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Design, in addition to solving problems, is about visualizing them in all their complexity along with viable solutions. Design teams are tasked with finding solutions that don’t exist yet using technology that has a tendency to insinuate itself into the very design process. From Renaissance methods of perspective to modern computer aided design, our visualization technology has directly and indirectly framed our viewpoints: we see through our technology for better or worse. This lecture focuses on how we use technology- both in the present as well as the past- to design technology and how this dynamic impacts design in general and our understanding of the future in particular. The lecture explores a range of design topics including form-giving for product design, the mapping required of interaction design, and the visualization of future scenarios for experience design. Finally it looks briefly at ‘open source’ design and the new possibilities emerging for actual end-users to visualize their own futures.
Kevin Henry is an associate professor of product design at Columbia College Chicago and author of the book Drawing for Product Designers to be published by Laurence King Publishing (Fall 2011).