Interactive Environments Manual

Design Approach

As mentioned in the Background chapter, the design process in the Interactive Environments minor is iterative. An iteration is defined by a goal it sets out to reach. Any start with partitioning a project into iterations from a design assignment is a bit of voodoo, experience will help out in the end. It is important to keep the goals small at first. Don’t worry too much if things do not work out as planned.

The duration of one iteration can vary greatly depending on the drafted goal and the fidelity level of prototyping required. Perform all the steps in one day to end up with a quick rough prototype. Or perform the steps in one month (maybe has some more detailed iterations to find out technical possibilities eg. with technology prototypes). Below we provide a breakdown of one design iteration in a few steps.

Each phase of the project can involve multiple design iterations, and each iteration can involve a variety of creative activities, design research and engineering tasks.

Compendia such as IDEO Design kit, the Delft Design Guide or the book Designing for Connected Products and Understanding Industrial Design contain many approaches and methods that can be applied to organise and execute these activities effectively.

We encourage students to experiment with different ways to organise their design iterations, however we would also require adherence to the following general principles throughout the entire minor.