CFC Media Lab – Journal #2

4th of July

Research article:
Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders & Pieter Jan Stappers (2008) Co-creation and the new landscapes of
design, CoDesign, 4:1, 5-18, DOI: 10.1080/15710880701875068
Co-designing is not a new concept, just one that we are taking a closer look into now. With
technologies maturing, companies are opening to their customers in search of products that they need.
But what do co-creation and co-design mean? In this journal, they define co-creation as a term that refers
to “any act of collective creativity” and co-design as a specific instance of co-creation referring to the
combination of the designer and the “not trained” people in design working together in the design
development process. The practice of co-creation in design has been around for more than 40 years under
the name Participatory design in Northern Europe and User-centred design in the United States. Cocreation
is a very broad term with a wide range of application. More recently, co-creation has become a
strong tool for businesses and marketing teams, with companies such as Nike bringing in their customers
into their design process by allowing them to design their own shoes. At this stage, we still focus on
participatory practices in what used to be called the predesign stage. Even though we have learned the
benefits of participatory design throughout all the stages of design, yet we don’t see full participatory
models in work. Co-design has brought many changes with it, one of the biggest one being the changes in
the roles of all parties involved in the design process. The users have shifted from passive object studies
into experts of their experience. Researchers have moved away from analyzers of the user’s experiences
and turned into supporters of the user’s expert experiences. And the designers have stopped doing all the
creative thinking in the process and turned into the giver of forms to the ideas of both the users and the
researchers. There will be a lot more changes coming as co-creation and co-design become common, we
will see changes in how we design, what we create, and who designs them. We will also see a change in
the tools and methods that teams of co-designers will use.
Prototype Work:
Lee, Teresa (2018) Bridging Two Worlds: Co-designing social spaces for autism from a
neurodiversity perspective by exporting affordances of virtual worlds to physical spaces. [MRP]
In this project, Teresa takes a co-design approach to designing a social space for people with
autism. Autism, more commonly known as ASD, is a neurodevelopment disorder. In this project, Teresa
and three neurodivergent adults from different virtual autism communities go through a series of iterative
co-creation activities so investigate the unique affordances of the virtual world that allow a better
expression of thoughts and meaningful connections with other for autistic people and co-design a social
space in the physical world that incorporates these affordances. She broke the design process into three
stages, stage 1, the initial exploration, where the designers get together to understand each other better
and start exploring the problem space. Stage 2, the discovery process where the designers use different
techniques to understand and identify the goals and values of the users. Stage 3, prototyping is when the
designers went through an iterative process to build different artifacts that delivered the desired
outcome. Co-creating with the autistic adults was very empowering for neurodivergent people whose
“voices and perspectives are often underrepresented in the design process” and also gave her the
expertise to design a solution that would be beneficial to its users.

CFC Media Lab – Journal #1

Class #1 – Initial Exploration – 2nd of July

The purpose of CFC Media Lab Prototyping course is to “identify research questions, through rapid ideation, development, and refinement of their project concepts.” And what better way to start the course other than examining our current ideas and our prior training on the making process.

Let’s get a better understanding of our own personal processes of making. I come from an engineering background. In my training, I look for a  before getting into any prototyping.


How do you approach creation activities? What have these been influenced by (formal training, professional experience, personal successes)? What biases and presumptions might be embedded in these processes? Your response will be shared (to the extent that you feel is appropriate) and will eventually form the basis for your first journal entry.