Architecture Design processes Event Learning

Media Architecture Student Competition

As part of the Media Architecture Biennale, we will host a 24 hour student design competition on 1 October 2012 beginning at 20:00 CET (7 pm GMT). The design competition is open to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD students in the fields of interaction design, human-computer interaction, architecture, urban design, etc. from around the world and it will not be necessary to be in Aarhus to participate.

The design challenge will begin on 1st of October when the design brief is made public on the MAB website as well as per email to participants who have signed up. To demonstrate your solution to the design challenge, you are asked to submit a video. This can be either a video prototype or a concept video. Anything from animation through screen capture to acting is valid. Note that this means that you will not have to implement the system. Participants will be required to keep a design blog throughout the 24 hours – this blog should record any major stages for your design. We don’t expect you to share any ideas or results before the end of the 24-hour challenge, but what we want to be able to follow is the methodology you used to come up with your final design.

The winning team will receive a travel scholarship for attending the Media Architecture Biennale 2012 in Aarhus to the amount of 1,000 EUR as they will be invited to present their conceptual work at the biennale. The top three entries will be awarded certificates of recognition.

Creativity Design processes Interaction design Research

Pragmatism, constraints and design creativity

Currently in Glasgow for the International Conference on Design Creativity, at which Michael Biskjaer and I have just given a talk about our paper Toward A Constraint-Oriented Pragmatist Understanding Of Design Creativity (PDF). The paper explores the potentials of pragmatist philosophy to enrich the discourse on design creativity in general and the concept of constraints specifically. We argue that pragmatism can inspire and inform the study of constraints in design creativity by offering a coherent and well-developed frame of understanding how designerly inquiry unfolds as a complex interplay between the designer and the resources at hand in the situation, which may continuously alternate between constraining and enabling roles, or even take on both roles simultaneously.

The slides from our talk are embedded below:

Design processes Interaction design Research Visualisation

Talk: Tools for prototyping hybrid interactions

An upcoming talk for all of those in the neighbourhood who share an interest in spatial interaction design: Next week, Alexander Wiethoff from University of Munich gives a talk on tools for prototyping hybrid interactions here in Aarhus:

“New forms of interfaces that facilitates interactions of tangible og intangible nature also demand new prototyping methods. But formal design processes, such as are available for screen-based interactions, have yet to be elaborated in this realm. An approach that is accommodating low and high fidelity prototyping methods can help designers facing domain-specific challenges in a quite large design and opportunity space.”

One of the outcomes of this work is the Sketch-a-TUI, a toolkit for sketching tangible user interfaces on capacitive screens using physical objects of almost any material as user interfaces.

Time and place: August 30, 14:15 — 15:30, the Peter Bøgh Andersen auditorium, the Nygaard Building, Aarhus University.

Aesthetics Design processes Inspiration Research Visualisation

Inspiring reads, July 30th through August 6th

Interface Aesthetics – An Introduction from

Ethnography for user experience – three essays by John Payne

What Is Design – Discussion btw Don Norman and John Maeda

The ethnographer’s reading list – User experience practitioners discuss what's on their list

Paper Prototyping – 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers

Smartphones and identity – “The first company to fully execute on embedding your identity into your phone wins the next decade”

“I Draw Pictures All Day” – On the benefits of sketching as an embedded part of work

Interaction design Research Visualisation

Inspiring reads, July 15th through July 21st

Creative Kinect hacking – By reducing the technical entry point, the Kinect has levelled the playing field and allowed a lot more creative experiments to surface

New Design Practices for Touch-free Interactions – Touch-free gestures and Natural Language Interaction (NLI) are bleeding into the computing mainstream

7 Killer User Interface Designs For Gestures – Pull, unfold, rotate, push, slide, pinch

zSpaceHolographic Display – Tracking points embedded in the glasses frames to follow the orientation of your face to the screen

17 Great Wireframing Tools for Web Designers

The 15 best tools for data visualisation

Inspiration Interaction design Learning

Inspiring reads, July 5th through July 14th

The Individual in a Networked World – Two Scenarios that outline potential evolution from current trajectories

Coursera – How an education startup may profit from free courses

AcademiPad – Using iPad, Mac and the web in research, teaching and learning.

Design processes Interaction design Research Visualisation

Inspiring reads, June 25th through June 28th

Sketchnotes from DIS2012 – Great work by Mie Nørgaard brings selected talks from DIS 2012 to life

Future InteractionsNordiCHI 2012 workshop on critical design approaches to explore urban data transactions

Aesthetics Reloaded – Conference on the aesthetics of digital technologies in Aarhus, December 11-13.

Design processes Inspiration Interaction design

Inspiring reads, June 20th

David Barrie on ‘Open source’ place-making – A collective approach to the development of cities

Digital Placemaking – Integrating social media into placemaking practices at the Project for Public Spaces

Creating together – Examples of how participatory design increases the understanding of the design space and main issues as well as the quality of the solution


Can We Please Move Past Apple’s Silly, Faux-Real UIs? – Critique of skeumorphism in interface design

Why "Just Enough Is More" is not Enough – Erik Stolterman weighs in on the interface skeumorph debate:
“To be designerly means to be able to understand what is appropriate for a particular design. It means to be able to make the required judgments about all aspects involved and about how they come together as a whole in an adequate composition….The key to good design is not Metro design language or any other language or principle. The key to good design is to be able to execute good design judgment.”

Design processes Interaction design Publications Research

Reflective Design Documentation

One of the crucial aspects of conducting interaction design research is the establishment of reliable and structured ways of capturing and documenting the data generated by the research, so that it can be subjected to analysis and reflection. Documentation may serve the double role of supporting reflection, thereby serving as a source of insight, and providing evidence that supports the insight gained. Given the inherent complexities of design, this process of capturing and documenting design projects can be daunting, especially since there are few resources and tools developed for this particular purpose.

During the past couple of years, my colleagues and I have developed and employed a system designed for the specific purpose of documenting design projects and prompting reflection about design events, called the Project Reflection Tool (PRT). Kim Halskov and I have written a paper entitled Reflective Design Documentation about the insights from our use of this system, and I’m currently at the Designing Interactive Systems conference in Newcastle to give a talk about the paper. The paper is available for download here, and I’ve attached the slides from my talk below:


Inspiring reads, June 8th

Software Development as Artistic Practice – artists working with open source coding to make art

Lessons from teaching design to engineering students – Echoes many of my experiences from teaching design

Income inequality, as seen from space – Urban trees—or the lack thereof—can reveal income inequality