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Julia Seo is a visual designer from Toronto who is obsessed with finding methods to visualize the process of complex problems. She focuses on exploring ways to apply design thinking to understand problems at high-level and in detail for healthcare organizations. Julia graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Design with Honors degree from the York University/Sheridan College Program in Design. She currently works as a designer at Coactuate, a strategic design consultancy in Toronto focused on helping healthcare organizations innovate and grow. Aside from her work, Julia enjoys cutting hand-cut paper-art pieces and creating hand-made books.
Paper Summary: The Resource Garden was created to re-evaluate and transform the search-experience of academic/scholarly resources within post-secondary libraries. The experience takes place in the space of a library, which involves interacting with physical (tactile) and digital media. This space is designed using the metaphor of a garden where digital installations, made to look like plants, represent different academic faculties. Interacting with the installation includes a mobile app where users can enter research topics to trigger the plants to illuminate and reveal resources found within different disciplines. Various research methods were used to develop the Resource Garden, including ethnographic studies of academic, recreational, and rare-book libraries: (1) types of human and technological activity, (2) functions of different spaces, (3) accessibility of services, and (4) the interior design of student workspaces. This project also challenges researchers to go beyond their practiced discipline(s). Through this new methodology, it will allow researchers to view gaps between disciplines not as obstacles, but as new sites of inquiry to create original and thought-provoking knowledge. This project exemplifies how experiential design can ‘intelligently’ combine an effective, utilitarian method to gathering resources, but also give users a visually compelling experience in the process.