What is Data and how can we Locate Synergies in Systems that Share it?

What was your group’s definition or approach to data and data-sharing synergies?

  • The Pushing Doing group decided that all data was useful.
  • We decided that data is subjective and soft rather than hard and objective.
  • We talked about using what is not useful, sometimes the unthinkable is the solution.
  • We regarded data as being useful depending on the individual and also how data relates to time (i.e data with regards to decisions made during the design process and data identified in retrospect - forward design thinking and retrospective design thinking).
  • Who is in charge of the data, and fixing it in a point in time?
  • The designer as an interpreter of data collected through the whole design process.
  • We were interested in data with a life of its own, evolving in relationship with data constructed by man-made processes.
  • We thought about data as naivety, underlying honesty, we felt that in our role as ‘pusher doers’ it is important to keep disagreeing and creating conflict because underneath there is honesty that can then emerge and give the process a meaningful direction.
  • Sharing data between designer and client needs trust, understanding, confidence and enthusiasm.
  • How do you make other people confident in you as a solution provider?
  • How to integrate different points of view into data?

How did the specific examples inform the discussion about data and data-sharing?

Some of the keywords/themes that emerged from our discussion were -
Designer as data-interpreter, data is everything, overview and hindsight, data evolution, design and time, nurturing and cultivating data, enthusing, facilitating, tangible and intangible outcomes, decision-making pressures.

How did each groups’ specific view inform yours?

First Group Visit - Envisioning

We discussed synergy and magic and enjoying the perfect martini, what are the elements that make this up?

  • Integrated ideas - Pushing and doing proposed the importance of being aware of different viewpoints in time when sharing data to hopefully achieve a synergy. This related to envisioning suggesting the importance of having a sense of what is/ what can be. We agreed about the human aspect or the personality injected into synergy.
  • Separate ideas - Envisioning proposed tactics to induce synergy, whereas Pushing Doing believed in captaining what we have already got going.

Second group visit - New knowing

We had a discussion about perceived data, soft and hard data, subjective and objective data.

  • Integrated ideas - We agreed that data could be useful for one person and useless for another. We talked about individual view-points, credibility, and personal sources.
  • Separate ideas - We disagreed over the use of metadata-tagging. We were more inclined to incorporate ‘fuzzy data’ or unknowns into our process and ride out the outcome, taking risks, rather than tag and file data to make it more intelligent for future usage.

Third group visit - Languaging

  • Integrated ideas - We talked about the importance of keeping disagreeing in the design process to unearth honestly behind intensions and get somewhere. We talked about the importance of having an awareness of the evolutionary nature of data in the process. We talked about confidence and courageousness.

Did the synergies cause you to re-define your own group’s approach to data and data-sharing?

Data is everything, everything is useful, it is subjective and soft and appropriate at different viewpoints in time. We were prickly about synergising with the other groups and we decided to disagree, stirring up the process. We finished with the notion of designers pushing through and captaining eccentric processes and seeing what happens. One of the final outcomes was the idea of progress without consensus.

Feedback from the external consultants

Mike Stoner (external link), Stoner Interiors

'William and I both agreed that the most useful data to have would be a viewpoint back from the end of the making-process. Although the process is still peppered with the data available at the outset (the brief maybe), data always changes with the passage of time throughout the course of the project. We want to understand how time will affect our data.'

'The disagreeing in the design process strategy that we discussed is important as it forces problems to the surface more quickly. It avoids deferring to another viewpoint or indeed an agreement. It is more rigorous and it should save time and effort, bringing forward any conflicts that might cause damage later.'

William Warren (external link), conceptual designer

'I enjoyed discussing the importance of data (that which becomes relevant information affecting design development) with Hannah and Mike. The concept that all data is relevant to the design process in various degrees, depending on the individuals and their position in time, struck me as the most interesting and useful idea. It is really important to understand that the creative process is most free when "fuzzy data" is allowed to remain unlabeled and open to interpretation and reinterpretation. This means that throughout the design process we must constantly reevaluate all contributing and relative data as it evolves in time and measure it against new data as it emerges.'

Please view the Pushing Doing working data poster

Please view the EnvisioningRedesignedposter
Please view the LanguagingRedesignedposter
Please view the NewknowingRedesignedposter

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