Archive for January, 2009

Live workshop blogging

January 18, 2009

On the partner workshop on January 14’th we had the opportunity to make a first status on the work on a design anthropological innovation model and a tool box for user driven innovation.

instant journalism on the fly

Following our positive experience with blogging as part of a user dialogue we made the experiment to make a live blogging from the workshop. For those of you who have followed these pages the raw and immidiate result has been available and both during and after the workshop we learned that it adds a twist to discussions to know that you are “on air”

Below we have edited the blog a bit to make it more readable (and less long). We hope it gives an interesting insight into the very lively and productive discussions.

invitation to the 3’rd Daim partnerworkshop

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Working towards a book and a conference

January 14, 2009

The last issue on the workshop agenda was a first discussion on how project results can be compiled and communicated through a joint book publication. Ellen Christiansen and Thomas Binder had looked at their shelves for inspiration

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“Design at Work” edited by Kyng and Greenbaum includes good case stories of how to do things in practice and it continues to be a good book of reference.

“Contextual Design” by Beier and Holzblatt gives an extensive overview of methods, but does not deal with real life challenges of project politics.

“Design Research” edited by Brenda Laurells – it works as texts for people looking for ways of doing things, however, not particularly reflective.

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“The Idea of Design” edited by Margolin and Buchanan introduces design thinking but may be a bit too theoretically ambitious for the DAIM project.

“Designing with video” by Salu Ylirisku, Jacob Buur seeks to integrate cases as inserts on selected pages, but are not fully succesful in mixing accounts of practical experience with presentations of methods and approaches

“Sketching User Experience” by Bill Buxton is a good example of a book that accomplish this and has an audience both of practitioners, students and researchers

Ellen and Thomas suggest “Bringing Design to Software” edited by Terry Winograd as the best example of how to bring together different voices and different kinds of contribution for a mixed audience

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Or – as Ellen says – with a lot of people interested in visuals and tangible things, we could also think of tthe book as a fold-out book opening a landscape.Mikkel also suggests to consider distribution channels and suggests Børsen. Katja suggests to consider ‘innovation’ as a part of this work, and not just do a traditional book. Katja also suggests that it reflects and supports a practice of co-creation. Mikkel – it could also be viewed as a collection of materials…

Ellen and Thomas will take suggestions and prepare a book synopsis at the next project workshop.

Moving on to toolbox seminars and bureau projects…

January 14, 2009

As a preparation for the toolbox phase of the DAIM project the different bureaus briefly tell about what they would like to do in coming projects and what they wish for the project to do…

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Katja from 1508 presents the post-its from a brainstorm they had at the office before the workshop – In relation to service design, they focused on “old tricks” which they already are quite familiar with (e.g. blueprints, field visits, personas, involving customers in strategy-making, etc…), from where they believe they can contribute.
The “new tricks” which they would like to explore further in the DAIM-project (e.g. applying anthropological theory, inspired by work of Liz Sanders – models and tools for making different values of the participants visible, mapping techniques w/ bricks etc, very specific design games for specific parts of a design process e.g. for during design workshops, about storytelling e.g. inspired by Performance theory, video-fixes, etc )
Further she presented ideas for concrete projects which the DAIM-tools could be applied in (e.g. combinations of service and web design )
And suggests approaches for our coming work in DAIM:
– digging into methods exploration weekend
– EPIC inspired “market place

Stig from Arkitema still feels new to the project, and with his earlier DAIM-colleague not with the company anymore, their engagement is not clear at the moment. He expects that another person will join the project, but that is still to be decided….

Mikkel from 3Part tells about their plans – they have one project in mind with a company creating lifts, but they are still looking for other opportunities…
One of the issues is to explore the ways we are describing what we do both internally and externally. Then we would like to learn and share about methods and formats, and the first step to him is to show and tell about current practices.
They would like to explore and develop further e.g. to play out scenarios in everyday environments, and explore how to involve clients and users also later in the project so it becomes less “tests”. Another issue is coherence throughout a project

Dan from Vestforbrænding tells about their ideas for what to do after the “death” of the DAIM project – they want DAIM to inspire the way they do coming research and development projects within the company. They have a long list of concrete initiatives of how to making the knowledge and insights from DAIM alive. e.g. Otherwise they have visions of how to innovate waste systems. For example in relation to the building of new houses, etc
DAIM is a step-stone for the company to make the move we want…

theory and method

January 14, 2009

In the discussion about what theory can do for research, I would like to propose – as I have done in my phd thesis – an increased attention to “theorizing through practice”. Theory is not productively understood as the opposite of practice, I think. Consequently there are more productive ways to think about theory than as a pool of established knowledge that can be applied to explain particular practices…

“theorizing through practice” is expressive of a willingness to experiment with theorizing in the projects. -Not with the intention of creating grand theories, but in order to include the activity of theory building as an essential part of design anthropological practice. I try to position the theoretical engagement very close to the project activities.

The design anthropological encounters have themselves been occasions for theorizing. The ideas about “Performative events” and “Playful Otherness”, for example, are developed in a dialogical process between project encounters and established theories from Anthropology and the Performing Arts. In turn, they contribute productively to shaping new design interventions. And I hope that some of the presented ideas will travel into other contexts as more abstract knowledge.

As promised a link to a report with “canned theory” for innovation:

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How do we deliver result from the pilot project

January 14, 2009

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Trine Paludan opened the discussion by presenting how the deliverables from the pilot project can be “packaged” for Vestforbrænding as “a box” with a deck of insight cards a “backdrop” of strong points and a collection of idea catalogues originating in the work with three specific “what-if” programs. Trine posed a number of critical questions concerning how what is learned in the project can live on with Vestforbrænding and their collaborators.

Mikkel (3PART): Your presentation is an extremely good starting point. It brings me to that we need to get to know each other better – and then maybe get together and discus our method etc. It is both anthropological research and design research.

There is a huge different between organizing material and to bring in theory. And a problem can be to have time to bring in the theory.

Reports or cards – what do Vestforbrænding think about that delivery?

Applied business anthropology from FORA – we could use that to get inspired on how to use theory in this case. If you are not an anthropologist it is not very useful and it do not tell where to search for more, but we could look at it.

Thomas (DKDS):To what extend are we talking about us gaining knowledge from research. For example we have had nice analysis sessions at the design school but how do we share it – and take it out to all of you and the other people involve in the project.

The format of Fluxus scores can be an inspiration. Fluxus was an art movement that made small recipies for unique experiences. If we can make some kind of kit that makes rediscovering posibble to make the process going again.What I want is that we make a recipe for a process that is really open. In our own project it is always a risk that it become to stiff.

Mikkwl (3PART): You want to keep it a live – and thats a great thing, but as a consultant I need to close it at some point and I can let it run. But I dont see that combining it with theory make it too stiff.

Video: Thomas is talking about the common language of engagement

Mikkel refers to Jacob Buurs model that distinguishes between Participatory Innovation and design anthropology.

Now we are done with all the research and workshop – and now we have to bring in theory. Somehow that is a slap in the face…

Applying theory – interest in that and the result that it give, but not just theory in it self.
If you don not like my theory, there is another one – it is same as with method, you have some kind of box where you can take up things depending of the situation.

What tools do we have for the toolbox?

January 14, 2009

Joachim Halse opened the discussion on tools with a presentation asking what are tools for and what are good tools Tools for the toolbox presentation


Question of resources and time
Engaging participants – how complete can you make the tools so that they are still engaging?
Using tools always takes time even though you would be used to use it – to get in the right mood. Each game is different just because the participants and the context keeps changing.
Can we use the methods cards as a way to discuss with clients the options for what we can do together? One perspective on tools could be to communicate what I’m good at.
Can we say that Daim tools are meant to be used when you want to improve something? The narrative part was in all of the examples… everyone can produce narratives (the background doesn’t matter) so could that be somehow a characteristic of a Daim tool?

Katja talking about the possible audiences for the tools – a scientific or a compagny context

Who is the audience of the tool-box and the book; are we the audience since we include already various people? The idea of something like Ideo cards is partly to be “cool” and it works for Ideo but what is the idea in the Daim tools? How do we all think to use the tools? That would be important to think about and discuss?

How do you make your tools your own? Is it used in a scientific context? In a company context or in a mixture? We have to be more specific with these issues. Is the tool general or very spesific? Open for various applications by different people. sharing tools is not problematic, but being more specific for the audience and who will use it. Tools can be used for selling our skills…

Different tools for different purposes? You need to change the tools according to the customer, you don’t want to use the same tools every time with the same customer. It could be interesting if tools can be used by the help of a manual, open at some level such as the dice example in which you can change the context but still use the same basic idea. Tools with the possiblty of modifying and improving – the manual is needed for general instructions.

Ellen explaining her model that looks like a web

Pictures with previous examples which show that people really will use a huge dice if you make them to do it. Are snapshots part of the tools? One thing is tools another is inspiration. To give inspiration is a bit more open than a tool which is more concrete. Inspirational ways of working through examples of how things could be done – emphasizing inspiration rather than tangible tools.

Inspiration and learning is important but tools should be able to be adapted by design agencies. Are we really doing antropological design innovations or just inspired from those ideas? Is the tool going to be usable for design agencies, that would be fantastic but is it the most fruitful way to go on?

Have design agencies used similar tools as introduced by Joachim? Yes, but one of the big chalenges is how to use the material from those in an efficient way? Do you need many years of training. Ideo cards can be used for inspiration and in different ways based on the people using the cards. Design games have been partly succesful but sometimes those just take too much time, then there is a need to develop the tool (design game) to be more effective.

Is the tools just for opening things up? helping to get started?

Does tools create insights which we can act upon, or engagement?

Appreciation of doing it by yourself, design principles and rules for the tools help to apply tools, guidelines for what the tool is good for. When are we using the tools? For making a new team? What is the connection between the model and the tools? Or are those totally unconnected? There are many stages in the process and thus the model and tools could be somehow showing those. Characterising tools based on the different stages they are designed for? At the same time explaining the model and the tools. To sell projects and tools for customers, to communicate to new workers how things are done in the agency. Flow market at the Danish Design Centre is an example of making abstract things like “happiness” concrete by putting it as a label for the can etc.

Maybe instead of thinking what is a Daim tool we should be discussing what it is not? Like personas are probably not a Daim tool.

The idea of today’s discussion is mainly to open up the discussion not map all the practices and examples but work as opening for the theme. Use the insights from the pilot project, not to start from scratch. Ethnographic fieldwork, games, workshops are used already widely so what is the contribution of these new tools? The workshop as a label is too wide. More specific descriptions of the methods would be usable for agencies. Because of busy timetables in the agencies they tend to use the same methods but they would like to get a chance to emphasise other methods (also the ones they already had tried but don’t use regularly or don’t master them yet).

Daim tool-box: audience, improvement, learning, narratives, grounding. when selling a project the tool box can be used for communicating the possible process based on the starting point “if you want to get this perspective then you have to include this and this perspective in the project”.

Map the challenges involved, what challenges I face when organising workshops. E.g. how can I as a researcher learn from the workshops (typically clients learn during workshops more than the researcher)

Tool box should be suitable for the beginners, as well not just for the design agencies.

A model for design-anthropological innovation?

January 14, 2009

The morning started with Thomas Binder giving a presentation asking what can be a model. The Pilot project as a model

Ellen (MCI):What is the difference between user-driven projects and just working with users? Can we still talk about DAIM as a userdriven project? Maybe we have elements from both in the DAIM projects, but the three programmes have potential to become user-driven. Be aware not to hide the power issues, in this case Vestforbrænding has the power – there is owner-ship and author-ship

Ellen talking about author-ship and owner-ship.

Would people like to end up having one model?

Ellen: We would like a mapping of the road, the turntaking – an easy to understand tool to understand the history of the project – who did what and when..

Brendon talking about models

Joachim: We would like to give a model which have to be evoked by the people who use it.

En Digital Design:Lab workshop

January 7, 2009

img_1789Vores deltagelse i DAIM projektet har ført til at vores fokus i specialet handler om, hvordan et digitalt redskab i form af en webside kan fungere som omdrejningspunkt for designprocesser med mange interessenter. Tilgangen er blandt andet inspireret af Design:Lab tankegangen i forhold til at skabe fællesskab, ejerskab, åbenhed og engagement igennem et tæt samarbejde mellem interessenter, hvor den enkelte deltager får mulighed for at sætte sit personlige fingeraftryk og arbejde ud fra temaer, som giver mening for netop dem.

Den 9. december afholdte vi (Lene og Signe) i den forbindelse vores første Digitale Design:Lab workshop, for at afprøve denne del af et designforløb. Til workshoppen havde vi inviteret syv personer, og temaet for workshoppen var affaldshåndtering og genbrug for beboere i etageejendomme.

Det digitale udgangspunktet for workshoppen var en webside http://ddl1.wordpress.com (Besøg websiden) som vi havde oprette ved hjælp af en wordpress-skabelon, som skulle være omdrejningspunkt for både forberedelse, information og evaluering i workshop-forløbet. Samtidig havde hver deltager deres personlige faneblad til brug i forberedelsesfasen. For at spore deltagerne ind på emnet for workshoppen, havde vi som forberedelse bedt dem om at tage 4-6 billeder fra deres hjem og hverdag, som passede til de temaer om affald vi nu arbejder med i DAIM projektet. Billederne blev senere brugt som designmateriale på selve workshoppen. Deltagernes forberedelse betød derfor også at vi kunne se hvordan det fungerede at bringe deltagernes eget materiale i spil i workshoppen.

Selve workshoppen bestod af tre runder med opgaver, hvor deltagerne i forhold til det overordnede emne om affaldshåndtering og genbrug fik mulighed for at ytre deres personlige synspunkter og mærkesager, samt beskrive deres hverdag, som et udgangspunkt for et bud på et fremtidsscenarie. I de forskellige runder skulle de blandt andet arbejde med materiale fra vores dag i Rødovre Centrum samt deres eget billede materiale.

Efter workshoppen blev billeder og videoer fra dagen uploadet til websiden og deltagerne blev inviteret til en online evaluering, da vi gerne ville have nogle udtalelser efter at indtrykkene fra selve aftenen havde haft tid til at bundfælde sig. Halvdelen af deltagerne vendte tilbage til evalueringen. I forhold til ønsket om deltagerne som bidragsydere til websiden, forestiller vi os, at der i en længere designproces vil være mulighed for at deltagerne selv lægger flere ting op, og kommer med forslag til faneblade og brug. Derudover at opsamlingen efter workshoppen ikke handler om metoderne men mere om emnet, så der er et rum for de ideer og tanker som deltagerne får efter workshoppen.

Deltagerne gav efterfølgende udtryk for, at det havde været godt at blive sporet ind på emnet via websiden, som samtidig kommunikerede seriøsitet i forhold til workshoppen og projektet. Med hensyn til fanebladet med navn havde vi forestillet os, at det kunne give deltagerne en følelse af ejerskab og ”forpligtelse” overfor projektet, hvilket vi fik bekræftet i evalueringen, hvor deltagerne også nævnte, at det fik dem til at føle sig velkomne, samtidig med at det var inspirerende at se navne og uploadede billeder for de andre deltagere, inden de skulle møde op til workshoppen.

Overordnet blev denne afprøvning af Det Digitale Design:Lab en positiv oplevelse og det gav os ny tanker og ideer omkring en webside som omdrejningspunkt for en designproces, hvilket vi nu at arbejde videre med i forhold til et af DAIM-projektets tre programmer.