk.<br/><i>by Rens Alkemade</i>
In this two-week workshop, theories of interaction design are explained and explored through applications. The DQI approach to Interaction Design is theory informed. This means that theory inspires and even guides the way we look at interaction, and the way we design for interaction and experience.
- Phenomenology and experience (Merlau-Ponty and Dewey)
- Gibsonian theory of perception
- Models of interaction: Interaction Frogger
- Rich Interaction
- Societal Design
These theories, philosophies and models will be explained first and then explored in a series of interaction designs, i.e. practical applications.projects 03 September 2011 2011-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 The primacy of perception towards interaction is the main focus of this workshop, proposing an approach to effectively taking it into consideration in the design process.
(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. 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.projects 03 September 2012 2012-09-03T16:27:15+02:00 Passage is a kansei design project on the in-between space carried out in 2012 by Gracia Goh, Chiyong Lim, and Kate Vermeyen at the Eindhoven University of Technology.