design studies

Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate.

Four hours on the train, one Snook pie and 30 blog posts later... I want to share my experience of visiting Duncan of Jordanstone last week with all of you dear readers. It all started with Jonathan Baldwin who is one of a kind. If you don't follow him on twitter. Do it. If you don't see the value of design. Ask him. The highlight of my trip was spending time with my old tutors ; Hazel, Mike, Jonathan and Fraser. Thank you for believing in me!

Jonathan invited me to talk to all second year design students about my experience of graduating and what I do now. For me the Fulton building held memories of miserable mornings studying engineering there so it was a poignant moment  to see the  room filled with students from textiles, jewellery, graphic design, product design, interactive media design and interior and environmental design.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

I'm not going to write about what I talked about because what's really valuable is how the students have interpreted what I said. All the posts are here ( in no particular order ) I have never had this amount of detailed feedback so thank you!! I am fascinated by how students from different disciplines interpret Service Design and it's relevance to their craft!

Graduation is only a concept.  In real life every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on  until the last day of your life.  If you can grasp that, you'll make a difference = Arie Pencovic

Let's eat service design cake

Snook hooked up with Richard Arnott ( also known as servicejunkie ) last time we were in London and we had a great conversation about interesting goings on in Bristol, Cornwall and other places far away from Glasgow. Amidst my notes from our chat was a reminder to have a peek at some of the companies in Cornwall. I have followed Kathryn Woolf's tweets for a while but had never explored the company she co-founded in Cornwall - Sea Communications.Their latest project looks great ;  New Work Cornwall aims to boost the skills of people in Cornwall & open doors to new job opportunities.

I am really curious about how we can visualise and simplify services and systems and I was inspired by this charming approach by the team at Sea Communications.

These models are the outcome of a co-design workshop:

"The best bit of the day for me was when all the children arrived after school and got busy drawing floor plans and making a community centre out of cake & sweets! This gave me an opportunity to talk to some of the mum's about the idea of a community centre reward card / loyalty scheme which they thought would work really well. The basic idea being that residents could exchange volunteer time for points that they could cash in for things like cinema tickets, food, electrical goods, travel vouchers etc."

You can see many more pics of the workshop here.

This finding inspired me to look back at the last time I worked this way during the creation of Making Service Sense. I made a Service Factory and really explored the notion of being 'a service architect' and all I remember is that it was genuinely fun.

It's like art attack meets blueprinting ... love it.

Studio Unbound VI

This week Studio Unbound traveled  to Dundee to kick of our sixth session. The show got off to a late start, but we were genuinely excited to be presenting to such a multitude of design disciplines. Sarah talked about networking, mindset and name a few. I joined in via skype and focused on the difference between under grad and masters level and what my dissertation taught me.

We got a great reception, I was talking to the students on twitter and have captured their feedback and insights here. Sarah naturally focused on Service Design and Systems Thinking, we got a strong sense from the audience that these messages were suitable for all disciplines.

Sarah, being the lovely lass she is, went for coffee with some of the students afterwards and had great conversations about  Service Design as a discipline and a process. It has become an attractive and adaptable process at The University of Dundee , the students recognise it helps their own disciplines move into Social Design and designing co-creatively with people. We left Dundee more determined than ever to make Making Service Sense a reality...the students want it and need it!

We have been totally humbled by the response from the students and it makes us happy to hear them describe Sarah's blog and Redjotter as very accessible and their main source of learning about Service Design.

Many of the audience didn't know where to start to start with twitter, but we think we convinced them showing real examples of how twitter has changed our life! There was a good proportion of students already part of twitter although they admitted they don't use it or know what to say. The ones who did use it said it had made them feel more confident !

We have had some amazing feedback from designer Lorri Smyth about the effect  Studio Unbound has had in the Textiles studio .

  • There have been lots of people joining Twitter who hadn't used it before. Those who are a bit scared are receiving encouragement from others who have joined or have their own blogs already.
  • The other day some girls in my class set up a studio blog to discuss fundraising...we are working on other ways to use the blog ; to promote and network our year.
  • Inspired by the idea of Mypolice I began to wonder how as class rep I could use social media to facilitate better communications between staff and students. I am thinking of lots of ways to engage the class through the blog by writing articles and voting on polls etc to produce some positive action out of all the moans I hear!
  • Meanwhile we are working on our self motivated brief while the tutors are busy busy with the degree show. I proposed a series of peer led skills swap shops to extract and share the skills we have gathered as a class. People seem really up for it. I see the blog playing a part in this too.

You can follow their adventures here.

You can also read some brill feedback from Laura about her perspective as a jeweller on the session.

If you would like us to come and talk to your class or your students do get in touch !


The End of Design was the public lecture accompanying my recent Masters Exhibition. [slideshare id=2131578&doc=theendofdesign-091005111752-phpapp01]

"Modern design has run its course. The challenges of our age demands a new design; in place of designing for desire we should design for inclusion, understanding and real world problem solving. The power of design thinking presents us with new opportunities for the future.

As Scotland's top rated institution for research design, the University of Dundee is uniquely placed to set out a new vision for the future of design. In this special lecture, Professors Tom Inns and Mike Press - both internationally acknowledged writers, researchers and broadcasters on design - provide a provocative and visionary of design in the 21st Century.

Evidence of this new design is seen in the work of this year's graduating Masters of Design students. The lecture accompanies their masters exhibition, providing vital contexts and insights into their work. Together, the lecture and exhibition emphasise Dundee's unique approach to the research and practice of design. "

Lasting around an hour this video is a deep insight into The Master of Design Course at Dundee and the work at our Masters exhibition. It is definitely one to watch for the students who have gotten in touch with me as they are considering applying for the course - and other Masters students who are embarking upon a design journey.

It should not be missed - design against crime | service design | co design | social design | transformation design | product design | interaction design | design for well being | design for disability | design thinking | design management | interdisciplinary...the list goes on....

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.880125&w=425&h=350&]

more about "THE END OF DESIGN on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

Tom, who was my project mentor, recently shared his archipelago of design at a workshop in London. Lauren Tan documented the day really well, in particular her insights from Toms model.

Bright ideas for dark times.

picture-51The Guardian team up with IDEO to tell us why now is the time for innovative thinking and innovation. They have also revamped their website. This collaboration is an invaluable source for the first year Design Studies students! The students are writing an article exploring the role of design and critical thinking in repsonse to what is happening in the news (focusing on the Guardian on particular).