Author Archives: Danielle Parnes

Studio Open House: Iterations of Project Description + Methods

Today we had an Open House style studio, where we displayed our progress so far. Here is our current articulation of where we are in our project and what the project is about:

Revealing Insights through Design Research Methods
We are developing a strategy for change agents to better understand the perceptions of stakeholders within the community. We are focusing on helping change agents gather qualitative information to unveil root causes of issues related to guns in Pittsburgh affecting 0-20 year olds. Our objective is to look at the stories, ideas, and information coming from the relevant stakeholders because quantitative data alone doesn’t seem to reveal social implications and the areas that may need problem solving in a holistic way.

We have investigated existing processes of data collection within the area of gun safety and design research methods that are often applied to social innovation. This allows us to identify gaps and needs as well as to understand the types of information that we need to collect through the research the appropriate research methods.

The point of our research method is to get at the cause of the problem, acknowledging that these causes including the people and community are constantly evolving.

We will be looking at opportunity areas through investigation for this strategy (currently expressed as a design research tool), create the tool, develop communication strategies to teach and facilitate the use of the tool along with the design and implementation strategy of making use of the data collected with the tool (debrief/analysis/synthesis phase).

We also had an initial iteration of a couple of tools (seen below) along with our inventory of existing methods (in pervious post).

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2013-03-20 23.10.07

Refining the tool


In order to help us organize how we want the research method to work within a workshop type environment, we created a matrix to think about the stages of the process, and the characteristics, activities, variations, and outcomes at each stage. We see articulating the characteristics of each stage as a crucial part of our process because this ensures that we have something to check back with to ensure that each stage is in fact accomplishing what we intended it too, and the articulation of theses characteristics can also help others understand how to design a tool that is personalized for their situation.
The start of this process can be seen below.
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2013-03-26 22.52.51

Here is a more finalized version of our inventory analysis of existing design research methods that are applicable to our project. They are from “Universal Methods of Design” by Bella Martin and Bruce Hanington and from “The Social Design Methods Menu” by Lucy Kimbel and Joe Julier. Understanding the type of information we are able to get from particular methods and understanding the characteristics and qualities the dictate that.

Existing Method Inventory

Existing Method Inventory

Existing Method Inventory

Existing Method Inventory

Existing Method Inventory