Description: As concerns in public healthcare come forward as priorities in British Columbia through observation of data, literature reviews, critical incident or political will (A.KING, PERSONAL COMMUNICATION, FEBRUARY 2015) a designer/design researcher is rarely involved at the forefront of a proposal phase, or early stages of strategy. Instead, design interventions take place when the findings have concluded, and results in visual form need to be communicated to stakeholders (reports, brochures, posters, websites, etc.). This Master of Design Thesis, the Social Health Project (SHP), challenges the traditional health-industry/design relationship, and explores the potential of design-oriented research methods to aid in the development of healthcare services and initiatives. The SHP Draws on research that pinpoints design innovation to be in the centre of three realms: feasibility, viability and desirability (STANFORD D. SCHOOL). Through consultation with healthcare professionals, literature reviews and ethnographic research (feasibility), interviews with caregivers, health professionals and co-creative activities (desirability), the Social Health Project describes a model for designers to use when working within multidisciplinary teams in the field of healthcare. This multidisciplinary approach is vital to the project's goal of a socially innovative system. In prototyping for this project, successful design interventions in healthcare are explained and illustrated, and a framework has been developed for designers to adopt when working in health-service design. A health network that aims to meet the needs of unpaid family caregivers, The Caregiver Access Network (CAN), has been developed using the framework described. A working prototype of the CAN system has been demonstrated with significant detail so it can be easily adopted and adapted by a health authority or other governing body (viability).
Description: This thesis details a design process that generates a synthesis between active-driven game-play and dialogue within a computer role playing game (RPG). I intend to generate a process where the player co-evolves with the narrative aspect of an RPG to increase his opportunity to engage and effect the narrative of the game experience. By introducing design methodologies into a game development context, I created adaptive tools through participatory design methods in order to better understand and alleviate points of negative friction during game-play in an RPG. My goal is to facilitate a smoother and more immersive game experience by combining game-play and dialogue together, with both spaces governed by the same cause-and-effect mechanism.
Description: Using whole, unprocessed food (True Food) to make dinner for weeknights can often be a daunting task for busy families. There are several barriers that keep parents and children (ages 6-10) from cooking nutritious meals together on a regular basis—the main barrier being time. This thesis identified the narrow window of time between when a family arrives home and when they eat dinner as an opportunity to help members of the family to spend valuable time together. This research poses the question: Can a design system help families involve their six- to ten-year-old chidren in preparing True Foods for weeknight dinners? The result is Family Mise en Place, a set of collaborative Meal Cards. This collaborative cooking system seeks to organize meal preparation so children can contribute equally to cooking, supporting parents on busy weeknights. Family Mise en Place facilitates inclusive cross-generational cooking, helping families build dialogue and learn from one another. A secondary objective is to connect parents and children to the food they eat. Within this context, family members explore sustainability and health implicitly through the experience of cooking with True Foods. Family Mise en Place came together by pairing participant research with theories of systems thinking, constructivist learning and Information Interaction Design, supported by an investigation into the history of the North American food system. Research involved interviewing Current Parents (CP; those raising children ages 6-10) as well as Empty-Nesters (EN; those fifteen or more years removed from raising pre-teen children). It also involved a web survey of Current Parents and ethnographic cooking activities with Children (C). Finally, prototype testing consisted of observing families cooking together using the Meal Card prototypes. The outcome of this thesis is a toolkit that breaks the cooking experience into three stages: Gather, Prepare and Cook. Each stage is depicted through a Meal Framework, which is a series of Meal Cards that uses iconography children can understand, makes cooking accessible, and enables kids to contribute to preparing the family meal.
Description: As part of a two-year collaboration with over 100 students in grade 4-7 classrooms at Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (KGMS), this thesis project introduced design-based learning as a new pedagogic approach for supporting children with learning differences. Design-based learning is the integration of design into classrooms as a means to support the learning of other subjects, skills and knowledge. It considers design as an approach to teaching and learning, not as its own subject of study. There is growing recognition that our current educational methods and approaches need to equip children with important skills including critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. The BC Ministry of Education is currently in the process of transforming the curriculum to emphasize the development of these skills as core competencies (BC Ministry of Education, 2015, p.8). The use of design as an approach to fostering these skills is gaining momentum in education discussions across North America. However, despite the growth of knowledge and research in the area of education reform, design continues to evade integration in mainstream K12 education due to a lack of available resources and training for teachers. This document outlines the process of developing such materials. Through observations, conversations and the results of a pre- and post-design assessment the classroom teachers at KGMS saw profound benefits to the use of design as an approach to learning. To facilitate this approach, resource materials were developed to support teachers and a design coaching model was introduced as a way to provide ongoing, sustained professional development for teachers in the area of design-based learning.
Description: This thesis project investigates branding strategies, such as “emotional branding” to tell the story of National Research Council's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation. There are three aspects to the visual component: signage design, a process book and an animation. Each of these elements acts as the narrator of the story. The book includes a documentation of visual process and synthesizes this information into a section of brand guidelines. It showcases the brand identity and the evolution of visual process in the medium of print, while the animation illustrates the brand through motion graphics and provides an example of how the visual elements that form the identity work coherently as an animation piece. The signage design is the three-dimensional aspect of the project. It presents the branding applied in a tactile way and also reflects a relationship with the space in which it is showcased. With these visual and sensory tools, the Gateway will showcase the rich graphic language of the new brand identity. The written component of the thesis explores the ideas of Marc Gobé in relation to emotional branding and Peter Turchi and Tim Ingold in reference to storytelling. Linda Leung and Donald Norman's works and Ellen Lupton's theories on graphic design are also examined to further investigate theories of storytelling in branding and motion graphics.
Description: When designing for citizens, municipalities often focus on the back end infrastructure of services while ignoring the user experience. This can lead to a lack of engagement by citizens and improperly used services. Contemporary issues facing cities today such as waste reduction, and other challenges associated with living in a dense urban core, reinforce the need for a drastic change in the way that people live, work and co-organize as supported by their local government. A two year design research partnership with a local governing body explored the role of participatory design in the creation of a service touch-point aimed at decreasing contamination in the streams of waste that are recycled in public city spaces. It considers how principles of behavior change can be utilized in this inquiry for designing services that are used by the general public in an urban context. During the course of the project, participatory methodologies are used to facilitate conversations between municipal waste coordinators and designers. Through user observations, ethnographic research, co-creation and user testing this thesis argues for the need for participatory design to create effective services for cities. Through explorations of form, iconography, and systems this inquiry has culminated in the design of a streetscape recycling station and a human centered framework for municipalities called ‘citizen centered services’.
Description: This paper is a contribution to the growing discourse around the transformations taking place at the intersections of design, ecology and culture. It is about slow design and the lost art of shifting gears. It embraces ‘Festina lente’ from the Latin, which means ‘make haste slowly’. The phrase and its implied meaning is central to a new interpretation of slow design, espousing the philosophies of ‘slow’ and a method that puts them into practice. Slow design does not imply idleness, but rather taking the necessary time to consider and visualize unintended consequences and actively seeking out ways to not only avoid these but to find better alternatives. Long term thinking (ex. Seven Generation Theory) and the notion of sustainments frame and orient the overall intention while new social processes transpire. This thesis describes in detail a new design methodology that is possible if designers focus first on one conceptual variable – time. The focus on time enables designers to recognize variations in physical and temporal scales (i.e. context), expanding one’s temporal horizon and building capacity to respond quickly to changing conditions. This is the true challenge for the designer working towards socio-cultural and ecological regeneration. Questions that will be answered in the paper are as follows: What is slow design? How does it differ from conventional design? What are the criteria? What are the precedents? What is the methodology and how is it applied? Conceived as a floating structure, built mostly of salvaged materials, the project component of my thesis (RAFT) is used as a way to test and work through the creative possibilities that surround slow design. I use RAFT as a research tool – a conceptual and physical sounding board to uncover and develop a template for practicing slow design. The method was conceived primarily for industrial designers, and therefore more often than not includes a physical product output. It has the ability to transfer to other forms of sustainable design and production.
Description: This paper explores the conventions and limitations of the photographic medium, both material and representational. Suggesting that photography is situated at an important point within its evolution, the paper searches for new directions within a photo-based practice, which continues to challenge and push the limits of the medium. Examining the way in which photography mediates and shapes experience, this thesis engages with popular photography, as a language with its own syntactical and semantic rules. Through explorations of the syntax of photography, parallels are drawn between the structure of language and the structure of photography. Metonymic structures within photographic language are discussed, with examples of the artist's work that aim to reveal and disrupt the metonymic nature of images. The role of collecting in the practice is defined as a first step in a process of coming to understand the world and its representations. Asserting the power of collage to disrupt and challenge representations, through a process of play and embracing ambiguity and uncertainty, the thesis culminates with a discussion of the development of genre mixing within the practice as a necessary evolution.
Description: Established practices of editorial design for fiction and non-fiction primarily focus on the visual communication and curation of meaning to a user of a given text. This is usually accomplished via art direction, delivery platform, and overall form as defined by a designer. While within these parameters exist opportunities for designers to make significant interventions in a text, a text’s content proper is primarily defined by editors earlier in the book publishing process. According to this model, the relationship between editorial and design is vertical and linear in nature: editors handle initial publishing interventions in the text, while designers later intervene as facilitators of form and production. This thesis project challenges these established industry practices with regards to the publishing process of new editions of long-form literary classics: it defines new editorial roles for designers and proposes a collaborative and cyclical publishing process wherein the designer further defines the meaning of the text. Moreover, through consultation with professionals in literary education, extensive case studies, user group interviews and profiles, and experimental prototyping, this thesis defines new ways for designers to serve contemporary users of textual artifacts; these users engage in an increasingly multimedia environment of texts, images as texts, and texts as images. Prototyping of this project has yielded a new edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and an editorial design system that the researcher calls Interpolated Editorial Design, or InterED.
Description: This thesis is a personal journey that seeks to comprehend whether First Nations philosophies, specifically the Coast Salish can contribute to current research on sustainability. As a Coast Salish person, I initially set out to deepen my understanding of my own culture and ended up learning about the environment – simply because the two cannot be teased apart. My praxis explores stories based within Coast Salish knowledge of the land, seasonal harvesting, elder's guidance, and a traditional philosophy of respect. I weave this with Western philosophies centered on land ethic and systems thinking to create a space of hybridity. This thesis describes my new understanding of materiality in our interdependent world. The writing structure is woven and fragmented with different voices that reflect the academic, the poetic and the making. The writing is tangential, repetitive and circular, which mimics the structure of the traditional oral history of the Coast Salish people.
Description: Hello, My Other Self is a personal journey of discovery. As a Māori who is seeking cultural kinship, my first integral questions are “ko wai au”, who am I? and “no hea au”, where do I come from? As a Māori designer I look to my whakapapa, reminding me of where I come from, the stories of our people and what makes te ao Māori unique. Māori design and Māori culture are so closely interwoven that it is impossible to consider these two concepts separately. The backbone of my exploration of woven process fuses customary māoritanga holding steadfast to the blessings of Papatūānuku from inception with contemporary form and practice. Creating narratives of whakapapa, through the intangible knowledge of ancestry that I embody in my being, connecting maker, materials and artifact. Pursuing this praxis focuses on deepening an understanding of my culture through engaging the notion and dissecting the meaning of weaving as a design practice from material based exploration, to the woven process, to sustainability, where I, as Māori, am considered the medium. The eternal thread or te aho tapu is the genealogical line, the first and sacred line of weaving that guides me on this journey. Te aho tapu in māoridom is our connection to the past, acknowledging this is personally and culturally important as in our concept of time we cannot separate ourselves from our tūpuna or the generation in front of us.This journey is a reflective exploration of material characteristics, creating cloth, a korowai, a blanket of culture, in te ao Pākehā culture, seeking ways I can culturally embrace and sustain culture in today’s world through Māori forms of design. Intrinsically engaging with harakeke and natural fibres that share similar foundational relationships such as flax, buffalo and sheep wool. The use of these materials enhances the cultural values, asserting sustainability of Māori epistemological notions of practice and meaning into my design. I am weaving my story metaphorically, culturally and physically.