Interaction Design as a Reflective Practice

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Course Theme and Application Focus

This course provides students with an opportunity to engage with cutting edge interaction design research. In this coming academic year (2019-2020) we will focus on soma design and somaesthetics. We offer an opportunity for students to learn and practice emerging methods and theories of soma design which engage with the whole body and its senses, and through so doing reconsider the future of interaction design and technology.

We are extremely excited to announce that this year's design practice will collaborate with the "centrum för sinnesstimulering”. The centre is dedicated for people with permanent disabilities affecting the ability to move, see, hear understand and interact with other people. The centre's mission is to maintain or develop: motor functions; communication; social abilities; cognition; the ability to navigate through everyday life. The center works according to Snoezelen, using sensory inputs like light, pressure, heat and motion to help generate activity as well as relaxation and comfort.

Students taking this course will apply their understandings of Soma Design to the development of novel technologies and services which align with the centre's mission. Students will undertake their design work with experts and experienced staff in rehabilitation to ensure their designs respond to the very specific needs of this particular group, and the centre's mission.

Practicalities

This course runs at 50% study speed during the whole period, and is a practical master-level course with weekly design critique sessions, reading seminars, as well as several concrete design and writing assignments. Each project is documented online via KTH social.  You are expected to spend on average 20 hours per week on this course, during the whole period. This means you will be expected to do some substantial work on your projects outside of the scheduled class hours. Please keep this in mind when signing up for other courses, work, and other activities. 

At each critique session you are expected to explain and argue for the methods you have used and the design choices you have made. For passing the course you are allowed to fail (e.g. being unprepared) or be absent on maximum two critique sessions.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, participants should be able to:

  • name and discuss current research topics in the area of interaction design,
  • relate research and own work to latest trends in commercial and non-commercial interactive products,
  • analyse existing interactive artefacts and readings in literature, and use this to inform own design work,
  • in academic writing reflect on own interaction design work.

Course main content

In this course you will conduct a concrete design project in groups of 2-3 students, grounded in latest trends in interactive systems design.

During the project you will:

  • read up on latest research in areas within interaction design,
  • design and build a working prototype/interface that can be tested with people,
  • reflect on your design process in academic writing,
  • present your project in a public exhibition.

Eligibility

Introductory course in Human-Machine Interaction

Literature

'Designing with the Body' (2018) Kristina Höök, MIT Press

Selected academic articles found online that to Soma Design

Students are also expected to search and select additional research papers based on personal interests, e.g. to support project work.

Examination

  • PRO1 - Project, 7.5 credits, grade scale: P, F

All tasks will be performed in small groups of 2-3 or individually.

For passing the course you have to:

  • Design a product or service that directly or indirectly is in line with the goals of the Habilitation services and Soma Design.
      You may choose to communicate your design through video, low-fidelity prototyping, graphics, and so on (group submission)
    • Completed project diary and reflective materials which document you design process and your reflections on bodily experiences (individual submission)
    •  Write a Pictorial which reflects upon design process and insights (group submission).

    Requirements for final grade

    All tasks will be performed in small groups of 3-5 or individually.
    The course marks are Pass / Fail. 
    For passing the course you have to:

    • Conduct all tasks (activie participation in group project, and hand in of all individual assignments).
    • Be present and active in the crit seminars (you are allowed to miss two seminars).
    • Write a short reflection at the end of the course.

    In this course all the regulations of the code of honor at the School of Computer science and Communication apply, see: http://www.kth.se/csc/student/hederskodex/1.17237?l=en_UK.

    Offered by

    CSC/Media Technology and Interaction Design

    Contact

    Madeline Balaam, e-post: balaam@kth.se

    Examiner

    Madeline Balaam <balaam@kth.se>

    Version

    Course plan valid from: Spring 20. 
    Examination information valid from: Spring 20.

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