(Industrial) Design Widening from Products to Services 2005-2015
Design practice is changing rapidly. Over the past decades we have seen design practice widen its focus from mechanical products for mass production to interactive computer-based products to experiences to services to systems. Sometimes practice was in the lead, sometimes academics could help in leading. Part of this development are creative tensions between academia and practice, between research and design. I’ll discuss experiences from Delft, especially the area where I have been active, i.e., participatory design, context mapping, and service design, in the contexts of large-scale education, viz., three MSc design programs with an intake of 100 students each, and one PhD programme of 130 students, and of a Dutch nationwide design research programme CRISP, involving 70 companies and five universities.
After an education in experimental physics (MSc 1984), Pieter Jan Stappers made the switch to Industrial Design Engineering at TU Delft, and followed a research path which led from human perception, spatial imagery, Virtual Reality (PhD in 1992), to design tools and participatory design techniques. His current activities include director Graduate School and Research of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, a design research programme with 140 PhD candidates. Key elements in his work are ‘research through design’, ‘experiential prototyping’, and ‘context mapping’, which can be found on his webpage.