Department: of Product and Strategic Design
Degree programme: Master of Arts- Industrial Design
Author: Mariana Salgado
Title: Do it yourself! A toolkit for exploring scenario building
Level: Diploma Work
Number of pages: 49

Abstract:

This thesis is an exploration of collaborative and constructive work during design meetings in order to build future scenarios. It is an experimental approach that tends to encourage dialogue and rapport between users and researchers. The purpose of the project is to develop and explore the potential uses of a tangible device tool, a Toolkit, that helps researchers, designers and users to communicate ideas during a design meeting. The Toolkit was designed as an inspirational artefact that made it easier for the participants in the sessions to visualise everyday life situations.

The Toolkit consists of an open set of movable pieces used to propose scenarios. The pieces (magnets and metal prisms of different shapes) can be named, combined and identified according to a theme in the design situation. Some metal flat pieces serve as a surface for the magnetic pieces. Markers and a piece of cloth (eraser) complete the assembly.
It can be said that the pieces are like an unarticulated system that come alive once the user appropriates the Toolkit and gives codes and symbols to the pieces.
The Toolkit comes with a set of instructions and recommendations that clarify how to make and work with it. In order to benefit other projects, these instructions are simple and straightforward.
The distinct characteristic of this Toolkit is that its use concentrates on supporting people in the path towards identifying how they can take advantage of possible new applications of technology that digitalisation could offer (sharing of media, collective memory, community support, etc). Since interactivity plays a main role in these scenarios, new situations and difficulties emerge.

Because there are limitations to what a concrete set of pieces describing events in a digital dimension can offer, it was useful to generate directions for the further development of the Toolkit . Even if it is impossible to prevent what would happen, and the meetings still rely in the ability of the researchers that conduct them, the recommendations were helpful.

The main focus of the project is to identify and design the components of the Toolkit. The peripheral topics are the general atmosphere of the meeting, the roles of the participants, the suggestions on how to use the Toolkit and recommendations about the recording of the design meetings. These meetings are meaningful because it is there that researchers, designers and end-users employ the pieces of the Toolkit to share ideas and construct scenarios together, in a playful and open-ended way. The users gain support in envisioning, appropriating and conceiving their "own" solutions for future situations. The real collaboration happens in those moments. The users and the researchers can propose and interpret, getting feedback without delay. A new scenario can be built there and it can be validated.
The Toolkit was developed in several design meetings where people were trying to achieve understanding about possible futures. The stories that the users describe with the Toolkit are deconstructed, making them useful as scenario generators. The common visualisation and the deconstruction into pieces make explicit difficult topics, opening them to discussion.




Materials: magnetics-metal-adhesive paper
Keywords: toolkit- scenario building- participatory design-interactivity
Where deposited: TAIK kirjasto- UIAH library
Confidential until: