Individual Motivation in the Design Process (leads: Stan and Ricardo)
Building on work from researchers in the QLab based at University of Waterloo, we are exploring alternatives to the standard design process in which the motivations of individual team members are explicitly acknowledged and accommodated. We are also considering the role of belief, opinion, and interpretation in the early stages of defining the brief.

Visual Metaphors for STEAM Education (leads: Stan and Jiameng)
Working in collaboration with chemistry professor Mutha Gunasekera, we are designing graphical metaphors in a visual language intended to be attractive and motivating to first-year chemistry students. We will be able to compare learning outcomes across large introductory class sessions who either use or do not use the materials.

Information re-design for Brazilian vestibular exams (leads: Natalie and Stan)
In this project, we will adapt David Sless’s benchmarking approach to information design, where an original is tested against iterative redesigns on measures of information use until the document performs to a required standard. In this case, we are studying the format of the entrance exams (the “vestibular” that universities use throughout Brazil.

Selective Reality (leads: Stan and Gerry)
Augmented reality consists of adding virtual items to our perception of the physical world. In selective reality, the idea is to remove physical items or turn them transparent, in order to focus on others. For example, in navigating a strange city, a person might choose a destination, then turn the rest of the city to glass in order to see where it is.

Modeling “Opinion” for Designers (leads: Jennifer and Stan)
We are developing an operational model of opinion for use by design practitioners whose work involves strengthening or changing opinions. Related concepts include but are not limited to:

  • interpretation
  • belief
  • conviction
  • stance

Event-Driven Experience Design (lead: Priscilla)
When we remember our experiences, we remember events. For most people, and for designers in particular, it is therefore more useful to have a model that emphasizes the various events and their inter-relations. In this project, we are designing a modeling tool for experience designers that allows them to create and structure a collection of events.

Bio-bricks (lead: Natalie)
They are an intervention in the conventions of walking surfaces, involving the creation of alternatives to concrete and asphalt using crop residues, domestic waste, and industrial waste. The goal is to develop locally-sourced pavers that could provide an additional revenue stream for farmers.

Jiminy (lead: Gerry)
The domestic drones project is intended to interrogate the relentless masculine design of autonomous flying objects by re-imagining what drones might be like for the home.

Metabolic Capitalism (leads: Stan, Gerry, Zhabiz)
The project on crypto-currencies is a series of experimental prototypes on the attempt to reduce the two primary flaws in the existing models of money: accumulation and distribution without reference to local production.

Materialization of Text Analytical Experiences (lead: Milena)
In this project, we are experimenting with creating new forms of interface that leverage physicality and kinesthetic intelligence: (1) to provide a richer and more accessible introduction to the algorithmic study of texts; (2) to create new departure points for discussions of the value added, to all participating disciplines, in collaborations between the digital humanities and the fine arts; and (3) to demonstrate the depth and vastness of the digital artifacts that have been created as part of digital humanities scholarship.