This years DEFSA (Design Education Forum of South Africa) theme was ‘ethics and accountability in design’. We submitted two papers. The first, ‘Wicked Ethics‘ and the second ‘The Firma Model’. I think it went well and we definitely enjoyed it.
I’ll post a link to the full papers when the proceedings have been published.
Photo by Tasmin Donaldson
Outside of Tokyo being utterly mind-blowing (the people, the city, the culture) the conference was superb as well. On the first day I presented my work on the Firma Model and on the second, the application of the Model (all work I’ve been doing with Terence Fenn).
Below: Me presenting the Firma Model on day 1 on UXSF, Dan and Peter and myself (plugged in) with the Sociomedia team
Prior to the conference however I had the privilege of conducting a workshop on the use of the Firma Model with staff from Metaphase (one of the sponsors of UXSF). This was particularly interesting as 1. I’ve never conducted a workshop using the Firma Model and 2. I’ve never done it in Japanese. I got really great feedback and the work by the Metaphase folks was amazing.
Below: My workshop with the Metaphase team
Lastly, I was also able to speak at the Tokyo IA Camp organised by Concent. Soyeon Lee had translated my piece “The design behind the design behind the design” into Japanese so I figured it would be good to present that…for two gruelling hours.
Below: IA Camp, Tokyo
So all in all it was really hard work and really great fun. And what a country! I would give anything to go back again. I discovered some of the nicest people in our field and we were treated like royalty. All round, it was amazing.
Below: View from my hotel ala ‘Lost in Translation’
Cumulus Milan 2015 was awesome. Our paper presentation of the Firma Model went down well (we thought) and we got some great feedback. But better still was the conference which contained great content, great people and was held in different locations around the city allowing you to really get a feel for Milan. It was a particular highlight to be at the famous Politecnico di Milano.
One other highlight was the meeting of folks from around the world who are part of the DESIS Network.
Our paper will be published in the conference proceedings which I’ll link to when published.
Below: Terence at the Politecnico di Milano
Okay, so this was one amazing event. The folks at uxsouthafrica did a sterling job of putting on their second national conference with even larger attendance than Cape Town last year.
Here are the details of the of the event
…and you can watch Terence and I deliver our presentation on the Firma Model on youtube.
Below: Terence at the steps of SciBono where the conference was held and a sunset view from the venue over Newtown.
Our survey of the UX landscape in South Africa will be closing soon. We’re really excited to start analysing the data and produce our report and paper. The aim of the survey is to determine the current landscape and level of maturity of the field of User Experience (UX) in South Africa and is the combined effort of myself, Terence Fenn and Dr. Marco Pretorius.
Terence and I will be speaking at UX Johannesburg at 10.15am on day 1, Thursday the 14th of May. Topic: The Firma Model – a meta-framework for research, strategy and design.
Terence Fenn and I will be presenting our Firma Model paper at Cumulus in Milan between the 3rd and 5th of June. I’ll post here when the proceedings are published.
I’ve recently become a member of DSD.
The Design Society Development (DSD) DESIS Lab is a multi-disciplinary community of practice, based at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Johannesburg, that seeks to better understand how design can best serve the emerging needs of broader society, specifically in the face of staggering inequality and rapid change in Gauteng, South Africa…
The DSD DESIS Lab meets monthly to interrogate research, projects, methods and products that impact on the intersection and interplay between design, society and development in our specific context.
- We understand design as referring to the conscious choices we make in creating systems (community, society & productive systems) and technologies (products, artefacts, communicative technologies, systems integration);
- society as the human context that includes the broader social systems of culture, economy, politics and environment;
- and development as the discourse and practice of positive and considered change. We draw on critical political economy, social sciences, appropriate technology development, participatory and human-centered design, and other design approaches in our practice and research.
Find out more:
Myself, Terence Fenn, Tasmin Donaldson and Kat Roderick put the Jhb WIAD 2015 event on at the University of Johannesburg for the fourth year running on the 21st of Feb. We had a great time and we’ve had amazing feedback.
Speakers included: Prof. Federico Freschi (Executive Dean, FADA, UJ), Farai Madzima (Freethinking), Joelle Bataille (Native), Marcel Rossouw (Fjord), Jacqueline Fouche (Standard Bank), Jhono Bennett (1to1 – Agency of Engagement), Kgothatso (KG) Lephoko (UJ Multimedia Design student), and Rishal Hurbans (Entelect).
And thanks to our sponsors who included BSG (gold), Entelect (silver) and Freethinking (silver)