Description: The modern workspace is constantly evolving; what is in store for the future of how and where we work? Workspace creators need to provide a variety of activity landscapes intended for specific activities, and accessible to all. One size, one design, does not fit all! This thesis explores possibilities of connecting generations by transforming the traditional workspace to accommodate the ever-blurring boundaries between the workspace, hospitality spaces and the home spaces with the infusion of sophisticated modularity. Four generations contribute to today’s work environment including Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Post Millennials. All of these generations have different expectations, values and motivations about their work environments. How can we become attuned to this emerging generation of workspace users, who often have very different ideas about how work should get done? Moreover, this thesis analyzes the integration and emphasis of work/life balance, workspace flexibility and user wellbeing, reinforced ideas generated through an open design processes, and explores how co-creation can facilitate the diffusion of innovation within an organization’s common workspaces known as lounge space. This thesis builds upon an existing product portfolio of office furniture by implementing human centered design through co-creation, and finding inspiration for innovation through heuristic methodologies in order to inform design decisions. With an emphasis on workspace ideologies and theories, exciting propositions based on design principles and workspace psychology, such as the incorporation of sophisticated modularity, lounge-as-office principles, prioritizing play, and supporting working happy, provide interesting insights into this research. This collection of artifacts provides functional and flexible characteristics while being attractive enough to be enjoyed outside of workspaces.
Description: This thesis details my journey of learning how to design in partnership with nature. This process took place in sequence; increasing the distance from home: the front yard, the park, and finally in remote wilderness. All of these places demanded full body attention, producing rich experiences that were unpredictable, thought provoking and brimming with content for creativity. I experimented with the boundary of control between designer and nature, inviting nature to engage with me through experiential prototypes that probed the division or relationship between design and nature. I learned how some of the tools and mindsets of a designer supported this engagement or hindered it. I offer a method for designers who wish to connect more fully to nature in their work, called Earthbond Prototyping. Earthbond prototyping borrows from experience prototyping, designing to produce engagement “between people, places and objects that unfold over time” (Buchenau et al, 2000 p.431). I use the skills and techniques of design to navigate boundaries between aspects of the natural world to recognize new relationships between design and nature. More than ever designers need to instinctually allow environmental ethics, and principles held within nature, to inform and challenge their design decisions.
Description: In this study, I investigate the application of active learning approaches, with the help of call and mall frameworks. These interactive learning solutions emphasize learner-created content, with the goal of improving the vocabulary development of grade 7 students. It is assumed that the use of computer and mobile technologies can increase the capacity for learning vocabulary. With a concept prototype, that demonstrates the translation of a textually based Language Arts lesson plan into a visual paradigm for active learning, I create a more porous and malleable language learning model for the Google Generation. My hypothesis is that this prototype will benefit the learning of Language Arts for 7th grade students. Such an instrument could ultimately provide students with the opportunity to engage in knowledge creation and sharing across formal and informal learning environments. The methodology used for this thesis essay begins with defining a problem by utilising both academic and qualitative studies. This is followed by the collecting of evidence from alternative learning approaches, which are defined by their various strengths and deficiencies through product analysis, case studies and theoretical grounds. The essay concludes with a proposed design and concept prototype testing, which I have called The Language Learning Activity Paradigm (llap).
Description: In the midst of a time where many concurrent shifts in cultures and technologies are shaping the future of work in unexpected ways, Designing Indeterminacy looks at the interior design of the contemporary workplace and considers its limitations. Through practice-led research this project attempts to understand everyday work experience of users. Participatory design methods are used to investigate the spatial limitations that knowledge workers today are facing in the contemporary work environment; a lack of user autonomy caused by the prescribed use of designed workspaces, and insufficient spatial integration of work-life concerns. The theoretical underpinnings of Liminality and Indeterminacy and their conceptual and lived connections to the workplace design are explored and considered as a means of mitigating such issues. Through hands-on making, the intersections of Liminality and the interior design process of workspaces are materialized. Designed artifacts enable a look into the ways that undetermined in-between spaces can empower users to better navigate their workplace. The designed artifact, its conceptual meaning and potential use are discussed with the intention to facilitate conversations and concerns around issues opened up and addressed throughout the research.
Description: This thesis investigates interactive and engaging learning experiences to teach fundamentals of typography to anyone who otherwise does not have any formal education of typography. The thesis uses two different approaches to do so–one where learning outcomes and objectives are direct, and another in which they are indirect. The first approach explores games that can be used to effectively educate users about the fundamentals of typography, like anatomy of type by understanding the structure of letterforms, and classification of typography. The second approach investigates how an app might be used to learn about typography from a user’s surroundings. Design research methods include a studio-based approach, where evaluative testing and observational trials were core sources of insights. Other methods include interviews, surveys and precedent reviews. These insights further inform studio prototypes of varying fidelities and ultimately, final mockups for the proposed forms of engagement. Thus, this project hopes to make typography accessible to everyone who is interested in learning about typography by using a variety of physical and digital mediums.
Description: I am exploring bricolage as the primary artistic gesture in the work that supports this thesis, focusing on the history of a single site in West Vancouver, where lies a remarkable subcultural artifact: the Inglewood ‘Mill’ Skatepark - the first skateboard park constructed in Canada in 1977, and subsequently buried in 1984. The skateboard subculture is layered with three other histories: the Shields Shingle Mill (1916-1926), West Vancouver Secondary School (1927-present), and my own lived experience as a suburban skateboarder. The approach of the project has been that of a pseudo-archaeological ‘excavation’, digging through the layers of the site's historiography, engaging with questions around authorship and authenticity, historical accuracy and objectivity. Through the detournement of archival images (photomontage), an assemblage of site-related constructions, and a series of interventions, surveys, and excavations of the site, histories are subverted and conflated. its material and intellectual capacity - to recompose dominant histories, ideologies, and mythologies. Bricolage is discussed in relation to appropriation, myth, and subcultures (specifically in the way bricolage is manifested in skateboard culture). My investigation is supported, primarily, by the following writers and their theories: on the topic of bricolage, Claude Levi-Strauss and Dick Hebdige; on the topic of subcultures, Dick Hebdige and Iain Borden; on the topic of myth, Roland Barthes and Claude Levi-Strauss; and on the topic of appropriation, a whole host of writers and their discussions around postmodernism in the late seventies and eighties. Further examinations of these topics are found in the collage works of Martha Rosler, the pseudo-archaeological site interventions of Mark Dion, the ad-hoc constructions of collaborators Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser, and in the bricolage-installation, Vancouver School, by the collective Futura Bold.
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.
Description: This research based practice investigates a contemporary relationship to environment in the age of the Anthropocene. Conceptually led, this interdisciplinary practice ranges from drawing, photography, video, sculpture, to site-sensitive installation and performance while employing strategies of philosophical inquiry, characterized by applied doubt and wonder. Mindful of situation and context, this practice’s environmental ethic is drawn in specific materials and methods, which are often light, provisional and sustainable. Research within this practice spans the humanities, natural sciences, science fiction, history, philosophy, and arts. With a mindful attention to an awkward and multi-directional problem solving methodology, this practice works to research ways for re-imagining and weaving bonds with flora, rock, soil, water and sky. The thesis project titled sympoiesis, sought to reposition and propose alternate ways of perceiving and knowing the natural world. Inspired by the contemporary environmental writing of Jamie Lorimer and Donna Haraway, and responding to their calls of ‘awkward environmental humanities’ and ‘tentacular thinking’, sympoiesis reconsiders the social behaviours of plants and our likeness and relationship with them. Each artwork is a proposition that operates simultaneously as suggestions and possibilities for wayfinding in the Anthropocene.
Description: Moving image art can provide unique possibilities for making sense of our surrounding reality. Consisting of a series of artworks produced through a creative research methodology, this thesis project explores wonderment and its role in visual perception. The series, Perceptual Moments, is comprised of short, evocative video works presented in a variety of modes including interactive and sculptural installation. To question the role of vision in mediating reality, the works engage the viewer through an intensive experience of seeing. This accompanying essay explores key visual and editing devices in the series that appear to have a role in shaping the viewer’s perception and interpretation of the visual experience, including “the chasm,” “the blur” and “interactive installation.” The essay also investigates the motivation behind the works through journal entries and offers critical analyses for each production. The visual devices in question are grounded within the context of psychology, neuroscience, phenomenology and film theories. Philosopher Gaston Bachelard provides an anchor for the concept of wonderment, while theorists Jonathan Crary and Gilles Deleuze create dialogical space around the act of viewing filmic images and the affect that it involves. The devices are also observed in other media works, including seminal pieces by Stan Brackhage, Kurt Kren and Jan Svankmajer as well as contemporary figures such as Nathalie Djurbergand Matt Hope.
Description: My thesis is an attempt to determine whether 3D is a useful story telling technique for documentary filmmakers. As part of the discussion I look at the utilization of 3D in relation to the spectator’s experience. In the text I endeavor to determine what embodied knowledge 2D documentary practitioners incorporate during the process of producing a 3D documentary. Primarily my practice has been in the directing, writing and producing of documentary films. In the thesis I provide a rationale for temporarily departing from the capture of moving images. As well, I explore the choice of using a stereoscopic digital still camera as a means of conducting the research.In essence the research exposes how my documentary methods codified in two dimensions translate into 3D. The objective of the research is to provide filmmakers with new information, which will allow them to comprehend the potential positive and negative boundaries of 3D creation. During the research I determine how the process of capturing 3D images changes the discourse that the filmmaker has with the viewer. I scrutinize how 3D changes the documentary director’s agency and lessens the authorial relationship that we have with our audience. In the thesis I converse about how 3D has altered my practice as an autobiographical filmmaker and situate my production in relation to documentary theory. I also contrast my own practice in relation to that of other autobiographical documentarians.
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: This thesis explores the relationship between surface and depth in photography and their influence on identity formation from the perspective of an Asperger’s personality. I saw in my prior work a sense of duality, a conceptual in-between space and the need to construct photographs as a metaphor for my confused sense of self. The present work is an exploration of how my perspective on identity expresses itself in my photographic work, which I have contextualized in relation to the apparent dialectic of internal/individual (being) versus external/social (constructedness). I have further contextualized my work relative to four artists I have identified as representing the use of portrait photography as a means of exploring what lies beneath the surface: Guillaume‐Benjamin‐Amand Duchenne de Boulogne’s direct, literal approach, Florence Henri’s connection between literal and metaphorical, Nancy Burson’s consideration of the relationship between “believing” and “seeing”, and Elisabeth King’s exploration of the relationship between mind and body through “attention’s loop”. My projects, “emotional me”, “mirror/mask”, “collaborative self‐portrait”, and “the emotions project” individually and collectively play on key elements of each of these four approaches to identity. There is a way to balance between internal needs and external pressures when forming a sense of self. For me that balance is found not in words but in a non‐linguistic, non‐linear form of photographic narrative. I have come to believe that photography – which I see as a medium that both transmits and reflects, that retains some of the pre‐modern assumption of transparency – is the medium that will allow me to explore the incomprehensible.