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Revealing The Nature Of Human Characteristics Through Interaction Design
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Everyday we come up with new solutions for our existing problems. But the solutions of today are tomorrow’s problem. The products we create as designers are often bringing more complexity in our society than it is initially intended for.

This thesis aims to give a new perspective on the design practice community. Instead of starting with a problem-solving scope, this thesis intent is to find what is truly meaningful for human life, meaning finding, and to propose how we can envision new ways of meaning making within interaction design. The two processes together of meaning finding and meaning making is how we can aim for concrete results that are relevant for our society.

To better understand what truly matters for human life, I collected 14 stories through ethnographic research. These ethnographic stories reveal the nature of human characteristics when people face and overcome big challenges in life. Some of these ethnographic stories highlights the life of a WWII survivor, war refugee, leukaemia child-patient and a widow. Parallel, to the ethnographic work, I explored how I can evoke a deeper connection between people, by making them listen to each-other’s heartbeat. 

Inevitably, by exploring the fundamental elements of human life and observing the emotions and behaviour of my interviewees and participants, the thesis find itself often on the playground between philosophy and human life. But by taking a strong interaction design perspective, these insights were manifested in the human design manifesto booklet. This booklet proposes six expressions for designers, with the intention to embrace the fundamental elements of human life when we design: 

1. Design attitudes, not solutions. 2. Design the medicine of the mind. 3. Design for relationships. 4. Design for our direct senses. 5. Design for the deep human connection. 6. Design the act of kindness 

Later on, for the meaning making part: one statement from the Human Design Manifesto was selected to explore in depth: Design the act of kindness. For this expression project Hidden Figures was created. Hidden Figures is a design proposal which demonstrates that a design creation can be driven by the fundamental elements of human life. In this case proposing the act of kindness as a vision on how our society could be. 

In overall, this master’s thesis demonstrates how our design proposals can embody and resonate well between the three levels of design philosophy, a designer’s vision and interaction design practice: How we, as designers, can use meaning-making and meaning-finding to create more relevant impact for our society. Last, I hope this work encourages other designers to think deeply about their own creations and its impact. And help designers reflect on why they create and how they could also alternatively practice design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 68
Keywords [en]
interaction design, human connection, meaning making, meaning finding, human, heartbeat, fundamental, elements, performance, art, hidden figures, ethnography, anthropology, design fiction, speculative design, marina abramovic, trieuvy luu, manifesto, human design, design future, kindness, creating kindness, deep connection, reflection
National Category
Design Humanities and the Arts Interaction Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141054DiVA, id: diva2:1151543
Subject / course
Degree Project, Interaction Design
Educational program
Master's Programme in Interaction Design
Presentation
2017-05-15, Project Studio, 16:01 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-10-24 Created: 2017-10-23 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved

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