Studio Unbound II

There has been chatter on twitter about Studio Unbound II, which is happening at Glasgow School of Art tonight. studiounbound_card1sq

For those of you who are new to this initiative you can watch the first Studio Unbound that happened in February at The University of Dundee.

Founded in 2009 by University of Dundee Master of Design graduate Lauren Currie (@Redjotter), and design writer and consultant Kate Andrews (@kateandrews), the Studio Unbound is an initiative aiming to introduce students, graduates and educators to the creative power of social media.

Together as Studio Unbound, Kate and Lauren explore the power of digital networking, demonstrating tools that students can use to move ideas forward, form networks with practitioners around the world, and build a reputation before and after graduation.

In highlighting creative people all over the world using social networking to their advantage, Studio Unbound discuss the dynamic, conversational value of new communication technologies and illustrate how ideas of teaching and learning need to move away from the confines of the classroom or studio towards other, often ad-hoc and virtual venues.

Focusing on the ever growing possibilities and opportunities that the digital world presents, Studio Unbound demonstrate that during a time of mass communication change, design courses must change with it if they are to stay relevant.

Studio Unbound is not all about Twitter or Facebook, but about breaking down preconceptions of social media technologies, into an incredible value system that can enable us all to find both an individual voice, and collaborative practice.


“A great designer understands that search and discovery is an on-going process that is at the heart of what makes us human. We spend our lives searching for people we share a strong sense of connection with. Designers must join that search.” - Desiree Collier, 2009. Design Week. The Joy of Search.


Joining Studio Unbound since October 2009, is Social Innovation Camp winner Sarah Drummond (@rufflemuffin). On October 8th 2009, Lauren and Sarah will run a Studio Unbound lecture at Glasgow School of Art, with Kate joining from London via Skype.

Join the conversation on twitter #studiounbound

Join our facebook group and keep an eye on our blog which is still in the making but looking promising... :)

Kate Pickering, a forward thinking jeweller will be tweeting from the audience tonight - join in on twitter with the tag #studiounbound and follow us live!

See you tonight at 6pm, Bourdon Lecture Theatre...

Being a Service Architect

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on blueprinting my service solution for my Masters. So far, I have developed five distinct concepts for visual representation:

  • Rooms of Knowledge
  • Service Stairway
  • Painting on the wall
  • Illustration of machinery
  • 2D.3D.4D dynamic dimensions

In summary, I am developing a service for design students and graduates that offers them an accessible pathway into the service design industry.

The models all have different levels of representation and detail, each illustrating how my understanding of what a 'service blueprint' has to be, and during the process the potential of what it could be (visually) has evolved.


Working with the metaphor that 'service design' is a building, I developed one 'service design floor' - and mapped user journeys through this environment. The 'Rooms of Knowledge' are static - the 'experience' becomes tactile. This visual method asks questions such as; How does each room support learning? What are the props needed to support learning?

Redjotter Lauren Currie Service Design

So, which service design floor are you on? Is your current understanding peripheral or deep? What floor do you want to go to? Do you want to fast track between floors, or systematically go into every room? Serendipity causes people to enter the 'Rooms of Knowledge' by chance, whilst the physical rooms have different experiences.


Redjotter Lauren Currie Service Design


Thinking big and playing with colourful paints enabled me to feel less cautious of the content and more focused on the route that users take through the service: Scribbling is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

Redjotter Lauren Currie Service Design


Looking at the movement of machines and the components that make up their function, I took visual inspiration from a postcard design from NESTA's Starter for 6 initiative. Drawing the service in this way has enabled me to think about how each 'stage' of the service impacts on the next stage in the process - every aspect a cog in a system.

Redjotter Lauren Currie Service Design


Conceptually considering 2D as learnings, 3D as the landscape and 4D as the dynamic network, I am thinking dimensionally and treating the experience like a 3 dimensional shape. This is helps me think about the channels and routes into, through and out of the service, and view the experience holistically.

Redjotter Lauren Currie Service Design

I am aiming to incorporate backstage / physical touchpoints and user experiences into my final service design blueprint. So now a week of ultimate play lies ahead, as I turn the 'editor' down low and become an 'architect'. I am putting my pen and paper away (!!) with an aim to be very spatial. My study adviser believes I am on my way to developing "an iconic new way of representing a service". Very high hopes... I best get on with it!

Service Design Tools

"An open collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems. The tools are displayed according to the design activity they are used for, the kind of representation they produce, the recipients they are addressed to and the content of the project they can convey."

Picture 14 brought to us by Roberta Tassi was highlighted by Nick and Jeff earlier in the week.

Lovely to see my honours project Douceurs highlighted by Roberta in both the moodboard and evidence section!

Simply brilliant and getting noticed.

Talking Design

dsc017094 Professor Mike Press spent this morning with our class. We focused on presenting and writing in the design world. Mike's engaging and enthusiastic approach is admirable. I am learning a great deal from watching the way he interacts with an audience and uses a space to his advantage. They key messages of today were never forget you are telling a story! Think eyes, think voice, think posture!

Mike talked to us about designing your computer as tool for writing and creativity. I only wish I had heard this lecture years ago! I spend a great deal of time on-line, reading, collating and sketching - tools such as Journler and VoodooPad are tools to capture this in a professional, accessible way.

"Plant ideas, images, lists and anything else you need to keep track of."

I have downloaded the tools and I am looking forward to getting to grips with them. Redjotter is proving to be an invaluable tool for developing my knowledge. It is enabling me to network, focus, refine ideas and gain constructive feedback. It has highlighted my strong interest in the fuzzy bit in between design writing in academia and journalism.


A must read for any designers, researchers and students, with lots of tips on freeware and working tools.

I would be interested to learn what software/tools you use to organise your work, contacts and progress? What works and what doesn't?