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May 20, 2008


perhaps I have managed to reduce/refine my keywords somewhat


Making Conversation: Communication Design as a social activity

design research / practice-led research / materialising conversation / design ontologies / bringing-into-being / transformative action / relational design / radical design / the social space of communication / what communication designers do, in practice, and the community around them / communication design / communication design as conversation / communication design as materialising knowledge / the social experience of communication design


Communication design and the other: a socially-situated practice

keywords: design and the other / bringing-into-being / transformative activity / relational design / radical design / what communication designers do / communication design as conversation / communication design as materialising knowledge / practice-led design research

still working on it...

what this research is about

- an alternative approach to comm design

- an alternative understanding of comm design

- seeing comm design as an activity which is allowed to happen through the presence of the other (the designer if you are the client, the client if you are the designer, the audience if you are the client)

- comm design as a transforming activity (transform/change/articulate/express/materialise/connect/synthesise)

- comm design as a form independent activity (design communication not communication materials, so designing the communication of the other through the communication materials)

- the changes to the public perception of comm design allowed through this new approach

- the changes to comm design education allowed through this new approach

- the changes to comm design's self-awareness allowed through this new approach

so, while I talk about the other in comm design I am actually talking about the role of the other, and the role of comm design in providing an other...

May 19, 2008

GRC poster

I have been preparing for a presentation to RMIT on my research, this will be my first presentation. Part of the preparation is submitting a poster, these posters go up near the coffee area and are intended to allow the GRC participants to see visualisations of the research which is going on, as well as the abstracts printed in the conference proceedings.

Here's my abstract:

Communication design and the other: an investigation into a socially-situated practice

This practice-led PhD research project commenced in March this year. The project aims to investigate Communication Design as a socially-situated transformative activity. Seen as a socially-situated practice, what do communication designers do when they design and how does this design activity affect the other parties involved? Do (in)consistencies exist between what communication designers say (and think) they do, and the effects they achieve? The above areas of investigation require an examination into the concept (and role) of the other in communication design practice. This project aims to investigate alternative models for communication design practice enabled through a repositioning of focus from the artefact to the social and from the designer to the other.

The Poster

Miek is in charge of uploading the posters for New Views 2. He saw the poster I uploaded for NV2 and said he liked it. It was the 'This design designs you, and me.' poster. The one with the black text on a portrait format white background. I showed him the photo of the busback I was sent from Hobart (the bus,with poster, is going around Hobart city now). Miek said maybe I should have used that one for the poster. I wondered about that.

For this GRC I tried taking his advice and using the busback photo - however when I put it together I thought it read as though it was a documentation of a project. At this stage in my PhD I would rather the GRC poster (and event) read as an 'investigation' than a 'documentation' - so I went back to the black on white background text version with the addition of my abstract and title.



May 12, 2008

Bus Back

I designed a bus back as part of an AGDA Tasmania project.

The brief was:
- promote the bus as green
- promote ads on buses
- promote graphic design in Tasmania

I was pretty excited by what I had seen going on in Sao Paolo So_Paulo_A_City_Without_Ads.html and I was thinking about setting up websites or doing things with schoolkids...

In the end it had to be done, and the AGDA rep said it was to promote ads on buses so perhaps an anti-ad wasn't appropriate...

I've also sent it in as a research poster for New Views 2... it's a research poster that does the research...(a provocation?)

New Dawkins show

Richard Dawkins has made a new show called Enemies of Reason. The second issue was aired on ABC Compass religious show last night. I discussed it briefly with Laurene (my supervisor) this morning.

He is attacking the alternative, mystical, metaphysical and anything that could be seen as non-rational, anti-science or in the least bit fluffy. I was thinking that Design as a field is an excellent field for the debate of these ideas to take place. Dawkins comes from a strict positivist modality, and design is a place where the positivist and metaphysical meet head-on and the debate still goes on strong, particularly in the design research area as we discuss 'what is (valid) research?'

Dawkins is, as Laurene remarks, a fundamentalist for the 'church of science'. A zealot, you wonder how he might deal with the unknown...

Dawkins knows what research is; 'show me your double-blind repeatable experiments!'... 'where's your control?'... as we now know, his positivist stance doesn't reveal all that design has to offer, so where do we go? Into practice-led research? and how do we find common ground with this discourse, or is it in design that a common ground, and a space for discussion, exists...