GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2013
06468: Design By Committee. Digital Interfaces for Collaborative and Participatory Design (SCI 0646800)
Seminar - 4 credits - Limited enrollment
Friday 1:00 - 4:00 7 Sumner 104
This Seminar/Workshop will look into the design and technical challenges involved in the development of web based interfaces for collaborative and participatory design scenarios. The designer in a sense is given the chance to design and experiment with the communication architecture and temporality of the design process itself.
The fast adoption of web technologies by an increasing number of people is opening new channels of communication between the wider public and practitioners. In addition online repositories of user generated content [e.g. instagram, facebook, google maps etc...] can give us a glimpse into modes of inhabitation and utilization of space in unprecedented scale and detail.
Different disciplines have to devise new ways of codetermination for design outcomes with end users and various consultants. Parametric design definitions are now commonplace and offer an idea about how to design ranges of outcomes rather than singular objects. Mass customization as promised by digital fabrication techniques also requires a different approach to design.
This opening up of the design process [or aspects of it] to wider groups of people in a controlled manner is achieved through the development of ever more specialized digital interfaces. These interfaces have to address the gaps in specialized knowledge, spatial perception and digital aptitude between the different parties and at the same time improve the understanding of and render tangible the design problems at hand. This requires the development of “intuitive” interfaces, something that game designers have been doing for some time, and which is a challenge that hasn’t gone unnoticed by other disciplines adopting so called “gamification” strategies. “intuitiveness” is probably one of the central concepts in this endeavour reminiscent of the role of the term “functionality” in modernist architecture.
In this course students will be required to develop [design and implement] an interface for a particular design scenario involving more than one agent [design team, designer - consultant, designer - client, designer - public and so on]. Students will work in small teams and some basic knowledge of programming is desirable [at least one person per student group].