Abstract

This paper describes how immersive and empathic methods employed in design and theatre, supported by ‘scripting’ exercises detailing the human and non-human actors and competencies in given crime scenarios, can provide tools for designers to better understand the problem context. We argue, that such methods help generate insight into the opportunistic mindset of the casual thief, or even the professional career criminal, without losing sight of the need to design for users. For design to resist or deter crime, it is necessary to understand the full context of criminal and user behavior before engaging or trying to build- in resistant or defensive strategies to objects, systems and services. Also that it is important when developing models of design scripts, including “script clashes”, to fully understand how aesthetic or semiotic codes are embedded within designed objects and how these visual codes might influence behavior, in ways often not predicted or anticipated by designers. Our view is that there is little material that gives a full account of the design against crime process in the way we have been delivering it for 12 years. Consequently this paper will review a diverse and interdisciplinary range of materials about “empathy” as well as “design” and “design against crime”, and also draw on our own experience as a practice led design research centre, in order to make the case for a new methodological approach.

Keywords

design against crime, think thief, visual scripts, script clashes, drama, empathy tools, ATM crime

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

From Crime Scripts to Empathy Suits - Why role-playing and visualisation of user and abuser “scripts” regarding ATM crime can offer useful design tools to build empathy and catalyse design innovation

This paper describes how immersive and empathic methods employed in design and theatre, supported by ‘scripting’ exercises detailing the human and non-human actors and competencies in given crime scenarios, can provide tools for designers to better understand the problem context. We argue, that such methods help generate insight into the opportunistic mindset of the casual thief, or even the professional career criminal, without losing sight of the need to design for users. For design to resist or deter crime, it is necessary to understand the full context of criminal and user behavior before engaging or trying to build- in resistant or defensive strategies to objects, systems and services. Also that it is important when developing models of design scripts, including “script clashes”, to fully understand how aesthetic or semiotic codes are embedded within designed objects and how these visual codes might influence behavior, in ways often not predicted or anticipated by designers. Our view is that there is little material that gives a full account of the design against crime process in the way we have been delivering it for 12 years. Consequently this paper will review a diverse and interdisciplinary range of materials about “empathy” as well as “design” and “design against crime”, and also draw on our own experience as a practice led design research centre, in order to make the case for a new methodological approach.

 

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