interaction design workshop 2011

Objectives

Interaction design is looking at the relationships between people, technology and society (Hand, Mitrovic, Smyth, 2010). It is not just about people or the world around them, it is about the interactions between them. Interaction design is an approach – a process of designing relationships rather than things. It emerged from designing for electronic systems, but that thinking can be applied to all sorts of areas (Dunne, 2007).

Interaction designers are hybrid designers, they don't fit in neat categories, they are a mixture of artists, engineers, designers, thinkers (Dunne, 2007). It is a highly multidisciplinary field, which includes design (graphic, product and interface), psychology, sociology, communication science, anthropology, computer science, engineering, information and communication technologies, architecture and art.

Department of Visual Communications Design is organizing a series of workshops splitinteractions as an introduction to interaction design in Croatia and region. The workshops will further promote the multidisciplinary educational approach started with the successful Convivio Summer School in Split in 2004.

Goals

Overall goals of the workshops are:

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to promote Interaction Design to students and the public in this region;

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to promote design as a different way of thinking;

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to help students to gain new insights and new knowledge;

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to help students to become better and reflective designers;

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to create new opportunities for future collaborations.

By inviting students from a range of disciplines and universities, we aim to give participants the experience of:

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multidisciplinary group work;

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interaction design methods;

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critical and socially-responsible design;

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state of the art of digital and new technologies;

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realistic professional practice.

We also encourage participants to go beyond the limits of design definitions, and to re-think what design is today. User-centred design process is emphasised along with issues of social responsibility and the role design has in relating to and empowering local communities.

Themes of previous workshops were: Communities in Transition; People-Centred Methodology; Public Spaces; Technology, Interactions and Learning; and Invisible Cities. Previous workshops were led by international experts from the field of interaction design, coming from the following institutions: Royal Institute of Technology - KTH, Stockholm; Limerick School of Art and Design, University of Limerick; California State University East Bay; School of Arts and Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University; Royal College of Art (RCA), London; Konstfack - University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm.

More than 120 students participated at the workshops (students of visual communications and product design, applied arts, architecture, computer science and ICT, video and film, and sociology) from the University of Split, Zadar, Rijeka and Zagreb. Projects designed and developed at the workshops were exhibited and awarded at festivals and exhibitions in Croatia and Slovenia.

The Hybrid City

This 6th workshop is organized by the Department of Visual Communications Design, Arts Academy and the British Council. It is supported by the University of Split. This year topic was The Hybrid cities.

The Hybrid City is an urban environment that comprises of both the physical and the digital (virtual). This workshop dealt with questions of how we might interact with it in the future.

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How we will deal with future urban experience that is enhanced by technology that increasingly enables simultaneous existence in both the virtual and real worlds?

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Which are the forms in which data residing in our environment will be presented, and how we decide to conceptualise it?

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How we will choose to interact with this technologically enriched environment and how to navigate through this information landscape?

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Which dynamics are involved in the organization of the city and how people and digital/virtual things can interact together (city has a living membrane - organic city)?

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What about these new zones, between reality and fiction? How these zones/territories will interact with each other and who are their inhabitants (digital and physical private and public spaces)?

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What are the electromagnetic fields that cross our territory? How we could modify them? Can we own a piece of air?

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How all this will influence our privacy and will it generate new paranoia?

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Will this generate new digital gap and what about inclusivity and accessibility of hybrid cities? How hybrid cities will influence our everyday practice? What is the everyday made of?

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What will be the future urban/hybrid myth[s]?

Faculty and participants

The coordinator and workshop leader was assistant professor Ivica Mitrovic from the Department of Visual Communications Design. There will be two groups/ateliers, one led by Michael Smyth from Centre for interaction design, Edinburgh Napier University and Nelly Ben Hayoun, freelance designer and guest lecturer at University of Westminster and Kingston University in London.

Participants of the workshop were students (29) of design (visual communications, new media, interactive and product), applied art and art pedagogy, painting and sculpturing from the Universities of Split, Rijeka and Zagreb and from Ljubljana and Beograd.

Projects developed during the workshop were presented at a public presentation at the Arts Academy on the last day of the workshop. All projects are documented on this web site.

Workshop leaders: