Views, knowledge and understanding: Growing and Changing with Design

2014: June – Library design changes – alone without consultation; October – Library design changes – a non-linear process: consultation, immersion, ideation, prototype.

Designing library space for lunch times is fundamentally different to classroom learning spaces: students voluntarily visit. Their participation is voluntary. They ‘vote with their feet.

From quick pop-up spaces to wider re-designing, the design thinking process (Brown, 2009, p. 16) has been utilised to bring industrial educational learning spaces forward to 2014. The impact of a quick pop-up change [Forum comment, 2014, July 28] was convincing: the space quickly revitalised. Weeks later, this first change was a prototype: students have been involved. They have moved the pop-up space to create a space more akin to a watering-hole rather than a sandpit. The students are working with the basket of knitting needles, crochet hooks and wool and exchanging ideas. From a ‘pared down’ viewpoint, these students are finding their moment of imagination?

The library at my workplace is due for refurbishment late 2015. (Lee, 2014). Design thinking regarding the space is underway: why wait? –  particularly as Wiliams (Wilby, 2011) believes it’s not the building, rather the capacity of the teacher that has the greatest impact. Hattie (2012) concurs, stressing that we, as teachers, must focus on our impact on the learners. With this background, the design brief: ‘the school library…a place to collaborate, create, communicate and [engage in] critical thinking’ [Forum comment, 2014, 17 August]. A cluttered unused space has had some design thinking applied, suggestions from Shannon and Sharon have been undertaken [blockout curtains are yet to be hung]. Students as users, have been included in the process (Brown, 2009; Patsarika, 2014; Plemmons, 2012), and their motivation is palpable. Digital makerspace and gaming space , supporting the work of Seymour Papert.  A ‘patch’ of potted edibles will be included on the verandah for the start of 2015. With each change, ‘play, watch and replay’ (Kuratko, Goldsworthy, & Hornsby, 2012, p. 117–119) is observed, ideation follows. “Fail early to succeed sooner.” (Brown, 2009, p. 17).

Play space for our kindergarten students is open and spacious, filled with preloved pieces arranged in an ad hoc fashion. (Lee, 2014). Our community has become immune to the space – it desperately needs redesigning.

 

The environment is the third teacher. Designing with children, Stonehouse (2011) and Patsarika (2014) add further argument to the natural involvement of student users. Immersion through ‘walking-a-mile-in-their-shoes’ is in action right now, as teachers write their observations. The design thinking process (IDEO, 2012; McIntosh, 2014, from p. 102), involving multidisciplinary teams (Brown, 2009, p. 27) [students, teachers, parents, maintenance man and office staff] has begun. Who knows, maybe, a touch of ‘Playground without rules’ will be added to the design … is this the ultimate ‘environment as the third teacher’? Play Space Guide will be offered as a reading, being mindful that inexperienced designers often approach design thinking through solution assumptions instead of analysis. (Razzouk & Shute, 2012, p. 340). If play is the basis of what schools can learn from google, IDEO and Pixar, then the redesigning of the kindergarten play space should be taken seriously.

Design thinking – Learning is meant to be messy! [Kathleen Maclean]. A final word from Bruner [aged 99!]: It’s  about  possibilities!

References

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins: New York.

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/19760/c-k_theory_in_practice_lessons_from_industrial_applications

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Abingdon: Routledge.

IDEO. (2012). Design thinking for Educators. 2nd Ed. Retrieved online from http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/design-thinking/

JISC. (n.d.). Designing spaces for effective learning: a guide for 21st century learning space design. Retrieved from www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/JISClearningspaces.pdf

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. Boston : Pearson.

OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture & Bruce Mau Design. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching & learning. New York: Abrams.

Patsarika, M. (2014, August 26).  What architects can learn from designing with children. [Web log post.]. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/what-architects-can-learn-from-designing-with-children-29664

Play Space guide: creating valuable places to play and learn outdoors in Western Australian schools. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/library/file/WA%20Education%20and%20CBEH%20Play%20Space%20Guide.pdf

Plemmons, A. (2012). Opening the space: Making the school library a site of participatory culture. Knowledge Quest, 41(1), 52-55. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/kq

Razzouk, R. & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, 82(3), p. 330 – 348. DOI: 10.3102/0034654312457429

Stonehouse, A. (2011). The ‘third teacher’ – creating child-friendly spaces. Putting Children First, Issue 38, p. 12 – 14. Retrieved from http://ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/pcf-articles/P12_ChildFriendlySpaces_Jun11pdf.pdf

Wilby, P. (2011, Nov 08). Education: The profile Sir Bruce Liddington: Emperor of academies: ‘our purpose is to improve the lot of the poorest and most deprived children in this country.’ so says the head of E-act schools: Pay package, pounds 280,000. The Guardian Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/902635767?accountid=10344

 

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Creative Drinks Afternoon

 

Creative Drinks Afternoon

…a gathering of colleagues and other interested folk who responded to my email invitation.

Invite via email

Invite via email

I was aware of shortcomings regarding timeframe and location, however, decided to proceed with the event rather than accept the extension as a ‘bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ … commitments are mounting. I shopped and cooked … for the small number [4] who replied. It became a case of the loaves and the fishes, or more aptly – needing to turn water into wine! As it transpired, of those who accepted, half managed to attend. [Unfortunately, only one ‘outsider’ attended.].  I was surprised: In total, fourteen people arrived and participated. Despite the following images, we did enjoy the discussion!

 

 

I had a loose agenda/plan to assist in maintaining focus:

  1. Introduction from me [repeated twice as other people arrived]
  2. Word ‘splash’ or word phrase ‘splash’ – creativity, ‘creative culture’, ‘design thinking’, ‘creative coffee mornings’, ‘meet ups’, ‘the third teacher’, ‘teach-meets
  3. Engage in a marshmallow challenge [didn’t get to have the challenge]

 

Reflection

  1. Most of the participants have a negative perception of their own design capacity, whilst at the same time sharing how they reorganise systems and layouts [e.g.  retail shops and restaurants] in their mind
  2. Discussion around ‘creative culture’ was animated – most seeking, but not knowing how to develop – ideas were shared from those who participate in artistic endeavours outside of their workplace
  3. Most interested in ‘design thinking’ especially around the concept of ‘walking in someone else’s shoes
  4. ‘The third teacher’ drew the most discussion – since all participants’ workplaces are schools [though not all participants were teachers] – discussion around the outdoor space as ‘the third teacher’ [at my workplace the outdoor space for kindergarten students requires attention!]
  5. Overwhelming positive response to the afternoon – Why? Intrigued? Voluntary participation?
  6. Where to next? Options/suggestions –
    1. Positive suggestion and reaction from participants to meet again – maybe once per term
    2. At this stage the line of communication will not be Twitter because only three participants have Twitter accounts and they were unsure of passwords etc.
    3. Most participants have active Facebook accounts, therefore creating a Facebook page/group is an option.
    4. Meeting outside our school offers neutrality and openness – suggestion of a local ‘slow food’ cafe. Discussed the ying and yang: it’s a creative space, small and noisy, without the ability to make a booking
    5. ‘Where to next’ for me personally –
      1. Increased desire to attend a ‘Creative Coffee Morning’ in Sydney to supplement my following their Tweets and Facebook posts;
      2. Investigate local ‘Meet Up’ groups – I realise they are motivating after being an observer at a Meet Up last year.
...a thought

…a thought

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and absorbing the diversity generated by this activity amongst the #INF536s….more to come, I suspect! At this stage I have responded to

Heather – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jesoods5/2014/09/13/task-5-coffee-chat/#comment-24

Lisa – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lisa/2014/09/14/creative-coffee-morning/#comment-25

Margaret – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-inventive-format/#comment-67

Monique – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-morning-blog-task-4/#comment-31

Jim – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jdtchicago/2014/09/15/creative-coffee-morning/#comment-20

Matt – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/mattives/2014/09/16/creative-coffee-and-croissant-morning/#comment-46

Yvette – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2014/09/16/creative-coffee-morning-tea-creating-and-designing-online-effective-pln-spaces-for-vet-training/#comment-14

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Will I … or Won’t I?

In the week since the literature critique was submitted, I have watched as my classmates posted their work. “Will I … or won’t I?” has been my constant self talk. I am not proud of my submitted assignment, and would prefer to bury it in the depths of my mind.  My thoughts then began to move towards rationalising that if I am ever going to benefit from  online participatory culture, then I need to ‘toughen up’!

The final decision was made this morning when I read Melissa Dahl’s Asking for advice makes you seem more competent, not less [via Larry Ferlazzo @Larryferlazzo] … so here is my critique.

Literature Critique

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A Cog in a Large System!

My place of work is a cog in a large system. Our work is heavily influenced by ‘filtration’, aka directives, from the hierarchy. This stems right from the top to all members of the school community, as everyone works towards meeting the schools goals, which in turn, meet the system goals. With a limited number of school goals approved by system leadership, effectively local innovations are difficult to realise. From this course, I am beginning to understand there is now an avenue to instigate a meeting other needs at a local level which would meet system goals as well as community needs: the answer – design thinking.

As directed by senior system leadership, professional learning across the system’s school is centred on implementing Hattie’s Visible Learning (2012), following the implementation of Putting Faces on the Data. (Sharratt, 2012). Add to the mix, EMU maths, Focus 160 and Project Based Learning!  It’s busy and it’s exciting!

Our major [re]building programme is underway. Our local involvement in the design of the learning spaces has not involved all the leadership team, just senior leaders. The Leadership Team was asked for brief feedback and the plans were shown to the full staff. Our opportunities for feedback [Hattie!] were non-existent, or at best, limited! Students and teachers, who are the users of the space, and who are the centre of design thinking (Brown, 2009 … and others) have not been given a voice. The architects during the tender process, were not visible in classrooms for extended period – just to wander around possibly to gauge classroom dimensions and student numbers? The architect did listen to some concerns by senior executive, changes to the master plan were made, only to be overridden by head office.

Stage 3 of the [re]building involves my workspace. I am determined not to be without a voice, and since I have some time [a usual constraint] to prepare, [end 2015 is a possible start date]I am preparing to utilise my developing design thinker skills. Once I have done this, regardless of the outcome, I know I have done my best. Furthermore, I know I will have the support of school based leaders and senior leaders. By involving the community in the process and utilising the ideas from students (Patsarika, 2014, and Plemmons, 2012) and parents, I am anticipating a positive outcome.

Project Based Learning is another area of pedagogical ‘tweaking’ for classroom teachers at my work.  This is another area for design thinking, to provide a framework for designing the curriculum and framing the questions, developing the curiosity as teachers are generally more focussed on content rather than process. Immersion and empathy (Brown, 2009) is often lacking because of the time constraints; designing the learning activities is often facing time constraints. As well, teachers often don’t see their work as a prototype, and are prepared to utilise the same lesson design for another group without recognising or acknowledging the limitations/failures/successes of the first. [Is this the result of time constraints too?]. This is another area where I believe I can be more effective and play a role to engage learners in developing creativity and entrepreneurship. (ATSIL [Zhao], 2012 and Robinson, 2011).

Another area of my role is working with the Kindergarten team.  The students have a dedicated space for playing during recess and lunch. This area has limited ‘hand-me-down’ play equipment, consequently behavioural issues are arising a the young children have a limited repertoire of games. Along comes design thinking! I have been able to ‘hold-off’ the quick fix suggestions, and am excited by the possibilities of applying my developing design thinking skills to this project….with it’s budget constraint.

Certainly no lack of ‘things to do’! […ummm, what about a kitchen garden?]

References

Brown, T. Change by design: How design thinking transforms organisations and inspires innovation. New York: HarperCollins.

Designing with Children. (2014). Retrieved from http://designingwithchildren.net/about

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Abingdon: Routledge.

Patsarika, M. (2014, August 26).  What architects can learn from designing with children. [Web log post.]. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/what-architects-can-learn-from-designing-with-children-29664

Plemmons, A. (2012). Opening the space: Making the school library a site of participatory culture. Knowledge Quest, 41(1), 52-55. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/kq

Razzouk, R. & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, 82(3), 330–348. DOI: 10.3102/0034654312457429

Sharratt, L. & Fullan, M. (2012). Putting faces on the data: What great leaders do. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

SLANSW. (2014). Words: The magazine of the School Library Association of NSW, 1(2)

Zhao, Y. (2014, July 2). College ready vs. out-of-basement ready: Shifting the education paradigm. [Web log]. Retrieved from http://zhaolearning.com/2014/07/02/college-ready-vs-out-of-basement-ready-shifting-the-education-paradigm/

 

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INF536 – Blog Task #3: Design Brief

Background Discovery

In Blog task #2  I identified and described a design problem involving the changed arrangements to enter our school during the current period of renovation and rebuilding which is expected to last for 12-18 months. The entrance to the school has been relocated and through my immersion it has become apparent that the new arrangement is ambiguous, and potentially unsafe.

Constraints 

  • front entrance will not be available for up to 12 months
  • entrances via car park are the only alternatives
  • entrance is temporary, therefore cost must be minimal
  • the school is surrounded with security fencing, constraining access

& Tensions

  • driver behaviour in the car park during the peak period before school is generally poor
  • limited time available to solve the problem

 Known Knowns

  • Majority of students are driven to school, parking is always at a premium
  • Visitors must be able to enter the grounds
  • Peak time of visitor arrivals coincides with beginning and end of the school day and the car park is busy
  • Security fence provides a ‘hanging’ space
  • Security fence presents a ‘fortress’ view of the school to first time visitors

Unknown unknowns 

  • How might we establish how visitors are reacting? [no one has complained]
  • How have potential new families responded to a confusing, ambiguous entrance? … sought another school?
  • How has the loss of productivity [from constant interruptions, potential for increased work hours, cost of overtime] affected office efficiency as the staff walk the 70+metres to and from the gate to meet visitors?
  • How might we know if visitors and community members  will accept the change?
  • How have visitors reacted to calling and being met at the gate – has this made the entrance to the school easier and more friendly?

Problem

How might we utilize the building programme as an opportunity to create a safe and welcoming entrance to the school for all visitors and community members?

Ideate Potential solutions

  • Give open-ended questions to an inter-disciplinary team [visitor, parent, construction foreman] to seek their responses/ideas/thoughts

  • Teachers of years 3-6 take their students for a ‘walk through’ – come back and brainstorm their thoughts [post-it notes…or attempt hexagonal thinking?]

  • Create signage, clear, concise and unambiguous, to set a welcoming tone – – “thank you for your patience during the building programme”…

    • …being mindful of the ‘user’ eg  for the smartphone user, install QR code on fence – link to map, provide phone contact details

    • consider portable sandwich board signs to offer directions when on the school grounds

    • create cutouts of a boy and girl student in uniform, walking – add to fence to show the  way to the gate

    • keep the colour palette simple – school colours plus red [where needed to alert to danger]

    • seek installation of ‘shared zone’ signs at entrance from street to carpark [as is customary wherever people and cars ‘co-exist’

    • temporarily relocate the welcome sign to the temporary entrance

  • Create dedicated walkway – from the street to the gate;

    • paint the bitumen – pedestrian stripes?

    • Large ‘big friendly giant’ [BFG] footprints?

  • Safety ‘rope’ to designate end of pedestrian footpath and beginning of carpark ‘road’

Reproduce Roald Dahl's BFG footprints for added interest

Reproduce Roald Dahl’s BFG footprints for added interest – personal photo from Dahl’s grave site, Great Missenden

Prototype

  • quickly produce new signage and paint a walkway

  • students [accompanied by teachers] and visitors ‘test’ the prototypes to encourage their ownership and therefore their use of the new entrance …

  • changes are made based on feedback

 

References

Alpha Public Schools. (2014). School design with design thinking. Retrieved from http://www.alphapublicschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/ALPHAPublicSchoolsCaseStudy.Final_.pdf

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins: New York.

Engine Service Design & Walker Technology College. (n.d.). Dear Architect: The Vision Of Our Future School: Walker Technology College. Retrieved from http://www.ournewschool.org/assets/pdf/Dear_Architect.pdf

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Retrieved from http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/19760/c-k_theory_in_practice_lessons_from_industrial_applications

IDEO. (2012). Design thinking for Educators. 2nd Ed. Retrieved online from http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/design-thinking/

Kazakci, A. O., Gillier, T., Piat, G. & Hatchuel, A. (2014). Brainstorming versus creative design reasoning: a theory-driven experimental investigation of novelty, feasibility and value of ideas. Retrieved from http://www.cgs-mines-paristech.fr/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Kazakci.et_.al_.DCC14.pdf

Notosh. (2014). Design thinking – synthesis 1 – Hexagonal thinking. Retrieved from http://notosh.com/lab/design-thinking-synthesis-hexagonal-thinking/

Owen, C. (2007).Design Thinking: Notes on ins nature and Use. Design Research Quarterly, 2(1), pp. 16-27. Retrieved from https://www.id.iit.edu/media/cms_page_media/195/owen_desthink071.pdf

 

I have commented on Jo’s, Monique’s, Rosie’s and Bec’s blogs.

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Blog Task #2: Observation

Our school is undergoing a period of renovation and rebuilding which is expected to last for 12-18 months. The entrance to the school has been relocated and I have been observing old and new visitors as they enter the school grounds.

Sketch showing old and new entrances

Sketch showing buildings near entry points to the school

I have observed visitors –

  • Parking their car – after slowly driving around the roundabout, reading the signage on the fence

  • Some enter via the single gate, down stairs, along verandah

  • Others walk from one gate to the other three before selecting the entrance

  • Some visitors observed asking others for directions

  • [Overheard on phone – asking for directions] …  “Never been here before…”

  • Walking through the playground – looking around, turning, left, right, peering aound corners, up stairs!

  • An early morning  delivery man, couldn’t find a teacher/maintenance man, walked back to the gate, reread sign, made phone call

  • Rereading signs

  • Calling in at the library [on same level as office] – asking for the office

Entrance via single gate

Entrance via single gate – note signage

 

View from entrance [above photo]

View from entrance [above photo]

View from veranda towards office

View from veranda towards office – black and red signage indicating library, hall and main switchboard

View from office towards the 'single gate' entrance - note distance between office and gate

View from office towards the ‘single gate’ entrance – note distance between office and gate

Other entrance - single + double [vehicle access] gates

Other entrance – single + double [vehicle access] gates

View from entrance [previous photo] - words on brick wall are the school motto

View from entrance [previous photo] – words on brick wall are the school motto

View from building towards entrance [single + double gates] and carpark

View from building towards entrance [single + double gates] and car park

Me, empathising, walking in the shoes of a first time visitor/irregular visitor

  • Walking/driving along the street adjacent to the school grounds, I noticed the “Welcome” to the school sign facing the street remains and is clearly visible despite the front entrance to the school is now blocked off and construction site temporary fencing has been erected.

  • There is no signage indicating where/how to enter the school. The construction site clearly states “Keep out!”
  • [No parking permitted on either side of this street – one side is bus only]

  • I walk/drive back up the street to the car park adjacent to the church.

  • I enter the carpark – question to self – is the car park for the church or  for the school or for both? Some parking spaces have clear signage  stating “Parking for parishioners only”.

  • I note three gates – which one is for entry to the school – the single gate or the single + double gates?

  • Read signage – all asking visitors to report to the office. Single gate open, however, sign points to the lower single + double gate.

  • I decide to enter the school via top gate because it is open – walk down the stairs along the verandah, looking for the office – not sure where to go next. Turn around,  retrace my steps.

  • I leave the school, re enter via the other gate, following the direction on the yellow sign [one of the lower gates] – walk through the playground, looking for the office.

  • Not sure which direction to walk.
  • I note one building with large words [school motto!] – not the office.

  • It’s reasonably early morning – I seek a person to ask – no one visible. Hear machinery [garden blower] in the distance. Wonder whether to follow the sound?

  • Decide to wander around the building … note signage to the library, hall and main switchboard. [downstairs].
  • Decide to walk a little further – windows appear to be ‘office style’ – yes!
  • Alternatively – I hear children – follow the direction of their noise – students at before school care – ask the staff for directions to the office.

My comments on other student blogs –

Lisa’s blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lisa/2014/08/05/blog-post-2/#comment-19

Sharon [Ronnie’s] blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/ronnie/2014/08/08/blog2-a-trip-to-woolies/#comment-4

Jerry’s blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/jerry/2014/08/08/inf536-blog-task-2/#comment-30

 

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Designed for a purpose: 1.3

Recently I had coffee at a restaurant/bar – not my usual haunt, and not in my home city. A ‘one-off’ experience, therefore I have not been able to revisit to check my sketch.

 

Restaurant/bar - Design sketch

Restaurant/bar – Design sketch

I have chosen this space because I think the design works seamlessly. No obtrusive signage to designate the entry – a natural flow. Upon entering the restaurant/bar, there isn’t ambiguity about where to sit, what procedure to follow; rather a clear entry with a meet ‘n greet space.

Location: ground level, offices above

Location: ground level, offices above

The layout offers difference according to the possible needs of the clients. Space to sit unobtrusively and work on mobile devices or discuss with clients, space for intimate coffees/meals, space for ‘buzz’ – stools and long tables, space for families enjoying the outdoors. Most of the spaces can be easily reconfigured to meet client needs.

 

Different seating spaces

Different seating spaces; use of potted plants

The climate and the natural environment have been included in the design. The restaurant/bar is long and relatively narrow, with half of the long side opening entirely thus bringing the outside in and creating an open space. The outside space is a public thoroughfare, and the natural barrier is a garden: a long narrow design with mass planting of limited species [I think two?]. This space creates a garden feel, safe for young families as it leads into a public urban green space. Natural lighting has been utilized, and the outside natural environment is linked to the inside with the use of plants in pots. These plants have similar symmetry to those in the  outside gardens, which I think reflects continuity.

View from public urban space

View from public urban space

Accoutrement is old and new. Interesting bold, colourful and contemporary artworks are juxtapositioned alongside the recycled timbers [feature wall] and recycled barb wire light shades.

Use of recycled timbers

Use of recycled timbers

Use of recycled barbed wire

Use of recycled barbed wire

The pathway for staff to deliver and collect seems to work without incident as the space allows for clear movement. The position of the rest rooms is clear, but unobtrusive. The pay point is clear and unobtrusive.

Altogether, I feel that the design of this restaurant/bar works well, and subconsciously delivers a positive experience for the clients. It feels uncluttered and spacious.

 

Spaces to suit a variety of needs

Spaces to suit a variety of needs

… And the coffees and chai tea equalled my thoughts on the design!

 

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INF536 – Blog Entry 1

Our primary school library has been recognized as in need of renovation, however, the renovation is included in stage 3 redevelopment of our school. In the meantime, problem spaces abound, and waiting for the renovation is an opportunity. The design process can convert problems into opportunities! (Kimbell, 2011, p. 294, precis of Brown, 2009) The problem space that I have chosen includes where iMacs are located, facing a TV + Apple TV. The area is cluttered, unappealing and underutilized [especially during lunchtime when students are ‘overflowing’ in the library]. Being underutilized seems to have emerged as an excuse for the space to regularly become a dumping ground. The time is right for some design thinking.

A learning space in need of design thinking

A learning space in need of design thinking

This learning space has been a general traditional designed teaching space , with added technology [an interactive whiteboard has been replaced by an Apple TV + TV]. Despite this, the “dynamics of the design” of this type of learning spaces has not altered as noted in JISC (n.d., p. 10). The learning space design should support the development of the ‘4Cs’ of 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. However, with students by-passing this space when given the choice, it is clear that some thinking on its design is paramount. Challenges in space design have changed: Brown (2009, p. 29-30) notes the rapid technological changes and the increased complexity of issues. This is in direct contrast to the design of the space in this library, where time-lapse photography would only show minor tweaking.

Having a design process puts design thinking into action through giving a structured approach to generating and developing ideas. From my reading, I have taken these points to underly my design thinking:

  • Brown (2009, p. 16) describes the process as a system rather than steps, as the process is non-linear: inspiration [problem or opportunity]; ideation [generating, developing and testing]; implementation [‘project room’ to the ‘market’].
  • Design thinkers know that there isn’t a correct answer to a problem/opportunity (Kimbell, 2011, p. 294), and a non-linear process supports this.
  • Razzouk & Shute (2012, p. 182) suggest that the process can sometimes be chaotic. Applying design thinking to this problem space firstly means generating lots of ideas, through divergent (Brown, 2009, p. 56).
  • Brown (TED Talk, 2009) discusses the divergent choice, as a new way of tackling problems, as opposed to convergent thinking, as in times of change new choices are needed because the existing ones are obsolete.
  • Kuratko,  Goldsworthy, & Hornsby (2012, p. 117 – 119) discuss their secret sauce: play – display – watch the replay.

With this in mind, how to begin? How to begin to think like a designer? Brown (2009, p. 5) sees the power of design “not as a link in a chain, but as a hub in a wheel”. That hub could be considered as the human-centred approach, and the core capacities that Brown (2009, p. 4) believes are often overlooked: being intuitive, recognize patterns, construct ideas with emotional meaning and functionality and the capacity to express via media other than words or symbols. Razzouk & Shute (2012, p. 340) suggest that inexperienced designers approach the task through solution assumptions instead of analysis. This is applicable in this case, as I am a raw novice!

My initial generated list of changes are mine alone, as consultation with the student stakeholders has not yet occurred. Their involvement is necessary to ensure the design thinking process is human centred. However, the initial changes can occur prior to consultation because they are obvious and have been met favourably by senior leadership.

  • First step – de-clutter the space, remove excess technology and recycle what is no longer required.
  • Next, remove the old and dirty/dusty vertical blinds. [Problem – what solution to remove the winter glare?!].
  • What if this space   for our Makerspace?
  • What if  it overflowed to the verandah? [visibility and supervision will increase with the removal of the blinds].
  • Signage – ideas and possibilities? Furniture – ideas and possibilities?
  • Limited/non-existant budget – ideas and possibilities?
  • Investigate the notion of the “third teacher” – ideas and possibilities?
  • Layout and limitations – ideas and possibilities?

The process will continue.

References

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins: New York.

Brown, J. S. & Duguid, P. (2000). The social life of information. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

JISC. (n.d.). Designing spaces for effective learning: a guide for 21st century learning space design. Retrieved from www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/JISClearningspaces.pdf

Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking design thinking: Part 1. Design and Culture, 3(3), p. 285 – 306. Retrieved from http://www.designstudiesforum.org/dsf/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/kimbell_wm.pdf

Kimbell, L. (2012). Rethinking design thinking: Part 2. Design and Culture, 4(2), p. 129 – 148. Retrieved from http://www.designstudiesforum.org/dsf/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/kimbell2-berg.pdf

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. Boston : Pearson.

Razzouk, R. & Shute, V. (2012). What is design thinking and why is it important? Review of Educational Research, 82(3), p. 330 – 348. DOI: 10.3102/0034654312457429

Stonehouse, A. (2011). The ‘third teacher’ – creating child-friendly spaces. Putting Children First, Issue 38, p. 12 – 14. Retrieved from http://ncac.acecqa.gov.au/educator-resources/pcf-articles/P12_ChildFriendlySpaces_Jun11pdf.pdf

 

Comments on other blogs

On Monique’s blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2014/08/01/blog-task-1-inf-536/

On Katie’s blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/polis/2014/07/30/blog-task-1/

On Margo’s blog – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/margo/2014/07/30/blog-task-1/

 

 

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Design – Why does it matter?

 

Design does matter! Why?

I have always believed “design matters”, however, this was subconsciously based on aesthetics, or so I thought. In the “B Side” of my life, I have an enduring passion for creating wearables. These wearables are created with a person in mind, with the desire to enhance that person’s well-being, through working ‘with’ the individual’s body shape and colour analysis. As I read for this course, I am thinking that aesthetics is just the outward result of my work, and deep down I have used design to create wearable solutions. Sometimes successful, sometimes not. Furthering my reading thus far, I have decided on three reasons why design does matter.

Firstly, design is a process to provide human-centred solutions. (Temple, 2010, p. 15). The process transforms ideas into artefacts. (Kuratko, Goldsworthy, & Hornsby, 2012, p. 103). Tim Brown (TED Talks, 2009) urges designers to think big because design thinking is a new way of tackling problems: design starts with humans and Brown suggests that learning by making is best. Instead of thinking to build, build in order to think. I ponder – is this a form of ‘backward design’? Faggella, (2014, p. 7) in his futurist column, discusses designing domestic robots. He believes that cultural differences will play a role in the the design of these robots in the future. This is an example of the role of human-centred solutions in design. Wisniewski, (2014, p. 10) provides discussion around digital design, and the need for human-centred solutions in the banking industry.

Secondly, design in business matters. Design improves competitiveness and increases turnover. Businesses where design is integral, are more likely to develop new products and services, and those businesses which are growing are more likely to believe that design is integral to future. (The Design Council, 2007). Understanding design makes companies more innovative. (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby, 2012, p. 109).

Thirdly, design matters because it is what links creativity and innovation, (Temple, 2010, p. 15), and design converts ideas into artefacts. (Kuratko, Goldsworthy & Hornsby, 2012, p. 109). Design is not just aesthetics (Temple, 2010, p. 15), however, I personally think aesthetics are important as well! I think aesthetics provide ‘ambience’ to humans, eg colour, shape, form, texture influences our mindset when entering a gallery, museum, favourite restaurant … and our workplace.

  • What are the core reasons for which we need a design process?

Temple (2010, p. 15) states that we have a design process to ensure the idea is converted into reality.

Temple (2010, p. 15) places design on a ‘continuum’ : designing leading to innovation, in turn leading to entrepreneurship. Seidel & Fixson’s (2013, p. p. 21-23) literature review reveals a variety of design process methods. Needfinding, brainstorming and prototyping are the three stages they found as being beneficial to the design thinking process.

IDEO, (2012, p. 12-15) suggest a 5 step design process to approach any challenge, commencing with the identification of a challenge through to building a solution.

  • What might be the role of design when we think about learning spaces?

The role of design when we think of learning spaces is becoming more crucial considering the imperative to develop student’s curiosity, creativity (think Sir Ken Robinson), entrepreneurship (think Yong Zhao). Temple (2010, p. 16) highlights design’s ability to find creative solutions to challenges. Learning spaces – what is a definition of a learning space in today’s world? Physical learning spaces, inside, outside; digital spaces … designed to meet the diverse learning needs of the students.

 

References

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. HarperCollins: New York.

The Design Council. (2007). The Value of Design Factfinder Report. Retrieved from http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/TheValueOfDesignFactfinder_Design_Council.pdf

Faggella, D. (2014). Why design matters for domestic robots: Cultural differences around the world should be factored into the design of commercial robots. Futurist, 48(2), pp. 7-8.

IDEO. (2012). Design thinking for Educators. 2nd Ed. Retrieved online from http://www.designthinkingforeducators.com/design-thinking/

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. Boston: Pearson.

Morrison, R. (2005, February 21). From teapot to table: why design matters. The Times, London. Retrieved online via Proquest.

Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting design thinking in novice multidisciplinary teams: The application and limits of design methods and reflexive practices. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19–33.http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpim.12061

TED Talks. (2009, September 30). Tim Brown urges designers to think big. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/UAinLaT42xY

Temple, M. (2010). The Design Council: A review. Department for Business, Industry and Skills (UK). Retrieved from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32441/10-1178-design-council-review.pdf

Wisniewski, M. (2014). Why design matters more than ever in digital banking. American Banker, 179(36), p. 10.

Zollit, A. (2004). Why design matters more. American Demographics, 26(8), pp. 52-53. Retrieved from http://www.demographics.com via Ebsco Host

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Designing spaces for learning

Design surrounds us – design, patterns, colour and texture in the natural and built environments are captivating, often unobtrusive. As I write, I look outside and note the many shades of green in our back garden. My eyes move around and I am aware of the garden ‘rooms’ in what is essentially, a small urban backyard. Inside, I look at our family book shelves – so many titles reflect a long held interest in design – art, fashion, food … Then I move into our home studio workspace – fabric, fibres, art works… I feel certain I am going to enjoy this course: I’m going to be challenged, and I will learn, personally and professionally.

Our school is undergoing a major [re]building programme with my library workspace as stage 3. I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage in the design process with a deeper understanding of designing spaces for learning.

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