IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2015 - 55
Designer Bud Rodecker/3st and Taek Kim/3st
explain the graphics in this issue.
For Love of the Game
The design of this article takes its cues from
gamified social apps. At each turn of the page,
you're rewarded with a badge and encouraged
to tweet your progress. At the end of the article,
you're greeted with a page full of trophies to
commemorate your accomplishment. Tear it
out and hang it on the wall!
Designers off Duty
Designed like a posting board, "Designers off Duty"
reflects the working spaces that are behind the
curtain. It's the messy desk of a designer at work;
fi lled with clippings, sketches, and mistakes.
Software and tools used
Adobe Creative Cloud
by Albert-Jan Pool
From Wikipedia: FF DIN is a realist sans-serif
typeface based on DIN-Mittelschrift and
DIN-Engschrift, as defi ned in the German standard
DIN 1451. DIN is an acronym for Deutsches Institut
für Normung (German Institute of Standardisation).
by Lucas de Groot
From LucasFonts: The Thesis superfamily was fi rst
published in 1994 as part of the FontFont collection,
and became part of the LucasFonts type library
in 2000. The family was conceived as a versatile
typographic system of ambitious scope. It grew out
of a dissatisfaction with the limited range of good
typefaces available for corporate identity projects.
Thesis aims to fi ll that gap by providing the user
with three compatible styles - TheSans, TheMix,
and TheSerif - in an optically harmonious range of
eight weights, including real italics for each weight.
Black and white, opposing each other. Point/
Counterpoint offers two different viewpoints
for you to judge.
Does the right hobby make you a more creative
designer? Perspective looks at the after-hours
habits of designers-and at how those activities
are driving innovation at the world's most
Design legend Charles Eames once prescribed:
"Take your pleasure seriously." For many designers,
that's a critical but dangerous ethos. The blur
between time spent working and time "off-duty"
continues to grow, with time outside the office not
spent answering emails spent curating moments
for Instagram. It's more difficult than ever to find
pure moments, free from the intrusion of deadlines
or devices-which means it's never been more
important to do so. Taking time away from the
office to engage in pleasurable activities with no
particular objective isn't just good for your soul,
it may also be the key to more creative output.
Following in the footsteps of innovation leaders
like IDEO, many firms are shifting away from
long hours toiling in the studio and starting to
encourage playful practices in the real world.
BY Holly Eagleson
The concept of "purposeful play" as an artistic
approach has its roots in science. Though elements
of the design practice may be just as creative as
drawing or sculpting, anything classified as work
has a different cognitive demand. The focus needed
to complete a work task was previously thought
of as a commodity "used up" throughout the day.
But a 2011 study in Cognition found that humans
become habituated to the object of their focus and
subsequently lose sight of it. This explains why the
last time you agonized over the perfect solution
to a design dilemma, it took a brisk walk to reveal
the answer, and not another hour fretting in front
of your computer. Neuroscientists now believe
that our brains likely work in two modes: diffuse
attention and focused attention. "When you're
really stuck on a problem, you're probably in
focused attention, whereas engaging in things that
feel like play would require diffuse attention," says
Dr. Beth Altringer, a psychologist with a masters
degree in architecture, who conducts research
on creative professionals through Harvard
University's Innovation Lab and the b4bi Group.
As part of a larger-scale study, Altringer polled
designers about what they do when they're facing
a creative roadblock. She found that the most
effective action was seeking diverse inspiration
outside the physical space, like going to a museum
or taking a walk. Entering a stimulating social
environment, whether it was a cocktail party or tea
with a co-worker, was also effective. "The space
or activity may not necessarily be relaxing itself,
but it hits a reset button that relaxes designers,"
she says. "It might be helping with the transition
to diffuse attention, which can allow you to take
in information that can potentially recombined
in an interesting way."
The Disruption Factor
Some designers believe artistic disruption is critical
to bringing a unique perspective and refreshed
outlook to the design process. Alberto Alfonso, AIA,
a founding principal and president of Alfonso
Architects in Ybor City, Florida, refers to his firm as
"an atelier of making things." Alfonso encourages
his team to undertake extracurricular pursuits:
members of his staff create fi lms, paint, and even
work in the firm's steel shop making their own
furniture. Alfonso says the tactile nature of these
pursuits can be a critical factor in framing a more
nuanced design view.
The recent New York Times opinion piece
"How to Rebuild Architecture," by Steven Bingler
and Martin Pedersen, sparked a spirited dialogue
about the direction and future of design,
as Binger and Pedersen questioned whether
architects and designers had lost touch
with their audience. But how does this affect
interior design? Should it? Perspective asks two
industry experts with opposing reactions
to the Op-Ed to weigh in on the debate.
Gamification, the concept of applying game thinking and mechanics to real-world processes,
has only existed for a few years, but it's already had a tumultuous tenure. It's been hailed
as both the solution to engaging millennials in the workforce and in growing customer bases
exponentially. Fast Company recently declared "2015 will be remembered as the year gamification
turned the corner, passing from hype to productivity." Forbes magazine echoed the sentiment,
calling 2015 "the year gamification migrates from a few isolated pilots to a new way to engage
and recognize high performing employees." Others have called it an overblown, overhyped
concept that's little more than a vaguely defined buzzword.
Gamification was among the one-hundred fifty new words Merriam Webster added to the dictionary last year, a list that included "selfie" as well as "crowdfunding." And yet, in a recent poll
by Penna Business Management, 89% of employees admitted they didn't know what the term
meant. Merriam-Webster defines gamification as "the process of adding game or gamelike
elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation." But gamification evangelists
would undoubtedly argue the concept is much broader: it's about engaging users and influencing
their behavior in specific ways, building brand loyalty, and encouraging collaboration.
In general, "gaming" processes can be split into two camps: customer engagement and employee
motivation. Engaging customers with gamification techniques can be as straightforward
as launching a loyalty program or utilizing the concept of "badge-earning" and rewarding
customers for repeat business. The Dallas Art Museum recently came up with a new twist
on this concept by moving to free general admission and allowing museum members to earn
points with each visit, which can then be used toward admission fees for paid special exhibitions.
Other examples are more directly related to use of a specific product. Hybrid cars utilize dashboards that provide users with real time information about the efficiency of their driving.
A major healthcare innovation company is bringing a product to market that connects a patient's
nebulizer to a video game, which responds to the device's use. The product, initially developed
by the father of a boy with cystic fibrosis, links the user's virtual performance to the real life act
of taking medication. In one game, steady inhalation, and exhalation controls at hot air balloon
moving across the sky, attempting to avoid obstacles in its path.
Human Resources departments are increasingly advocating for the use of gaming principles
in the workplace as a way to attract, retain, and motivate employees-particularly millennials,
who, according to a recent Gallup poll, are the least engaged amongst all employees. Gamifying
processes, like intranet sites where employees earn badges for their level of activity and engagement, can help democratize the workplace, giving employees opportunities to show their best
work and providing a vehicle to contribute their ideas and suggestions.
These applications of game theory are starting to gain momentum in the design world-
suggesting the essence of design and gaming may be more closely related than we think.
Introduction by Carrie Neill
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