Architecture has been defined as a way to look forward to a better future that expands our sense of human possibility. By constructing relationships between “what exists and what can come into being”, it frames new understandings of places and human interactions. This definition recognizes a significant role architects play in shaping communities and society as a whole. Architects’ work influence how places are shaped, how they function, and who they engage in the process. This role extends beyond the physical structures with a responsibility to balance the social, economic, and environmental aspects of what he or she designs.
It is the start of my second year at ALBA, where I am studying a Masters in Global Design, and we just embarked on it with Design Abroad — a yearly critical and cultural immersion course in a foreign country. Our destination was Yerevan, Armenia!
Design Abroad aims to emerge design students in a new context where they carefully observe and examine a new environment, interactions, and users, allowing space to critically question the role and impact of Design in different cultural contexts while reflecting on our own local Lebanese context.
How many times do you end up blindly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram before bed? The debate about social media and its effects and addiction is still ongoing. It made Apple realize the screentime feature and introduce time limits for apps. However, the time limit feature is not very effective as it directly allows you to ignore it.
You can easily ignore the limit for the whole day or 15 minutes.
It would be better if Apple introduces a reminder message that we can input when we set the limits. The message can be our reminder on why we put the limit and help us make a better decision while blindly scrolling over the apps.
I have been observing our interactions with power sockets recently and how complicated a simple interaction can get.
While power sockets are usually everywhere on walls. Designers have tried to integrate them on floors and desks to make them more accessible. However, this added more constraints and made these interactions more complicated.
How many times did you have to go below or inside a table to install your phone or laptop charger?
How many times did you have to struggle while opening the floor sockets box?
Last week I had to change my flight between Amsterdam and Copenhagen due to a change in my work schedule. I head to the KLM website and follow all the steps needed but end up getting an error message.
I directly head to their facebook page and contact them through messenger. I honestly expected a robot to reply to me. However, within 3 minutes I receive a reply asking me for more details. Within one hour, the whole issue was solved and I received my new ticket.
I don’t own a car in Beirut which makes my commuting experience very interesting on a daily business. I use all types of transportation services available to move around the city. This includes Service (the Lebanese shared-taxi), Vans (mini-buses), and Uber.
Selecting which service I am using depends on my current location or my destination, how much I am willing to pay, and recently, my mood.
When I am tired after a long day at school, especially that it is not easy to find a direct service to take me home, I prefer using Uber.
The most interesting part for…
Recently, I was checking my facebook memories and I came across an old post where I was using the Foursquare app (later known as Swarm). I wondered why I was using the app and what motivated me to share my movements with friends (or more) online.
The thing about Swarm and Foursquare is they offered a playful experience where there are a leaderboard and stickers. Both features motivate users to keep checking in and using the app.
Leaderboards were known in video games but started to be introduced in products such as Swarm as a common behavior change design pattern…
I have been in the Netherlands for the lasts two weeks and the public transportation system fascinates me. I bought the OV. Chipkaart, which is a rechargeable card that I can use all over the Netherlands and for any type of transportation (trams, trains, metros, buses).
The most important tip for using your public transport chip card is to always remember to check in and check out. This process helps in deducting the right amount of money after the trip is finished.
At the start of the journey, I have to hold the card up to a card reader usually…
When we receive the brief of a project, the research goal or the challenge at hand is very complex and not easily solvable by a singular action. After conducting our researh, we start to ideate potential solutions to prototype and test them. These solutions should be directly helping us reach our goal and solve the challenge we had in the brief. But it is not that simple to link the solution to the challenge.
To understand and communicate the potential impact of the solution presented, we used the theory of change tool that helped us visualize the goal of what…
This ambiguous process made it harder to plan our studio projects effectively. Especially as beginners, we weren't able to fully foresee what could possibly come next. However, as we went from a project to another, we were able to adapt to a framework and think more holistically before the start of the project.