For Inspiration Only
Website accompanying the PhD Thesis by Ianus Keller defended "cum laude" on Friday November 11, 2005 at the TU Delft.
Designer interaction with informal collections of visual material
Designers surround themselves with visual material, such as magazines, advertisements and photographs. Traditionally these images were used in collages and moodboards to define and communicate the direction of a design project.
In practice we found that designers still collect and surround themselves with phsyical visual material, yet that all the images used in collages came directly from digital sources such as stock CD-roms and the Internet.
Collecting physical material is more of a constant stream of attention that keeps the designers sensitive to the world around them. Furthermore designers get new insights while structuring and adding material to the collection (especially when structuring requires a force-fit).
This research has looked at how designers interact with visual material in the early phases of design and what new tools can do to support this. These questions were addressed by literature reviews and field studies, furthermore several working prototypes have been built, which have been used to gain and demonstrate the knowledge built up during this research.
In this research through design approach, the prototypes serve as ways to build, expand and communicate knowledge. The final prototype from this research called Cabinet is a tool that helps designers grow and organize their collections of visual material. It has been built as a working prototype and set out at three different design agencies for four-weeks in a field experiment.