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RTD2015 31 Investigating Lay Design through Prototyping a Toolkit for Audio Equipment

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journal contribution
posted on 11.04.2019 by RTD Conference, Guido Hermans

Post-industrial design challenges the current way
of design and production of consumer products. Leveraging from 3D printing and the potential of layperson involvement in the design process, we investigated how the relation between the professional designer and layperson might change in a democratized design process, where the layperson is an active participant, mediated by toolkit software.

In this research through design study we examined this relation by prototyping a toolkit for audio equipment based upon three personas and scenarios that we developed. Consequently three audio products have been made and fabricated using 3D printing.

In the second part of this study we staged a series of discussions with design practitioners around the material that we developed. In these interviews they discussed the role of the layperson and the professional designer, accountability of both, the ways in which this toolkit creates accessibility and adaptability and the aesthetics of the product prototypes.The outcome of this study is, besides the objects and the web- based toolkit and a detailed description and discussion of the changing role of the designer and layperson, an insight that revealed the value of a research through design approach. Namely, in this study the material helped the design practitioners to become self-reflective.

 

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