Running list of things to learn about

This is from reading this article about predictive analytics in FinTech

Positioning essay written for CMU Transition Design Seminar, Spring 2016

“Understanding how to act to change the systems we’re in is arguably the biggest meta-challenge of our age.” — Dan Lockton

Transition Design is a new frontier for designers to lead systems-level societal change towards a more sustainable future. As an emerging area of practice and study, it seeks to provide designers with tools and methods that enable them to be agents of change. …

Work-in-progress explorative essay written for CMU Transition Design Seminar, Spring 2016

Transition design is a new area of design research, study, and practice that proposes design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures. As we move towards more sustainable futures, designers are asked to incorporate theories of natural and social systems into their already well-developed theories of built systems. Transitions to sustainable futures must therefore be informed by theories of change that seek to provide new models to understand the dynamics at play in natural and social systems.

In this essay, I examine how Max-Neef’s human scale development can inform the…

Notes from Design for Service, Molly Steenson. 3/22 with guest presenter, Simon King.

Research never ends. After having done research, there may be some idea of what is broken or what the needs or problems are. However, where people may go down the next step is the belief that there is a direct path from that to an end result. This is because research continues to the end — actually, it never ends.

Sacrificial concepts: Concepts you use just to learn from

  • Testing/validating what you heard in research
  • Helping people imagine and react to
  • Provoke a strong reaction; stay non-linear…

Week Updates:

  • IDEO workshop → 100 concepts exercise
  • Workshop 2 with a junior EMT from CMU
  • Workshop 3 with Pittsburgh EMTs
  • Presentation // smart ambulances

On Saturday, IDEO held a rapid prototyping workshop that really opened my eyes to the power of getting really weird, really fast. It also introduced the concept of QUANTITY as been a really powerful way to brainstorm and VALIDATING NEEDS through non-serious prototypes. I think this is all part of the “creative confidence” that IDEO speaks of and something that I really want to develop as I continue through design school.

100 Concepts

After the workshop, we…

The workshops

We landed on 3–4 exercises: one to learn about qualities of ideal symbiosis, one to learn about the participants’ respective experiences in transport, one to learn about design opportunities in vehicles, and one tentatively for understanding behavior in high-pressure situations (the last one we did not end up doing).

What as interesting during the process of coming up with workshop ideas is that we all had very different ideas about what the workshops looked like and how far they should go. I think I was pushing more for getting down to the level of interactions (i.e. CUI) and prototypes but…

Scoping Down Again

The tail end of our exploratory phase extended a little past the official end date. Following the feedback we received from the exploratory research presentation, we realized that our next step was to narrow down our various opportunity areas.

After much discussion, we decided that we wanted to stay in the area of transport as per our initial territory scoping. We mapped out the different opportunity areas as “front-of-the-ambulance” and “back-of-the-ambulance” where the focus on the front was more regarding the transport, and the back was more focused on the provision of medical services.

By focusing on the issue of…

CMU Transition Design Seminar from Monday, February 29. Documentation of Seminar session.

Continuing our exploration of theories of change, we build upon Max Neef’s framework of universal needs to arrive at this framework of the domains of everyday life.


Themes & Concepts:

Some of these ideas: participation, no hierarchies, self-organization, confederation, decentralism, human scale, community

The integration of needs as the way for satisfying multiple universal needs at once

Form of hierarchy that is the “anti-hierarchy” so everything is both a part and a whole; something organic

Home, village, town, city, global

From the “same” sociality across cities to something more/different

Lecture notes from Gideon Kossoff’s lecture on “The Domains of Everyday Life and The Satisfaction of Needs”

Class Exercise:

Shifting/narrowing/specifying focus

We’re on our way to closing out the exploratory research phase of our project and things have been progressing well although now they are introducing new challenges.

One of the big questions we’ve had since the beginning was who were our users going to be and what was the human-computer symbiosis in our design space?

The teacher, Peter, phrased it well by framing it as “where is the clear win?” and “who will sponsor/fund such a project?” These questions help to redirect the focus from designing for super fun ideation to something more real and tangible.

We were avoiding this…

Notes from cameron tonkinwise’s talk on Wed, Feb 3, 2016

Personal notes from Cameron’s talk about “thinking”

Catherine Shen

designer. thinker. @CMUDesign masters. @NorthwesternU econ.

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