Generative Design Research

In class today we explored generative design research. These research methods are to find common similarities in the results. At the end of the research the similarities are compared to find out what features are needed and not needed in a the design. There are two types of research that can be carried out using this method. Projective and constructive.

Projective exercises are usually expressive and serve as a way of communicating feelings that are hard to write down. Today we all took a shot at trying this out. We each had to make a quick sketch of the emotions we were feeling on our first day at university.  I know I felt confusion and lost but I had not idea how to convert that into a visual sketch. I ended up drawing lots of arrows going in different directions with squiggly lines to represent my anxiety. We compared everyones drawings and asked them to explain what that meant to them so as a class we could learn how to understand these types of drawings.

Generative exercises are usually group design methods.  These are generally quite constructive. These can include card sorting with images or text, collages, mapping, diagraming and model making. We attempted this as a group by designing our ‘dream house’. We as a group designed and built our dream house out of cardboard. After building we looked at the similarities between the designs. Everything seemed to either have a rooftop garden or a strange entranceway.

I found both methods to be quite fun and engaging for participants. Imagination run wild and there seemed to be some distinguishable results. I found the results from the generative research to be much more noticeable however would only work at the later stage in product development. The projective research would be far better used at the start of a design when looking at initial subjects emotions and reactions to ideas.



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