Dialogue on design ecologies

Peter JonesDialogic Design

How rare an event to walk unexpectedly into Socratic dialogue, in process. Friday’s Media Ecology workshop at U of T, hosted by Mogens Olesen and Bob Logan, was found in Bob’s office, where he and about 7 others were in process already, and after us, 2 more walking in, into an intimately cramped space. The tight office required everyone to lean in, make contact, and attend closely. In future sessions, I would recommend alternating these informal dialogues between larger and smaller rooms to encourage the interaction that results from people having to sit on tables or stand by the door. It lends urgency and a conspiratorial air to the proceedings. Proceedings which ranged quite widely – And if you weren’t there, my reporting from notes may not make sense as a narrative flow, as it was an open dialogue. I’ve tried to capture the spirit of the dialogue here, but …

Dialogue as unmediated design

Peter JonesDialogic Design

Or at least, less-mediated design. A goal and an inherent value of participatory design is that of engaging users directly in a design processes, to minimize the translation of features by designers. The goal of direct participation is not to reduce the cycle time incurred between cycles of user-centered design, prototyping, and user assessment, although that happens. The goal is to maximize user ownership of the design for their own work practices, and to minimize the influence designers have in articulating the significant features in the application space. Participatory design has a values orientation that respects the intelligence and autonomy of participants in their own work practices. Dialogic design also aims to minimize designer mediation, even if through a facilitated process. By enabling participation of all stakeholders in a design dialogue – aspires to immediacy. The principle of requisite autonomy is honored in all SDD sessions, which requires the autonomy …

IDEO Smart Space – A transformation of what?

Peter JonesTransformation Design

IDEO’s Urban Pre-Planning Can its “Smart Space” practice shake up the lumbering world of infrastructure, zoning, and public process? IDEO gets so much press on their approach to architectural projects – perhaps because its a relatively new space for design, and few other firms are taking it on in the way they can. They have the size, the rep, and a diverse mix of design disciplines. They have balls, you have to give them credit – their developing practice in urban planning, land use, and housing planning is taking on a complex, hyper-sensitive, “sprawling” territory where results will be hard to measure, because cities and new initiatives in urban spaces take time and community commitment to happen. IDEO does not have to care if they design it, and nobody comes. So they can reach far with ideas and aim for excitement and inspiration. But it is not innovation of urban …

Generative (participatory) design

Peter JonesInnovation

Liz Sanders, now at MakeTools.com, presents this mapping of Design Research approaches – in Design Research Quarterly (1:1). She distinguishes between Design-led and Research-led design, and Expert vs. Participatory. At MakeTools, Liz advocates Generative Design, led by participants as designers. Her article distinguishes generative design as: Generative tools (Sanders, 2000; Sleeswijk Visser, Stappers, van der Lugt and Sanders, 2005) is a newer design-led bubble in the participatory design zone. It is characterized by the use of design thinking by all the stakeholders very early in the fuzzy front end of the design development process. The name ‘generative tools’ refers to the creation of a shared design language that designers/researchers and the stakeholders use to communicate visually and directly with each other. The design language is generative in the sense that with it, people can express an infinite number of ideas (e.g., dreams, insights, opportunities, etc.) through a limited set of …