Fear and Loathing of Evidence in Design Research

Peter Jones Design for Care, Design for Practice, Design research

Depending on the discourses you follow, you might notice “design-led everything” has charged ahead with design thinking, speculative and design futures, empathic HCD and so on. Design research and advanced methods have lagged in these discourses. Emerging designers could easily believe that a product/service business case can be supported by small-sample field observations and a keen sense of empathy for participants (i.e., would-be customers).  At many design schools, the belated rise of human factors (endorsed in second gen design methods) has drifted off into mixed-mashes of methods. I hate to admit how little emphasis we give to evaluation in my courses now – in the 1990’s, usability and contextual evaluations established a positive reinforcing process in competitive growth cycles. Back when money wasn’t cheap and the web wasn’t monetized by surveillance adverts, you couldn’t afford to launch a weak product. Business decisions were based on data, and we had “real data.” So the recent arguments about evidence are puzzling. Perhaps its only the difference between “evidence-based design” and what I call “design with evidence.” Don Norman has been advocating an evolution in design thinking and education with …

What Counts as Evidence in Healthcare Service Design?

Peter Jones Design for Care, Design research, Human-centered design

Evidence-Based Service Design From Chapter5, Design for Care Inpatients spend most of their time during hospital treatment and recovery in a bed, often in a shared room. It might be obvious to anyone who has even visited a hospital room that the experience of resting and waiting in this sterile, artificial environment could be greatly improved. The everyday experience of the inpatient constitutes encounters with the physical environment—from building architecture to room layout and furniture—and the presentation of services within a hospital and specialized clinics. Most of these environments leave a lot to be desired, and designed. What if it could be proven that people heal demonstrably faster and better in beautiful, well cared for physical environments? Architecture professor Roger Ulrich’s research into the direct beneficial health effects of natural and harmonious surroundings during care provides hard evidence to support this theory. Ulrich’s 1983 article “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery” was the first scientific recognition of the capacity of nature to accelerate healing in the clinical environment.4 Taking a patient-centric perspective from the outset, Ulrich demonstrated …

Relating Systems Thinking to Design 3 – Call for Contributions

Peter Jones Design research, Social Systems Design, Systemic Design

The 3rd annual symposium is organized  the Systemic Design Research Network and hosted by the Institute of Design, Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) The emerging renaissance of systems thinking in design responds to the increasing complexity in all challenges faced by designers, strategists, and transdisciplinary innovators. We are facing deeply entangled problematics in natural, social, economic, and political systems. Our professional and organizational worlds have become too complex for linear goal-driven management, and the solution of conventional design thinking is insufficient to address complexity across domains, scales, and networks. New thinking, new knowledge, and new forms of intervention are required to take on this web of interconnected challenges. The theme for Relating Systems Thinking and Design 3, to be held at AHO in Oslo 15th to 17th October 2014, is: Knowledge of Forms and Forms of Knowledge. The Systemic Design Research Network invites systemic designers to think BIG for this year’s symposium. How might systemic design help to: Promote a transition towards flourishing enterprises and sustainable prosperity? Engage value conflicts between economic, social, and environmental paradigms? Address systemic …

Social systems design for complex services : A workshop

Peter Jones Design research, Dialogic Design, Service Design, Social Innovation, Strategic Foresight

What are the deep drivers of your problem system? Social systems design for complex services I’m holding a workshop this week on dialogic design at Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Their unique program in Systems-Oriented Design has a  lot in common with OCADU Strategic Foresight and Innovation. A workshop on dialogic design for complex systems and social systems methodologies. There is an urgent need to wisely address complex social issues effectively and democratically. There is a social and educational need to improve design methods for social and systemic innovation. There are underlying systemic forces that all social, business and policy innovation will deal with in a given horizon. We can develop sound understanding of these forces in scenarios and as interdependent problem systems through dialogic design practices. Systemic design methods provide capacity to mixed stakeholder groups and organizations for navigating complexity and identifying challenges with the highest leverage in a social system. The methodological value of social systems design process is in identifying common drivers and influences underlying an interconnected problematique in complex systems (ecological and climate changes, economic …