Interweaving Digitality in the Fabric of Design
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: De Roeck, Dries; Standaert, Achiel; Paauwe, Robert A.; Verwulgen, Stijn; Baelus, Christiaan; Stappers, Pieter Jan
Institution: 1: Artesis University College, Belgium; 2: TU Delft, The Netherlands
Section: Creativity in Design Education
Products that embrace and integrate an invisible, digital world are appearing around us in a rapid pace. This emerging type of products introduces a new dynamic between people, objects and the context or use. The integration of embedded, pervasive and digital technologies in products imposes several challenges for the industrial designer. Designing in a world where an increasing amount of objects are becoming digital and digitally connected opens up a lot of design possibilities on the one hand, but challenges several established tools and methods industrial designers have been using in the past on the other hand. In this paper, technology abstraction methods are used in a creative process in order to engage industrial design students (not necessarily technologically skilled) in the design of products that operate in a digitally connected world. We present a process that was evaluated during a weeklong workshop. During this workshop, the potential of technology abstraction methods and how they can aid industrial designers to better communicate ideas that crossover between digital and non-digital worlds were evaluated. The eventual goal of this process is to provide industrial design students, practitioners and/or educators with an open, yet structured platform complementary to established tools and methods. This is in order to better define, prototype and communicate product and product interactions that interweave digital elements into their context of use.