Design Research Studio — Main Content

Previous documentation will be placed here.

Wednesday, September 6

  • Various Examples & Different Approaches
  • Other classmates have tried to understand the problems that are connected to their issue, and the relevant stakeholders.
  • Post-its are knowledge objects and can help create different schemas
  • Jessie: Initial research was very specific when compared to other teams that have found larger problems through small examples.
  • We need to better understand the information we put up on the post it.
  • If someone comes up to the board, they need to understand what is going on.
  • Ralph: Gentrification group considered who they are in relation to the other people who are a part of this problem.
  • Stacie:Think about how time plays a role. We need to define the problems that create these wicked problems. We started organizing without guidance.
  • Sara: We needed organization to understand the problem better.
  • Adella: We are anxious in terms of chaos and we required organization.
  • Jake: Boiled down a lot of words into categories(Quadrants)
  • Stacie: Overlaps between categories is important.
  • Stuart: The post-it idea study is a creative act and there are multiple approaches. Category first then content or otherwise? Those generate different lenses and we need to iterate to see overlapping issues and boil down the important points of the content. Untangle the content to make it easy to grasp for you & others. Multiple groups create a comparative dimension.
  • Stacie:Difference is encouraged. Caution about categories first, since it may challenging to fit the categories first & be aware that holes may exist as you can’t find the certain category you want to fit your content in. Visualizing is an important tool to understand how the problem becomes what it is.
  • Steven: The process was helpful for them to see inflection points and how it connects with the issues that other groups are trying to solve.
  • Stacie: There has been work done on these issues, since they are archetypes that contain lots of problem that can persist in any other location. Read the articles that have been created by our school, but don’t get influenced by their approach & mapping methods.
  • Stuart: Color mapping can be useful, and easier to understand organization. Otherwise, it can cause noise.
  • Stacie: Add clarity to the post-its that have trouble communicating the problem to the viewer.
  • Stuart: Unindented confusion can happen when organizing in some certain manner. This exercise is about getting used to that.
  • Tasks: Find the topics that your problems fit in the best, there will always be compromises.

Friday, September 8

  • Reworking some problems
  • School -> prison Tunnel: relates to crime and many other wicked problems including racial disparity/injustice.
  • Language Barrier: Can include parent’s ability/willingness to access information about education. Lack of access to technology can damage access to resources.
  • Parental Literacy Rate: 13% literacy rate among Pittsburgh adults.
  • We spent rest of the meeting fixing phrasings of the problems and reorganized problems under different topics. We are ready to move onto connecting the problems we have created with the map that was given to us. The team is excited to move into connecting the problems into actual examples we find in Pittsburgh as the project progresses.

Saturday, September 9

After reworking most of the problems that we identified, we started connecting them with the map given to us by Stacy & Stuart so that we can see how the wicked problem is formed.

As we were laying down post-its, we started seeing that some of the problems didn’t belong to a certain category. I know that this is an issue with any wicked problem since the underlying reasons are better represented with a web-style representation where nothing is only under a certain category.

As we are moving on & refining, we will be getting a better idea of how these problems relate to Pittsburgh. We have a lot of problems that we think may be evident in Pittsburgh or not. I am excited to see how the research we have been doing in class reflect to the field work we will have to do in the following weeks.

Monday, September 11

Terry’s thoughts:

  • The national <-> Pittsburgh similarities of the wicked problems we are trying to tackle.
  • Our systems thinking can help make small solutions make incredibly large changes.
  • Seeing the leverage points are the key to understanding wicked problems.
  • Donella Meadows’ most powerful leverage point for change: The mindset or paradigm out of which the system arises.
  • Affecting the mindset is the key to change the system.
  • If we can change unstated assumptions and the deepest set of beliefs can change the future of wicked problems.
  • Try mapping different world views onto the board.
  • Consequences vs. Root Causes of Wicked Problems
  • Dancing with uncertainty — understanding of systems

Wednesday, September 13

  • Stuart: Relate the stakeholders to the problems we have found.
  • Faith: Is the problem with the person or with their opinion?
  • Stuart: Physical things can be identified as stakeholders.

Sunday, September 17

  • Put meeting notes here.

Monday, September 18

  • It is hard to maintain objectivity when listening to a certain stakeholder.
  • Steve → The empathy is superficial as we have seen it.
  • Make people work in the same direction, and alignment is the goal of the designer.
  • Considering constraints to interventions/ideals of the stakeholders.
  • Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context.
  • Concentric levels of focus and layers of spatial/systems need to be considered.
  • What about the “next large context” in terms of time?
  • Current assumptions will not reflect well in designs that are aimed for futures.
  • What is the future? — If we know the answer, we are free. However, there isn’t just one answer. Prepare for the best and also the worst possible future at the same time.

Short writing activity about 2047:

A day in my life in 2047 Haiku(5–7–5):

One vegetable
At least half your monthly pay
Many without one.

Wednesday, September 20

  • What do we do when don’t know what the futures looks like, and we don’t know where to begin?
  • Hypotheses can be the load bearing component of the design process.
  • Why is a purely predictive or linear stance a trap? 1- There is a large range of different modes. 3- Nature and shape of time itself(Big-O complexity is > 0(n!^n!))
  • Any single image of the future, no matter how compelling, is incomplete.
  • Looking to far as an individual is challenging as should it be a responsibility for eveyone?
  • Aiming for: A specific of the top-level future type you have been drafted into. — Real change-genuinely different from today —May be ridiculous at first, makes perfect sense on closer inspection

Saturday, September 23

Feedback on Stuart’s Presentation

Monday, September 25

Things we are doing in class today:

  • Feedback on scenario creation:Breaking into STEEP was hard, but the reading helped in terms of putting the pieces into a paragraph. The steep components helped move ideas around and put together the ones that made the most sense. Moving parts are hard to balance(Stuart).
  • The vision for the group, the preferable future.

Sorting the various ideas for future, falls into the transformation category. Use the thinking you have generated to think what your scenario means for Pittsburgh.

Scenario Matrix Exercise:

For this exercise, I was kind of surprised with the creativity that was under each scenario that I listened too. To be quiet honest, there wasn’t much, and that made it interesting too realize that even we have concepts in our head that we need to stick to when we are designing scenarios. Overall, the even if the direction for each group was different, I saw similar problems and stakeholder that were described for the year 2050. This shows that even if the years pass on, wicked problems stick around keep building off of similar problems and affect/ get affected by similar stakeholders.

There also was a heavy reliance on the tech industry that is building up in Pittsburgh and I thought this was interesting but I thought that there was also the possibility of a mirror event of the internet bubble: Machine Learning/AI bubble. We know that a lot of companies come here with goals, and once they are obtained and/or lose importance, what will happen to all the offices and people that are located in Pittsburgh? There can of course be continuous growth for tech, but the past shows us that it hasn’t been that quite true.

Another thing that captured my interest was the fact that no one mentioned an global economic crisis as a trigger for their chain of events. It would have been cool for a transform(that’s us!) but also risky to decide on what the outcomes could be.

We spent the rest of the class planning what is the best future for our problem. We argued about what were the best approaches that could fit the future of 2050 and what were pros/cons of each. There was also some discussion about which one of them was the most probable as we realized that the most preferable wasn’t the least probable, which is puzzling. I think this shows that there is a possible route of decisions that can possibly lead to the preferable.

Wednesday, September 27

Affordable Housing -> Their ideal was well above what I thought as not only their problem was solved, but also everything else was brought to a non-problematic level in relation to affordable housing. There were some aspects of their future that didn’t relate to affordable housing but clarified how perfect their ideal 2050 Pittsburgh is.(And a bit scary, feels like a pseudo-free-to-do-anything town with underlying totalitarianism)

Gentrification -> A day in 2050 Pittsburgh, which focuses on the housing relations, and the underlying structures that create a wholesome housing relation. It sounds like gentrification = everybody loves each other. It doesn’t seem that probable but it seems like the human being is altered to only see the positiveness out there. I’m not saying it’s bad, but it just doesn’t sound like human.

Crime -> Consistent law enforcement, provides less gentrification. Neighborhood evaluates crime and takes responsibility. Surveillance? How does to the people feel about being watched all the time. Universal basic income — how does it prevent it? Some crimes are family-related. Criminal sentences are reduced — more criminals out there?

Education -> Government ignited curriculum change relating to liberal arts and environmentalism. Water pollution was fixed to provide the ideal education. Universal education package to provide a good, adamant basic learning experience. Peers & parents take more responsibility in the education. Pay guarantee and the pay gap was lowered to minimum, resulting in an interest in many studies that became unpopular over the years.

Affordable, Quality Transportation? Which group is this-> Compassion, Empathy are the only feelings remaining. Is that really human?(same question as gentrification) Gaining knowledge & skill is of high importance during any age. Public transportation is embracing self driving cars as something to share across the public. Urban farming is extremely hot, creating eco-conscious food. Vertical farming is a thing on the bridges of Pittsburgh.

Water -> Water is enjoyable for a lot of activities. Governmental support for clean water. Water reservoirs are clean and managed well. Rivers are clean and makes Pittsburgh is beautiful. Water crimes are a thing. Children are taught to value water. Human — Nature relation is improved. Manufacture is regulated to not create water pollution. Renewable resources, help the goal of having 0 water pollution. Technologies to drink water from oceans.

Air Pollution -> Many social problems are solved, technology supports the city, and the infrastructure is supports the people. Community is stronger, resulting in a driving force to make Pittsburgh better for everyone who live in it. National capital? Decentralized economy thanks the cryptocurrency. Ecofriendly policies, coal miners and some other workforces take a part in the decisions made by the government. Farmers markets are a thing in Pittsburgh, for funding for green buildings and many areas in the town are used for recreation.

Transportation ->People are more free about where they want to live since transportation faster. Local goods are valued. Education is all free and equal across all schools. Schools can attend remotely, AI is involved in job decisions. Nationwide trust and belief that the nation can grow further. Some physical pieces brought into the class to represent some ideas thoroughly.

Stuart’s Presentation

  • Scenario Sets, deciding on the variety.
  • What should we call this vision that we have created for 2050? Name your vision.
  • What are the underlying transitions that led to your vision.
  • 3 Horizons — pay attention to the entailments by splitting the story into 3. Current, transition and where you end up.
  • H1: current model that is diminishing as transition is taking over.
  • H2: the transition state that will take over.
  • H3: the future that will take over from the transition.

Monday, October 2

Terry’s presentation:

  • Everyday life is a context for design
  • Max-Neef’s Theory of Needs: in order for a human being to be fulfilled, everybody has to have the same basic set of needs.
  • Needs -> Satisfiers -> Design
  • Needs: Circumstances
  • Satisfiers: Planned courses of action
  • Design: Tangible result
  • Pseudo satisfiers lead to pathologies of unmet needs, which contribute to/are embedded within wicked problems and often unsustainable design of all kinds.
  • Categories of needs: Violators/Destroyers, Inhibiting Satisfiers, Pseudo-Satisfiers, Singular Satisfies
  • Synergistic Solutions are the most appropriate approach when there are pseudo satisfiers involved in a process of satisfying a need.
  • We need to meet genuine needs of the people we are designing for.
  • Everyday life in communities’ needs, is fundamentally different that contemporary needs.
  • Changing lifestyles is crucial to sustainable futures & systems — level change.
  • Everyday life, is a way to show how limited our daily focus is when thinking about that day on its own. If we can expand our thinking to beyond the scope of the day, we can think about at what level/time our needs should be satisfied?
  • As with the time, our designs also have to be taking into account every layer of the society.

Wednesday, October 4

Is all design always human-centered?

(add notes into here about the group work for the interventions)

Monday, October 9

Touchpoints : where we interact with the people that are using our service.

Services can’t be stored in a warehouse therefore they are different than a product(?). Services need to zoom in & out quickly and there are challenging aspects of this.

How is designing a service different than designing a product?

Wednesday, October 10

The Housing group directed their intervention towards education since they thought that education was the contact point to grow the seeds of resourceful living. I think that this might connect into what we think is important when trying to make quality education more accessible. Our group thinks that community/private company led after-school pop-up shops could help increase the quality of the education and we think that it can also incentivize resourceful living through various life skills that are taught by our intervention idea.

The Water group brought in interventions that were high technology and did not resemble to have any connection to education except the “new major” idea. I think the major makes sense as long as there is an incentive that the students will be able to find jobs and secure a lifetime success with it.

The Crime group aligns with our group’s thinking as there are community based interventions that can be sync’ed together with the community pop-up shops that we thought about. There are also community led teams that take care of the left alone children that aligns with our community related goals.

The gentrification team came up with interventions about mixed income housing, developers contacting the local people and informing them, and a neighborhood watch team that would try to decrease crime and cherish community that can raise the value of land in that neighborhood.

The transportation team touched upon community led-shared resources that also relate to our community level interventions and I can see them working in harmony with each other.

Saturday, October 14

I met with Deborah and worked on designing the service blueprint for after-school pop-up classes. We heavily focused on the work that was happening in the backend and made sure the keep the focus general so it could apply to any type of pop up class. We had some hard time color coding our blueprint so we will be meeting again tomorrow to fix up and organize the board. We also created some cartoons that relate the backend work to a certain example of cooking class with Eat Unique as the collaborator and Giant Eagle as the material provider.

I think we did a good job of covering all the aspects of the service and it helps us see how much more convincing a service becomes when it is laid out in a blueprint manner. I believe that we can pull this together really well and provide really good intervention for our wicked problem.

Sunday, October 15

Write notes about the meeting here

Monday, October 16

Definition of social innovation is centered around the idea that the target is the society as a whole instead of a private target.

Examples include: Fair Trade, Charter Schools, Microfinance, The Life Program: Wigan, England, D Light, Gira Dora

Transition design requires well-thought layers of change that have to be in harmony.

Points of leverage -> Apply interventions -> Cause transition design

  • Who is your client?
  • Which stakeholder view takes precendence?

Context: Fishery Profile

  • Information Gathering
  • Community Immersion
  • Observations: “We are a family”
  • Observations: “Connection & Collaboration”
  • Observations: “The importance of Oleh Oleh”
  • Observations: “Using Technology”

What patterns or themes do we notice?

Identifying the correct cultural context for the intervention is crucial.

Mindsets of the developers should also be taken into consideration

Exercise: Using a DSI 2x2, plot at least 2 new ideas for these fishers.

  • Why the idea meets needs or cultural criteria you heard in the research.
  • Why it lives in the quadrant you picked-
  • Some of the partners/stakeholder necessary to make your idea work
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