Digital Technology Research

2018 SEGD Communication + Place Chad Eby
08/14/2018

This paper outlines an historical-theoretical framework, an approach for teaching beginning students “just enough” of these sophisticated processes to make meaningful smart objects, suggests a set of tools and resources to facilitate that approach, and highlights some of the obvious and less-than-obvious pitfalls encountered so far at the conclusion of the second iteration of the class.

Bridging Social Networking and Professional Practice
10/28/2014

Leigh Lally
Virginia Tech

ABSTRACT
Social networking has quickly become synonymous with professional development. The architecture and design industry has the opportunity to harness this movement in new and creative ways in its drive toward integrated design practices. Integrated design1* practice by definition must serve the individual design discipline while engaging in a community of practice toward a common project goal. This research initiative is spurred by leaders in the field who indicate that a swift transformation to integrated design practice is required in the discipline in order for architecture and design practice to remain relevant in today’s global economy. Bridging architectural and design research and environmental graphic design provide the opportunity for both a broad and a distinct view of integrated design practice. Current research can inform the environmental graphic design discipline of best practices that promote excellence in design and professional practice as well as multi-disciplinary collaboration as an EGD core competency. As a researcher and practitioner, I am excited to engage the EGD community in dialog about innovative venues for knowledge sharing toward professional development and integrated design practices. As a campus designer and planner charged with EGD and the wayfinding master plan for the university, I understand the need for multi-disciplinary collaboration at a project level, as well as the challenges of timely professional development in a rapidly changing field. As a Ph.D. candidate my research focuses on harnessing social networking as a vehicle for collaborative learning which can be applied both at the design industry level as well as at the scale of an individual discipline such as environmental graphic design.

Storefronts: Lettering & Digital Technologies in the Urban Landscape
10/27/2014

Patricia Cue
San Diego State University

ABSTRACT
Commercial storefronts play a vital role in signposting and broadcasting the cultural identity of the urban landscape. Storefront signs address basic commercial communication needs such as naming and stating the type of business, marking the location, advertising services, and attracting customers. But they also fulfill a more important need: expressing the characteristics of a given culture, and defining how that culture is represented visually. They add flavor and authenticity. They let us know, culturally and geographically, where we are.

How a culture is perceived is largely determined by how it is presented. As cultural readers and interpreters, we look for signs and symbols to help us make sense of the space around us. In an ethnic urban landscape, commercial storefront signs are powerful coded symbols that communicate a wealth of cultural information. Sign painting has traditionally been the most common and effective means of conveying that information. In the past, such signs would have been hand-painted. However, since the introduction of plastic materials, and with the dominance of digital technologies, traditional sign painting has declined in popularity, especially in major commercial centers, where it is rarely, if ever, seen. But in many ethnic areas, sign painting has managed to survive as a vernacular form of design that operates on the margins of professional design practice.

This project examines the “membrane” that separates vernacular and professional graphic design, by investigating a particular form of indigenous hand-painted murals that advertise folk music concerts in rural Mexico, and by surveying the current state of storefront designs along University Avenue and San Ysidro Boulevard in San Diego, California. The main objective is to develop models for commercially competitive design solutions that translate the visual language of traditional handmade lettering into modern sign-making technologies and materials, in order to explore culturally sensitive ways to brand small businesses in ethnic pockets within urban areas. By creating design alternatives in the form of prototypes that expand the possibilities of modern technology, this project aims to foster cultural vitality and economic prosperity for small ethnic businesses, and to advocate for the preservation of visual diversity.

Smarter Sidewalks
10/27/2014

Brett Snyder
University of California Davis, Department of Design

ABSTRACT
How we navigate the streets has changed radically over the past decade, thanks largely to new technologies. To take just one example, smart phones have made an ever widening array of maps and information available to the public, enabling new ways of seeing and experiencing the urban landscape. iPhones allow the street to become a museum without walls, support pop-up events, and enable the creation of thematic journeys.

While our modes of navigating streets have transformed, the streetscapes themselves have remained fundamentally unchanged. We still have traffic signs, phone booths, historical plaques, and bus stops that look and operate much the way they did 20 or even 50 years ago. Why are our streets so slow to adapt? The time is ripe to reconsider how public infrastructure could operate and how it might transform the way we navigate and experience the public realm. Could there be alternative ways to access location-based information, beyond personal digital devices—ways that help make information more widely accessible to all and lower the digital divide? Could a public media infrastructure achieve secondary aims such as reducing carbon footprints and creating more habitable cities? How can the street itself learn from the open source, mobile platforms that characterize the latest turn of the digital revolution?

Design Innovations through Collaborative Research Methods
10/02/2014

University of Cincinnati

ABSTRACT
Technology is presenting new opportunities for designers and educators to collaborate in developing tools for reading instruction. This paper shares a collaborative research study that leveraged visual communication design, reading literacy, and educational psychology research to help teach early reading skills through a multi-sensory experiential learning tool. This study demonstrates how collaboration and design problem-solving can contribute to addressing communication design problems and developing experiential learning methods.

Full Immersion: Beyond the Page + Screen Transforming Traditional Design Curriculum with Experiential Graphic Design
10/02/2014

New Media
University of Idaho College of Art & Architecture

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the potential for integrating Experiential Graphic Design (XGD) within the context of a traditional graphic design/visual communication curriculum. This shift will better prepare students to work in a constantly evolving, competitive, and expanding field of design. Through documented student projects, we explored the development of XGD strategies and methodologies through the blending of traditional graphic design foundations, interactive, and time-based media that transform a user experience beyond the page and screen. The success of this type of new curriculum model is made possible by the co-location of art, design, new media, and architecture in an interdisciplinary college.

Inclusive, High Quality Decisions?  Macro/Micro Design Impacts within our Everyday Experiences
10/02/2014

School of Design
Rochester Institute of Technology

ABSTRACT
Age and physical ability are natural filters for assessing the successes of designed objects, messages, and experiences. Design problem solving contributes (or not) to the resolution of challenges faced by aging and/or physically challenged individuals as they interact with products and contexts in the built environment. This paper examines some design details, solutions, and situations that impact everyday inclusivity and quality of experience, and suggests approaches toward understanding and increasing interaction success for all of us.

Pushing Design's Edges with Sound Interactions
10/01/2014

School of Visual Communication Design
Kent State University

ABSTRACT
Sound is temporal, social, invisible, and physical. Though sound has long been part of design, it has not held a prominent place in our discourse. While design education has historically focused on visual communication, the ways we might create, select, and remix sound can positively influence a holistic approach to projects, transform the way we might speak to an audience, and play a role in shaping human experiences.

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