North Carolina State University // College of Design
Graphic Design and Industrial Design
GD502 MGD Studio: A Culture of Sharing
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays // 1:30–5:30PM // KAM 110
Amber Howard // amber_howard at ncsu dot edu // Office BS316B: Tuesdays 12:30-3:30PM
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This Graduate Graphic Design Studio challenges students to analyze, speculate, and forecast new design paradigms through the making of design artifacts in relation to the emerging collaborative consumption movement. Collaborative consumption refers to the sharing, bartering, lending, and swapping of spaces, things, skills, and/or services. Generally, collaborative consumption is facilitated using decentralized, participant-driven platforms. The studio theme — A Culture of Sharing — extends the concept of collaborative consumption to include any exchange within and among groups of people. It assumes that culture heavily depends upon the sharing of beliefs, resources, and priorities. The graduate graphic design studio will encourage students to develop a framework for understanding the role of design systems, tools, and objects as cultural artifacts and their reflection on social diversity. In particular, students will focus on the cultural experience of collaborative consumption as it is fostered through design.
The course goals, realized by the students, are to:
- Analyze, speculate, and forecast design paradigms within a cultural system;
- Identify design opportunities that could foster new relationships among objects, audiences, and contexts within a cultural system;
- Develop a series of scenarios that illustrate the ways in which designed systems, tools, and artifacts could address a range of complex cultural issues and develop over the course of ten years;
- Propose principles, processes, and research methods for the future practice of design;
- Apply core methodologies used to analyze, speculate, and forecast future design practices;
- Develop, maintain, and promote critical and creative perspectives on contemporary design issues;
- Develop life-long learning skills by engaging in and assessing self-directed learning outcomes;
- Host a public design event to encourage pointed discourse among graduate design students at the national level;
- Work effectively on complex projects within non-hierarchical teams.
For accomplishments to be credited, they must be evidenced in design work, presentations, and discussion. Students must demonstrate the ability to:
In Phase 1: Contextualizing
- Identify experiential, behavioral, and subject-related patterns within the Culture of Sharing;
- Prioritize complex relationships among social, economic, political, and technological factors that influence current sharing norms, values, and identities;
- Describe the role design plays in the emergence of the Culture of Sharing.
In Phase 2: Futurecasting
- Envision a design opportunity for fostering new sharing behaviors between two or more diverse groups;
- Outline the mission, goals, and strategy for the proposed design opportunity;
- Illustrate ways in which the designed conditions influence sharing norms, values, and identities;
- Demonstrate via a series of futurecast scenarios the ways in which the experience of sharing may develop within the community over the course of ten years;
- Justify the conditions, factors, and relationships articulated in the futurecast scenarios;
- Develop a team-oriented workflow that promotes collaboration and equal participation.
In Phase 3: Theorizing
- Propose at least two design principles for the future practice of design for sharing, given the futurecast;
- Outline a design process that supports the future practice of design for sharing, given the futurecast;
- Describe the assumptions of and justifications for the proposed design principles and process;
- Propose a research method for investigating sharing conditions within the futurecast scenarios.
In Phase 4: Reflective Documenting
- Generalize knowledge developed during each phase of the project;
- Identify strengths and limitations in performing each phase of the project;
- Describe an action plan for continued growth and development for each phase of the project.
In an effort to formalize the ways in which we solve design problems and seek design opportunities, methodologies help frame the appropriateness of our design decisions. The methodologies we will use cater to design decisions regarding:
Cultural movements — history, trends, scope, change target(s), and mobilization;
Cultural groups — Aspirations, motivations, values, perceptions, lifestyles, and worldviews (ideology);
Cultural contexts — Situations, events, activities, and shared experiences;
Cultural structures — Infrastructure, language, rules, norms, roles, and relationships.
The methods we will explore include:
Context-assessment — Trend analysis, user analysis, user experience audit, experience map (blueprints or journey maps), analogous experiences, cross-impact analysis, and photo journals.
Concept and Strategy visualization — Affinity diagram (cluster mapping), perceptual mapping, venn diagram, tree diagram, prioritization matrix, process decision program chart, activity network diagram, performance and life cycle chart, timeline, and synergy map.
Prototyping — paper prototype, interactive prototype (rapid), and video sketching.
Narrative — Scripting, storyboarding, activity scenario, user experience scenario, and life cycle scenario.
This entire course is one extensive project undertaken at the team level, subdivided into discrete phases constituted of individual (but situated) design work.
Phase 1: Contextualizing — First, students will use various methods to analyze the current and emerging collaborative consumption movement and the ways in which design facilitates and fosters the culture. Analysis should reveal patterns in the motivations, behaviors, and values of participants. Additionally, patterns across designed systems, tools, and artifacts for sharing should become apparent. (Paradise example)
Phase 2: Futurecasting (not this kind, or this) — Based on the assessment, students will identify new opportunities for Sharing (including the groups of people and contexts the sharing movement could impact). Targeted readings will encourage students to consider larger global issues of which designed systems could address—i.e. prevent conflict before it begins. Scenarios will be used to illustrate the proposed opportunities. Each scenario will offer a speculative snap shot of the selected and/or proposed culture, emphasizing the ways in which it is encouraged and reinforced by design conditions. Amassed as a series, the scenarios will suggest ways in which the cultural system may evolve five and ten years into the future—a futurecast case study of the culture of sharing. Scenarios will be supported by rapid prototypes, which offer a proof of concept for the design conditions students propose. Both ideal and disastrous situations will be explored and compared.
Phase 3: Theorizing — Additionally, students will distill potential design principles, processes, and research methods introduced by and inherent to the envisioned future. Students will describe the principles and processes in graphic form. Students will also annotate the principles and process with brief statements describing assumptions and justifications to which it responds. Finally, students will describe a research method and sketch a research instrument necessary for investigating sharing behaviors within the proposed design practices.
Phase 4: Reflective Documentation — The team will document the project (organized by phase) in the form of a PDF Presentation. The presentation will be accompanied by a written reflection, which describes what the team learned and want to learn more about at each phase of the project.
Weekly Reports — Each week, students will submit weekly video reports describing the most important thing they learned about the cultural experience of sharing as fostered through design. The reflection will include a brief description of what they learned, how they learned it, why it is important, and what they want to learn next to extend their knowledge of the subject. Weekly reports will be due (posted to the course website) by 1:30PM every Monday unless otherwise indicated.
Symposium — Students will develop and coordinate a public design event to encourage focused discourse among graduate design students at the national level. Students will work together to develop the mission, objectives, materials, and follow-up for the event. The symposium encourages students to develop, maintain, and promote critical perspectives on contemporary design issues. All symposium materials will be documented in one PDF, accompanied by a reflective statement from each student. Preview the 2010 NCSU biennial symposium.
- What’s Mine is Yours / Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers (2010)
- Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-First Century: Principles, methods, and approaches / Jacob Bercovitch and Richard Jackson (2009)
- Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks / Gigi Durham and Douglas Kellner (2006)
- Sketching User Experiences / Bill Buxton (2007)
- A Project Guide to UX Design / Russ Unger, Carolyn Chadler (2009)
- Designing Interactions / Bill Moggridge (2007)
- Understanding Comics / Scott McCloud (1994)
- Usability engineering: scenario-based development of human-computer interaction / Mary Beth Rosson and John Millar Carroll (2002)
- The Experience Economy / Joseph Pine, James Gilmore
- Universal Principles of Design / by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler
For accomplishments to be credited, they must be evidenced in design work, presentations, and discussion according to the learning objectives for each phase of the project. Each student’s final grade is calculated using the following breakdown:
- 20% — Phase 1: Contextualizing
- 20% — Phase 2: Futurecasting
- 20% — Phase 3: Theorizing
- 10% — Phase 4: Reflective Documentation
- 10% — Weekly Reports (due every Monday by 1:30PM)
- 20% — Symposium
Final letter grades will be determined using a 10-point grading scale. Grades are suggestive of the following qualities of semester-long student performance. (It must be stressed that two weeks remaining in the semester is too late for a student to dramatically alter the course of his or her semester-long performance.)
- 90–100% — Complete, on time; exceptional quality and craft; surpasses project goals; demonstrates exploration, improvement, and command of material. = A
- 80–89% — Complete, on time; good quality and craft; achieves project goals; demonstrates exploration and comprehension of material, yet may not be completely resolved. = B
- 75–79% — Complete, on time; satisfactory quality and craft; does not satisfy one or more project goals; demonstrates awareness of principles studied yet may not be explored or resolved. = C, C+
- 70–74% — Complete, late; satisfactory quality and craft; undeveloped; lacks evidence of engagement, exploration or resolution; unexcused absences and/or lateness. = C−, C
- 60–69% — Incomplete, late; poor quality and craft; ill-conceived and underdeveloped; lacks evidence of engagement, exploration or resolution; excessive unexcused absences and/or lateness. = D
- 50–59% — Sufficient work has not been accomplished to justify credit for the course; or six excused or unexcused absences. = F
- 49% and below — Inconceivable!
Attendance, Late Work, and Academic Integrity Policy
Attendance is mandatory. Three tardies equal one absence. Every absence after your third decreases your final grade significantly. Excused absences will be accepted with proper documentation (ex. doctor’s note). Please read the university’s Attendance Regulation (Reg02.20.3) for further details on acceptable absences.
Late work decreases your project’s grade by one letter per day. If you miss the original deadline due to illness, the project is due the following class. If work is turned in after that point, it will be assessed with penalty from the original due date. In the case of serious medical situations, reasonable accommodations will be made.
The Code of Student Conduct Policy (Pol11.35.1) applies in this course. “7.1 The free exchange of ideas depends on the participants’ trust that they will be given credit for their work. Everyone in an academic community must be responsible for acknowledging their use of others’ words, research results, and ideas, using the methods accepted by the appropriate academic disciplines. Since intellectual workers’ words and ideas constitute a kind of property, plagiarism is like theft.”
Students with Disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653. For more information on NC State’s policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (Reg02.20.1).