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Lecture review: Dr. Claire McAndrew
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Dr. McAndrew is a researcher working at Information Environment at London College of Communication. Her speciality is the combination of areas between design and social science which concerns physical and virtual space of information.



Introduced areas are:

1. Cultural Probes
Cultural probes, as its design-led approach, provide experimental ways to respond information about people’s activities. This process which open-ends, creates some situations and provides choices is particularly useful early in the design process. This normally takes several weeks because participants have to record specific events, feelings or interactions over a specified period. This is also concerned as ‘Information vs. Inspiration’. Designer should stand between design and research methods which is not about attaching knowledge about the world, but also facilitating the creative process.
Here is more about basic principle of Cultural Probes:

2. Data Analysis
This process basically takes qualitative and quantitive analysis which often sabotages assumptions at the beginning. User study is one of the key process of collecting data to qualify people’s situations and behaviors of some specific events. Also reification of warrant encourages designers’ process.


She also introduced some case studies:

1: Domestic Probes
This project focused on the technologies for the home. 20 householders in London were gathered. They got a camera, tags, listening glass which people hear conversations and dream recorders. Their emotions and some kinds of narrative are recorded. From the analysis, participants were sometimes quite subjective, exaggerated and stereotyped. After their intuitive reactions, some prototypes of electronic furniture were produced to see how people incorporate them into their life.

2: Safer Spaces
This project focused on understanding applications of counter-terror. In the practical part of this research, a comic book, a journey map, crayons and sticker books were applied. Also the methodology named ‘Interpretative phenomenological analysis’ (Smith & Osborn, 2008) was taken. From their research process, several issues were come out. CCTV was inter-animated than their necessary.
- Underlying attitudinal/behavioural resilience to the degree of everyday’s fears.
- Peer-to-peer surveillance may encourage public concern.
These two principles can be applied to design commission.

3: Designing with people’s behaviour (?)
This project is now on going to focus on how behaviour is shaped and influenced in transitional spaces such as Second Life. The field of research spread over to the transitional spaces. Cultural Probe process may be applied to this project as well.

In conclusion, I thought concerning the two different subject area: Design and Social Science
was the key point of this lecture. She presented clear methods to deal with social or environmental situation from her researcher point of view. However, I was quite unclear that why she especially took Safer Space project, as the type of crime-prevention, even though these methodologies can be applied to any types of design process for social issues.

12 Jan 2011
10:00 – 11:00 Academic Practice lecture MACD1 at studio Back Hill
by m-s-c | 2011-01-20 01:48 | Research
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