Framing Wicked Problems Using CoDesign and a Hybrid Design Toolset
This thesis explores the value of Designers in an expanded capacity as ‘makers’ of sense (not just objects) in the front-end of the Design process. An exploratory Participatory Action Research (PAR) case study, centered on transitional care and support for adults with autism and their families, was conducted in parallel with the development of a new digital tool for collective sensemaking to investigate the value of a hybrid (i.e., physical and digital) design thinking approach. Adults with autism, parents, and healthcare providers/administrators from The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital collectively uncovered root problems and generated disruptive opportunities to support stakeholders in reaching their maximum potential. The outcomes highlight the contribution potential of people with perceived disabilities in co-design roles and the significance of a Designer’s skillset in contributing significantly to society’s most complex problems through framing, tool development, and the design of seeing/maker spaces to provoke thought, engender new forms of engagement, and nurture people’s ability to meaningfully contribute in collaborative settings.
The World We Once Knew
The goal of the project is to utilize 3D animation to design environments that through descriptive surfaces, lighting, and models convey an implied narrative of the society and the people who live there to the viewer.
The animation is divided into two main sections; the Lower World and the Upper World. The Lower World consists of the The Ground Level and the Slums. The Ground Level is meant to represent our current world after it was abandoned by humanity to escape the deteriorating environment. The Slums represent the first level constructed by this futuristic society and presents them as the working class. The Upper World consists of the Bridge and the Pinnacle which represent the middle class and the 1%.
Collective Dreaming in the Virtual World
The Collective Dream Prototype acts as a virtual platform and a participatory space where people get together in generative co-design sessions. It provides the means for people to first imagine an ideal experience individually, and then collectively envision and make a shared ideal experience. The approach of this project was iterative in developing the prototype, moving from paper-based tools, to digital mock up, to the networked digital Collective Dream Prototype. Throughout the process, different people were recruited to be participants in generative research sessions.In the final step of co-designing in a networked space, not only did participants very much enjoy the experience working together with the prototype, but the ideas generated were highly creative.
Future and Value of Graduate Design Education: Master of Design 2031
Design is expanding in its definition and sphere of influence. Design education that has remained rooted in the craft skills has two trains of thought: the foundation that has remained consistent and the progression that is in constant change. Many say that if design has to live up to its promise then design education has to change. How can design schools lay the foundation to deliver that promise? How can or should design education prepare future designers for the expanding sphere of design influence?
This multidisciplinary research and design thesis addresses these questions by combining design research methodologies with organizational strategy concepts and tools for developing plausible future scenarios for graduate design education. The future scenarios were translated into future roles for designers: traditional designer, constructive design researcher, hybrid co-designer and systems sense maker. The roles formed the basis for developing a framework for exploration of graduate design programs and strategic planning for design schools and universities. This framework is a starting point for a conversation about the future of graduate design education.
Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines
Design is everywhere, but for African-American and Latino youth, the journey to a design career can be overwhelming. Limited access and too few opportunities prevent the majority of these youth from even beginning the journey. My research explores diversity in design disciplines and investigates fifteen strategic ideas to expose African-American and Latino (AA&L) youth to design-related careers. This solutions-based thesis introduces a map charting a design career from grade school to a seasoned professional. It contains four color-coded passages that are overlapped with career competency components that simultaneously cultivate soft skills along with the hard skills youth learn along the journey. The objective of this study is to analyze the design journeys of current AA&L designers, learn what influenced their career paths and then to develop one strategic solution to address the lack of diversity in design disciplines.
The Boy Who Draws Cats
The Boy Who Draws Cats is a short film that presents the important visual and substantive qualities and perspectives found in traditional Eastern ghost stories. The intent of this film is to communicate these characteristics in a culturally accessible way that makes it easy for Western viewers to understand and accept the alternative values that are commonly presented in an Eastern ghost story.
My film is an interpretation of a traditional Japanese folk tale that presents “guardian ghosts” in the form of “living drawings” as shown by the cat drawings created by the boy in the story. Unlike the haunting and sometimes scary ghost characters of Western ghost stories, these guardians are a comfort to those they protect and are a key feature of Eastern ghost culture and philosophy.