Researching for design is important. I’m educated in gathering knowledge about the user, the use context and the technology at hand through the use of different methods such as workshops, field studies, contextual inquiries, interviews and online research. While research is mandatory for design, design is also mandatory when doing research about the field of design. This means gaining knowledge about the way we design and thereby possibly improving the designprocess from a more holistic perspective which can lead to new understandings and ways of tackling design problems. An examples of this research through design approach can be our investigation of the use of analog and digital materials in the designprocess. Through a self-imposed design task we analysed the use of analog and digital materials in three different stages of the designprocess: Sources of inspiration (Pinterest vs. collage), user involvement (Inspiration Card workshop vs iCard workshop) and prototyping (paper-prototyping/sketching vs. coding/Processing). Our research showed us, that both digital and analog materials have their place in a digital design process. Depending on the qualities and the wanted outcome the designer has to choose the right material for the right situation. While analog material is for hands-on and collaborative work, digital material is easy for sharing and structuring, connects to the internet and a broad knowledge base and makes it possible to review interactions in their final environment.
Besides the research the outcome of the designprocess was an installation to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation named ’Blodkikkerten’. The installation is placed in a public space and consists of a tower viewer (stationary binoculars) which provides the user with an augmented reality. Instead of enlarging an object in the distance when looking into it, the tower viewer lets the user see other potential blood donors through indicating a heart over the top their head. Thereby potential life-saving bondings between people are made visible.
Research and design in collaboration with Thomas Pedersen, Nanna Marie Juhl Birch, Marie Naja Lauritzen og Kathrine Gade Simoni.