Interplay 2015 conference, Brisbane.

Last week I was privileged to attend the conference in an amazing city, Brisbane. With the intertwining theme of design, technology, arts and science’; the congress showcased an array of design research. The sixth International Congress of IASDR (International Associations of Societies of Design Research), with five member organisations: DRS, DS, CID, JSSD and KSDS.

My favourite ones are: designing vases with the use of smartphone, smart clothing and the three keynote sessions. Apart from that, sessions which are related with my own research (interesting ideation methods, design problem framing, Kees Dorst’s “Frame Creation and TRIZ”, Kokotovich’s “Re-imagining Reflection-in-action and Co-evolution”, sketch ability and visual diagnostics for protocol studies); provided me with confident to pursue what I am doing at the moment. I had a chance to talk to Goldschmidt too, which was an absolute pleasure and made the journey to Australia a worthwhile exercise.

I had the opportunity to present a paper entitled Contribution of smartpens to design studies in capturing design process” (page 2001 on proceedings), more of a methodological reflection of the pre-pilot and pilot studies. Disclaimer: authors are not affiliated with the company, and generalisation for other products may be appropriate but untested. Let me know if you are keen on exploring about the pen or have any experience you’d like to share 🙂


ABSTRACT: The paper focuses on technical and methodological aspects of using smartpens to capture sketching activities in the idea generation stage. Aiming to consider a more effective way to capture designers’ decisions, moves, verbal and non-verbal cues; the paper attempts to provide a critical appraisal of how smartpen-based recording system are able to improve small-scale observational studies’ rigorousness and increases richness of data. Comparison of conventional pen-and-video and smartpen devices are illustrated, by conducting two think-aloud design sessions using both mechanisms. Advantages and disadvantages will be analysed to provide balance views of the two tools. In general, both are able to capture sequences of thoughts, including moving through one page to another. Preliminary findings show that smartpens are somewhat superior in terms of: obtaining unobstructed views of the sketching process as result of participants’ hand/shadow or glare, pencast (replayed video) aids exploration of design strategies investigation, auto-synchronised thinking aloud (verbal) and sketching (actions) foster the effectiveness of study, minimal use of a single recording device and also possibly promote exploration in shading, textual aids, contextual aids and other cues of sketches. However, pen-and-video tools are more efficient at capturing hand gestures. Some recommendations for future studies are also suggested.

Note: Photography of Brisbane can be found in my Flickr.

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