B. Working Interdisciplinary

The interdisciplinary nature of this subject allows designers with varying skills and interests to unite and utilise their specialised skills towards a common goal. This applies to the literal sense of designing, whereby physical skills are broadened within the group and designed outcomes can be more collaborative and extensive in order to “uncover a newer, more powerful solution (Pagés 2013). This may, however, also be seen as a detriment to the group dynamic, as students often have contrasting opinions upon approaching a brief, as a result of their individual experiences within other disciplines.

The caddie design project challenged our group significantly as it forced us to look beyond the foundational elements of design and consider strategy as a designed element. It also, however, presented opportunities to tailor an outcome which would play to the strengths of the group. Visual Communications students were able to apply knowledge of layout and visual hierarchy as well as technical skills within design programs, whilst product designers were able to apply their methods of prototyping and product testing to our caddie design.

This task ultimately allowed us to observe the role of designers within the wider community such as within organic waste systems. Our processes consider numerous influencing factors such as varying audiences, environments and visual desires, as well as practical skills such as aesthetics, production and promotion. Designers are highly skilled individuals with interest beyond the expanse of aesthetics. We are often highly concerned about the needs of consumers and use this knowledge in the conceptual stages of the design process. As a result, designers are highly useful in approaching “wicked problems” (Buchanan 1992) such as the management of waste, as we understand that the needs of such issues go beyond a simple solution.

System design must consider a multitude of influencing factors ranging from user demographics to financial constraints within production. For this reason, design can be seen as an instrumental elements to the formation of systems as we are required to respond to the actions of consumers and consider the process of using such product or system. This ultimately results in a “systematic and rigorous approach to design” that is “user-centred.” (Dubberly 2006)

Establishing a group charter is of high importance as it “clarifies team direction” (Life Cycle Engineering 2015) whilst beginning to educate members about the interests, strengths, weaknesses and experiences of their collaborators. This was no exception to our own group as we were able to recognise each others’ capabilities whilst establishing foundational beliefs for the group and our goals within the subject. The charter ultimately acts as a reminder for members to collaborate effectively in order to succeed.

References:

Life Cycle Engineering 2015, Team Charters: What are they and what’s their purpose?, Charleston SC, viewed 7 May 2017, <https://www.lce.com/Team-Charters-What-are-they-and-whats-their-purpose-1219.html>.

How Design 2013, The Interdisciplinary Design Approach, Florida, viewed 7 May 2017, <http://www.howdesign.com/design-firm/the-interdisciplinary-design-approach/>.

Dubberly Design Office 2006, What is Systems Design, San Francisco, viewed 8 May 2017, <http://www.dubberly.com/articles/what-is-systems-design.html>.

Buchanan, R. 1992, ‘Wicked Problems in Design Thinking.’ Design Issues, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 14-15.

Data Deconstruction

My last post talked about the significant importance of material separation at waste collection points. A focused approach on waste separation, while reducing general waste and improving quality of recycled materials, can also result substantial cost reductions. This is due to the expensive waste processing costs which are inevitably passed onto the consumer. Less processing = less cost. Although waste separation may be a suitable solution in the researched setting, it may not be the right solution in the real world where many unseen factors contribute to the way a society handles waste.

In this post, I will talk about the research and data analysis methods used in my study and highlight where these methods may need further development in order to successfully translate into conceptualised solutions.

 

Before deciding on an appropriate research method, we should have a complete understanding of the waste management services available to us regardless of popularity or effectiveness. My household waste research is limited to landfill which, although common, considerably understates the entirety of the industry. The waste industry, with the help of much-needed government funding for grants and innovation in the field, is a complex network of competing businesses including equipment hire and sales, logistics, planning, processing and brokerage of all things. Yes, in industrial settings, waste management companies such as Veolia, Sita, Cleanaway and ReSource will compete to remove waste (for a cost) and pass onto landfill (for a slightly lower cost). Ahh, capitalism. Because of this complexity, a well-considered solution should take into account the comprehensive array of potential avenues available to us. An example of commercial waste management services can be seen in the video on the front page of the ReSource website (ReSource Environmental Solutions 2012).

cash-toilet

Image 1 – Artistic parody of throwing money away.

My household research was also limiting in regards to data collection and analysis. The waste produced by a single person over the period of 24 hours will generate a considerably small sample size when data can only reflect output waste over that particular day. For example, my data did not show a milk carton in my waste. Analysis of this would suggest that I do not drink milk at all, which is untrue. Additional to this, the products in my personal waste reflect only what resides in my household. Many other items of my daily consumption contribute to landfill such as the coffee grinds from my coffee which, in this case, the waste would be the responsibility of the coffee shop where it was purchased. This is in contrast to a high-rise office setting where the coffee could potentially be produced and consumed within the one waste management system. In short, small sample data collection can produce information that is largely irrelevant on a mass scale.

It is also important to recognise the type of waste produced as certain materials require completely different management strategies. In some cases, the waste may need to be processed on site before being moved and in other cases, waste can be converted into usable material on site without the need for external processing, excluding it from landfill altogether. This can be commonly seen in organic waste management, where large buildings can separate and successfully utilise compost produced by a closed system. It is also not surprising to see organic materials as one of the highest contributors to household waste. “Around 50% of household waste and 30% of all waste we throw away is organic” (Environmental Protection Authority 2016).

rcycle-orgnic-waste

Image 2 – Valuable soil can easily be produced from organic waste.

 

To conclude, we can see that there is a complex landscape within the waste industry which requires careful consideration before attempting to conceptualise a solution. Following this post, I would like to explore the possibilities of organic waste management and how we can tackle the perceptions of the past.

 

 

References

Content

Environmental Protection Authority 2016, Organic Waste, viewed on 14 June 2016, <http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/waste/organic-waste.htm>.

Resource Environmental Solutions 2012, why we are different, videorecording, viewed 14 June 2016, <http://www.wastemanagement.com.au/>.

 

Images

Image 1 – Inciyildirim 2014, Recycle Organic Waste, WordPress, viewed on 14 June 2016, <https://inciyil17.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/recycle-organic-waste/>.

Image 2 – Roots SA 2011, Media buying is not for the faint hearted, viewed on 14 June 2016, <http://rootssa.com/blog/media-buying-is-not-for-the-fainthearted>.

Post B: Data collecting methods

It is very important to do more surveys and researches to investigate the organic waste, as it is very associated with people’s daily lives and even the future of the human beings. During the researches, the data methods play a very important role in the success of the projects and it mainly includes the qualitative methods and the quantitative methods. By combining the qualitative methods and the quantitative methods, people can know more about the results and people’s various kinds of ideas in the actual situations (Ritchie et al, 2013).

The qualitative method refers to the methods that are aiming to figure out the reasons that result in certain phenomena (Pickard, 2012). In the surveys, it mainly used the interview methods and by making good use of the interviews, it can help the researchers to better catch the ideas of the participants. One on one interview is the communication between the interviewer and the interviewees (Matthews & Ross, 2014). In the researches, it is aiming to explore citizens’ ideas about the organic waste, such as their future directions and how people can minimize their waste.survey-graphic_sized First of all, the interviewees will be selected, as they should be various kinds of ages and the occupations so that it can make the data more realistic. For example, it covers mainly four age range, namely the children under 16 years old, young people from 17-27 years old, middle age from 28-45 years old and the elder people above 46 years old. Moreover, about the occupations, such as white collar, students and so on, the number of each occupation group selected is about three and it is totally up to 24 persons in the interview researching method. Secondly, about the time schedule, it is set about 15-20 minutes per person and try to get more data as much as possible. Thirdly, it is very necessary to set the suitable questions, as the time is limited. Therefore, the questions mainly include three directions, namely the formation of the organic waste, the recognition of the organic waster and the solutions. After doing the data collections, we use the quantitative methods to analyze the reasons and the future development of how to solve the organic waste issues.

When talking about the interviews method, it does belong one of the most useful researching methods that can help the researchers to figure out the thoughts of the participants about certain researching questions. However, it also has some limitations, which should be paid more attention to. For the participants, not all of them are willing to spend time in completing the interviews. At the same time, it is very important to keep the privacy of the participants and should not leak out the personal information. In a word, the interview researching surveys does really useful and it can provide many different kinds of data for the researchers in the actual situations. In the future study, it will try to overcome the limitations and develop the strength of the certain researching methods in order to complete the surveys well.

Reference

Matthews, B., & Ross, L. (2014). Research methods. New York: Pearson Higher Ed.

Pickard, A. (2012). Research methods in information. London: Facet publishing.

Ritchie, J., Lewis, J., Nicholls, C. M., & Ormston, R. (Eds.). (2013). Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. New York: Sage.

Blog post B: Data mapping methods

What is an audit, an official inspection of a company.  inspect examine survey look over  investigate assess appraise, evaluate, review analyse. An official inspection of a organisation’s for purpose of this particular instance it would to inspect an organisation’s organic Waste. By further informing my own understanding on the definition of what a Waste audit is, I was able to apply this to my own audit in which I conducted in part A, in which I conducted several observation exercises, in which I analysed humans interaction, with the given problem of organic Waste management, which I believe through the use of  Quantitative methods through the us of analysing small focus groups, and collecting data through a Qualitative  approach will help Government understand ‘Why’, and ‘How’, Government can resolve organic waste, and divert organic waste ending up in our land fills.Through my waste audit investigations through conducting small focus groups, and visual mind mapping exercise I was able to draw a conclusion that we rely on our ‘muscle memory’, meaning the ways in which we interact with our organic waste is pre determined by a series of repetitive movements in which after time we repeat without conscious effort.

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rough mind mapping of daily interaction and movements with organic  waste in the kitchen

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(LFHW, 2009).

‘Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study’,(2009)

On a state level the NSW Government conducted a study to collect data, in an aim to better understand;

  1. understand communities knowledge
  2. Attitudes
  3. Behaviours 

towards household  food waste across Australia, as part of the study the NSW government created an online survey (are a good source to gather large amounts of data) in which 1,200 households across NSW. From the results of the study conducted the NSW Government were able to estimate a ‘HOW’, much NSW households throw out each year which was $1,036 worth of food. The survey was conducted by residents 16 and older.The study “Represents the most comprehensive and up to date analysis of community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours conducted about food waste in NSW”. The findings from the research has been used to develop NSW Love Food Hate Waste program aims to minimise food wastage in the home.

The previous data was used by “Do something”!, to calculate the new national food waste figure of $8 billion”.

 

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(LFHW, 2009).

Design initiative specific projects or programs undertaken to achieve specific objectives in the near — term, such as to reduce cost increase efficiency for companies to help improve the companies overall culture, increase productivity,reduce organic waste (business dictionary). Stakeholders can affect or be by the organisation’s actions, objectives and policies.Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, employees, government and its agencies owners shareholders suppliers, unions and the community from which the business draws its resources”.

Closed Loop 

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Closed Loop environmental solutions

 

closed loop describes their approach to a waste audit as a fundamental  tool in identification and prioritization, program design and program evaluation. they conduct these audits for organisation across diverse industries, from aviation to hospitality. through closed lops design initiatives the company is able to inform stakeholders  in these companies and give a  comprehensive analysis that can best inform the companies which enables these companies to make better business decisions and overall improve the organisations economic and environment impact.how do they do this

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 5.04.20 pm

Closed Loop are able to apply years of experience in waste and recycling industry, to the clients own data which enable closed loop to identify operational inefficiencies and allows for recommendations to be made that allow these significant improvements in deducing environmental impacts and financial savings made to the company.

  • they identify improvement of behave of clients but develop tools that empower these companies to be able to continually be able identify opportunities for themselves in terms of waste management.
  • through education

    Clients and their staff and suppliers on the  merits of resource management to enable total commitment to new ways in waste reduction initiatives,to unite team in the new processes to reach a common goal for sustainability.

  •  the waste audit

A waste audit provides quantified information about ‘waste’ material composition and location”.(Closed loop).

 

 

 

referencing;

Closedloop.com.au. (2016). Closed Loop. [online] Available at: <http://Closedloop.com.au&gt;. [viewed 26 may. 2016].

Epa.nsw.gov.au. (2016). NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). [online] Available at: <http://epa.nsw.gov.au&gt; [Accessed 26 May. 2016].

Food Waste Avoidance Benchmark Study At a glance. (2012). ed. Sydney, pp.1-2.[Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].

 

Foodwise.com.au. (2016). Home | FOOD-WISE. [online] Available at: <http://Foodwise.com.au&gt;. [Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].

Lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au. (2016). Home – Love Food Hate Waste. [online] Available at: <http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au&gt;. [Accessed 09 Jun. 2016].

Blog Post B – Research Methods

What is Design Research?

Let’s start from the basics: what is research? Well, research is ‘the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016) Design research is a little more complicated than just ‘concerns with what exists but more of what ought to be’. (Milton & Rodgers, 2013) It is a combination of the past and present, using it has a reference to produce better design that suits the needs of the present and future.9781780673028_500X500

Design Research Methods

In my previous projects, various methods of primary and secondary research are used to broaden my perspective of design possibilities and appropriateness. In the book ‘Research Methods for Product Design’ which was a recommended read during first year of university, gave a lot of insight in the vast types of research methods and categorised them into three main sectors: Asking, Learning and Looking.

Asking

This sector revolves around questioning and includes: questionnaires, surveys, interviews, market/retail analyses and hands-on analysis. These methods are one of the more popular ones that designers tend to lean toward; it’s easy and straightforward. During my research for my projects, interviews over-ride written surveys and this is because interviews are more details and more interactive. We are able to provoke the interviewee to elaborate more on their thoughts and answers, not only that but we are also able to observe their facial expressions and actions which will either further justify or contradict their answers.

Learning

This sectors relates more to the past and current state of mind, for example: competitor product analysis, literature reviews, internet sources and try it yourself. Most of my research revolves around competitor product analysis and this is because; in order for you to do better, you must know what exists and what is lacking. A great ‘try it yourself’ example would be the design of the ‘Flow Hive’ (Good Design, 2016), although the designer is a farmer himself, it is obvious that to make good design you must understand the design and it’s environment. Both Cedar Anderson and Stuart Anderson lived and breathed honey thus they were always in contact with the environment; understanding the behaviours of bees and certain situations that could irritate them (e.g. pests). Therefore, by understanding and interacting with the actual source, a designer is able to provide a higher quality design and become more aware of what is appropriate.Flow-Hive-1-2-1200x858.jpg

Looking

Although most of my research revolves around ‘Learning’, I find that the Looking sectors of research is the most effective and this involves: video and photo diaries, a day in a life, personal belongings, scenarios and trend spotting. We as designers cannot always get a hands on experience when it engages with more professional personnel and requires more skills. Thus we choose the alternate and observe the likes of how a professional works and acts during a span of a period of time. By observing, we start to see sub-conscious behaviours that occur which might be bypassed when the personnel are interviewed or when we do it ourselves as we are not there on a daily basis to create such subtle habits. During the one-day waste audit, I realised I was integrating both Learning and Looking; I was consciously trying it myself but also living a day in a life of my family. While acting on my own waste management, I started to observe my family and how they hand their waste and how much waste they were producing. This is where we realise that we must integrate a number of different design research methods in order for us, as designers, to get a better understanding of our target.

 

Referencing

Good Design Awards. 2016, Flow Hive, viewed 14 June 2016,
<https://www.good-design.com/entry/flowhive/>

Milton, A. & Rodgers, P. 2013, Research Methods for Product Design, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London.

Oxford Dictionaries. 2016, viewed 14 June 2016, <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/research>

 

B: The human evaluation – data collection

During my own design process, the data collection I consume is mostly all user based: how a garment works and fits, and how the wearer feels. However, to arrive at the point of design, I also undertake research, look back at the trends of past eras, and examine common reoccurring looks, colours, shapes and styles.

From the research that I undertake, I then draw key overlapping qualities that are due to be reinvented and can work off this to sketch my own innovative designs repeatedly. This is the way fashion design works most of the time, although it can also be a spontaneous moment of brilliant creativity – if one is lucky.

During my research of data collection methods, I found interaction prototyping and evaluation. I connected with this process of continually testing a ‘rough’ prototype in a designs basic concept as it was an interdisciplinary way of thinking about toiling in fashion design. To make a toile is to sew a basic shape or practice run of our final garment, however it is often made of a cheaper fabric (often calico canvas) or something of a similar weight to our final garment fabric. This allows us to place the garment on a fit model and discover how the human moves, wears and fits our design. Working on a flat pattern compared to seeing it on a body makes a huge difference; it is a 3D body in which evaluation is key – not only for the fit of a garment but also for how the design works aesthetically with the shape of either a female or male. “Interaction prototypes can help you to generate scenarios of product-user interactions. These scenarios can inform the design brief and requirements by providing insight into use situations, sequences of use and the geometrical and material qualities that influence a user’s experiences.” (Annemiek van Boeijen, Jaap Daalhuizen, Jelle Zijlstra, Roos van der Schoor, 2014)

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Quick cardboard model gives the designer feedback on how the design works and how users react and interact. (Roos Van der Schoor,2014.)

Below are images of the toiling stages I have undergone for my recent menswear collection. I discovered that pants were too long, the sleeve didn’t fit right through the shoulder, the shirt flared and the model was restricted in his neck. The collection of user based data was endless and ensured that my final design was perfectly successful on the body. The process of data collection for organic waste design could be tested in a similar way: does the apple core fit through the bin’s processing tube to eliminate seeds from the core? Can the user open the bin with one hand if waste is in the other?

Research in a widespread concept is essential and this is not a new finding, however the concept of making our own drawings from researching trends of the past is a way of collecting data in our own unique way. This can allow the research to be more specific in areas we need for a basic design in mind.

For example, to analyse the past growth or decline of waste in a particular area such as Parramatta, we can look at key events and changes during that time and consequently make conclusions as to why this has happened. Currently, we can understand that due to a rise in the population and new development, there is a rise in waste because of human interaction. Whereas if the suburb is coastal, we may be able to conclude that decay has become more prevalent because of rising sea levels and sand dumping.

Ultimo, being one of the hubs of the city, has had similar reoccurring waste issues that unfortunately have not yet been solved. Therefore, by analysing the past, we can understand what has not worked, why that is, and the requirements the area needs to create a successful design in its management of waste in the future.

Both of these ways of collecting data allow research and user based data to contribute to a more successful final design. They are unique in perspective, coming from a fashion design background, however they focus on the process and exploration just as much as they do the end product.

Annemiek van Boeijen, Jaap Daalhuizen, Jelle Zijlstra, Roos van der Schoor, 2014, Delft Design Guide: Design Strategies and Methods, Edition 2, illustrated, revised, BIS Publishers, Amsterdam.