Observation: Listen with Our Eyes and Look with Our Ears
DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Scully, Amos
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology, USA
eness and curiosity through engaged ‘seeing.’ The observational viewer builds greater insight into empathy, place, social setting, both overtly and subtly. Establishing the power of observation can start with first year design students. This paper suggests that challenging design students in their first year undergraduate (Foundations) study to engage in site-based observational recording (written and visual) promotes insight, awareness, and self-empowerment for a creative response. This paper establishes the need for thoughtful ‘seeing’ that challenges preconceptions through multi-sensory experience that is employed in a Foundations student project with three case studies. Foundations students worked in a location of their choice, noticing formal characteristics, daily phenomena, and personal fascinations, and creatively responding to these. Asking a student to work in an everyday setting outside a classroom promotes site ownership and independent empowerment. While the student observation and response project exampled was not problem based, it initiates core principles of design methodologies.