Class 1 – What is Design?

Week 1 – May 12

This week’s class discussion:

  • Rules of play + questions
  • Release form
  • What is Design?

This week’s class activities:

  1. Sorting exercise – post images here
  2. Analog interfaces – post images here
  3. Tangible interfaces: Cube exercise (courtesy of Chris Pacione who created and taught this at Carnegie Mellon University). 

The cube exercise is a classic. It’s such a seemingly simple assignment but quickly demonstrates what interaction design really is.

Design an interactive cube object that is no larger than 6” and communicates one of the following:

Rub Me | Turn Me | Squeeze Me

The cube should provide an affordance or otherwise communicate these interactions.

You may add or subtract from the cube, but it has to remain cube-like look. Other shapes, colors, textures, and materials may be included on or near the cube as long as it plays a secondary role. For example, the final solution might be a green fuzzy cube with little circular nibs placed on the floor.

Next week’s assignment:

1. Rework your cube until you’re happy with it. Be sure to:
  • Identify which interaction that’s being communicated
  • Describe your design rationale. Do you think it works? Why or why not?
  • Include images
2. Readings/video on Empathy:

Observation from The Art of Scientific Investigation by W.I.B. Beveridge

Excerpt from Hidden in Plain Sight by Jan Chipchase

A New Way to Listen by Indi Young

How an industrial designer discovered the elderly by Roman Krznaric

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