Brief #4 ~ Make it different

This brief was created by Daisy Ginsberg,A designer, writer and biologist.

This project is in 3 sections as shown below.

BRIEF PART 1: Design Museum research
Visit the Design Museum’s ‘Designs of The Year 2015’ exhibition as a stimulus for your research.

Choose an exhibit and dissect the materials and processes involved in its production. Consider, for example:

  •  How do you think the object was made?
  • What different kinds of materials and processes were involved?
  •   Where might its constituent raw materials come from?
  •   What manufacturing decisions would the designer have had to consider? What will happen to it once the user no longer has use for it?
  •   Might there be other ways to make the object? Could you substitute materials or manufacturing processes, or make it completely differently? How far could you change these without changing the thing itself?
  •   How might your changes affect the way people use this object?Explain your research findings through the production of:
  •   Visual data – drawings, diagrams and photographs
  •   Written data – this should include critical and analytical reflection.

    1. BRIEF PART 2: Identify and investigate a potential future user for your new system of making, as a way of identifying or finding a context for the intervention.

    2. To identify the type of manufacturing with which the intervention should take place, ask yourself: is it for a type of object that already exists (e.g. based on your chosen Design of The Year exhibit) or a new kind of thing?

      You should use your research to consider how your future users of your new design system might use or interact with the ‘things’ it makes:

      •   Will the way things are made affect how they is used? How?
      •   What new kinds of services, systems, loaning or owning, or novelregulations might exist/ develop because of your design?There is nothing to prevent you from being an intended user yourself, or designing for a context of which you are a part. Alternatively, you could make use of either the Design Museum’s ‘Designers in Residence 2015’ (theme: ‘Migration’) or ‘Cycle Revolution’ exhibition to help identify a context for your work. For example, the latter exhibition explores how sport, lifestyle aspirations and environmental concerns have transformed cycling on an unprecedented scale, as well as the influence of new technologies and material innovations on the ways in which designers approach bicycle building. It identifies ‘tribes’ of users who engage with these different systems and cultures of cycling – what can be learnt from this?

        Your research could form a case study of the chosen user group context, to gain an understanding of how users currently interact with the systems, materials, methods or products you’re reimaging, it might be relevant and useful to gather:

      •   Interviews with users, manufacturers or other experts,
      •   User questionnaires or observations, or
      •   Other background data/ desk research.Part 2 Outcome: 1 board of research – defining the user and the circumstances for intention, not the intervention/ system itself.

    1. BRIEF PART 3: Design development and solution


    Through your own creative practice, develop your design idea for a manufacturing system from an alternative present or future world. Experiment with a range of different ideas, materials and techniques, tweaking them with each iteration. Prototype and test ideas as far as possible by re-creating the situation, e.g. in model form or even role-play.

    You could imagine the product that might be made by this process, or the building where the things are made, or create quick prototype props: imagine the tools or the work-wear or the workplace signage that those making the products might use. You need to communicate how this system is different from the world we know today:

    •   How is it more sustainable (for the environment, for people and/ or for the economy)?
    •   How does that affect how we interact with designed objects? E.g. What is their lifespan? How do we own or loan them? How do we reuse them (or not)?
      1. Part 3 Outcome: one board for development, and a second for the design solution, plus a written statement of 500 words. (If appropriate, your design solution board could be substituted for a 3 minute video).

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