Design Thinking

Designers are mostly known for their role as problem-solvers, creative people that make the clients desire to come to life, although some designers fear that the art has become something systematic, design becoming a service and they also fear that the are only producers of something, of a brand, of a company, claiming that design is losing its true value and importance.

Nowadays, the art of Design has become something more accessible to the public, making professionals compete with non-designers, people that only know some technique, but do not understand the values and rules of design. In any creative field, at the end of the day, cares truly for one thing, the experience that art communicates to the viewers, so it is all about human experience. A poster design for example, for it to be considered effective, it must communicate tothe public in such a way that people have to stop what they are doing to see the poster, but how designers can make such achievment?

One particular way that helps creative people to achieve a target is called Double Diamond Design. First of all, if there is a problem, you must discover, to understand the problem and its roots, afterwards, the design must define the problem, identifying the problem he wants to solve. Then there is development, which is the search for different roots for a subject, seeing the options you have to see what you can design to solve the problem, lastly, the design must deliver, after looking at all possibilities, interviews, feedbacks, the designer must deliver an outcome, however, if any creative person follows the steps promply, the outcome will  most likely reach its target.

Within Design, if it is to be done properly, it must follow principles and rules, otherwise it will not reach the desired outcome.


Walking Tour

When it comes to experience centred design, there has got be the performance side of it. At the beginning of the module, the students were asked to do chores with their eyes closed, to see what they can perceive with their other senses.

This week, the tutor took the students for another experience. On a park, near the university, the students were asked to be in pairs, one whith their eyes shut, the other, being the guide. With this exercise, students had many options on how to guide others, if it was by touch or by speech, they had to find the one that worked better for both. As the students were walking, they could see the experince within the design in the streets, one great example shown by the tutor was the street floor that was different for visually impared people and also the stoplight, that has a knob under that button that rotates when the light is green. They also walked to a outdoor gym, seeing the different kind of equipment and how they were presented for the public, they saw a design that was inclusice, having equipment for people in wheelchair, and a design that was well conceptually made, being informative and simple at the same time, making the usage of  each equipment easier for everybody. It is interesting to see how design can be effective when it is propery produced, the  exercise equipments for example, because of its location, it had to be easilly acessible for any user, specially with those who are not familiar with it.

It is really important as creative people to design outcomes that are acessible and simple, designs that include, that are direct, that makes the users life less complicated by that outcome.

Harrods inside out

Harrods it is definitely not like any shopping center that can be found. The Experience within it is unique, providing to the costumer a personal experience involving every sense that they have.

From the outside, the building itself is memorable and exquisite, bringing a sense of a modern yet classic architecture that captivates your eyes, bringing then, visual satisfaction. As you enter the building, the first experience its grown at you its the smell of   perfumes that makes you feel different. Together with the smell, the exuberant classic architecture and the perfect groomed and dressed employees makes pleases the rational senses. As the journey continues, there are places inside that also captivates the animalistic senses such as taste when your enter the food premisses, containing food that it is not seen everyday by the average working class.

Harrods is a shopping center for those who are wealthy, however, everyday, it is filled with people that do not purchase anything, it is noticeable that many people, including tourist go to Harrods because of this factor of being extremely expensive, however, accessible to anyone. Many just go inside to have the feeling of, a grasp of wealth, even though they know they cannot afford it, they feel good just by being able to look at, taste, smell and touch things they do not see in their daily basis. Harrods became an attraction, a place where people experience a certain lifestyle only for the one who can afford it. Every section of the shop has material objects that are quite extravagant, such as a £70.000 television, an electric guitar made entirely of cristal, helicopters, exotic animals, exotic food, golden mobile phones with diamonds, single submarines and the list goes on, All these are just things with an exuberant factor, bringing a sense of desire for people that are experiencing it. Harrods from inside out is a place where people experience a world that people only usually see in movies, bringing people a sense of wonder and excitment.


Stages of Action

When it comes to stages of Action, we are talking about the order, how long and how do we do it. There are two terms when it comes to Experience: Gulf of execution, which is how things work and gulf of evaluation, which is what happenned. According to Donald Norman, in his book “design of everyday things”there are 7 stages of action, 7 sequences of events: Goal, plan, specify, perform, percieve, interpret and compare.

Both Execution and evaluation are important for creative thinkers. Whenever something is being created the first question we must ask is What do I want to achieve? People cannot just simply design something without putting any consideration in it, there is got to be a background, ideas that will lead you somewhere, if we walk blindly, we will never get anywhere. For that to happen, Creative people have to develop a plan, which ensure them to get things done before the deadline. When we are planning and researching for a project, many things can happen, so it is important for designers to have always many plans so that they can then specify them, being able to pick between plans. The following must be one of the most important in my opinion, out of the seven, after planning, thinkind, specifying, if you do all, but do not act upon it, it all becomes worthless, it does not work, the goal is not achieved if we do not perform it. At the end, when you finish, we have to go back and compare the current state with the goal you wanted to achieve, helping you than to analyse what you have done so far and making sure you achieve every detail you wanted to achieve.

These stages of action are a link, if one does not work, then the rest also fails, so as Designers it is important for us to follow this principle step by step to achieve the outcomes we desire.

Six Big Ideas

These Six ideas are psychologicaly speaking by definition how people interact with things. The ideas are: Affordance, signifiers, Mapping, feedback, constraints and conceptual models. Using each system you can determine how the thing can possibly be used, determine the relationship between two set of things, the informatiom the aids to an understanding, the limitations designed into a object and get the explanation on how something works.

As a Graphic Designer, this terms help me to analyse everything that I do, in the same way the groups in the class were analysing objects, we as designers have to analyse everything that we do for a client. We have to think about to whom we are designing, what are their needs, their vision and what do they want as a final piece. When something is being designed for kids for example, what do we want to express with the design, how are we expressing, is it affecting the children the way it is supposed to?. When we are talking about the affordances of something for instance, it should apply clues to the operations of the thing just by the visual, if you cannot tell what it is supposed to do by looking at it, there is a clue that the design need improvments. What I found interesting the most, was the conceptual models, because I agree that with design, things have to be simple and minimalistic, if it is too complex, there is a chance that it might have failed.

The design has to be in an agreement with the public target, it has to interact with the public target. A good design takes a lot o care, planning and thought, not everyone has the capacity to so, and they still call themselves designers.

Experience Centred Design Intro

Today we started to look on the subject called: Experience Centred Design.

I particularly thought this subject interesting because I want to understand how design can make  a difference through experience in peoples lives. A good design has to have a sense of personal experience for each person whom is targeted for. If a design is for children for instance, the typography, colours, layout has to work in a way that relate to them. We also discussed design as emotion, making people feel through our design.

As people were sharing about their experience with design through their senses, I could relate by remembering the Museum of Sound I went in Brazil, in which there is nothing visual, you can only hear the exhibition and also once when i went to a museum in which you had to be bear feet and walk through different kind of textures, materials and soils. The tutor was very focused on making us know about experience that did not requires the visual, the “Non-Visual experience” since the visual always seems to be on top, he mades us taste and smell different things and also made us close our eyes to “see” with the other senses. This introduction got me really excited for whats ahead, and gave me many ideas for what to write at the end.


Co-operatives are artist-run cooperative in which the studios are owned and runned by the artists that work in there, and everyone having equal rights and payments. Co-operatives that are active, such as the ceramic studio Co-op say that they are bringing the community of artists and designers. From the visit and explanation of a practisioner in this corporation, their aim is also to help the designer to have an experience in other areas, have more opportunities and also to grow profesionally.

“In English law, you can be an employee, an employer, unemployed or self-employed – but the law doesn’t recognise groups of autonomous, self-organised workers. English law protects and advances private and state ownership, but not the commons. Legalities and definitions are important.”( Sion whellens – Bethnal Bling ).

Sion Whellens also says that the Co-operatives are recgonised in providing more jobs than all the world’s multinational companies put together, and to secure the livelihoods of half the world’s population.

But as for all of this, although co-operatives sound great when people are speaking about it, it is just an utopia, a cooperative that maybe everyone would love to work, but in all truth, they have great principles, but they do not apply for todays society, they are just a dream. People still rather work for big companies ans employees.

Piracy against Designers

Copyright is the creative world is something that is indispensable, especially in a society where information has an easy acess worldwide. In the digital world, it is something that most cannot control, when the design is online, no one knows what could happen, who is seeing and if they are using it or not.

Copyright  was brought by large corporations with the aim to extract an licensing fee, making people not to use other people work in a form that is unauthorized. It is very commom to see large companies protecting their work with patents with the fear of someone stealing the idea or using for other purposes, but in all reality, it is something that we cannot control. In this digital era we live, if creative people are not careful, they can lose the ownership title easily. Although Copyright has this powerful influence and lwas, there is an counterfeit that have been bringing good and bad news for creative people and corporations.

Piracy, the use of a product without the right authorization to do so. Firstly, because of the obvious reasons, most people would  consider something negative, however, during the past years, companies have been letting themselves to have the product ideas stolen as a form of promoting themselves, knowing that although there is piracy, people will tend to go for the main source (Real version and better quality).

However, in the creative industry, the idea that pieces of design are being showned to others without the creator having any credit, it can make people upset. as Designers,  long hours of work and dedication for doing something with love and perfectionism, someone likes it and use it for themselves without acknowledgment, it seems unfair.

Copyrighting in the creative industry is the safest way for designers to protect their work.


Interviewing student transcript

What is driving new the next generation of creative people to enter  in this world?  Creativity is a very powerful thing in peoples hands, when they are used in the right way, it is a Powerful force for the regeneration of urban cities. The Author of “Creative City Limits” refers as talented people as the key of an economic growth. We live in a very competitive world, especially in the art, media and design area.

The Idea of an internship can bring a lot of discussion and thinking. People say that internships give you experiences in an industry environment, gives you a better idea of what the person is to face in the future and therefore prepares the student after he graduates. However, Working for free, especially in a city such as London, is not something many people would agree. The government has been changing its relations with the students, cutting the loans and increasing the fees. Although today students like the idea of experience and preparation of the future, they say that doing art for free in society nowadays is something that cannot be done. Even at the very beginning, when the term “apprenticeship”was used in the middle age, it started as young people were offered food to assist and therefore, gain experience.

Students see internships as an opportunities to experience new things, they even consider to do something slightly different  from their area. Internships can open a lot of doors that normally would not be open that easy, it can give contacts of people that are already in the industry and sometimes even can assure the student a job when he graduates. Overall, most students agree with the idea of internship as long as they can something in turn.



Self-directed visit to Shoreditch

When we told that we needed to visit either Shoreditch or Deptford, I was not sure where to go, I have never been to any of this places before. A collegue from the class came to me and said: go to Shoreditch”.

When I went there, I realised why he said so. From what I could see, Shoreditch has been going on through a gentrification. It is a very interesting area to be. The culture there is quite dominant and have its marks throughout the area. I could see that there was a great influence of a vintage typography and filled with graffitis. The people there are different, they appear to be creative thinkers, creative people, not just in art, but also in music. It looks like that area is dominated by a certain type of group, that made shoreditch their home, influencing the whole area, not just the people who live there, but also people that work there, there was a lot of shops that seemed to be influenced by this group of youngsters.
I see Shoreditch as an area that has been orientaded by people with a different mindset. People that influenced the area with Local interventions. Shoreditch is not a usual commom place in London, it has its own identity. Shoreditch has such an influence in type and art, that any creative person would love to go there at least once.
I agree with the author of Creative city limits when he says that this kind of people work from who they are and wht they want to express.