Tool Stories: Comic Book


From tool to artefact and beyond

In the latest Tool Stories blog, design researcher Sneha Raman shares a tool from the Game Jam project and explores its journey from tool to artefact and back to tool.

Game Jam worked with a group of young people with learning difficulties and sought to create design requirements for a learning/educational game to encourage safe practice online. A series of five labs explored different aspects of the game and included activities such as story-sharing and mapping learning needs.

The design of tools was particularly important in helping to shape engagement tailored to the group. One was a comic book, which provided scenarios to encourage participants to think about areas of risk online and ways of overcoming those problems.

Sneha Raman comic book

Design researcher Sneha Raman with the Comic Book tool. Image credit: Hannah Laycock

Sneha takes up the story of how the tool was used:

“The nature of the group that we were working with definitely influenced the aesthetic and the language of the tool. We had to think about making things visual and engaging, keeping text simple, keeping the language simple… more everyday language or casual tone.

“I think it was effective because of the aesthetic. The general idea behind a comic strip is more light-hearted and that made the prospect of talking about some of these challenges less threatening to the participants. They didn’t feel judged in expressing or sharing some of their experiences using this tool.

“… it (the comic book) transitions between being a tool and an artefact. As the activity progressed, participants started to respond to some of the problems and build onto the scenario presented in the comic strip. The tool captured all their new ideas and thoughts. I think that’s how it became an artefact.

Comic Book in lab

Close-up of the Comic Book being used in the Game Jam Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

“The artefact was brought back to a subsequent lab with the same audience. Here, it acted as a tool because participants were asked to then think of ways that these solutions could be incorporated into the learning game that they were designing.

“We consistently brought back the artefacts created in previous labs to the next ones. Overall it helped to create continuity but also gave a sense of being valued and having important role to play in the process.”

Read more about the project and the use of the tool here:

– radar.gsa.ac.uk/4857/
– radar.gsa.ac.uk/5285/
– radar.gsa.ac.uk/5192/

 


Design Innovation students return to Moray to present their projects


Businesses and community organisations looking forward to hearing progress after Winter School

The Glasgow School of Art’s Design Innovation Masters students will present their end of semester projects at the GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus later this month. The projects address a range of issues relating to Moray businesses and communities.

People from Moray-based organisations will attend the presentations on Tuesday 6th June to give feedback and explore how students’ ideas can be taken forward in the future.

The group of 22 students includes the first cohort to have attended the GSA’s Altyre campus since it opened last year.

Knockando Woolmill project

Student presentation material from Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students have addressed the theme of “Innovation from Tradition”, and have worked with a number of businesses and community groups including Knockando Woolmill, Johnstons of Elgin, and tsiMORAY. Students worked in teams to address various areas such as Craft and Making, Spirituality and Belief, Music and the Arts, and Community and the Economy.

They addressed research questions including:

– How can Johnstons of Elgin leverage its history, traditions and assets to generate new value?

– How can volunteering act as a two-way bridge between Syrian New Scots and the Forres community?

The Innovation from Tradition theme was launched during Winter School 2017: the GSA’s pioneering annual teaching event held at the campus.

Student presentations Winter School 2017

Material from the students’ presentation at Winter School 2017. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Students on Design Innovation Masters programmes worked alongside counterparts from Köln International School of Design (KISD) in Germany, and the Royal Academy of Art & Design (KADK) in Denmark, to frame research questions related to the local Moray community.

Through their studio work, students went on to investigate the role of ‘social design’ to engage with people, and the role of designers as innovators in the service of wider society.

Emma Nicolson, Marketing and Merchandising Manager at Knockando Woolmill, said: “It has been great to continue working with the international students and have them trial ideas at the Woolmill. It was interesting to see the interaction of the public with the prototypes they installed, and I am looking forward to seeing their findings in the final presentations.

“It will be exciting to see the full journey the project has taken from the initial research we saw back in January.”

Jackie Maclaren, Operations Manager at tsiMORAY, added: “Having met and worked with students from The Glasgow School of Art over the last few months, staff at tsiMORAY look forward with great interest to the outcomes of their projects. It has been truly refreshing and inspiring to have been involved with their creativity and innovation. We look forward to continued partnership working.”

Amy O’Meara, who is on the Design Innovation and Service Design programme, said: “Winter School was an immersive learning experience, which saw us engaging with various heritage organisations across the Moray region. The relationships we forged with these businesses, such as Knockando Woolmill and Johnstons of Elgin, either led directly to exciting design collaborations or informed how our project took shape throughout the term.

“Innovation from Tradition was the overarching theme that acted as a catalyst to propel our projects forward and also motivate us to extend the limits of our practice. Exploring how traditions could be innovated in the contexts of our projects was challenging but also hugely rewarding, giving meaning to our roles as Design Innovation Masters students.”

GSA Highlands and Islands

GSA Highlands and Islands. Image credit: Paul Campbell

Design Innovation lecturer Dr Brian Dixon commented: “Many of our students have explored aspects of the Scotland’s rich social and cultural heritage that are often taken for granted or overlooked. For example, the production of wool and cashmere, or community volunteering. As the projects have developed, we’ve found that, in many cases, partner organisations have really benefitted from the opportunity to reflect, take stock and recognise the potential of what’s already there.”

And to find out just what happened at Winter School please watch our film. There’s also more information about the two-week event in our collection of blogs.

You can find more information on our pages about the Design Innovation Masters programmes and GSA’s new Highlands and Islands Creative Campus.

 


Why you should visit this Moray social enterprise


Join a new collaboration with the community on Saturday

In our recent blog about the Teaching Studio at the Creative Campus in the Highlands and Islands, we discussed how our students are beginning to form strong ties with the local community.

Collaboration with local businesses and organisations is a central aspect of the MDes Design Innovation programmes, and provides invaluable experience for the students’ future careers.

Now, an event on Saturday (April 15) shows how GSA’s design students and local citizens can work together. Moray Waste Busters is hosting a pop-up café at their premises near Forres from 10am-3pm.

Here Finn Fullarton-Pegg, studying Design Innovation and Transformation Design at the Creative Campus, tells the InDI blog more about the project.

Finn Fullarton-Pegg

“Moray Waste Busters (MWB) is a fascinating organisation to work with. Their business model takes used household and garden items, ensure their quality before resale, and pours the proceeds back into the local community: turning trash into social capital.

“MWB has plans to diversify their re-use/recycle operation to cover more than furniture and electrical equipment, as well as continuing to provide a fun day out for their customers.

“As part of a wider collaboration between InDI’s Fergus Fullarton Pegg and Waste Busters, I’ve spent the past two months working with some of the staff. Together we’ve been exploring their visions for Waste Busters’ future, and the role that design can play in bringing those visions to life.

“One common suggestion among staff has been to open a café in partnership with another local social enterprise, Ray’s Opportunities. This organisation has a similar ethos to MWB, providing disadvantaged adults with the opportunity to learn a trade in a community café.

“The possibility of opening a café at MWB raises important questions, including: ‘Will this add to, or detract from, the familiar Waste Busters experience?’ At this point, design practice urges us to be adventurous, to prototype early and discover the successes and failures of ideas quickly.

“So on Easter Saturday (April 15), Moray Waste Busters is teaming up with Ray’s Opportunities to host a pop-up café for the public.

“The two social enterprises are working together to combine the adventure of bargain hunting with Ray’s delicious coffee and cake.

“As well as promising to be a fun day out for everyone who comes down, the café is also intended as a platform for engaging the public in Waste Busters’ future plans.

“And it’s an opportunity for the staff at Waste Busters to experiment with what kind of cafe they would like to see on their site in the future. All the furnishings and adornments will be taken from the venture’s extensive store of secondhand items. None of us know what the café will end up looking like but I think we can expect something eclectic, kitsch and vintage.”

The event takes place at Moray Waste Busters on Saturday from 10am-3pm.

To find out more about our MDES programmes and how you can apply to study here from September, click here.

Moray Waste Busters pop-up cafe poster


Helping you keep well at work


Take part in an Experience Lab

We  are offering a second chance to take part in an Experience Labs project about wellbeing in the workplace.

The Glimpse project investigates ways for people can improve their health through gentle exercise carried out at work.

Taking part in a lab is a great way to help GSA researchers explore a health related challenge that can help people in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to meet our team and find out more about our work.

The Experience Labs are part of the Digital Health & Care Institute, one of Scotland’s Innovation Centres, funded by the Scottish Funding Council.

Lego desk

The team has organised a special collaborative design workshop in Glasgow on Tuesday 28 March, which is open to people with experience of desk-based working. This is the second workshop of the project after a successful session last month.

The partner on the project is Justin Eade, of Glimpse Ltd. Justin is a Workplace Wellbeing Consultant with more than 20 years experience. He hopes that the research will develop ideas for a digital application to counter the effects of sedentary work.

Dr Jay Bradley and Dr Michael Johnson explain more about what the session involves:

“At the first workshop, the participants explored the key issues around wellbeing and exercise within the workplace; the opportunities that exist for exercising at work and the activities they could incorporate into their working day. We now have an understanding of how people might feel about movement for wellbeing in the workplace and what exercises and situations would be preferable for challenging sedentary behaviour.

Dr Jay Bradley speaking at a lab

Dr Jay Bradley leads an Experience Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

“The second workshop will build on the outcomes of the first. Participants will take part in co-designed prototype development. We will explore ways for people to learn and sustain movement exercises and routines at work.

“All information provided will remain confidential.”

The lab will take place at House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, on Tuesday March 28, from 11am-3pm.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided and reasonable travel expenses will also be paid.

To take part or to for more information, contact Dr Jay Bradley, [email protected] or Dr Michael Johnson, [email protected]


Exercise for wellbeing in the workplace?


Helping desk-based workers keep well

Researchers from the Experience Labs are looking for people to take part in one of their latest projects.

The Glimpse project aims to investigate ways that people can improve their health and wellbeing through gentle exercise carried out at work.

Taking part in a lab is a great way to help GSA researchers explore a health-related challenge that can help people in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to meet our team and find out more about our work.

The team has organised a special collaborative design workshop in Glasgow later this month, which is open to people with experience of desk-based working.

Dr Michael Johnson speaking

Dr Michael Johnson describing an activity during an Experience Lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

Here Dr Jay Bradley and Dr Michael Johnson explain more about what the session involves:

“We are working with Justin Eade, of Glimpse Ltd. Justin is a Workplace Wellbeing Consultant with more than 20 years experience. He hopes that our research will contribute to development ideas for a digital application to counter the effects of sedentary work.

“The whole project involves two Experience Labs that will develop ideas generated by participants. We are looking for people to take part in the first event on February 28.

“The lab will use creative activities to explore how movement for wellbeing can be better incorporated into the workplace to address health concerns. The physical activities involved will be largely gentle movement and light activity – so no one will be asked to do anything too strenuous!

“We will also have group discussions about participants’ own experiences of desk-based work and its effects on health and wellbeing. All information provided will remain confidential.”

A woman's hands doing tai chi

The lab will take place at House for an Art Lover, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, from 11am-3pm.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided and reasonable travel expenses will also be paid.

To take part or to for more information, contact Dr Jay Bradley, [email protected] or Dr Michael Johnson, [email protected]

You can read more about the Experience Labs by clicking here.


Join our Digital Diabetes Experience Lab!


Exploring self management of diabetes

InDI’s Experience Labs explore innovative and exciting solutions to a range of healthcare issues affecting Scottish society.

They often include looking at how digital technology can be used to improve peoples’ lives and now there’s a chance for you to get involved.

One of the team’s biggest projects to date has been Digital Diabetes, a portfolio of seven promising innovation projects supported by the Digital Health & Care Institute.

Researchers have collaborated with people living with diabetes, carers and health professionals to understand their needs and design new models of service.

Gemma Teal Diabetes Experience Lab

Project lead Gemma Teal during a Digital Diabetes lab. Image credit: Louise Mather

The Experience Lab team has organised a lab in Glasgow later this month and are looking for people to take part. Project lead Gemma Teal tells the InDI blog a bit more.

“The project is looking at how people living with diabetes can be supported in managing their condition using digital technology.

“We’ve already carried out interviews with people living with diabetes, as well as Experience Labs throughout Scotland. The ideas generated will be used to shape future diabetes services and research programmes.

“Our next Experience Lab will be in Glasgow and we’re exploring how visuals can support self management for people living with diabetes.

“We’re looking for people over the age of 16 who manage their condition using insulin.

“The day will involve a three-hour interactive design workshop where you will share your experiences of living with diabetes. Participants will also work together on a design activity.

Diabetes workshop Experience Labs

Researchers have worked with people living with diabetes, carers and health professionals to understand their needs. Image credit: Louise Mather

“We want people to feel comfortable enough to talk about their experiences and help designers to understand how people live with this disease. Any information provided will remain confidential.”

The workshop will be held in Glasgow city centre, on Monday 20th February. Food will be available from 5pm and the workshop will run from 5.30pm-8.30pm. Those taking part will receive a £20 gift voucher as thanks for their participation and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

For more information or to register to take part in the workshop, contact Gemma on 0141 566118 or [email protected] or Tine Thorup, [email protected]