Day 4 kicked off late (too much partying the night before).
There are a slew of conferences which were promoted and made me wish I had more money for travel:
- Business of Design Week - Oct. 2008 in Hong Kong
- Design and Emotion Society - Oct. 2008 in Hong Kong
- Design Research Society - July 2008 in Sheffield
- IASDR - Oct. 2009 in Seoul, Korea
Stephen Kyffin of Phillips R&D was the final keynote presenter.
Question: Why is it that all keynote speakers go over their time? I would think that these are seasoned professionals and yet each one went over by 15-20 minutes. It seems so disrespectful to the organizers and the audience, who look forward to being able to ask questions or discuss over break.
Stephen gave a 1 hr and 20 minute presentation about the difficulty of navigating a successful R&D design process at Phillips. I admired his candidness and wish that my IPD (interdisciplinary product development) team of faculty and students could have seen his presentation. I liked the way he framed research at Phillips as trying to build a better society through social innovation. He went through the design process at Phillips, images of which I posted on Flickr.
What was most interesting is when he walked us through the case study where they had the ideal innovation process with ethnographic research, experimental contextual behavior observations (where they put prototypes in people's lives and studied the disruptions), built personas and scenarios, built full workable prototypes, used the best design materials, had seamless technology, used narrative to tell stories of how the system of products integrated into people's lives with a 9 minute video. They showed it to the business unit heads, who found it compelling and inspiring, could not "buy" it. Why? He says because they did not package it in a way that the biz units could digest it, so they went back and had to repackage everything, but then the ideas get snagged in digital IP content wars.
So the gist is that R&D work is extremely frustrating and there is not a design process that is guaranteed to work.
I presented in the morning on what was labeled as a business session, but as someone pointed out should have been called out as "social design". Sharon told me that unfortunately I was in the worse room (dungeon like), but it actually was great because it was intimate enough to enable conversations. I mean real conversations not Q&A.
The crowd was small but engaged. It seem to be well received based on the quality of the questions asked and people coming up to me to tell me that they thought it was great. Thank you for those who did come up.
But the presentation that inspired me was that of Maria Loschiavo dos Santos on Brazil. Can I just say that I love Brazilians. It is a vast over generalization, but with every one that I have met, I've had instant karma. Maria reminds me of my Aunt Jill, my favorite Aunt. But she is WONDERFUL. Her presentation was so passionate. She stated that she is going to provide her own propoganda to counter Stephen's presentation in the morning. Her message was about how the homeless people who collect the garbage in Brazil are not disposable people, but rather a vital part of the Brazilian economy. Brazil is one of the top recyclers of aluminum based on their efforts. She discussed a class project collaborating with the COMPAMARE, the national collective for the homeless garbage collectors. The students designed new products out of the garbage, created signs that point out the humanity of the collectors as they push their carts down the street. See Flickr images. Most importantly, the work they did led to the collective gaining the deed to municipal land for their work, a library, and what Maria hopes to become a center. People clapped their hands when she was through. I am definitely getting her to contribute this case study to the Design Policy book.
So now I have to catch my flight to Tokyo then Chicago, so I will finish blogging the conference in about another 20-24 hours.