How to take advantage of a situation, when the time to create the product is not strictly assigned, and a goal is bigger than the next, “new” version of an existing product? What kind of tools and solutions can we use to discover new horizons and create unprecedented solutions? What if our ambition, or the assigned task, is designing macro-, not micro- innovations?
The answer might be a Research Through Design (RTD) methodology. It relies on including design exercises in the research process. This approach brings research to an almost scientific level and allows its meaning to exceeds the traditional needs analysis. The main difference between the RTD method and traditional research approach UCD is using design as a tool to gain a better quality of knowledge about the users.
One of the main thoughts of this experimental, three-day congress occurred to be the newest technologies, which can serve to intensify the human experiences, help relating with surrounding people and the world. In other words, it allows being here and now.
What particularly drew attention was a handmade, digital jewelry prototype, which looked like elements of a natural environment. This jewelry, using the newest technology, can accompany a person, for example, during hiking. While walking, it records the image and sounds in the microfilm hidden in a rock. You can see a recording though the small screen which forces you to look inside. It facilities a very personal, almost intimate interaction, in contrast to what the popular technology offers. The memories closed inside the rock can become a wonderful gift to a close one. Another example was a sound recorder in a decorated piece of wood.
“Smelling interface for bike” - one of the prototypes presented during RTD 2019.
Another project which I found incredibly inspiring was one connecting technology and fashion in the context of wearing clothes. This research, similar to many others, was supported by Philips, which shows what the technology giants invest in. The project was a visualization of phenomenons, which can accompany the act of wearing clothes, like creating a glare and specific aura surrounding the person dressed in this way. Exhibited prototype and visualization (a set of woman clothes with a specific pattern and overlaid video effects) simulated a person's visual influence on their surroundings and the clothes' reaction to the wearer's mood.