Performing Design – public lecture

or… How what we make does stuff

In our climate of change, design is applied to describe all manner of intangible things. Alongside traditional products of design, the world now turns to designers to define better services, specify more joyful interactions, and find more useful ways to frame problems. Professional fields such as service, UX, interaction and strategic design evidence a turn away from framing design as a process of making things, toward design as a way to support people’s experiences.

One look at the plenitude of designStuff® we’re faced with today shows that designers are still very involved in making things, but this turn toward experience has changed the process that many designers use to do design. As the material of design becomes more intangible, designers have turned to an increasing range of artefacts to build, represent and communicate their understandings of a situation.

In this presentation I frame design artefacts in terms of the way they encourage—or dissuade—ambiguity in the design process. In this light, we will examine the way designers use artefacts in the performance of design, or… how what we make does stuff.