Inquiry and Engagement
Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon
Due to the ubiquitous nature of design ‘What is design?’ is a question that invites special attention in the design world. The statements made in an attempt to answer this question are either too broad or too narrow in its approach. “Design is intelligence made visible” - Alina Wheeler’s quote reflects an example of a broad philosophical approach to describe the design. Whereas a discipline-specific approach states, “Product design is conceiving and giving form to goods and services that address needs” (Ulrich 2011). In the pursuit to define design, the authors illustrate an overarching design triad framework of Functionality, Usability and Desirability (FUD) flexible enough to capture the broad generalization as well as the focused specialization. Articulating such a framework can provide a holistic perspective to demystify the question, ‘What is design?’. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for a constructive dialogue amongst the design community and uses the FUD framework to discern, analyse, and critique all the ‘acts of human creation’ which are perceived to be designed.
Improving Patient Experience through a Design Process: A Transdisciplinary Design Research Project for an Older Population View Digital Media
Definition of the word design has vastly expanded, and usage has adopted into many different professional disciplines. Graphic designers are now applying their creative process to healthcare and other service sectors. Funded by the university-wide Drexel Areas of Research Excellence (DARE), we created an undergraduate research collaboration between Graphic Design and Health Administration programs. This transdisciplinary research project engaged faculty investigators from Graphic Design and Health Administration. In addition, two student research assistants were recruited from undergraduate Graphic Design and Health Science majors. The objective of service design is to involve consumers, designers, and businesspeople in an integrative process, which we applied to a post-acute rehabilitation hospital setting focusing on the experience of those who are 65 and older. The patient narratives through on-site interviews raised challenges and positive aspects of their interactions with the facility. We also interviewed five people, including clinicians and administrative staff. During two follow-up visits, we interviewed seven patients. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: pre-arrival, during the visit, and after their appointments. Interview results were summarized in a visual data format and collaborative recommendations were made during the final presentation such as interior layout, wayfinding, online portal and their functionalities. Our findings confirm that the interior signage created confusion, promoting frequent questions to staff. These results will engage stakeholders and contribute to a co-designing process that will ultimately improve the patient journey. Our research confirmed that design practice to elevate the patient experience through transdisciplinary/cross-professional collaboration is paramount to undergraduate design education.
Capturing the Impact of Experiential Learning through Student Design Competitions View Digital Media
Inviting failure isn't a consideration often given in today's world that desires idealized perfection. However, it is through repeated challenges we create invested learning. Experiential Learning Theory involves learning from experience. When a concrete experience is enriched by reflection, given meaning by thinking and transformed by action, the new knowledge becomes richer, broader, and deeper. Creating opportunities for students to tap into the benefits of experiential learning with hands-on experiences and reflection connecting theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations is supported. In interior design education, students have the opportunity to participate in design competitions that introduce them to real-world design problems through a process that evolves from an analytical and experimental approach. The real-world issues promote the opportunity to apply theories to meet the client's inclusive needs. Information learned in the classroom and lived personal experience contributes to reflective solutions and provides alternative design solutions. Contributing through competitions, students learn to stack knowledge and transfer results to their next level of design development, often seeking unique and innovative solutions for a challenging brief. The study investigates how design educators can use design competitions as a framework to guide students through experiential learning techniques. Action research conducted by educators is used to evaluate the student's learning outcomes, observing that competitions pushed their personal concept of their capabilities and a broader perspective of design. The results drawn from this study will influence future research and pedagogical development.