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Exercise 5 (final): Psychogeographics April 8, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Exercise 5: Psychogeographics.
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Guy Debord is the best known theorist from an (infamous) movement called the “Situationists.” In 1955 he defined Psychogeography as the “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals” (Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, 1955).

Debord also wrote “an urban neigborhood is determined not only by  geographical and economic factors, but also by the image that its inhabitants and those of other neighborhoods have of it.”

For your last exercise, practice “psychogeographic mapping” by taking mental notes during our field trip to Kensington Market. Design and post a simple map in the blog in time for our last class together, Thursday April 16.

I’d like you to

  • Pay attention to what your senses tell you
  • Record experiential effects in the route through Chinatown and/or Kensington Market
  • Think of a simple way to express your senses and feelings about the environment, the walk, the ‘feel’ of the places we go through and to today.
  • Contrast this gritty, real, textural urban experience with the digital work we will find in the gallery.
  • Consider the difference between effects that are “designed” — intentional reflections of the vision of the designer or team — and those that are “emergent” — the result of repetitive actions by numerous diverse actors, include wear, layers of residue from postering or graffiti, built up textures and shapes like those that arise as a city block evolves over time.
  • Your map should include and react to these ideas.

Thanks for everything.



IDEO Design Lecture by Jane Fulton Suri February 5, 2009

Posted by emilysoo in Exercises.
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Jane Suri’s design lecture was an extermely interesting talk on design in which I learned alot in! Designers like Suri at IDEO were not only responsible for making existing things better, but also creating something new. Her team at IDEO were responsible for envisioning something new and radical, and by emphatizing the learning experience it helped them think of new ways of conceiving. In her lecture she talked about the many design challenges there were, and some strategies to help make the designs successful. Some wise words from Suri, was that when designing something whether it is something new or better, we should be our own customer and look at things as if we are a fly on a wall. We should look at things in the point of view of the customers to get a sense of what they would like to experience. One good example of a good design in which it enhanced the vistor experience was installing erasable drawing boards in the patient’s recovery rooms, in the hospitals. This enhanced the experience for the patient because of how they were able to personalize their own boards, and family and friends were able to leave their get well messages. The lecture was a very motivating, and I will alway keep in mind her words.

Reading: Jane Fulton Suri, “The Experience Evolution” January 21, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Please note, Readings.
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The brilliant leader of human factors research at IDEO is lecturing next Thursday Jan 29 at OCAD and I urge everyone who can, to attend.

I’m uploading this great article: Suri,_The_Experience_Evolution.

Reading: Ethnography Primer by AIGA + Cheskin January 21, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Projects, Readings.
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This short, illustrated booklet is required reading; please download the free PDF (link below) and review it.

AIGA, in collaboration with Cheskin, has produced a simple and straight-forward primer introducing the crucial role that ethnography plays in designing.

pdf available An Ethnography Primer

A Definition of Experience Design January 3, 2009

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Uncategorized.
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Experience Design is the interdisciplinary theory and practice of designing products, services, events, environments, communications, and integrated combinations, in which the focus of the design activity is the quality of the user’s experience.

Experience Design seeks to develop compelling, memorable, and relevant encounters by integrating technological and social innovation with psychology, cognitive science, ethnography, architecture and environmental design, information design, branding, interaction design, service design, semiotics, storytelling and heuristics.