Unit 1: Overview & Lecture

Question:
What do you value in what you see — and how can you communicate it to those who weren’t there?

Unit summary:
Designers often work with unfamiliar content, environments and contexts — to contribute in areas where they are novices. An essential skill for the designer is to make sense of what one sees, and then communicate that clearly back to others. How do you distill or find meaning in what is already there? And how can you make use of it? Placed within the context of a design process, this is defined as observational research, assessing what “is” before anything is to be “done”. What designers do with their research is another question altogether. This two-week unit asks students to experiment with various forms of documenting observations and trying various forms that communicate them to a new audience.

Learning objectives:

  • Looking so you see things of value.
  • Learning to articulate a point of view.
  • Communicating those ideas/thoughts/images to others.
  • Considering various means of recording observations.
  • Learning to be truly present.

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Lecture notes

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