A Lab of Labs: Methods and Approaches for a Human-Centered Design

 

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About this publication: In the field of design, ‘human-centered’ and ‘third-wave design’ approaches have been gaining traction. Design, according to these visions, should start from an empathic understanding of citizens and their needs.

With the rise of smart city technologies, this vision has become all the more urgent. How can citizens be included as ‘actors’ when designing for smart city technologies and services, rather than as mere ‘factors’? And what methods could designers use to come to conceptualize citizens not simply as ‘users’ but as ‘full human beings,’ with their personal histories, desires, emotions, and sometimes con icting interests and complex needs?

During the Design & The City event, organized by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the spring of 2016, five leading design labs and centres from around the world were invited to showcase their ways of working in a series of hands-on design charrettes. This book documents these sessions and highlights a number of methods demonstrated. Together, they form a palette of possibilities to inspire designers, public administrators, businesses and citizens alike to explore a variety of human-centered design approaches.

About the authors: 

Gabriele Ferri is a researcher at the Play & Civic Media group at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, as well as a lecturer in Design Strategy at the MSc program in Digital Design at the same university. He conducts research-through-design projects on playfulness, specula- tive design, and geolocalized storytelling.

Martijn de Waal is a senior researcher at the Lectorate of Play & Civic Media at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. His research interests include civic media, digital placemaking, and new media & public space. His most recent books include The City as Interface (NAi010 Publishers, 2014) and De Platformsamenleving (The Platform Society; Amsterdam University Press, 2016), co-written with José van Dijck and Thomas Poell.

Participating labs:

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