Business and Design Work Process

As we, D6, keep exploring the Portobello Market, we see our goal clearer with the support from local community. During the past few weeks, we have made several cultural probes to test the hypothesis that we came up with from our preliminary research. Fortunately, Portobello Market office has been very supportive to our project and offered us a stall located on the portobello road, which enables us to set up all our probes in a public area. Throughout the following few weeks since our stall was set up on the street, a lot of people have been actively participated in our activities, and have been given us useful feedbacks to our project based on the experience they had with our probes.

Today, we are glad with the amout of data we’ve collected, and we know all of this will not happen without the Portobello community and every individual participant. However, we are proud to say, it is a project from community and it is also a project for the community. In order for us to move into our final stage, we are here to present our business model of how it can work with our future clients. It it not only presented for our audiences to comprehensively understand D6, but also for D6 to remember how important the community is through all of our design.

D6 is a co-design firm that focuses around community organizations to help develop understandings between businesses, locals and tourists in a everchanging london environment.

We needed to understand how D6 would operate as a design firm in order to sustain ourselves financially. We utilized the Business Model Canvas to try to get a better picture of what our value propositions were and who we are delivering them to.

We created a Citizen Canvas Map in order to understand our client’s needs (hopes and fears) and what D6 can supply them (and how). This was to better understand the overall picture of how we work as a company and helped us solidify what we can deliver.

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Project Timeline

The timeline above expresses our company’s design approach to different community projects and how long each phases will take. The research phases contains research to testing and the cycle that would take within that phase itself. While the implementation phases would vary from project to project because each design would most likely vary greatly from each other. For example, Portobello could become years in terms of implementation depending on if we stay in touch to do data analysis.

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EXPERIENCE OF TARGET USERS

The map above is an outline of our interactions as a design group, defining our points of interaction with those we engage throughout the design process. The initial contact with our client phase (approach) there are two scenarios, the first where the organization comes to us with specific problems and concerns, the second where us as a design firm approaches the client to address their potential needs and problems, showcasing past work and what we can do to help them. We will be in direct contact with our client, getting feedback and presenting our findings. If they chose to hire us, the second phase is initial research and preliminary testing, where we conduct cultural probes and interviews to more fully understand the problem the group is facing and how we can address it through design. In this phase we involve the organization and community so they can co-design with us through the ideation, research and testing of prototypes. After synthesizing the information we will present our findings to our clients, this may be a phase that is cyclical, getting their feedback on our hypothesis in order to ideate more. The final design phase is presented with concrete form representations and cost/manufacturing analysis we will get from contacting fabricators. If approved we will go toward the implementation phases where we will act as the middleman for creating the final product from a fabrication company. A possible fifth step for organizations like Portobello would be managing and conveying feedback, because of the interactive nature of our design would need further interaction with the Portobello Market administration.

The Third Space for Portobello

A third space is a public location where users go to socialize and hang out. A third space is defined as a space excluding designated home and work.

Using social media and different arragement of seats, we saw how people interacted and how conversations started.

We observed multiple behaviors in the given space along with conversations that came up with our own interactions with those sitting or asking to sit. With the growing change of london came less “community” spaces. Pubs began to drift off and cafes began to boom on every street but with less interaction of the locals in the area. We noticed that this idea of a communial space is something that began to lack in a gentrified London, whether thats from tourists not knowing the history behind portobello or locals becoming angry at tourists. By using the idea of a communal area we not only wanted to allow people to rest because of the lack of space to sit in Portobello but also a center to learn from one another. From that came, how?

How can we promote conversation and dialogue between people centered around Portobello in order to each one another about Portobello?

With this came the idea of a question, originally we were using cultural probes to ask people questions on their viewpoints on subjects ranging from supermarkets vs produce stalls and their contents to what people felt was needed in the area. We decided this is what people needed in the area. A conversation starter that was a question. Not only that but the market could benefit from this by asking questions that could teach them about the market and also allow another channel of communication.

Design Goals of the space with Portobello in mind

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Designing the Third Space

We anaylzed what it meant to be a local in Portobello and what people come to portobello expecting it to be. We gained alot of adjectivites from past chalkboard probes came up with: Vintage, Colorful, Crew.

A place of cabbages and diamonds

We then decided to look at future technologies and how we may be able to blend in the vintage with the new, in order to improve usuabilty, information feedbacks and experience of a younger generation.

Left: Moodboard of an interpretation of design products that can be or become Portobello, interpertation came from data gathered from chalkboard event, “what do you think of portobello” — Right: Moodboard of technology that could become helpful in the interaction of the space

The biggest constraint of this design is the space. The size of one stand is around 180cm x 300cm, and that is how much space we are given. It means the third space we design cannot exceed a rectangular of 1.8m x 3m. This fact constraint affects many aspects of the design of the space. For example, when a normal size human sits, the space he/she takes is around 75cm x 50cm, which means if two people sit face-to-face, the maximum pairs of people that can fit into this space is 6 while they will be very close to each other. How to make the space available to as many people as possible while providing a relaxing environment becomes one of the biggest challenges.

Left: Early Floor Plan Ideation — Right: The Physical Site

The second constraint of this project is transporting. Since this third space will be placed at a temporary market stand on the street, it needs to be assembled in the morning and taken down when the market closes. In addition, there is probably only one staff in the market who will be taking charge of transporting the pieces and installation. To make this process as effortless as possible, the whole kit has to be compact and lightweight.

Early Furniture Concept

After shooting down couple variations, I decided to set the main goals of the third space as a guide to the final ideas.

Early Concepts

The new design ideas came out much smoother than previously. Being inspired by Flexible Love chair, I come out with this one-piece furniture solution which is easy to install, changeable in length, compact, and eye-catching. There is also potential for foldable shelter and gazebo.

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Variations

We decided to branch out in different variations of the third space depending on different users of the market to see what would change.

Comparing and Contrasting Different Groups to extreme levels, as well as outcomes that could potentially affect the final design process.
Refined Concept Development

This coming week we will focus on two main things. Finalizing the design of the third space in order to 3D print a minature model to gage public opinion with a physical object they can play with and continuing to gage the interest of the public with revisiting past interviewees with our drawings and points of view on the market.