Generative (participatory) design

Peter Jones Innovation

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 stimulus items. Thus, the generative tools approach is a way to fill the fuzzy front end with the ideas, dreams and insights of the people who are to be served …

Architecture as Social Research

Peter Jones Human Values, Transformation Design

Critique of Pure Research: A new graduate program at London’s Goldsmiths College explores architecture as a tool of social and political practice. Metropolis Magazine just keeps getting better – their editorial policy has strengthened their social focus with each issue. The Centre for Research Architecture is as concerned with politics and human rights as it is with architecture. It dispenses with the practice of building and delves into the profession’s more political and theoretical applications. Eyal Weizman, the founding director, derived his approach to architectural research from his own study of conflict zones in Israel. The laws and restrictions on space were often so vague on paper that they provided no guide to policy; to determine where Palestinians could and could not rebuild after their homes were destroyed, Weizman worked with a nonprofit organization to reconstruct them and see how the government would react. “The law was unpredictable,” he says. “You had to provoke to reveal the government’s internal logic.” At Goldsmiths, Weizman has brought these lessons to the classroom, turning the traditional detached academic perspective on its head. “Practice …

Twilight of the Republic?

Peter Jones

A series of articles, just since late 2006, wonder seriously if America’s soul – its character and shared values – dropped over a tipping point. Each of these are from a different perspective, revealing an interconnected complexity of problems, even if each takes a single focus. These underlying concerns have been building since 2001: Since 2001, what have these old white guys with bad haircuts done, in secret, to what was once the most-respected nation? What kind of government has actually emerged now to take the place of a democratic republic? What are the possibilities for citizen engagement in their own democracy, and are we up to the job of creating one? Inside, looking out at the mess we’ve made. Andrew Basevich asks in his Commonweal essay, a section of which I’ve fair-used here, the question titling this post. A serious attempt to pacify the Islamic world means the permanent militarization of U.S. policy. Almost inevitably, it will further concentrate authority in the hands of an imperial presidency. This describes the program of the “faster, please” ideologues keen to enlarge …

Tao of Dialogue

Peter Jones Dialogic Design

Lao Tze imagined a way of serving others and giving up your own ideas: In caring for others and serving heaven, There is nothing like using restraint. Restraint begins with giving up one’s own ideas. This depends on Virtue gathered in the past. If there is a good store of Virtue, then nothing is impossible. If nothing is impossible, then there are no limits. If a man knows no limits, then he is fit to be a ruler. The mother principle of ruling holds good for a long time. This is called having deep roots and a firm foundation, The Tao of long life and eternal vision. Working in Dialogue means giving up your role as expert and engaging with all others as if they were the only voices that matter. Dialogic design is our process of designing social systems and complex services in participatory design dialogue. Dialogue enables people to listen to each other on issues of common concern, going beyond what they personally think is important, to find common roots the deep issues that dynamically influence their situation. …