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12-09-2016  Week Note I


I'm interested in/inspired by...


A lot of the creative work that I did besides my theoretical studies and before coming to CIID contained a more artistic side of myself, working mainly with music events, and exhibitions, seeing clubs as space for cultural interventions, more specifically as opportunity to influence atmosphere with audio-visual media, always focused on the every subtle nuance of the overall experience. This was always been triggered by my great interest in the fields of architecture and design – disciplines that not just merge art, science and technology, but should be open to all kinds of humanities as well.

For me, architecture is probably one of the highest forms of applied arts. It is important to approach the field with a truly human-centred design practice since its makings usually involve a great number of people with strong influence on their daily lifes. Our built environment, especially in big cities, is often perceived as predetermined, kind of given by higher forces, without questioning too much the planners behind our old urban infrastructures in Europe for example.

I'm particularly interested in the intersection of interaction design and architecture, scarcely recognising forms of collaborations and critically looking at prevailing research methods of architectural education and practice.

Following Dan Hill in his thoughts about strategic design, in which traditional design principles are applied to bigger systemic challenges such as healthcare, education and the environment, I see our education at CIID as great starting point for applying design towards higher endeavours. CIID has given us successfully a tool box of methods and processes to work multimedia, collaborative and interdisciplinary. Basically, I'm motivated by my choice of academic fields and how I have been finding a way of linking them together. Ultimately, I want to direct my skill towards something applied and socially meaningful.

In terms of specific domains, I'm interested in how art, design (including architecture) and technology is leveraged in order to build our smart cities from tomorrow. How entrepreneurial activities can support our well being and multicultural coexistence. I like to continue questioning what 'smart' means to us nowadays.


This project is relevant because...


I'm not sure yet, what project comes out here! Personally, I see it as a chance to experiment and test myself in the field of interaction design, hence it is primarily meaningful for myself. However, since I'm looking at the domain of urbanism and culture, I try to provide social societal value with this endeavour.

After, spending a lot of time reading about 'designerly' making and the distinctiveness of design cultures, I'm kind of curious how the vocabulary of design conveyed by CIID can be used in socio-political issues such as policy development, urban planning, and civic engagement.

Depending on the aspiration, I imagine this project as a start of a conversation aiming for real impact. Nevertheless, I doubt that approx. 2 month will be enough to sufficiently immerse into the context and being able to develop a project that can affect society at large. In my opinion, this can only work through a strong desire to change things, again only achieved through long-term engagement within a certain situation. I try to be visionary, but I won't exclude that this project essentially will only be meaningful for a smaller group of people, or even for just design practitioners.


During my Final Project I would like to challenge myself in...


I think I'm pretty trained in doing research due to my previous study experience in social science and of course CIID, whether it is at the desk or out in the field. I'm preferably good in qualitative research, but used quantitative methods also to back up insights. I'm a structured worker, usually using a lot of writing and visual models to understand greater conceptual complexities. I want to use my empathy and confidence in talking to people to make use of my already existing local network. Trying to gain useful information early, so I can refine and develop my project through exchange with others. I perceive myself as a strategic thinker, which I try to support and leverage by my skill in visual communication.


Outside the comfort zone please list the skills, tools, knowledge you want to include in your process and that will imply a certain level of uncertainty and risk...


I think I'm not yet fully comfortable with prototyping and its application in terms of choosing the right fidelity with respect to specific contexts. As already mentioned I want to specifically focus on making, continuously practicing both lo-fi as well as hi-fi prototyping, and eventually develop my own style of communicating ideas.

I need to keep on asking WHY, forcing myself to question my decisions in order to find comprehensive arguments for each direction.

Especially towards the end of the project I need to plan enough time to build the story and prepare for the final presentation, trying to find my voice and sell myself accurately.

With regards to hard-skills, I would like to experiment further with code and physical computing if necessary. However, due to the limited time frame, it will be important to schedule times for exploration and times for pushing things forward.


Related projects


BRICKSTARTER

Brickstarter is a prototype for a 21st century social service. It proposes a new model for how we make shared decisions about shared spaces. It tests the exciting potential of crowd- funding and crowdsourcing against the practical realities of debating, governing, investing in, and ultimately delivering the built environment.

BMW GUGGENHEIM LAB

Part urban think tank, part community center and public gathering space, the Lab traveled globally to inspire new ways of thinking about urban life.

DAN HILL – DARK MATTER AND TROJAN HORSES A STRATEGIC DESIGN VOCABULARY

We live in an age of sticky problems, whether it's climate change or the decline of the welfare state. With conventional solutions failing, a new culture of decision-making is called for.


My starting point...


The journey will start with opening up a conversation about existing cases and possible research objectives. For now, I imagine a piece of technology combined with a service as end result, however, I really want to keep it open since I haven't had much time to think about specifics yet.

I will start out with desk research and initial reading, trying to connect myself with experts in the field at the same time. Besides getting in contact with my advisor Mayo Nissan, I'm about to contact John Lynch – Design Lead at Future City Catapult – at first in order to get support mapping out an area to delve into more specifically. Throughout my research I try to establish an ongoing catalog of questions used for various interviews with different stakeholder.

Not until my idea and vision becomes more concrete, I try to establish contact with existing cross-governmental innovation units such as the Mind-Lab, the Danish Design Centre with its DesignCities platform, local architecture offices, and community centres such as the Trampoline Huset. An interesting media partner could be VICE here.


My explorations so far...


During reflection week I presented three very rough interest spaces, which included (1) a bridging event series, that promotes ethnical preformances as tool for integration, (2) spatial experiments, and (3) creative data collection in urban space inspired by the OrganiCity project. Areas that align with my basic interest in social, cultural, and artful making.

I started out a mind map, to collect initial themes, raise critical questions and establish first relationships. However, for me, the project starts basically on Monday, 12th of September. There is still uncertainty, especially about finding the sweet spot between high aspiration and what I'm actually capable of.

As we have learned, I believe and trust in the process and see where it takes me. I'm thankful for my class and all the support that we get from the school staff, furthermore, I hope that the greater CIID network delivers what it promises. This is the first time where all of us can really take advantage of all these smart people within the circle and start exchanging and debating.