Brown, Tim, and Jocelyn Waytt. “Design Thinking for Social Innovation (SSIR).” Stanford 2 Social Innovation Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2010. This article explains the definition and relationship of the methodology and research framework of my project which are design thinking and social innovation. Design thinking is a methodology that to apply design as a way of thinking to tackle complex business or social issues. Social innovation is about using technology to effectively create social goodness. By understanding the article, I got the improvement of using theory to lead my project exploration. Obviously, my project has a social issue targeted and a technological solution serves for the issue. And, I’m interested to see how will the two sides influence each other in the dynamic relationship. As a student in a design school, I have experience of designing graphics, product, game, website and app, etc. In my past practices, the attempt of solving problem by design or creating impact by design are always around my mind and have been subconsciously lead my design direction. In my thesis project, I intend to formally adopt the methodology of Design Thinking to deal with a complex social issue. I am interested to see how will a design methodology influence my workflow and even project effects.
Li, Danielle. (2016, October 17). Overworked and Underpaid: prosperity at the expense of well-being in China’s tech scene. Retrieved December 07, 2017. This article explains and analyzes a survey conducted for the Chinese tech industry. With chart diagram, the article introduces data for “how many hours do you log a day?”, “Overtime situation of employees in companies of different sizes”, “Overtime situation of employees in different job positions”, “Willingness to work overtime of different income groups”, “Are you willing to work overtime?” and “What kind of allowances does your company offer?”. These information provide me a deeper understanding of the issue I concern. Especially, the top reasons for working overtime is about the extreme competition in the industry. Under the national trend of economic transformation from manufacture-based to technology-driven. A broad range of opportunities had been opened to both established companies and startups. Company leaders are eager to pursue capital interests so the workload has been put on the employees’ shoulder. The employer side is always much mightier than the employee side as young people need to stay on jobs. Especially in China, if one person rejects a company’s overworking convention, the person will easily be replaced by another people from China’s tremendous human resource. From another perspective, the public departments don’t tend to fix the issue but chose to be silent as the government indeed wants to see the dramatic economic growth so put the human rights at the second place.
39th China’s Technology Industry Statistical Report. 22 January 2017. www.cnnic.cn
Luo, Hui. “China’s national conditions and capacities.” Beijing Association of Science and Technology. August 17 2016. www.bast.net.cn
China’s working time standard. 24 November 2010. www.mohrss.gov.cn
These three documents above gave me the overview of the tech industry in China in terms of demographics, growth trend and legislation. These information help me understand the background of my research. The articles show China has the largest population of technology human resource in the world with a high percentage of female (40.5%). China has 91 public technology companies and numerous privately held large, medium and small companies. The majority of the technology companies are centralized in major cities Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Working overtime is normal in China’s technology industry. Although the legal working time ruled by Chinese law is 40 hours per week, most companies require their employees work much more the standard without paying extra compensation. In spite of increasing my understanding of the issue, these data also gave me the reference for structuring my own project. I start to have a sense of how to measure and apply the data I want to collect.
Nikolic, Predrag K. “Interactive Environments: Opportunities for Social Innovation and Public Health Initiatives.” Interactive Environments: Opportunities for Social Innovation and Public Health Initiatives (2016): n. pag. EIRP Proceedings. European Integration – Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings, 30 May 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. This article mainly talks about the benefits interactive environment could bring to public health. The author gives an example of how can interactive environment reduce human’s fear. In my thesis directions, I think interactive environment could definitely play an important role for enhance the life experience people with disability.
Cooper, Zoe. “The Future of Art: 8 Digital Installations and Interactive Spaces.” Architizer. N.p., 02 July 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. This article introduce eight excellent interactive environment projects happen in recent years. Most of the projects in this resource are based on retail space and educational space, such as Microsoft Briefing Centre (Swiss), Shanghai Film Museum and Museum of the Moving Image (New York). In fact, retail space and educational space are my main focus in my thesis project. The article’s images show how do the project look like. Also, the article provides links to the creators’ websites which give me many useful clues I can follow.
Bullivant, Lucy. 4dsocial: interactive design environments. London: Architecture Design, 2007. Print. This book is an editorial collection of interactive environment designs happened around 2007. It consists of different focusing sections and case studies covering Interactive Art and Architecture, Interactive Design, Wearable Technologies, Portable Architecture, Participative Art and Interior Design. I have known many interactive environment projects worldwide through this book. Especially, large scale projects based on public space. I also have a better sense of the criteria for interactive environment in terms of functionality, interactivity, aesthetics and relationship with the environment.
Dodgson, Richard. “10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them.” Digital Arts. N.p., 26 May 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2017. The article is an introductory case study of world-famous brands using creative technologies to create amazing marketing experience. The online article contains videos, images and text for every case which clearly shows the final work’s interaction and background context. The case study includes Pepsi Max – Drone Football, Virtual Reality: Nissan – ‘Built to Thrill’ Wingsuit Experience, Live Streaming: IKEA – Online wedding service and Projection Mapping: Adidas – Adizero f50 boots, etc. Emerging technologies such as AR, VR, 3D printing and Arduino have been used mostly for prototyping new tech products; some artists use them in digital art too. Creatively, some advertising agencies found a way to apply those technologies in ad campaigns, events and ad production as services for brands. I had experience of working in a traditional design agency providing ad design and marketing campaign planning services. In the new digital marketing era, I found most ad agencies are working on big-data analytics, social media marketing or web/app development. However, very few agencies are working on enhancing marketing experience by applying creative technologies. In my thesis, one of my considering directions is to dig into the niche I found and make a technology design could be applied in a marketing context.
Surman, Tonya, and Victoria Lennox. “Canada’s ‘innovation agenda’ isn’t just tech – it’s social.” The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, 04 May 2016. Web. 18 Feb. 2017. This article is to appeal Canadian entrepreneurs to turn their insight to Social Innovation from solely High-tech Startups. The Authors, Tonya Surman is co-founder and CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation. Victoria Lennox is co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada, propose Canada’s innovation agenda should go beyond high-tech companies. Instead of attempting to replicate Silicon Valley, Canada should build an economy based on Canada’s unique strengths such as caring social issues, renewable energy, clean tech, social technology sectors, diverse population and capability of balancing social and economic imperatives. The term “Social Innovation” here could be understood as a methodology of creating economic or social value by focusing on solving social problems but not only pursuing capitalism. Actually, Tonya’s Centre for Social Innovation is one of the best incubators in Canada and worldwide for empowering social enterprises, not-for-profit organizations and charity organizations in those Canadian advantaged fields. One of my considering thesis directions is to utilize design thinking and digital technology to optimize a social issue, although the specific theme has not been decided. This article gives me a landscape picture of social innovation’s concept, strength and demand. As a designer, I designed things for commercial clients, university assignments, prototyping products and delivering information, etc; but my thesis project could be the first time that I design for a new purpose — inspiring people and raising a social discussion. In my thesis project, I am interested in expanding design’s definition by using it to face an unusual problem we might not meet in traditional design context (graphic design, industrial design and environment design, etc). Can design help social innovation?
China is on a highway to economic prosperity while the country’s tech industry plays the key driver role. Seeing the whopping price of tech companies’ stock value, there are tons of accompanying issues underneath. The phenomenon of employees working overtime in China’s tech industry has been existed and discovered for years. The employees are strugglingly depressing under the companies’ radical pressure while the government chose to be indulgent. Economy first, human second.
As a citizen who concerns the life quality and happiness of employees in the tech industry in China. I initiate AnonymousPlan, a project of an online platform which gathering the employees to anonymously publish the companies’ actual working overtime status (how many working hours per week) in the platform’s system. The realistic data will damage the reputation of the unappreciated companies even make them difficult to hire staff; also, the data blessing the valuable companies and appreciate a healthy working culture. Hopefully, this project can regulate the social atmosphere in China’s tech industry and awaken people’s critical consciousness.
• How can Design Thinking as a methodology address social issues？
• How can a digital product/service defend human rights?
• How can an anonymous online platform influence industry, stakeholders, society even government department?
• Establish an anonymous online platform which gathers employees in tech industry in China.
• Integrate with a database of China’s tech companies profiles. ( or alternative solution)
• Encourage people to join the platform and participate the movement anonymously.
• Increase the project’s credibility and influence by gathering more users and data.
Design and Social Innovation / Design and Social Issues
The methodology I will be using is Design Thinking.The notion of design as a “way of thinking” in the sciences can be traced to Herbert A. Simon’s 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial, and in design engineering to Robert McKim’s 1973 book Experiences in Visual Thinking. Bryan Lawson’s 1980 book How Designers Think, primarily addressing design in architecture, began a process of generalizing the concept of design thinking. A 1982 article by Nigel Cross established some of the intrinsic qualities and abilities of design thinking that made it relevant in general education and thus for wider audiences. Peter Rowe’s 1987 book Design Thinking, which described methods and approaches used by architects and urban planners, was a significant early usage of the term in the design research literature. Rolf Faste expanded on McKim’s work at Stanford University in the 1980s and 1990s, teaching “design thinking as a method of creative action.” Design thinking was adapted for business purposes by Faste’s Stanford colleague David M. Kelley, who founded the design consultancy IDEO in 1991. Richard Buchanan’s 1992 article “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking” expressed a broader view of design thinking as addressing intractable human concerns through design. Design Think has its process of Discovery, Frame Opportunity, Incubate, Ideate, Evaluate, Rapid Prototype/test, Deliver, Iterate & Scale.
RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
Design Thinking Toolkit
Programming Online Training
Website Framework (Coding Templates)
Contacts in China
• In one sense, I run this product remotely in Canada from China but essential this is a online-based project so I don’t think it will be a huge problem.
Regard to the website, there are two issues I should concern. One is the user privacy and another is about fake users. By fake users I mean users who publish inaccurate data for damaging competitors or whitewash own company.
• Programming Ability
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROJECT
This project has the potential to create social impact. In some sense, it could be regarded as online democracy or online movement.
This project can help and inspire people. If this project will be spread over very well and gather a number of data, it can help employee choose future employers wisely, even alert the companies and industry. However, if this project meet difficulty to get vast people participate, it still show some reality of the industry and be a meaningful movement to inspire people. For any unfair treatment, there is a way to defend with the help of the Internet.
Brown, Tim. “The Making of a Design Thinker.” Metropolis Oct. 2009: 60–62. p. 60: “David Kelley … said that every time someone came to ask him about design, he found himself inserting the word thinking to explain what it is that designers do. The term design thinking stuck.”
Buchanan, Richard, “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking,” Design Issues, vol. 8, no. 2, Spring 1992.
Cross, Nigel. “Designerly Ways of Knowing.” Design Studies 3.4 (1982): 221-27.
Lawson, Bryan. How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified. London: Architectural, 1980
McKim, Robert (1973). Experiences in Visual Thinking. Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.
Rowe, G. Peter (1987). Design Thinking. Cambridge: The MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-68067-7.
Simon, Herbert (1969). The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge: MIT Press.