Engaging Experiences

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Dan Mu, Student, Phd Candidate, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Communication Design for Accessibility and Inclusion: Touch and See Your Park Project View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Siriporn Peters  

The objectives of this paper are to disseminate my research outcomes and raise awareness of the design community about the potential roles and contributions of a communication design educator and research in society. This paper draws from my collaborative project with the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (WBNHS) under the National Park Service (NPS) in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, which was called "Touch and See Your Park". This project was funded by the National Endowment for the Art between 2017 and 2019. The stakeholders and participants were the representatives WBNHS, NPS and the Native American Communities: Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. This project evolved from my participatory design research while I was working at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. The research methodology was Mixed Methods Research (MMR). Participatory Design (PD) and Human-Centered Design (HCD)were employed as research approaches and strategies. The research procedures consisted of four phases: 1) consultation and data collection, 2) data analysis and design concept development, 3) prototype production and implementation for evaluation, and 4) the effectiveness evaluation and dissemination. The collaborative project revealed: 1) MMR was an effective research methodology because it helped stakeholders, participants, and researchers to have a better understanding of the current situation, research problems, and outcomes, 2) PD and HCD were the effective design approaches and strategies, 3) including stakeholders and participants in all phases could ensure successful solutions, and 4) a communication design educator as a researcher had vital roles and contributions in generating positive and sustainable solutions for stakeholders and participant communities.

Featured Playful Public Space: Investigating Levels of Interaction between People, Objects and their Environment through Playful Design View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Anna Merry  

Can design implemented within public space influence human interaction and experience? This investigation questions if playful and participatory design which unexpectedly intervenes with the everyday setting allows involvement on various levels. Over the past decade playful interactions in the urban realm are occurring more frequently, examples such as the Piano Stairs as part of the Volkswagen Fun Theory, Kurt Perschkes Red Ball Project, Candy Changs Before I Die and Thomas Heatherwicks Spun Installations have infused our public spaces with temporary rich and diverse opportunities for fun and interaction. The study begins with an explanation of the ‘playful interactive experience’ a design methodology for the construction of playful events. Ideally a ‘playful experience’ is a seemingly humorous design unexpectedly intervening with everyday transitional spaces, allowing active participation. Defined as an event ‘where one can be spontaneously involved in a temporary narrative of play permission which is non-habitual in order to increase an experience of place’ it in turn increases social and spatial interactions. Through displayed case studies, the investigation presents a framework for user interaction. The framework demonstrates interactions which occur individually and collaboratively as well as promoting methods of dialogue and visual communication which arise as a consequence. Furthermore, the framework explores potential connections between the user and designer, sociability of strangers and the exploration of the wider spatial setting. Conclusions indicate that humorous outcomes can be enjoyed by all as economic, fun and non-traditional solutions to ‘placemaking,’ thus facilitating needs and desires of users within public space.

Visual Design for Autism: Exploring Stimulation and Perception of Products for Hyper- and Hypo- Sensitivity View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Raquel Cañete,  María Estela Peralta,  Amanda Martín-Mariscal  

Visual stimulation has a great impact on the emotional and cognitive development of children. Visual perception of products influences the first decisions of the user, and it is key to instilling trust during first impressions. For this reason, visual qualities play an important role in perceptions, expectations, and product choices. It is essential to pursue rich visual designs that have a positive impact on children. This is even more relevant for those with autism spectrum disorder who tend to experience sensory stimuli differently than typically developing children, which affects their daily performance. Studies claim that although they can vary within the sensory range, children with ASD are usually at one end of the sensitivity spectrum, meaning that they have insufficient or exaggerated responses, therefore presenting hypo or hypersensitivity, respectively. This means that for products to be safe, comfortable, and easy to use, they must be adapted to the specific type of sensitivity of the child. However, most products are aimed at autism in general but are not adapted to each type of sensitivity, leading to frustration and rejection in many cases. This work explores the specific design guidelines and parameters for each type of visual sensitivity and concludes that the design must aim for different purposes, visual stimulation or relaxation, depending on the type of sensitivity. It implements these findings by redesigning a multifunctional toy for hyper- and hyposensitivity, with the aim of demonstrating the importance of adapting products to the specific type of visual sensitivity of these children.

Merging Creative and Performing Arts Disciplines to Foster Sociality, Community, and Co-design View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Brenda Saris  

Fostering pedagogical practices that embody principles of sociality and community can be problematic when such concepts collide with demands that individual learning outcomes be met. Moreover, promoting collaboration between creative and performing arts staff can be challenging when individual discipline demands prioritise specific skills learning. E/Merge, A Festival of Creativity was devised to overcome such issues at a higher education institute in New Zealand. Nine disciplines including creative technologies, creative writing, commercial dance, māori and pacific dance, musical theatre, music, publishing stage and screen (drama) and screen production (filmmaking) were involved in the festival. Using a Cultural Historic Activity Theory (CHAT) lens, rudimentary findings from a study in progress point to the value of such an initiative to foster sociality, community, and to promote collaborative co-design practice. CHAT is useful as it offers insights into learning and participation, including how students from different disciplines may cross boundaries to create new work. Pressing societal challenges require new interventions and interactions to occur for the production of new knowledge. Creative and performing arts students seem aware of the affordances of the creative self in the context of this particular time, as they draw on differing socio-cultural contexts that are naturally present in a diverse student community.

Design Unfamiliarity: From the ‘Real’ Real to the ‘Unreal’ Real View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Xuesong Wu,  Zilong Li  

This study is research through design. In the process of design practice, we tend to be attracted by the real thing, leading us to lock our eyes on the real thing and simply assume that the problem of the real thing is the problem of design. However, we overlook that there is an inauthentic problem behind the real and that this inauthentic problem actually determines the solution to the real problem and its existence or not. It is noteworthy that the neglect of the inauthentic problem precisely cuts off the construction of the future by design. Based on this problem, this study uses a retrospective experimental method and finds a cognitive barrier from “real” to “unreal” and that certain conditions must be met to span it. At the same time, after spanning the barrier, the design method used for the “unreal” content is different from the previous one. As a result, it leads to a process of design that is no longer an optimization process of finding a solution to a problem, but rather a hermeneutic process. This process completes the progression from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the Could-be to the Should-be, and from the real to the future, and achieves the transition from the real to the unreal, which is defined in this study as the “design Unfamiliarity” process.

Digital Media

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