Cindy Atman

Spring 2020

“Dear Design”: Developing design awareness by representing everyday design processes

Cindy Atman, Professor, HCDE
Kathryn Shroyer, Graduate Student, HCDE

Note: This DRG is full for spring and no longer accepting applications

The basics:

  • Seeking up to 12 interested students
  • Open to BS and MS HCDE students
  • Date & Time: Winter Quarter, 2019; one of the following:
    • Wednesday afternoons 2:30 – 4:20 p.m.
    • Wednesday afternoons 3:30 – 5:20 p.m.
  • Number of credits: 2 credits
  • Application process: Apply via google form by March 13– see below for details

Description: There are many research results from the design research community about effective practices of expert designers that could be useful for design practitioners to know about.  In this DRG, we will explore the potential of learning about a set of design research findings through the concept of design awareness.  Students will be developing design awareness through the doing, documenting, representing and reflecting on everyday design activities.

Specifically, in the quarter, students will:

  • Capture their own design process in a “everyday design tasks” (e.g., baking, making a portfolio)
  • Respond to a set of weekly prompts to create representations of their design process
  • Synthesize across the representations in group discussions
  • Reflect on what they are learning with respect to their understanding of design processes

Inspired by the book “Dear Data,” the responses to the weekly design prompts will be via a physical postcard, that will also be uploaded to a google slide deck.  Each week students will discuss the representations created the previous week, as well as the task for the following week.  We will have several cycles of data collection and representation through the quarter.  In addition to the representations, throughout the quarter students will write brief reflections at the end of each weekly session and will write a final reflection at the end of the quarter. 

Expectations: This group will meet for 2 hours each week during the quarter.  It is expected that each student will spend between 3 to 4 hours of time outside of the class meeting.

Logistics: This is a 2-credit research group offered to HCDE students in the BS or MS program. [Note:  Masters students could enroll for 1 or 2 credits.]  Enrollment is limited to twelve students.   



Dr. Atman's Research Group archive