Things that are pleasant
I’m really enjoying what I am doing with our team in Touchstone (ACID). I began using visual language and the process of visualisations to communicate to others what I (+ Laurene) mean. The series of diagrams that we produced worked really well to capture process and the project on a meta level.
Right now, I’m working on visualising the project. What has been so amazing is the process of collaboration that has been facilitated and prompted by these visualisations. It has served as a catalyst, a communicative language and a vehicle to furthering our multidisciplinary understanding of what this project is about. The collaborators (who are non-graphic designers) have appreciated this process as well, which is what has made it so rewarding.
To be honest, I was rather afraid that it might be taken as a ’simplification’ process – a reductive form of setting things in stone, or worse, another logo debate. The visuals I have produced, even though they are ‘work-in-progress’ still embeds a finality to them by the way they appear. I think it is to the credit of the team that we have been able to avoid that type of discourse. Instead, it has generated debate and a re-examination of our assumptions. It has become expansive and generative, and the by-product would be this sense of collaboration, mateship, deeper understanding of our different perspectives (and a good logo).
Shame I can’t really put any of these visuals here (they are pretty cool) because of IP issues…
Though, it is worth keeping in mind that this could be a basis for a future paper/publication. It highlights the role of communication design and value that communication design brings to collaborative practices.
Perhaps a change of title…
Thursday February 16th 2006, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Some ranting
Who do you want to ‘participate’ with?
What do you want them to participate in?
Is ‘participation’ a word that mis-represents my topic now?
Is it a word that is ‘loaded’ and ‘boring’?
Does it have connotations that is misleading?
Maybe it’s time I changed my title to,
Designing for you, for me, and with other people
Designing for people, designing for you and me.
We’re all in this together – you, me and designing with people
Designing for me. Designing for you. Designing with people.
Honey, I’ve shrunk these people
People as subconcsiousness
My gawd, there’s people in designing!
The hototogisu – the untranslatable bird
You, me and everyday people in designing
What the f*** is this piece of s*** about?
Tissues of kitten
Nothing like a challenge thrown down…
Luke mentions ‘peripherals’ in his blog.
I drew this diagram, which had been hanging around in my sketchbook for a week.
The peripheral link I make with his topic is represented by the area outside the form. In this area, there are two things I am arguing for within my research.
Advocate design and designer
Within the periphery of The Form, (or surrounding, or supporting the form) there are things that take place and is unique to the practice of communication design. My emphasis on this periphery is due to the celebration of form that predominates the literature and discourse of graphic design. An overemphasis of Form prevents designers and the practice of design in being able to critique and evolve in other ways. A discourse purely about Form without it’s periphery as context, perpetuates the ‘designer as stylists’ paradigm. This periphery, which in my view is what the main crux of the practice (so the diagram is actually a mis-representation of the practice, since the Form should not claim centre stage).
Advocate design and designer
In my research, I argue that the skills and knowledge brought to the table by designers revolve around designing for and with people. Put simply, this is based on how designers collaborate with others (since there are no designers who design in isolation and designs for no-one). Understandings designers have of people is integrated with their knowledge and skill sets in designing. I also want to acknolwledge the role of empathy as contributing factors in designing for people as well.
Relating to the point made above, one of the designer’s skill is to propose how design will engage people (note the future tense), based on past experiences, knowledge they have of people and design. Here, I am also critiquing the conventional methods currently used in design practice that utilise focus groups and market research. I find these methods problematic as they can only tell what already exists. In my research, I have also explored theories in User Centred Design and Participatory Design as a way to illuminate and extend consideration for audiences. However, I found them to be problematic in applying to the practice of communication design, mainly because they are non-indigenous to the practice. There are embedded ideologies and theory-and-practice gap present that hinders the integration as well.