What can be found in this report
The links will navigate you through
In TP we design to transform our societies, we deal with major societal issues and local challenges for social resilience. It goes further than known linear transformations processes such as design thinking, read more....
In the reflective transformative design process, there are natural moments of reflection (C. Hummels & Lévy, 2013). These moments could be a place to use the toolkit and perform reflection in action. read more
Discussion and conclusion
In the beginning of our process, we got asked; how we can “map” this transforming, this cartography of our experience in such a manner that our cartographies of transforming can be communicated. read more
In TP we design to transform our societies, we deal with major societal issues and local challenges for social resilience. It goes further than known linear transformations processes such as design thinking, this is done by changing the focus of design activities towards a systemic and human-driven approach. We take consequences and social transformation into account when tackling these major societal issues (Hummels et al., 2019). When designing for transforming practices you deal with such complicated challenges with often no endpoint that documentation can be very complex.
Using Co-development we tried to find out how we can “map” this transforming, this cartography of our experience in such a manner that our cartographies of transforming can be communicated, live on, be picked up by others, and continue to transform. How can we make sure non-design stakeholders understand the process of transforming? This being of great importance, now we are entering the transformation paradigm where cross-disciplinary collaboration becomes more important than ever (Gardien et al., 2014).
To tackle the challenge of how to map and communicate our processes of transforming, several ways of physical and digital mapping were explored ending up in a mapping toolkit. Existing out of a box with materials to physically map and a supporting digital platform to add more depth and get inspired.
THE PROCESS TOOLKIT
A physical box with tokens, wires, and other materials. You can map out your process and give your own meaning to the forms, shapes, and materials. To share, get inspired, and add extra information to your map you can move to the digital platform, where you can document your work but also do assignments and use methods to get your project a step further and change your perspective with those of other designers. To add extra information to your physical map you can use the platform to upload images and information to the tokens using Augmented reality.
Process overview, you can click on the tokens to move to the chapter explaining that point of our process
When looking back on the overview of our process we can compare it to a generative research through design process, where we used making to generate knowledge and find out how to best tackle our problem statement (Stappers & Giaccardi, 2017). We roughly performed 3 “big” iterations that were used as a tool for co-development. During our process, we sometimes stepped back and went to the literature of transforming practices, mapping, warm data, and reflection. In this chapter, we will explain our steps roughly more in-depth insights in the context or tests can be found in the following chapters.
Cartographies of TP?
To find out what cartographies of TP means, we started researching what mapping means and getting to know transforming practices as we were both new to the squad. We formulated 3 main questions to get started;
What does mapping mean?
Who uses maps?
How do you map?
In this step we first focused on the first two questions, what does mapping mean? and, who uses maps? We researched and explored all kinds of maps, the act of mapping, and making cartographies. We looked up some information on mapping and the place of it in education. Based on new technology, mapping can be presented in a dynamic form, as shown step by step in chronological order. Traditional teaching is more like a training exercise (Ingold, 2017), and we want to come up with a new medium to help students actively explore knowledge. There is an interesting point in this book (Ingold, 2017): the difference between life and non-life is that life can renew itself. This is the basis for our desire to keep the mapping up to date and open. Some initial thoughts are as follows (Fig.1):
There are connections between different disciplines, and we can present cases of interdisciplinary collaboration to inspire people to use different knowledge. Such a relational network serves as a multidisciplinary mapping graph.
Each of us bases our perception of the world on our own unique experiences, so reaching a consensus on things means surrendering our own differing opinions. If we merge the inconsistency, a whole new set of insights will be generated.
The different paths on the map mean that there are multiple ways to get to our destination, and we can show mainstream/exploratory/niche routes as potential directions for choosing a solution.
After this, we have used the carousel to introduce the topic to our user group and start exploring on how to map (Fig. 2). The main conclusion of this step is that every map has its own story, different lenses in the same place for example can tell a different story.
Figure 1: Mapping exploration
Figure 2: Carousel 1
We started with making and exploring with forms that can communicate a process we used foam core shapes that each can communicate a specific part of the process. The forms were open for interpretation and allowed dimension. We tested this out in a first-person perspective way and discussed it with the squad and coaches (Fig. 3).
Next to that, we experimented with perspectives using physical colored filters. Different colors represent various stakeholders and perspectives. By using filters, part of the content in the map is hidden (Fig. 4). We started exploring this as well for a possible digital platform. We saw the possibility of adding depth, focusing on the zoom in and zoom out of information, the presentation of the contexts of concepts, and the superimposition of information relationships. We explored how to visualize these concepts in figure 5 you see a combination of different elements to form a new problem/finding. and in figure 6 an analysis of the context of the problem (from a cultural, economic, ecological, social point of view) to add influencing factors, to generate a new context and thus adding a new perspective.
Figure 3: Foam prototype
Figure 4: Coloured filters
Figure 5: Relation visualization
Figure 6: Creation of new perspective by adding context
After being explorative for a while we decided to get a little bit more concise and create a prototype that could be used for discussion and could be tested. This resulted in a prototype made of laser-cut MDF tokens. Using magnets wires cards and whiteboard markers this prototype allowed us to explore mapping physically (Fig. 7,8). Simultaneously we developed the interface of the digital platform. We explored new frameworks and considered them as platforms to preserve and communicate processes and interesting insights. Users can upload images of the process in the platform (based on the physical toolkit) as well as edit them online, add more details, and communicate with their teammates. Users can also use the platform to view others' project processes through the “library” module (Fig. 9). The physical and digital walked hand in hand during this iteration, lessons we learned from using the physical prototype on what was missing for example could be implemented in the digital platform. during this iteration we did “expert” interviews with designers within and outside the squad, having the toolkit placed in the squad space. During the midterm demo, we also tried out using our toolkit as a basis for reporting (link).
Figure 7: Wooden prototype
Figure 8: Mapping wall
Figure 9: Project record platform
Based on the results of the tests and coaching, we decided to zoom in more on specific points of the process. With focusing on for example only on making or a TP lens we hoped to find out if, when doing this, you find out new things about your process, that will support, a reflection in action (Schön, 2013). This was explored in the carousel, for the physical platform the tokens of the previous iteration were used participants could map a specific part of their process in a frame and do an assignment (Fig. 10). For the platform we went more specific with cards that asked questions and gave examples based on papers, to grasp more complexity. Taking these lessons and those of the previous iterations into account we developed the final mapping toolkit. In this step, we focused heavily on making the prototype look refined. Because of the open-ended character of our idea we wanted it to be usable after our project, this gives a certain purpose. We used 3d printing and woodworking to do so. In the final version of the digital platform, the most important feature became the addition of warm data to the design process: users can study each participant's opinion from the perspective of different stakeholders (switching perspectives), as well as switch between first, second, and third-person perspectives; while gaining inspiration and a different perspective on the problem based on open source problem modules, keywords, and shared projects.
In addition to adding warm data to the uploaded process map, we also allow these warm data to be linked to the physical toolkit via AR to make the information tangible. This addition adds depth to the physical toolkit and really connects the two.
Figure 10: Carousel 2
Figure 11: Physical toolbox
Figure 12: Platform
In this chapter, we describe the background and methodology involved in the project, presenting as clearly as possible the framework and the definition of the problem. These insights partly were gained at the beginning of the project but also found later what helped to rescope. These were moments where we took a third-person perspective.
Different from ordinary design tasks, the goal of Transforming practice is to support building a sustainable future (Hummels et al., 2019). As designers, we are familiar with using design thinking, which is a product of the experience economy (Hummels, 2021), to solve complex problems. But as a product of the old paradigm (Gardien et al., 2014), it doesn't deal well with the issues at hand. When we face a variety of complicated societal challenges, such as energy transition, health issues, sustainable development, we need a zoomed-out version (Hummels et al., 2019) to look at the questions and their context and a systemic approach to explore the potential solutions. These kinds of problems are difficult to solve completely, and processes become very complicated because we not only learn from the outcome but also from the way towards. If we want the knowledge to be picked up and continued by others we need a way of explaining our processes. So for our project, we need to see design as a co-development approach, to engage in an open dialogue with multiple stakeholders, and to iterate continuously (Hummels, 2021). Next, we will introduce part of our design context with the help of some TP methodologies.
As Schatzki said, material arrangements - in particular people, artifacts, organisms, and nature -, which are informed by roughly defined aspirations, certain “rules” and specific ethics and values, interwoven deeply with human activities (Schatzki, 2010). The aim of the Transforming Practice includes a shift in values, which in turn continues to influence our daily lives. The design direction will shift as values change and it could solve problems at a more macro level. Technology in this context is considered as a means for engagement rather than efficiency (Trotto, 2011).
We can find many office software for remote collaboration on the Internet, designed to help users improve communication efficiency. Miro and Figma are two popular remote-collaboration applications used by designers. But they mostly ignore the connection between the virtual world and the real world. In our design projects, we consider the aesthetics of interaction, which arises during the dynamic interplay between (a) person(s) and (an) artifact (s) in a specific context (Hummels, 2000), to stimulate the development of collaborative design processes.
According to Hummels, The environment is intimately connected with our body and brain through our movement. The aesthetics generated by our actions can lead to a sense of satisfaction in our perceptual-motor skills, intellectual capacities, sense of connection to society, etc (Hummels, 2021).
We receive and express meaning by physical interaction. What we can do with the world is the basis of how we perceive and explore it (Hummels & Lévy, 2013), which is related to the concept of "affordance" - the possibilities for action offered by the environment (van Dijk, 2021). In a design context, affordance is the possibility that people can operate. It is affected by the environment and individual experience. We aim to promote a physical exploration of the design process by the user mainly focusing on affordance by individual experience. In our design, virtual information could be in combination with touchable modules. Through visualizing the relationship of information in a clear structure, we could reduce the difficulty of understanding the content. Users can easily build and restructure information structures.
Next to that, we try to create a feedforward that resonates with our user group (Wensveen et al., 2004). We are designing for designers, so using a design language that they are comfortable with will enable exploration e.g. mind mapping.
We perceive the world in various dimensions, and this concept means “being in the world” in phenomenology (C. Hummels, 2021). According to Leung et al, a person’s interaction with the world is individualized (acquired through their own motor and perceptual systems), which are made meaningful by previous interactions (Leung et al., 2011).
We want to provide a medium that encourages open dialogue between different stakeholders. Each stakeholder can explore tangible information through embodied cognition. Our design has no obvious rules of use, which means that everyone can explore them according to their understanding and experience. In this process, cognition is active, embodied, and embedded (Hummels, 2021).
According to TP principles, the influence of TP could be as individuals, communities, or society, which means that macro social change influences local challenges and the everyday lives of individuals as well (Hummels et al., 2019). In turn, individual decisions can influence the direction of the team, local paradigms of exploration can also have an impact on the community as a whole.
There are four activities in transforming practices: learning, co-creating, appropriating, and researching (Hummels, 2021). We offer relevant modules to help users learn through doing and find new insights and reflect their process.
Donald A. Schön's book (Schön, 2013) mentions a method of practice: Reflection-in-action. Specialized knowledge has been abstracted and has become detached from the actual situation. Because the practical environment is complex and changeable, many times the theory cannot be perfectly integrated into it. Therefore, the effective use of expertise depends on reconstructing complex and uncertain scenarios in advance.
How to combine different specialized knowledge with transforming practice? First, the participants define the problem and remain open to it. When they found a phenomenon that was not consistent with the original problem setting, they reframe the problem accordingly. In the new situation, there are still parts connected to their past experience, and they draw on these for derivative metaphors, reflected on these similarities in their perception, they form new hypotheses. They test these hypotheses through experimental actions, which also have the function of shaping and exploring situations.
Based on Schön’s theory, we support tools to help redefine the question, recording each step and linked with previous experiences, in such this knowledge does not get lost.
As we mentioned in the “Situatedness” part, we encourage open dialogue between stakeholders without judgment. Based on TP principles, Dialogue can link complementary and opposing things, using the different perspectives and principles of interlocutors to stimulate discussion.
In our design project, users can shift perspectives between first/second/third-person perspectives. As Merleau-Ponty’s theory (Merleau-Ponty et al., 1996), The first-person perspective is based on the body we live in and experience the world, the third-person perspective means we see the body as part of the world and view all experiences from a bystander's perspective. The second-person perspective lies in between, where we empathize with the experiences of others through the body (Höök et al., 2018). In our assumptions, users can explore from a first-person perspective; or role-play from a second-person perspective: thinking and developing their ideas from the perspective of stakeholders; drawing on the experiences of others - a third-person perspective.
We document the entire TP process with the help of cartographies. With the development of the Internet, maps have become a kind of navigation platform, but their masked narrative properties have not changed (Caquard, 2013). Under the influence of ontology, the map remains a reductive process of transforming the world (Being) into entities (beings), which causes a lot of data to be missing. Maps present stories from the past while reflecting and creating realities as well (Crampton, 2010), but when an event or place is presented through mapping, there is less room left for the reader's imagination (Pond, 2011).
Therefore, we managed to keep the mapping process open, introducing warm data to avoid oversimplification, while retaining its narrative properties.
According to Nora Bateson (Bateson, 2019), warm data means “Trans contextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system.” Here are some of the characteristics of the warm data relevant to our design:
1. Looking for pattern: We compare the information in different contexts to generate hybrid information. The conclusions drawn from cross-contextual comparisons are conceptual, indirect, and illuminating for other contexts. In our design, users can see how others understand the same keyword and its context, to get a sense of the views held by different people.
2. Paradox, inconsistency, and time: In scientific research premised on complex environments, there will be contradictions and inconsistencies in the relationships, which will change over time and respond to previous conflicts. In order to maintain complexity, research findings should feature these conflicts and dilemmas, rather than trying to resolve them. This is in line with the TP principle of "keeping things open". In our design, the information will be added to the different layers in chronological order and will show a dynamic change in the relationship.
3. Holism and reductionism: The information obtained in the larger research context is as important as the information obtained by focusing on the details. These two different kinds of information, one is relational and overlapping, and the other is more isolated, but they influence and depend on each other and are inseparable. As we mentioned before, there is a macro to micro perspective on the information generated in the design, by being able to zoom in and out.
Figure 13: Theoretical framework
Figure 13 shows the positioning of the theory and how they are connected to each other and our problem statement, in the next chapter we will show how different parts of our design are connected to these theories and how it comes together. Our theme is to design for Transforming Practice. Understanding and translating its theories and principles is our design direction. Complexity and Co-development are the theoretical core of our design, and the whole process is done through embodied cognition. We combine the narrative properties of cartographies and add warm data to complete the mapping of the design process.
The approach that you can call the red thread through our process would be Co-developing. While working on this approach we also tried to find out what it actually means and how to use it. We believe, that for our project, it can be tuned down to two things the Co part, where you involve the people you design for with for example co-creation, and the development part where explorative making becomes part of your design research process. These two are of course interwoven.
Co-creation is still a very wide array of activities, it can be seen as a mindset a method, or a tool (Sanders & Stappers, 2012). Because in this project we are not following all the examples of a ‘traditional’ co-creation session when talking to our users our approach towards this method would be that we took a co-creation mindset with using parts of the method. Namely, we involved our users, the community of TP, throughout our project by reflection sessions, semi structured interviews, and carousels. Their role was being an expert of their experience and played a role in knowledge development, idea generation, and concept development (Sanders & Stappers, 2012). The setup of the squad with the tastings and carousels supported this way of working.
Making played a big role in our process it served not only as a way of communication within our group but also to grasp the complexity of our problem statement. By designing a toolkit so fast we enabled something abstract to become sensorial, it helped to explore new territories and reframe. Having physical and visual representations of our ideas enabled us to work with this complexity and open-endedness. Especially the embodiment of the physical prototypes was important in this, it allowed us to play with affordance what learned us what improvements were needed (C. Hummels & Lévy, 2013). The use of different iterations gave us direction where we took a research through design approach and experimentally tested the prototypes (Stappers & Giaccardi, 2017).
We used co-development throughout our whole process, here will follow an explanation of the results of the ‘prototypes’ we evaluated either in first or second-person perspective (Tomico et al., 2012).
The aim of this carousel is to explore the meaning of mapping and how people use it to tell stories. Through vision, we acquire the vast majority of information. The most common way of mapping is also in the form of a flat map. We showed printed out maps and asked the question what does this map communicate? After this, we asked people to draw maps for themselves. We learned that maps without explanation and context are free for interpretation and stories differ, an entity we liked.
to explore further we wanted to find out what other ways and forms could be used to map a story or experience besides the visual element. In one of the carousels, we asked "Make a map for the blind". We obtained three tactile-based 'maps': one that transforms music into a tactilely perceptible form, where the user can experience the melody of the music by touching it, and two topographical maps, where the user can perceive changes in the terrain by touching a 'water surface' made of tape (Fig. 14). In the other carousel we used the metaphor of a landscape, and asked the question of where in the process did you start where are you now and where do you want to go. this was to test if a metaphor and physicality would evoke more dialog. The participants all interpreted this very differently, one started at the top of the mountain and went down to map its ambitions and other stayed on a low part of the landscape because they “still had so much more to learn” (Fig. 15)
The main findings of these carousels were that having something abstract and physical evokes different stories and different focus points. It also makes it easier to start talking about your process. This act of mapping and exploring different ways of it interested us the most. (to see carousel setup plan see appendix p.4)
Figure 14: Map for blind people made in carousel
Figure 15: Landscape map in carousel
We have put our prototype on a magnetic wall on the sixth floor around the squad space with the note; “map your process here” (Fig. 16,17,18). The idea of this was that people would do this on their own but unfortunately, that only was done by two people. Next to that, we did 5 semi-structured interviews with 3 people inside the squad and 2 outside. Next to these interviews, we had more informal discussions around the mapping wall with coaches and students inside and outside of the squad.
Interview set up
The ‘expert’ interviews were set up semi-structured where we prepared some questions (see appendix p. 6) but mainly just started the dialog. The goal of these interviews was to find out if mapping their process in this way helped them if the material had enough opportunities, and to involve them on how they would improve it. We sensitized the participants beforehand with the assignment to think of a project on which they want to map the process (Sanders & Stappers, 2012). During the interview, we asked the participants to map their process using the tokens, wires, cards anything they wanted, and talk us through. To come to the latent needs of the participants we used the path of expression to structure the questions, we started with asking about the now, namely their experience mapping with the toolkit. then we asked about their past, how do you normally map? and ended with two questions about the future of mapping this way.
Insights on the prototype (physicality)
An unintentional quality of the prototype was that because of the connectedness of the wires and the tokens if you turned or pulled a token, others would move with that token, for some this showed the consequences of a step.
Connecting the wires to the tokens was kind of hard it is somewhat a fragile experience. some liked this tenderness, others became annoyed.
The big forms were used the least and that you could stack the tokens that needed to be explained.
Insights on the way of mapping
How the participants mapped differed immensely, some wrote words with the map others kept it only to the forms and shapes. Most started at the left and went to the right, but one participant started in the middle. How much structure there was in the map also differed a lot per participant.
Differences people outside and within the squad
There seemed to be a difference in the structure of the map if the participant was outside of the squad. One participant (Fig. 17) made a map that was very schematic with arrows and text. This participant said in the beginning “it is a double diamond process” but after a while stated, “this is actually not at all a double diamond”. Whereas someone from within the TP squad started to map people and went through the mapping very organically without any pre-assumed facts about their process, and no descriptions. This difference could be because of the nature of the challenges these participants were working on the challenges within TP are more complex and open-ended and the interviewed participants outside of TP did a more traditional design process.
Addition of depth
The addition of depth/more information on the physical map was by most participants not needed for when you see mapping like this as a way to get an overview for yourself “you know what everything means, I don't feel the need to explain that for myself”. However, when asking; Would you want to use something like this to use to explain your process or future steps to your client or stakeholder they all wanted to add examples, not necessarily textual but pictures of steps. There was also mentioned that they would want to add this depth somewhere else so take this to another place, so for example on the computer.
Figure 16: Process mapped on mapping wall
Figure 17: Process mapped by non TP student
Figure 18: Process mapped on mapping wall
Concluded could be that this prototype did help the people participating, they made pictures to use or look back on the made overview and reactions were positive. Interesting was that using the prototype enabled them to talk about their process what resonates with a quote from Sanders and Stappers; “a making activity is generally followed by a say activity” (Sanders & Stappers, 2012). Especially participants doing a project by themself benefited from explaining their process out loud. The way how they participated was a reflection on action, they reflected on the process until then some also mapped or were asked to map out future steps. This mapping of future steps was actually a really good way of showing which direction the project is going. Participants mentioned that this would be something they would use to explain their future steps to their clients. Showing the previous steps and the iterative and complex character also will help to explain that future steps can differentiate.
The most remarkable conclusion of these tests was the appreciation of the open endedness of the prototype, every participant really liked that they could do whatever they wanted with the materials, no one seem to struggle to get started with giving their own meaning to the forms and shapes. Although, this prototype already seemed to work, it was still hard for participants to really grasp the complexity of a TP process. To use this tool as a way of communication and to use it for reflection in action it needed improvements, on which we focused in the next steps.
Midterm demo platform
To test how it is to add information to a picture/scan of the physical prototype we decided to make our report based on this, we mapped our process using the prototype and added information to the steps that would be visible when clicking on this step. We put a link to this prototype website on the TP website. Taking this first-person perspective toward this way of information documentation taught us that it is difficult to see a full overview of all the information. There should be a page where you can see all the information added separately from the overview. We incorporated this insight in the digital platform and this report. (find the report here)
As said before for this carousel we focused on changing perspective and zooming in on a specific part of the process, to get to that complexity of the TP process.
For the physical prototype, this was done by quite literally splitting up the process into three parts; the fuzzy front end, current steps, and future steps. Three magnetic frames were created to map this specific part of the process using the laser cut tokens and other mapping materials (Fig. 19). The participants were assigned one of these three parts and had to map their current process on the frame (Fig. 20). By doing this we were wondering if participants would be able to map an isolated part, especially the future steps as for example Sanders and Stappers state that talking about the future generally works better when you first talk about the now and past (Sanders & Stappers, 2012). However, because of the reflective character an ID student already has this was not a problem. After mapping this they got an assignment, they had to choose out of the following keywords; Time, User, Connections, Stakeholder, Mistakes, Making, and either change their map or start over with the perspective of this word. This gave new perspectives and insights it thought them something about their own process. For example, one student remapped their process with the perspective of making and saw the role of making in their process and where it was actually still missing. This remapping was done with a second layer or different color on the already existing map, now the stacking of tokens was used (Fig. 21,22). Other insights gained from the discussion after these exercises were that the participants would use this for other purposes than solely mapping their design process but also for example their study planning, “the openness gives the ability to give it literally any meaning”.
Figure 19: Carousel materials
Figure 20: Carousel 2
Figure 21: Mapping of fuzzy front end
Figure 22: Mapping of fuzzy front end with added perspective of making
For the function "Inspiring you to gain a different perspective" of the platform, we conducted observations in the carousel. In consideration of time and complexity, we selected questions in the insight section. We created and printed cards with questions on the three directions of "redesign", "conflict" and "subversiveness" in design thinking. The cards consisted of usage scenarios, inspiring questions, and examples of papers (Fig. 23) We selected a paper on "Finding Insights in Daily Life" and extracted the important methodological points from the paper as the questions. To make users understand the meaning of the keywords in these questions, we reproduce the cases in the paper in the form of flowcharts, explaining the meaning of the keywords in the context of the paper as inspiration (Lévy, 2018). Subjects were asked to pick one of these to apply to the design project they were working on at that moment.
Outcome of Redesign
The subjects generally read all the cards, then selected the one they needed most. Re-design was designed to help people identify overlooked design opportunities through the lens of everyday life, but one participant used it to reflect on the strong influences and weaknesses in his design process. “redesign helps reflect relationship… I can think about things from different lenses” “Reflect on my behavior flow and doubt process thinking” (see appendix p. 7).
Figure 23: Question cards to change perspective
Outcome of Disruptive
One participant chose 'disruptive' to consider subverting the existing physician-patient relationship from the entire process, in an attempt to identify new design opportunities. He arrived at a hypothesis that “doctor and patients are best friends”, but still didn’t know how to go deeper into the research (see appendix p. 7)
This initially validates our original intention of setting up this module, but the design process was complex. In addition to enriching this module to provide more inspiration, the platform should also be turned into an open-source platform to record other people's questions and experiences. At the same time, this module acts as an aid and prompt to facilitate open dialogue, a direction we want to iterate on in the future.
This carousel thought us mainly how to facilitate reflection in action and create new perspectives, the part that was still missing. Both the question cards and assignments for remapping are incorporated in the platform of the last iteration.
After completing the functional architecture of the platform, we invited some industrial design students to give their opinion on the platform. The experience of using Miro in comparison with our design was mentioned. Miro's interface is relatively clean and workable, whereas our interim version has a relatively complex sidebar. Also, Miro highlights when the team is working relative to the last content and where it has been modified, whereas with our physical toolkit it is difficult to notify every participant if it has been changed. The expectation was that our version will be able to do this by sorting the results of each discussion on mobile so that they can be easily viewed at any time.
The final version has therefore adapted the functional framework to highlight the two most important functions and to simplify the interface as much as possible. The final interface retains the "project record", "Perspective guide" and "communication". The "project record" is mainly used to upload and organize the design process and add warm data to it (Fig. 24). In the "Group" view there is a module for discussions with other members (Fig. 25). The "perspective guide" module is mainly used for browsing for inspiration, while the module for recording your own views has been moved to a location accessible from the avatar, making the interface simpler and easier to understand (Fig. 26, 27).
Figure 24: Project record mapping
Figure 25: Project record group record
Figure 27: Perspective guide method asignment
Figure 26: Perspective guide
Our final design consists of three parts (Fig. 28)
Figure 28: Final design overview
The toolkit has six forms, representing different combinations of relationships. The user can use each form in a combination according to their own understanding. Each token has a unique identifier on it and some hooks to connect to the wires. Users can connect the tokens with different colored wires, and when moving the tokens, the related parts will move together, visually and tactilely showing the relationship between them. The tokens are placed in a box that contains the wires, magnets, markers and cards. It can be used on a desktop or whiteboard to explore and document the design process or to present it to stakeholders.
To present the structure of the information in a visual and tangible form, several shapes were explored. Our original concept was the 'combine' in the diagram, where information is put together to form a new concept. We use this as a basis for distilling the relationship of information into 'conflict', 'contain', 'cross', and 'diffuse' and expressing them abstractly in a unified visual language (Fig. 29). In later iterations, we further simplified the image to make it easier to understand, to forms that connect, combine, and contain.
The final tokens were modeled in fusion 360 (Fig. 30) and 3d printed, the hooks and cutouts where all incorporated in the design. The identifiers for the AR were printed on stickers and put on the tokens. The box itself was made using woodworking and the cutouts for the tokens by laser cutting.
The platform has two main functions: uploading and documenting the design process and getting inspired. Users can upload design thinking processes such as mind maps, photos of the physical tokens, etc., and overlay more content-related data on them. The platform allows users to record their ideas as additional data in various forms such as text, images, external inspiration links, etc (Fig. 25). Mappings with warm data can be shared with team members and stakeholders for evaluation and discussion. Users can switch views to see information in individual/team/stakeholder contexts.
The platform also has open-source inspiration modules, including some questions and examples based on design methodology, some keywords to help users make mappings and projects shared by others. In the question cards, users can select the corresponding design methodology according to the design phase (Get Inspired/ Design Research/ Reflection/ Iteration). They can view relevant questions, the context in which keywords are mentioned among team members, and how other cases have utilized this design approach. These modules can be customized according to the user's own experience (Fig. 26).
The interface of the platform is made in Figma and imported to Protopie to add interactive parts. Link to prototype
Augmented Reality. To better communicate and present the warm data from the design process, users can transfer information from the platform to the physical toolkit. By selecting an identifier on the platform and transmitting the information, users can scan the identifier with their cell phones to see the content attached to each token. Information becomes tangible and easier to present when communicating with stakeholders.
AR requires a special identifier to map each message. Initially, we considered using a combination of textures and letters as identifiers, but this added complex rules to the selection of each toolkit. The final recognition pattern was then abstracted into a geometric pattern, retaining the element of pattern repetitiveness as a metaphor for iteration (Fig. 31).
The AR part consists of the identifier and the interface of the AR. The identification code is drawn by CorelDRAW and printed on a sticker. The code is uploaded to the Vuforia platform as the image targets (the Vuforia engine is packaged into the final app for the main recognition function), the AR interface is created with Unity as the development tool, and finally packaged for Android. (for code see appendix p. 9)
Figure 29: Meaning shapes
Figure 30: Token model
Figure 31: AR sticker design
Figure 32: Connection of design to theories
Through these three parts, the information forms a closed loop. Each part influences the other and contributes to the design iteration. In figure 32 can be found how all the parts of the prototype relate to the theories mentioned in the context chapter.
In the reflective transformative design process, there are natural moments of reflection (C. Hummels & Lévy, 2013). These moments could be a place to use the toolkit and perform reflection in action. A good anecdote of how this might work is when writing this report another group (outside of the TP squad) was struggling writing down and finding a structure in their process. They asked if they could use our toolkit, and even though they used it completely different than we had seen when we gave a specific assignment, it helped them a lot (Fig. 33).
Figure 33: Usage of toolkit
When you first enter the squad, it is quite difficult to understand the way of working, the models, and lenses, etc. From our tests and dialog using our prototype, we learned how the process of a transforming practice works. So, our toolkit could be used for educational purposes to explain this model mapping out an example process while explaining. This also fits the way of education in phenomenology to reflect together and then use it themselves, by doing and embodiment.
In an ideal situation, the toolkit works fully with the platform being accessible to all people owning the toolkit and the TP squad. The idea of this platform is that it is open source, where it develops over time it could be a place of documentation where we can learn, develop, get inspired, and communicate. In this case, the platform and physical tool kit could even be used separately, and the platform would have the possibility to be integrated into the TP website.
Next, it being a toolkit for the squad our toolkit could be very suited for design consultancies. Where it could be used as an ongoing visualization of a project. It even could be a project brief at the beginning as a way of communication to the client. We gave a look at how this idea could be spread throughout design consultancy’s and if it would be worth spreading, in order to get insight into that we filled in a business model canvas (Osterwalder et al., 2010) (Fig. 34).
This exercise made us see that if we would want to develop it, we do need partners to invest to develop multiple toolkits, however, the development of the toolkits would be one time only and the maintenance of the platform would be quite low because of the opensource character of it. The goal of spreading this toolkit would not be to make money but rather to build community and learn from each other, so the toolkits would probably not be more expensive than what they cost to produce. Channels to promote this toolkit could go via the TP squad and for example the social design lobby and Dutch Design Week. Next to making a fully working platform and AR integration we would probably need to find help with producing the physical toolkit more efficiently especially the box around the tokens and mapping materials. A solution to this could be to only produce a few and rent them out, this will still reach the value proposition because this way you can get designer on the platform and keep them there. This would only maybe reach fewer designers than selling the boxes separately. To keep the community lively students could use the toolboxes located in the squad space and use the platform.
Figure 34: Business model canvas process toolkit
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
In the beginning of our process, we got asked; how we can “map” this transforming, this cartography of our experience in such a manner that our cartographies of transforming can be communicated, live on, be picked up by others, and continue to transform? And how can we make sure non-design stakeholders understand the process of transforming? To ‘answer’ the first question we think this can be done by adding embodiment to the act of mapping with a mapping toolkit and create a physical overview, adding complexity can be done by getting inspired by other theories and approaches on an accompanied digital platform. Adding in-depth information on the platform that connects back to the physical overview with AR would enable communication with non-design stakeholders. This ‘answered’ the second question.
Discussed can be that our product is not fully tested and validated. We still wanted to do official user tests but because of the lockdown and the fact that we are with only two in the group, we could not do that anymore. We also did not test it with outside stakeholders to look if this helped them to understand the process of transforming. We did not validate it with design consultancies. We did have conversations on demo day with people working in design consultancies and we did grab their interest. Also, the platform was just a mock-up prototype and was not usable for testing, just demonstrating. The same counts for the usability of the AR part. If these parts work it could be fully tested within the squad, with design consultancies and outside stakeholders.
We do believe that our toolkit would have great potential. This can be concluded from interviews but also how it is connected to TP methodology and theories. Also, the fact that it is open source and has to be built by the community gives the opportunity for the product to grow and improve.
In this project, we were able to integrate all areas of expertise. User and Society by doing research in TP theories and approaches and involving our users throughout the whole process with co-development. Creativity and Aesthetics with exploring embodiment, making, materials, and design language. Math Data and Computing with diving into the theory of warm data and finding a way of visualizing data with our physical toolkit and online platform. Technology and realization with making our prototypes, using 3d printing and laser cutting, developing our platform, and integrating Augmented reality. Lastly, we used Business and Entrepreneurship with creating a future vision on the possibility of the toolkit within and outside of the squad.
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