Design Methods // Smart Materials // Interaction Design
How can we design with technologies that have not yet reached the market?
How can we design for contexts we cannot observe?
In my master’s thesis, I undertook fourteen design methods to start answering these questions. As a design case, I collaborated with Diffus Design and the EU-project Light.Touch.Matters, which develops an emerging generation of smart materials that can sense touch and respond with luminescence. As these technologies are thin, flexible, and waterproof, I chose scuba diving as an inaccessible to understand how these smart materials can be meaningful when integrated into the existing diving equipment.
My master’s thesis discusses the qualities of the fourteen methods when designing with emerging technologies for an inaccessible context. I suggest two new design methods; “Similar bits” and “The senses exercise” as well as a model for designers to map out the possible methods within the design project. Thereby, I seek to guide other designers when developing strategies for designing with emerging technologies for an inaccessible context.
Master’s thesis project: December 2014 – June 2015.
Thesis supervisor: Anna Vallgårda
Speaker at the innovation network InfinIT’s conference, ”SummIT 2015”, with the talk ”Designing Wearable Technology for Water Sports”
Methods exploring the context of use:
- Equipment on the market
- Learning through other media
- Dive training
- The senses exercise
Methods exploring the material qualities of the technologies:
- Exemplary work
- Technological research
- Similar bits
Methods combining insights from context and technology studies:
- Conceptual design proposals
- Mood board
- Inspiration card workshop
- Prototype testing