Between the 5th and 9th of May (2014) the VCD department proudly hosted Professor Emeritus Jorge D. Frascara and his life and business partner Dr. Fabiola Guillermina Noël for a workshop on ‘Designing with and for the user: the power of ecological thinking” at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design.
A prominent figure in academic and design spheres of Communication Design, Frascara is Professor Emeritus (University of Alberta), Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, Past President of ICOGRADA, and Advisor to the ISO and the Standards Council of Canada. He has lectured extensively around the world and has thus far published nine books, including Communication Design, Design and the Social Sciences, and Designing Effective Communications, and more than 50 articles.
Dr. Noël holds a PhD in Design Sciences from the University IUAV of Venice, Italy, and a Master of Design from the University of Alberta, Canada. She has worked on the design of materials for people with severe speech and reading impairments, interacting with neurologists, educators, and speech therapists, emphasizing the importance of user-centered design and design for users with special needs.
The 5-day workshop aimed at raising awareness among students on the importance of problem-based design practice focusing on design’s impact on people (rather than the design of objects). The 37 participants (36 VCD undergraduate students from all four years and one graduate student) were divided in six groups and worked on 4 projects that asked for fabricating design solutions to problems that we encounter in our immediate context/environment, such as, energy waste and time delays when using predominantly the elevators in the FFAD building (media: animation and poster design); traffic accidents due to extensive alcohol consumption or indifference to traffic signage (product: safety awareness campaigns, e.g., posters and magazine advertisements); false intake of medication by the elderly (product: new practical packaging - pill dispensers-, informative materials for use by patients and pharmacists – stickers and calendars).
Participants were required to implement user research and testing in order to assess the effectiveness of their propositions and improve their final design solutions. The workshop outcomes will be presented on the 4th floor at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design until Friday 16 May.