About the module
Creative Design Module 2016
Communication and multimedia design (2nd – 3rd year Bachelor)
Tutored by: Gert Wastyn and Pablo Calderón Salazar
The Creative Design Module this year will focus on Public Design. Students will be challenged to work with real constituents (interaction) on the neighborhood of Winterslag, and constantly communicate their ideas and process through the use of different media. They will work based on De Andere Markt (Living Lab located in the neighborhood) and its main partner projects: De Tuin van Betty, TNT Jeugdhuis and Muna & co.
“But do we really need another way to talk about design and about what design can and could do? Regarding design, politics and the political, I argue yes. SInce the turn of the twenty-first century, there has been an increased interest in how the practices and products of design shape and contribute to public discourse and civic life’’
Carl Disalvo, Adversarial Design
“Public Design”: http://vimeo.com/13822958
The (public) space in and around Winterslag (C-Mine) and Genk is an under-explored context full of potential. It is a meeting point for people from different backgrounds and expertises (creatives, students, miners, commerce, residents, etc). A designer should be able to interpret the interests of a group of constituents (a company, organization, community, etc), and deliver a creative proposal that answers to their interests and fits a specific context. De Andere Markt (DAM), a local Living Lab set by LUCA and UHasselt researchers in the neighborhood, has been doing precisely that: connect different groups of people to involve them in a democratic discussion on the future of work in Genk.
Multimedia Technology allows us to collect, organize and represent data and information in many different ways, yet it always demands the action of a human being to mediate and unleash its potential. Designers should be able to tap into the potential of these technologies and, by doing so, they turn it into a tool for representation and communication between human beings.
During this year’s CDM will encourage students to work in real interaction in context with a concrete project associated to DAM, and be able to represent it in multi-medial ways.
- Identifying and analyzing critical situations.
- Working with ‘real’ constituents.
- Interpreting constituents interests.
- Representation of information in multimedia.
- Design for interaction.
- Develop a concept and design proposal.
Designers are very often (maybe too much) working for virtual people, in the way that they create ‘personas’ or, led by marketing professionals, treat people as numbers and average them into the most ‘common’ (focus group). This leads to a design that, instead of answering to people’s needs and situations, it creates new needs and expectations. For becoming more relevant in society, design should be more sensitive to the context where its inscribed, and interpreting the interests of different constituents is great part of this. For this module, you will receive a main assignment, to be developed in groups, in which you will work with one of the partner projects of DAM. Parallel to this, you will receive a secondary assignment, which consists on the documenting and representing of the main assignment, and is focused on the strengthening of representations skills in multimedia and interactive ways.
The focus will be on rapid prototyping and iteration. When working with ‘real constituents’, you need to be able to communicate the development of your proposals, receive feedback and reflect on it to take it back to your design process.
Main assignment (Public -and social- Design)
To be developed in groups (no more than 3 people per group).
The central assignment of the module will consist of a project developed with one of the partner projects of DAM, around which the group members will engage and interpret its interests through a specific design proposal. For initiating such a process, students will be introduced to the three projects, after which they have to identify a ‘critical situation’ and elaborate a map/diagram that illustrates it (problem map). Groups will then further analyse the situation and context (the space, people and activities taking place, historical background, etc) in an iterative process in collaboration with the partners.
Based on the analysis, the groups will develop a design proposal that will go through several levels of iteration, for they will have to communicate it to their partner and react to their interests. We encourage the students to directly prototype their ideas, with the materials and processes at their reach.
De Andere Markt
De Andere Markt is a project we started to develop in Genk in 2015 (after a year of negotiation with the city administration), with the goal of opening up the discussion around work in the city. The project has two components: a long-term and an ephemeral one. The ephemeral component takes the form of temporary interventions in different sites of the city, where we go with a cargo bike with a low-tech printing press mounted on it that we use for printing posters which visualize people’s skills. The long-term component takes the form of a shop-front, for which we have also been supported by the city for two years. This shop-front, which appropriates the methodology of a Living Lab, serves as a way to build further on the connections made during the ephemeral interventions through workshops, brainstorms, prototyping and other events that aim at building long-term infrastructures.
Living Labs are ecosystems where the research is not carried out in closed design studios, but via a systematic participatory approach, integrating research and innovation processes. This particular lab is an explorative platform for researchers/teachers, students, policy makers and local community to collaboratively think and work together on the future of “work”.
De Tuin van Betty
De Tuin van Betty (TvB) is a community garden in Winterslag. It has been active since 2014, and DAM has been collaborating with its members since September 2015. The aim of the partnership is to support their activities and help them in reaching out to wider groups of people.
TNT Jeugdhuis / Genkse Stijl
TNT Jeugdhuis is the Genk-Zuid base for Gigos. With many of its projects led by rapper Don Luca (Gianluca Nobile), this youth house is focused on fostering the production of hip-hop (and the culture around it) within Genk’s youngsters. The goal of the partnership of DAM with TNT is to support the re-envisioning of Genkse hip-hop (Genkse Stijl) identity, and to use this as a platform for cultural production in the city.
Muna.co is a project initiated by Ilse Maes, which combines elements of work, therapy and care. Until now, they have been busy on catering, by employing people who have difficulties of entering in the ‘job market’ and using completely biologic / local products in different events. They are confronted to the challenge of finding other ways or mediums to approach the issues -not only cooking / catering.
Besides the primary assignment of the module, you will receive the assignment to develop a system which allows you to document and represent your process of work, where some level of interactivity and/or multimedia representation is expected. The updates on this will be presented by each student/group at the beginning of each session.
In the last session of the module (May 16), you will be expected to deliver (1) an oral presentation with graphic aids, which explains the process you have taken and your decision-making, (2) a prototype that illustrates in the highest detail as possible your proposal and (3) a multimedia product with the documentation and representation of your process.
The prototype may contain:
- Interactive applications
- Tangible Objects
- Other technology (programming, RFID, QR, Arduino, sensors, …)
Evaluation will include:
- Overall & Visual concept
- Visual and technical finishing
- Development of the prototype
- Documentation of the process
Training and classes
Lessons will be on Mondays from 10h15 to 12h45 and 13h30 to 16h30.
And Tuesdays from 13h00 to 16h30
A detailed list of classes can be found on the last page.
The morning sessions will start with the students presenting the advances on their projects, and the group giving feedback and critical comments. The afternoon will be focused on content (lectures and presentations by mentors and guest lecturers) and working sessions.
The following topics will be presented:
- Public Design
- Real life interaction
- Problem analysis, brainstorming techniques and concept development
- Project mapping
- Documentation and representation of process
Level / Significance of the professional profile aimed at
This module is aimed at strengthening skills of the students when working with real constituents, interpret their interests and deliver a proposal that suits them. Given that the students will work with people different to them -and most likely from different disciplines, they will strengthen their representation and communication skills.
Entry level / Required knowledge
Earlier modules of graphic design have to been completed with sufficient result.
You are adequate in one or more of the following drawing and image manipulation software: Photoshop, Freehand or Illustrator
Additional knowledge of video and/or audio packages is an advantage (Premiere, Final Cut Studio, Media100, Logic, Cubase, Cool Edit, Protools, …)
Other authoring software the student wishes to use will have to be mastered through self-teaching. However deadlines are final, use your time efficiently.
This module has an extent of 7 ECTS. (Five study points)
25 pt Problem analysis / Problem statement & Concept
40 pt Final Presentation
20 pt Documentation of process (weekly blog posts)
15 pt Participation, Discussion, Peer Evaluation
|1 – April 11||Morning: Presentation of the module and of tutors
Afternoon: Visit to sites / introduction to projects
|2 – April 12||Afternoon: Infographics / information design lecture → Gert
-Selection of collaboration partner.
|Research on context of chosen project.||Pablo
|3 – April 18||Morning: Present problem / project maps / diagrams
Afternoon: Discussion within groups / visit to sites?
|Maps / diagrams of context around project
First series of design proposals
|4 – April 19||Afternoon: Coaching.||Pablo
|5 – April 25||Morning: Process update
|6 – April 26||Afternoon: Coaching session.||Pablo
|7 – May 2||Morning: Process update
|8 – May 3||Afternoon: Coaching.||Pablo
|9 – May 9||Morning: Process update
|10 – May 10||Afternoon: Coaching.||Pablo
|11 – May 16||Evaluation: Final presentations – Exhibition / tour||Pablo