Designing Experiences: Connect Yourself to Everyday Surroundings to Discover the Place a new
- Jung, Euichul; Song, Gahyung; Piao, Xianmei
- Issue Date
- 2017 Conference Proceedings, pp. 961-968
- With rising interests on design thinking methods in resolving social and environmental problems, there have been many experimental practices with human-centered design approaches in solving problems in our local communities. However, in April 2016, the mural of Ewha Maul (Village), which was considered as a successful example of collaboration between local residents and external design experts, was vandalized by residents themselves. In the meantime, new discussions on the role of design in overcoming social issues have started. In this paper, we aim to draw implications of human-centered design for social issues through studying a case redesigning the local stairway with Haesong Local Child Care Center, located in Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, in which surrounded by sewing factories. Initially, this project aimed to improve the environment of unorganized neighborhoods with help of the centers children. We took notice on the stairway leading up to the center as our object of design. To scout the spot and look for loopholes of this place to improve, we planned to hold workshops with children using design thinking toolkits every second week over the next 10 weeks from April until June, 2016. However, we soon came to realize that how inconsiderable and lack of understanding we were on children, the main user of the place. After experiencing errors and failures to communicate with these children, we decided not to use design guidelines for the remain workshops, but to play with them. Drawing beautiful murals on the walls or cleaning the staircase was not a solution, but a temporary installation or an event. Hence, our goal for the project had changed to make children feel connected to the space through designing games that could imprint their fun memories on the place. Based on this project with the Haesong center, we also conveyed a design thinking workshop with educators to seek applicability of the experience toolkit we developed in schools. The outcome of this project was a process of activities, the intangible experiences. The lesson we got from this study was that we were able to discover true user experience design by which practiced with self-motivated users. Namely, user experience is not given by external experts nor designed by technology-driven products, but it is designed by sharing experiences and memories of the users of the space.