6. Observation


Full recording available to

students of the Academy

What does observing consist of?
& Why are we so bad at it?

Observation is fundamental to any design & goes far beyond looking at something carefully. 
We involve all of our communication channels in a systemic & sistematic way, in good prolonged observation.

In this class we study in depth the clients interview & other observation techniques & tools. 

90% of design errors are errors of observation (NASA study figures).   Why & how do we have such a terrible record in such a basic, primal design function?    

Good observation is essential for any design, and it goes far beyond simply looking at something carefully.  This class will make us more aware of the reasons behind the problem & provide us with some effective tools for making better & more holistic observations as well as removing prejudiced or incorrect data from our designs.

Video: Selective Attention Test

What happened here? Is there a evolutionary reason behind this kind of selective attention? 

Video: Attention Test

When you look at their heads they are spinning. When you look to their hands they are going back and forth. Or are they?

Video: The pattern behind self-deception

Michael Shermer

YouTube Video

Michael Shermer from Skeptic magazine says the human tendency to believe strange things -- from alien abductions to dowsing rods -- boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills. He explains what they are, and how they get us into trouble.
Video: Ray Anderson on sustainability

(the business logic of sustainability) - a great deal of innovation is simply seeing the same issue from a different perspective ... which essentially is what we try to do with all of the observation techniques: observe better by changing perspectives by focusing consciously on different facets of a question.   In Anderson's story this happened by chance - during the whole course we propose multiple ways to focus on sustainability questions very directly so as not to leave this kind of radical change re-design so much to chance.

http://www.ted.com At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.

"The human gaze has, in principle, the same characteristic of predators.

It only sees in front.   Its blind spot is very large.

Learn to see as the hare & to hear the sound of colours. 

There you will find the most fascinating metamorphosis"

(Manuel Rivas)