Pathway: Experience Design
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” - Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind
Understanding and mapping the body’s lived experiences - Students discussing their body maps as part of a workshop with somaesthetic practitioner Shabari Rao.
The Vision of the course is to create balanced practitioners and reflective makers in the field of Experience Design.A balanced practitioner, who delivers effectively and ethically to the demands of the field of Experience Design at present, while continuing their own quest for mastery of the craft of designing for experiences through a self-critical and informed approach of reflection-in-action.A reflective maker, who is equipped with the creative confidence to navigate the inevitable future complexities and uncertainties of this emerging field, challenge status-quo, to not only inform current and future technologies, but also the larger practice through conscious experimentation and knowledge building.The aspiring practitioner-inquirer begins by unpacking the very idea of experience design by asking some very fundamental questions:
- What is an experience? And, where is it situated, really?
- And, what then are the elements of an experience?
- What is design? And, can experiences be designed for, at all?
As the human paradigms shift from the ‘efficient and usable’ to those of ‘well-being and care’, how does one,
- Craft for services, systems, interfaces and interactions that are pliable to the needs of those who interact with it?
- Understand the intricacies of human-technology interactions i.e. the nuances of the human and non-human somas to encourage complementary relationships?
- Speculate, envision and inform future technologies that respect and truly coexist within the ecosystems they are to be in?
- Build for complex cultural contexts such as that of India, to create futuristic, yet authentic experiences for its populace?
- Design consciously, with cognizance to the environment and impacts on it?
Although digital technology is the primary ‘material of play’ for the experience designer, this course is not limited by it. The larger vision is informed by the quest to create opportunities for people to be able to enhance their lived experiences - with and through technologies as the creators, facilitators and mediators of those experiences.
Our curriculum and its experience are guided by core values that fosters the space for the development of an independent, critical and creative practice of shaping experiences, and its discourses thereof. The values are:
Learning opportunities in the specialisation in Design Education course are embedded in the following structures:
- Tutorials: Master classes, workshops, seminars and study units including MOOCs, Think Quests, Webinars etc.
- Studios, Labs and Circles: Immersive spaces and forums that foster making, experimenting, conversations, thinking and a sense of being.
- Peer Circles: Participative opportunities for dialogue and reviews that can be facilitated and independent, face-to-face or via blogs, discussion board conversations, wiki creation.
- Practice: Experiential, embodied, field-based research which could include that in the workplace.
- Electives: Engagement outside the disciplinary framework, that allows for extension and building connections. It can include visits to exhibitions, plays, places, talks, walks, participation in workshops, studios, conferences and residencies.
- Portfolio: Development of a reflective and curated body of work, which represents evidence of growth, development and application of research in professional practice over the duration of the course.
- Practice as Mastery: Practice based research and its documentation; academic exegesis and viva voce.
Debriefing session with Team Yuvva, Team Janastu and Team Srishti while working with indigenous communities of Bidar and co-creating imaginative worlds to sustain their cultural practices using voice technology.
As an inquiry-driven course the aspiring practitioner-enquirer operates with Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. The lines of inquiry could have either a conceptual, contextual or technological focus, or a combination of these.
The learning is informed ground up - through first dismantling and understanding experiences, and then moving on to build for experiences in the real, lived world. Learners engage with theories, methodologies and approaches that transcend disciplines, and focus on advancing the key skills of recognizing patterns, making connections and applying “whole-brain” thinking which is informed primarily by “doing” and “experiencing”.
Learners are encouraged to apply theories and frameworks to what they design to not only value the research and constructs created by others, but also question and reformulate existing norms. Discussion-based, project-based and peer-learning are some pedagogical approaches employed to create insights into real-life situations and lived experiences. As a learner moves across disciplinary and trans-disciplinary learning and engagements in-situ, a process of independent practice emerges, forming the abilities to speculate, critically make, discern and align, as well as being ethically responsible.
In contrast to the accepted parlance of ‘User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Design’, as prevalent today, we expect pushing the very boundaries of the field of designing experiences for tomorrow. Such a challenging of status-quo is based on a deep understanding of contexts, insightfulness, self-reflexivity and a strong bias for being collaborative and empathetic, and engaging with complexity, and intensive and iterative making.
Upon successful completion of this specialization, graduates will have the capabilities to:
- Understand Experiences: Observe and systematically evaluate everyday human activities and develop an empathetic and nuanced understanding of the human, lived experience.
- Understand Contexts and be Insightful: Engage with multiple forms of data sourced from multiple stakeholders through participatory methods and synthesize into novel insights that will inform design.
- Position self in practice: Discern and align to develop an informed stance on historical, current and emerging trends about the relationship between the embodied and lived experiences and technology through conscious perceiving, questioning, and distinguishing between information from different sources, theories and knowledge forms.
- Adopt a multidisciplinary approach: to problem-solving or enhancing experiences and develop divergent and convergent design thinking abilities and make connections, to convert the empathetic insights from research into purposeful and value-laden concepts.
- Negotiate complexities at a systems-and-services level: Comprehend and negotiate the complex dynamics and interdependencies between the audience, culture, ecology, business, design and technology through analytical, critical and strategic thinking at a systems-and-services level.
- Make to iterate and reflect: with multiple media and materials and technological artifacts for iterative or critical evaluation.
- Communicate compellingly: the design process to invite critique and develop a community of stakeholders for the work.
- Be Responsible: Be aware of, transparent and ethical in acknowledging and articulating one’s position with respect to the social, cultural, and political implications of technology, and one’s design interventions.
Engaging in methods of experience design as a way of learning: Participatory paper prototyping, storyboarding, and mapping with end-users and stakeholders in context.
We set the foundation for individuals who want to become balanced practitioners and reflective makers in the field of experience design and push the boundaries of the practice, challenge status-quo, and equips them to think critically and creatively through conscious experimentation and knowledge building.
We therefore expect the aspiring practitioners to responsibly build and be part of organizations tomorrow that are at the forefront of questioning and redefining what authentic and futuristic experiences are made of, and how that could inform current and future technologies.
Graduates may find opportunities to innovate for digital products and technologies and practice in the fields of design research, strategic user experience design, strategic service design, interaction design and user-interface design.
cultural, and political implications of technology, and one’s design interventions.
Presenting collaborative visions of an archive of oral knowledge enabled by a Mesh WiFI Network, as a way to engage with the public of Bidar in collaboration with Team Yuvva, Janastu at the Deccan Living Labs.
The course is informed by the following learning disciplines:
Research and Collaboration
The students under this course will have the opportunity to work with the following centers and labs at Srishti Manipal.
Students exploring Embodied Interactions in groups through activities