Research question: How can we make use of everyday observations in our work?
Unit summary: Designers are often asked to contribute in areas where they are novices — needing to regularly learn new content and contexts in order to design. One component skill is the ability to see, to make sense of what one sees, and then communicate that clearly back to others. Put more broadly, how do you make sense of an existing condition? How do you distill or find meaning in what is already there? And how can you make use of it? Placed within the context of a design process, this is defined as observational research, assessing what “is” before anything is to be “done”. What designers do with their research is another question altogether. This one-week unit asks students to experiment with various forms of documenting observations and trying various forms that communicate them to a new audience.
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Sophomore and junior-year core graphic design studio at The Rhode Island School of Design