"Field research for design" course 2011

Students are back from vacation and my course about design ethnography at HEAD-Geneva just started. This year the number of students has doubled compared to last year, the diversity is quite good in terms of nationality (Swiss, French, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Brazilian, Dutch) and specialities: I have students with backgrounds in Media/interaction design, others in industrial design, graphic design and architecture. The course aims at giving students a crash course in design ethnography methodologies. It will mostly focus on observation and interviewing techniques, with an emphasis on how to turn field results into design deliverables (topics, personas, activity sequences), insights (user requirements, opportunity maps) and potential solutions (scenarios). The course is divided into lectures and a project conducted by groups of students.

This year the design brief for students project is quite simple:

"Explore how people *********** and design concepts of relevant product/services based on your findings. The solution should somehow be based on disruptive practices, found problems or curious behavior.

*********** =

  • People’s relationship to electricity (in order to design a solution to make people more aware of their energy consumption and drive a change of behavior)
  • How people cook/relationship with recipes (in order to design a solution to help/improve/modify how people prepare meals)
  • How people do physical exercise in an urban context (in order to design a solution to do physical exercise, indoor/outdoor)"