Abstract

This paper addresses the role of the designer as actor/ agency working within and across flows of knowledge, perception and information for filtering, negotiating and mediating design decision-making. The research methodology uses auto-ethnographic writing to construct and explore a series of deliberative conversations as (I /You/ Me / We). Each of these personas offers a distinctive mediatory stance for the designer/self to engage with relations to other-ness across personal and public social contexts. As a second order cybernetic approach, the designer/self is thus constructed as being simultaneously participant and observer in ongoing collaborative design conversations as synthesis. These fictive and auto/biographical personae provide access to a range of viewpoints and perspectives, which can be used to actively reflect, mirror and respond to stakeholder interests and investments, whilst effectively being considered in light of the designer’s own reflections on, in, and through action (Schön). Whilst the paper proposes this methodology as having general benefit for design research in any field, its application for a visual design narrative project is described. The case study is of the making of a video documentary about the ‘Australian Citizens’ Parliament’ (2009), as 150 randomly selected citizen participants take part in a deliberation about ways to improve Australian democratic governance systems. The designer’s process of decision-making and story telling is guided by using the personae methodology to engage with synthesis of multiple perspectives from the video capture process. Key stages of the script design process are described, where the designer uses the framing and mediating concepts of public/private; and individual/collective (I/ You/ Me/ We) to generate a revised form for the documentary as an essayistic work consisting of a series of ambient scenes. What emerges in this final video piece is an engaging narrative treatment and shared understanding about a uniquely Australian political context, titled ‘Deliberation Nation’.

Keywords:

Designer As Actor/Agency, Experiential Narrative, Ambient Scene Design Methodology

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Contradictions, Complexity and the ‘Conversational Self’ Design Research Methodology: “Australian Citizens’ Parliament” Documentary

This paper addresses the role of the designer as actor/ agency working within and across flows of knowledge, perception and information for filtering, negotiating and mediating design decision-making. The research methodology uses auto-ethnographic writing to construct and explore a series of deliberative conversations as (I /You/ Me / We). Each of these personas offers a distinctive mediatory stance for the designer/self to engage with relations to other-ness across personal and public social contexts. As a second order cybernetic approach, the designer/self is thus constructed as being simultaneously participant and observer in ongoing collaborative design conversations as synthesis. These fictive and auto/biographical personae provide access to a range of viewpoints and perspectives, which can be used to actively reflect, mirror and respond to stakeholder interests and investments, whilst effectively being considered in light of the designer’s own reflections on, in, and through action (Schön). Whilst the paper proposes this methodology as having general benefit for design research in any field, its application for a visual design narrative project is described. The case study is of the making of a video documentary about the ‘Australian Citizens’ Parliament’ (2009), as 150 randomly selected citizen participants take part in a deliberation about ways to improve Australian democratic governance systems. The designer’s process of decision-making and story telling is guided by using the personae methodology to engage with synthesis of multiple perspectives from the video capture process. Key stages of the script design process are described, where the designer uses the framing and mediating concepts of public/private; and individual/collective (I/ You/ Me/ We) to generate a revised form for the documentary as an essayistic work consisting of a series of ambient scenes. What emerges in this final video piece is an engaging narrative treatment and shared understanding about a uniquely Australian political context, titled ‘Deliberation Nation’.

 

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