Research Seminar: Jonathan Rankin, Design Informatics

Design Through Experimentation

Designing for speculative future visions is an exciting area of research which can instigate discussion about the kind of future people want, and do not want, but this work comes with specific challenges: how can I communicate unfamiliar and complex ideas, and kindle interest? One must balance reality and the imaginary in a way which provokes thought. In order for people to relate to abstract ideas, it is important to anchor them in reality. To achieve this it is important to test them thoroughly, with fast physical prototyping and experimentation on real people. In my experience the best way to achieve this is by building interactive representations of your ideas, to allow people to feel and experience your designs. By iterative improvement and development of these prototypes you are able to push your ideas towards the imaginary.
In this talk Rankin will outline his design process and show some example projects which illustrate this, summarising what he feels are the most important lessons for design students to learn. He will share some alternative design methodologies, as well as some inspiration from designers he admires, in order to give a different perspective on how to be a designer.
Jonathan Rankin is a multidisciplinary designer working in the Design Informatics department, in which he is exploring new models of philanthropy with the emergence of blockchain technologies. He has a background in design futures, having worked on projects involving a wide variety of future visions from robotics and data privacy to the environment and romance, in both London and Tokyo. He is interested in evolving personal interactions with technology, and as such frequently captures the imagination of the public; his work has been featured in publications such as CNN, Time Magazine and on the Discovery Channel.
Thursday 18 October 4pm

Design Informatics Studio, ECA, 1.09 Evolution House, 78 Westport, Edinburgh, EH1 2LE