Design as research.

In a world where our lives are constantly measured in  metrics, analytics and data we must design for people – not types.

Design is part of people’s everyday lives, thoughts and actions.

Whenever things are not working well, design as an intervention delivers an improved situation, space, process and experience.

Good design shapes and prompts, inspires and enables people to live a better life.

For design to respond appropriately we need to know exactly who we are designing for.

How do people think?

What do they value?

What would help to make their lives better?

The goal of design research is to generate an in-depth understanding of human centred experiences – and needs.

Design research looks in depth at how people engage with the world.

It is a process that uses critical skills of listening, observation and empathy to better understand the subtle and unique context of the human/spatial relationship.

A qualitative and environmental enquiry looks at what is unique and what is shared data/evidence. This leads to the formulation of design questions and to a process of design problem-solving.

Once we know how and where things fit together – or not, we will have real insights.

From this, direct actionable outputs are likely to emerge.

These can then be further developed/ researched into a defined research strategy, purposefully aligned.

Anyone At Home features stories of everyday lives, in everyday spaces. It is about who we are and how we live  today.

These  are unique and personal stories.

They relate to a specific time, space and place. Ordinary lives lived in homes shaped within a particular social, cultural, political, economic, technological and spatial sphere.

Each story reminds us that as our own story enfolds, and as we age, our lives are constantly changing.

And so, what people say and experience today may be very different tomorrow.

This project produces evidence, insights and knowledge that cannot be found elsewhere.

Creative thinking is essential to business and industry; innovation comes from an open mind.

To that end, developing knowledge that comes from different ways of seeing, is key.

A quantitative approach limits research to hard data. It runs the risk of missing valuable insights and shifts in culture, experience and thinking.

Any one of these stories could become my/your/our story.

This project developed from my own natural sense of curiosity and constant questioning of people’s changing relationship with space.

These are the stories of people at a various stages of life living in circumstances and situations that we may be yet to encounter – or where we have been before.

There are stories of inspiration and fortitude- but mostly of the everyday.

They are people who don’t see themselves as extraordinary and yet each story is unique – as is the space they have made as their home.

As we age and enter different lifestages it is reassuring to know how it is for other people in similar situations. We can learn from their experience and be more prepared – or at least recognise that we are not alone in how we feel and what we do.

So, whether you are in business, artist, anthropologist, designer, sociologist or scientist. Or someone who is just interested in people.

There is a story here that may resonate with you:  in your past, present, or future.