On-site exhibition
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05.11.2020 – 10.01.2021

 

 

HKDI Gallery
Hong Kong Design Institute
3 King Ling Road, Tseung Kwan O

Below you will find the first selection of questions and projects exhibited at Design Does* at the HKDI Gallery.

Design Does collectively explores how design tackles the challenges faced by society, at times offering improvements and, at others, doing just the opposite. Conceived to transcend the limits of space, time and conventional formats, this project explores the responsibility that is inherent in design and the impact of design on industry, people, social systems and cultural values. Design Does questions the designer’s role today and in the future as a provider of solutions, humanist, strategist and agent of change.

Ooho
by Skipping Rocks Lab, 2017

Can we live without plastic?

Can we live without plastic?

Plastic waste is not a necessary evil. Design has contributed to its negative impact and can also play a part in its eradication.
Plastic is one of the basic materials of our society: it has helped to produce affordable goods and democratize access to many products. However, the throw-away philosophy; a production model that designs, produces, packages and sells in different countries; or the use of non-renewable materials are some of the underlying reasons behind the environmental crisis we face today. A consequence of this is the so-called “Great Pacific garbage patch”, approximately 1,400,000m2 of plastic waste which has been gathered in one place by the currents of the Pacific Ocean.
Product design has played a major role in creating this situation. It also has the capacity to find non-polluting alternatives to the packaging of the products we consume.

Ohoo! by Skipping Rocks Lab 2017

Ohoo! by Skipping Rocks Lab 2017

Every year, a billion water bottles are thrown away throughout the world. Aimed at eliminating such wasteful packaging, this English sustainable design startup has developed a bubble that contains the drinking water within an edible membrane made from a natural seaweed extract. This flexible packaging biodegrades in 4-6 weeks, about the same time as a piece of fruit, and can be used to contain other liquids, such as alcoholic drinks or cosmetics.

The best designs:

Choose your option.

25%
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75%
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Are created by nature.

25%
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Are created by humans.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. 
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The Refugee Nation Flag
by Yara Said in collaboration with The Refugee Nation / Amnesty International. 2016.

What came first, flags or identity?

What came first, flags or identity?

Symbols represent and explain ideas, and unite or divide people. Throughout history, design’s capacity to synthesise has been used to create flags.
Symbols provide people with shared means of recognition. They are open tools for communication, encompassing diverse meanings, and serve as graphic representations capable of unifying things as complex as the history, culture, territory or hopes of a group of people, as well as expressing a sense of belonging.
A flag is an embodiment of this complexity. It can imply an imposition, but also a call for justice and recognition. In a flag, design shows its power as a tool capable of delineating, distinguishing, making visible, uniting and dividing.

The refugee nation flag by Yara Said 2016

The refugee nation flag by Yara Said 2016

The aim of the Refugee Nation project is to create a symbolic nation that represents the millions of displaced people around the world. In the context of the Rio 2016 Olympics, Yara Said, a Syrian refugee, designed this flag to represent the ten athletes who made up the first refugee team in history. Said drew her inspiration from the colours used for life jackets. Although ultimately its use in the Olympic games was not permitted, as it did not represent an official Olympic federation, the flag has helped to raise awareness of the plight of refugees throughout the world.
Want to learn more?

Flags mainly serve to...

Choose your option.

25%
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75%
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Unite.

25%
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75%
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Divide.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. 
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Free Universal Construction Kit
by Golan Levin (F.A.T. Lab) and Shawn Sims (Sy-Lab), 2012

How can we join together what industry separates?

How can we join together what industry separates?

Compatibility or incompatibility between systems, products and technologies is a result of design. Industrial and technological standards can put up walls, but they can also open the door to collaboration.
Design produces and reproduces industrial and technological standards: patterns of use, operation and compatibility between brands, systems or products. Some of these standards build bridges to allow different formats to function compatibly with one another, while others intend to do the opposite and erect barriers. An example of this are Android and Apple phone chargers, which are not compatible with each other. These deliberate incompatibilities are intended to include or exclude markets and users. This is where the politics of design is most evident.
In defiance of both this and the laws governing intellectual property, do-it-yourself and free culture movements exploit the ease with which digital files can be circulated, copied and modified to promote a collective intelligence which positively rethinks and reconstructs the products that surround us.

Free Universal Construction Kit by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims 2012

Free Universal Construction Kit by Golan Levin and Shawn Sims 2012

Free Universal Construction Kit is a matrix of around 80 pieces that enable users to fit together the ten most popular children’s construction toys. By allowing any object to be joined to any other, the kit opens new ways to connect incompatible systems, paving the way for previously impossible designs and giving children the opportunity to be more creative. The kit pieces are open-source, meaning they can be downloaded free of charge on the Internet and produced using a 3D printer. Download link: http://fffff.at/free-universal-construction-kit/#download

What would you choose?

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Interoperability and open-source.

25%
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Comfort and design.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. 
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Love me Tinder
by Domestic Data Streamers, 2018

Do all cultures consume in the same way?

Do all cultures consume in the same way?

Global products often have a single design for a range of different users. Eventually, people will learn to adapt this design to satisfy their own needs.
Tool design is based on preconceptions regarding how the tools will be used and for what purpose. This implies a series of particular values and ways of understanding humans, work, relationships and creativity. In other words, a design is never culturally neutral. While objects may be designed with a particular use in mind, their actual use will depend on each user.
Design, therefore, is a space for negotiation – and conflict – between companies, technical possibilities, desires, interests and ideologies. The eventual uses of an object or service are flexible, and often differ from the uses intended by the designer.

Love Me Tinder by Domestic Data Streamers 2018

Love Me Tinder by Domestic Data Streamers 2018

Love me tinder comprises five mobile phones which can be used to explore 48 profiles from the Tinder dating app. These models, created from a study of real users, illustrate how an app designed with a specific use can be reappropriated for different purposes. This installation offers visitors an interactive experience which delves into the intended and actual uses of a virtual space used, in theory, for the sole purpose of finding companionship.
Want to learn more?

Film:
Her, written, directed, and produced by Spike Jonze

Article:
First Evidence That Online Dating Is Changing the Nature of Society, by MIT.

Project:
How Users Matter. The Co-Construction of Users and Technology. by Nelly Oudshoorn and Trevor Pinch

Digital apps...

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25%
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Help us to relate to one another in different ways.

25%
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75%
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Standardise our relationships.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. Thanks for taking part.

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Intangible Design
Intangible Design, by Elisava Research and Domestic Data Streamers, 2018.

Can we design what we cannot see?

Can we design what we cannot see?

In a reality that evolves and changes at a dizzying pace, science and design are being asked to understand one another and even to converge.
Traditionally, disciplines like the arts, natural sciences, design and social sciences have been perceived as separate fields. Science and design have different aims, practices and methodologies. Science is capable of generating rigorous and significant knowledge, while design attempts to modify the world around us.
By creating spaces that bring the disciplines together, science can help design to find new interpretive frameworks, and design, is as an applied tool capable of measuring and translating different forms of knowledge and practice, can generate positive ways of understanding and intervening in reality. Design and science can work together to improve people’s lives.

Intangible Design Intangible Design, by Elisava Research and Domestic Data Streamers 2018. 2018

Intangible Design Intangible Design, by Elisava Research and Domestic Data Streamers 2018. 2018

Recent research has shown that water has memory: its composition maintains some of the properties of substances that were previously dissolved in it. Elisava Research has analysed and compared the effect that different receptacles have on the properties of water, which, it has concluded, is indeed affected by the form, volume, material and colour of the container.
Want to learn more?

Article:
Design and Science. Can design advance science, and can science advance design?, by Joichi Ito. 

Artist:
Lisa Park

Artist:
Move flowers with your mind, Use telekinesis to move flowers in Sustainable Magic’s latest artwork, by Maks Fus Mickiewicz.

What are design’s best travelling companions?

What are design’s best friends?

25%
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Science and reason

25%
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Art and intuition.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. 
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Pig 05049
by Christien Meindertsma, 2008

Where do things come from?

Where do things come from?

The objects and products that surround us have a history. Design, as a catalyst for research, can be used to reconstruct that history.
The services and products that we consume on a daily basis are composed of a multitude of elements and, before reaching us, undergo a series of processes. Most of the time, tracing their origin is an arduous, if not impossible, task. This is partly because of the opacity of the processes themselves but also the enormous complexity of mass production.
Just as forensic science resolves crimes by reconstructing their history through physical clues, design can, beyond producing objects and driving processes, act as a research space to help us understand how something is made. Design can expose the reality hidden within objects or reveal how we are using our planet’s resources. Design can thus make industrial processes more transparent and help us better understand the origins of what we consume.

Pig 05049 by Christien Meindertsma 2008

Pig 05049 by Christien Meindertsma 2008

05049 was a pig bred on a Dutch farm. After its death, the animal was cut up and distributed throughout the world, its different parts eventually featuring in a total of 185 products. Among some of the more unexpected goods are ammunition, medicine, photographic paper, heart valves, brakes, chewing gum, cosmetics and cigarettes. After three years of research, Christien Meindertsma published this book, in which all the products derived from 05049 are shown at their true scale.
Want to learn more?

Which has more power to change things?

Choose your option

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Industry.

25%
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75%
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People.

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Futurecraft Tailored Fibre
by Adidas + Alexander Taylor + Parley for the Oceans, 2016

Do brands want to adapt to new business models?

Do brands want to adapt to new business models?

In the information era, people increasingly look for goods and services that are adapted to their individual needs. Thanks to new technologies, Industry 4.0 is capable of making this a reality.
The mass production that resulted from the First Industrial Revolution in the 19th century provided a limited range of products. In the final two decades of the 20th century, the market demanded greater product personalisation, to meet the needs of different sectors of the population. With the advent of the Internet and personalised recommendations came the on-demand economy, in which individuals seek to satisfy their ever-more specific consumer preferences.
In response to these ultra-specialised demands, and thanks to the technical capacities of 3D printing and the automation of processes of organisation, production and distribution, we are now undergoing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industry 4.0, as it is also known, translates the cultural and consumer demands of the digital world into industrial-scale production.

Futurecraft Tailored Fibre by Adidas + Alexander Taylor + Parley for the Oceans 2016

Futurecraft Tailored Fibre by Adidas + Alexander Taylor + Parley for the Oceans 2016

Industrial designer Alexander Taylor explores the new forms of production of Industry 4.0, using technologies like 3D printing or through the development of sustainable products. Adidas has collaborated with his studio and Parley for the Oceans to manufacture footwear from recycled plastic waste found in the sea. Trainers are produced from a single piece of plastic, and can be personalised by the customer.
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Commercial brands...

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25%
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Help us to express our personality.

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Contribute to our homogenisation.

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Follow
by Daniel Armengol Altayó. 2018.

Who controls whom?

Who controls whom?

Behaviour and perception can also be designed. This is not only design’s great power, but also its great responsibility.
We don’t interact in the same way with a door fitted with a metal plate as we do with one that has a doorknob. A doorknob can tell us to “pull” or “push”. A metal plate only allows us to push. Design creates, modifies and determines behaviour, making certain actions possible or impossible. On Facebook, for example, we can click on “like” but do not have the option to “dislike”. These increasingly conscious decisions are aimed at favouring certain behavioural patterns over others can be seen in all kinds of environments.
The field of experience design seeks to understand, drive and modulate the sensations experienced and actions performed by users or clients of a product or service. Here, design can be seen to wield great power, which comes, as Roosevelt once told the American people, with great responsibility.

Follow by Daniel Armengol Altayó 2018

Follow by Daniel Armengol Altayó 2018

The installation consists of two spaces of identical dimensions. One is inhabited by someone who has agreed to be there for the duration of the exhibition and is equipped with a controller and virtual reality glasses. The second is empty, waiting for someone to occupy it. [Through the controller, the recent arrival can define the movements of the person in the first space.]
Want to learn more?

When do you feel free?

Choose your option.

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A smartphone gives you freedom.

25%
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75%
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A smartphone doesn't give you freedom.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. Thanks for taking part.

Aquapioneers,
by Aquapioneers, 2018

How can we feed 10 billion people?

How can we feed 10 billion people?

Our current system of food production is highly polluting. Design can help to reduce its impact, while at the same time improving food quality.
The environmental crisis facing us today has led various stakeholders in the food production chain to take action. With the intention of reducing environmental impact while also increasing efficiency, these actors are experimenting with alternatives to pesticides, extensive farming or animal cruelty, or attempting to reduce the distances that separate food production and consumption.
Biology, agriculture, livestock farming, transport, engineering and communications all interrelate in the attempt to transform the current food production system, on both a microscopic and global scale, and to design new and more sustainable models which improve both our food and our environment.

Aquapioneers by Aquapioneers 2018

Aquapioneers by Aquapioneers 2018

Aquapioneers is a Barcelona-based start-up company that develops sustainable urban agriculture and promotes self-sufficiency in cities. The technology it employs is based on the principles of aquaponics: an ancestral technique that uses the interaction between beneficial bacteria, fish and plants in a closed cycle simultaneously to raise fish and grow vegetables. Aquaponic ecosystems can produce food close to where it will be consumed and can reduce the environmental impact of the fresh-food supply chain.

In the future your diet will be based on:

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25%
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think like you

75%
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Eating what you can produce.

25%
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75%
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Eating what you can buy.

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Nano-futures
by Elisava Research and Domestic Data Streamers. 2018.

How can a material change our lives?

How can a material change our lives?

The constant evolution of materials used by humans as tools has reached a new milestone: graphene.
Our civilisation cannot be understood without knowledge of how people have employed the materials that surround us. We have been using silicon, for example, since the dawn of humanity. One thousand five hundred years ago, our ancestors used dry lava to build sharp tools. The early Mesopotamian civilisations learned to use silicon to make glass and, therefore, windows and bottles. Today, the digital revolution would not have been possible without silicon’s properties as a semiconductor, an essential part of all electronic devices.
Like silicon, graphene is being hailed as a revolutionary material. The difference is that graphene was isolated only in 2004. Its possibilities, like those of silicon forty years ago, are unimaginable today.

Nano-Futures by ELISAVA Research and Domestic Data Streamers 2018

Nano-Futures by ELISAVA Research and Domestic Data Streamers 2018

Graphene, a substance composed of pure carbon, has properties that will bring about a paradigm change in design: it can be 200 times stronger than steel, five times lighter than aluminium, and has the capacity to store energy. Its applications range from the construction of vehicles or buildings to prostheses or flexible screens. This installation, which is linked to the work of Elisava Research, introduces the graphene molecule and poses a series of questions concerning its future applications.
Want to learn more?

Talk:
TED Talk by Mikael Fogelstrom:
Graphene, from a layer of atoms to applications.

Article:
Graphene Batteries, by Bruce Sterling.

Article:
Graphene: Building a Bridge between Media, Market and Industry, by Elisava Research.

What does a new material represent?

A new material means:

25%
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Infinite opportunities.

25%
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75%
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Hidden dangers.

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Death Inc.
by Domestic Data Streamers. 2018.

Should we allow everything to be automated?

Should we allow everything to be automated?

In autonomous systems capable of taking important decisions, design doesn’t just respond to forms and processes, but also to ethical concerns.
The idea of the autonomous machine (robots, drones, automatic cars) has been fuelling technological progress for centuries. Today, this dream is becoming a reality, and with the promise of progress and efficiency come a series of dangers that should be addressed by design. When we delegate to a machine, the machine will take decisions on our behalf. But who defines the criteria by which these decisions are made? Take a self-driving car, for example. Should it run over a pedestrian or kill its driver in the event of an imminent collision? When faced with the choice, should it allow a crash causing costly damage or run over a dog?
These questions lead to a broader and perhaps more pressing issue: can ethics be designed?

Death Inc. by Domestic Data Streamers 2018

Death Inc. by Domestic Data Streamers 2018

South Korea has installed autonomous weapons along its border with North Korea. Autonomous weapons, or “killer robots,” are robotic armament systems capable of identifying and attacking a target without human participation. So, decisions concerning someone’s life and death, until now the responsibility of other people, may today be taken by machines. This ethical conflict opens a new chapter in the debate over whether we can or should program the ethics of a machine and what the guiding principles of these ethics should be. Today, several companies have agreed not to produce autonomous weapons, just as happened in the past with anti-personnel mines.
Want to learn more?

Project:
Firearms printed in 3D.

Project:
Avy Search and Rescue Drone, by Paul Vastert, David Wielemaker, Christian Mccabe and Patrique Zaman.

Article:
Autonomous weapon systems and the principle of discrimination, by Ariel Guersenzvaig.

If an innocent death is caused by an autonomous weapon, who is responsible?

Choose your option.

25%
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75%
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The weapon’s designer.

25%
Of people think like you

75%
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The politician that started the war.

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LACHESIS
by Laia Mogas and Giusy Matzeu. 2018.

Where is the boundary between the artificial and the natural?

Where is the boundary between the artificial and the natural?

Engineering nature implies using the properties of natural elements to explore new materials and applications. Humans are not the only living beings that build spaces in which to live, shelter, work and relate to one another. Ants, bees, silkworms and birds use materials and forms of construction which are similar to those used by people.
In turn, we use some of their materials – such as beeswax or silk – to create new objects. Spaces have therefore been created by humans in collaboration with or through the exploitation of these animals, whose intelligence and capacity for engineering and design are a model to follow.
In a context of environmental collapse design can create space for dialogue between humans and other living beings. This may blur the line between the concepts of “wild” and “domestic,” constructing ways for species to relate to and live with one another that are enriching and respectful.

LACHESIS by Laia Mogas and Giusy Matzeu 2018

LACHESIS by Laia Mogas and Giusy Matzeu 2018

These interactive surfaces are sensitive textiles that respond to changes caused by the rain, skin contact or emotions by altering their colour. The fabrics absorb and interpret the imbalances that arise inside and outside our bodies and in our surroundings, through different chemical reactions. These changes leave their imprint on the textile, which evolves and transforms over time. LACHESIS is a project designed and developed by architect Laia Mogas and engineer Giusy Matzeu at the Tufts University Silklab and was directed by Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto. The team’s work forms part of current efforts to connect science, technology and the arts with the design and manufacture of increasingly interactive products and materials.
Want to learn more?

Article:
The Beauty of Bacteria, by Julie Lasky.

Book:
Biodesign: nature, science, creativity, by William Myers.

Book:
Engineering Nature, by Ray Ascott.

Which is more efficient?

Choose your option.

25%
Of people
think like you

75%
Of people
disagree

Nature.

25%
Of people think like you

75%
Of people disagree

Robots.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. Thanks for taking part.

Smart Citizen
by FABLAB Barcelona, 2012

Where do data come from?

Where do data come from?

Open-source design is a philosophy that allows citizens to generate their own tools based on their individual needs.
Many of the devices we interact with on a daily basis work like a black box. A tablet, for example, reacts to our touch, but for most people the process that makes this possible is a mystery. There are other systems, such as Arduino, however, which are designed to be intervened in, expanded and used creatively by anyone. These kinds of technologies have been designed to be highly flexible, allowing them to provide solutions to a multitude of problems.
Using the open code concept, designers, engineers, town planners or citizens employ already existing tools to better understand and transform their environment. Here, design is at the service of social needs, creating alternatives for and with those who are affected, based on their specific needs, and generating spaces for learning and integrative creativity. New spaces are thereby opened for political and citizen participation, and to allow these actors to have an impact on the cities where they live.

Smart Citizen by FABLAB Barcelona 2012

Smart Citizen by FABLAB Barcelona 2012

Smart Citizen offers an alternative to the centralized data generation and management systems used by large corporations that constitute the driving force behind the ‘smart city’ concept. This project uses Arduino technology to enable ordinary citizens to gather information on their environment and make it available to the public. For example, Making Sense was one of the projects developed thanks to the Smart Citizen platform, which, through data collected by devices, gave local residents a say in town-planning policies and decisions in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. For the Design Does exhibition edition in Barcelona 2018, three Smart Citizen devices have been installed at different locations around Barcelona, allowing comparisons to be made concerning the different levels of pollution, temperatures, noise and humidity in these places. There are currently many devices installed in several parts of the world, including Hong Kong.
Want to learn more?

Project:
Fixperts.

Book:
Design, When Everybody Designs, by Ezio Manzini

Initiative:
Desis Network.

Who knows you best?

Choose your option.

25%
Of people
think like you

75%
Of people
disagree

Google and Facebook.

25%
Of people think like you

75%
Of people disagree

Your family.

All this data will be part of the Design Does* research project. 
Thanks for taking part.

Decoding Creativity
by ELISAVA Research

Can we measure creativity?

Can we measure creativity?

New challenges require new solutions. As creativity is fundamental to the future, the ability to measure and apply this skill becomes vital.
We live in a world of constant change in which the capacity to adapt and innovate is crucial. Creativity is a highly useful tool when it comes to generating new viewpoints and ways of working, and not just in design but also in business, management, logistics, mobility and politics.
Just as there are methods for identifying leadership or organisational capacities, there is also a need for systems that can map and measure creative skills. Doing so may help organisations better understand how to nurture and harness creativity, analysing their own strengths and weaknesses, and incorporating profiles capable of contributing where necessary in the design process. Here, research in design can help to make visible what was previously imperceptible, and use it as a tool to improve work processes and results.

Decoding Creativity by ELISAVA Research

Decoding Creativity by ELISAVA Research

Creative Decoding Tool is a tool developed by ELISAVA Research which enables the user better to understand creative profiles through a series of questions related to key skills in design processes. This system has been developed with the aim of understanding the relationship between a person responsible for creative tasks and the skills they can offer, and seeks to understand the tools available to help them succeed in the development of projects or their wider work.
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