Developing a Design Approach, exploring resistance and ambiguity

I just presented the article “Developing a Design Approach, exploring resistance and ambiguity” at the KEER 2012 conference, written together with Caroline Hummels and Pierre Levy, from DQI, TU/e Eindhoven. Some interesting issues have been raised by the audience. One concerns the common stance that an exchange of opinions is
based on abstract thinking. This is a stance that I am going against in my research work. There is still a lot to work on in this direction. The fact is, I believe, is that knowledge is based on previous experience and this is what has to be worked on while envisioning opportunities for meaning in designing a system.

Here is the abstract of the paper:

Designers face the world’s complexity at an experiential level. We consider Making (synthesising and concretising) an essential activity of designers, prior to Thinking (analysing and abstracting), because only through experience – a result of acting in the world – we achieve meaning, funnelling human intentionality. Making enables designers to explore the unknown by trusting their senses and their kansei, exploring resistance and ambiguity and by tapping into their intuition [7].  Because “intuition begins with the sense that what is not yet could be” [7], it involves skills, as skills are our way to make sense of the world, transform it and to cater for ethics.

In this paper we describe a one-day workshop that has been held during the CHItaly conference 2011 in Alghero, Italy.  During that day, we explored how the integration of points of view, using intuition through skills can communicate and create a richer meaning. The assignment was to design an empowering/enabling tool that allows a person to begin to experience another person’s skill. To be able to design such a tool, designers had to go through several steps of documenting and reflecting upon their own and each other’s skills.

We reflect on the experience and explain how this approach can support the integration of points of view, which is considered to be formed by personal experience, by skills, and by kansei.

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