When design research meets Alibaba

Last October the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven launched a new exhibition called ‘GEO-DESIGN: Alibaba. From here to your home’. This exhibition is an investigation that traces the nebulous outlines of one of the largest e-commerce giants in the world, Alibaba Group, founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, currently the richest man in China. The exhibition is developed within the framework of an ongoing collaboration between the museum and Design Academy Eindhoven.

Before entering the exhibition, the topic of Chinese e-commerce felt far away, almost a strange choice for an exhibition during Dutch Design Week. However, after seeing all the exhibits and having been immersed in so many different aspects of this enormous company, a new thought resonated: this is the power of design research. To make what seems complex, abstract and remote more tangible and understandable, while not…

Joining forces towards climate action

In order to create a cleaner and greener world we have to join forces and collectively come up with new ideas and solutions. That is why it is important to STBY to engage in sustainable projects and organise co-creation sessions focussing on climate action. An example of such an event is the Spring House Climate Summit in Amsterdam we organised in relation to the Clean Energy Challenge of What Design Can Do.

Amsterdams clean energy issues

The Clean Energy Challenge calls on designers and creatives to come up with new and creative ideas to  tackle pressing energy issues in five different cities. Amsterdam is one of them. As the research partner of WDCD, we researched the local energy issues in the five different cities. We found that in Amsterdam there is little space for clean energy infrastructure. Solar panels and other visible interventions are not permitted on historic buildings.…

Prototyping Clean Energy Futures

In a workshop hosted by STBY during the Service Design Days in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of October 2018, we prototyped ideas for new service concepts in response to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge.

A New Breed of Design Research Tools

Gone are the days of lugging around clunky recorders, hefty cameras and brick-like hard drives to interviews and observation sites. The design researchers of today need only bring along a smartphone hooked up to a few complementary gadgets and software to capture and save quality audio, video and images.

Unpacking the Journey from Farm to Fork in Nairobi

STBY recently went to Nairobi to work with local design research partners on the preparations for the latest Global Design Challenge on Clean Energy. Through workshops with creatives and energy experts we explored local energy issues and developed a better understanding of the Kenyan perspectives on climate change.

A glance into MyFutures

Imagine you are 80 years old. You think you are nearing the end of your life, so you wind down activities, and live day-to-day. Then you discover that you could live for another 50 years. Suddenly, you have to think about how you will fill that time. Do you feel anxious, or excited?

‘Listening’ to Big Data

Every company will agree that listening to the voice of their customers is highly important. There are obviously multiple ways to do this. A good mix of these approaches is usually the most successful, as they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Update on WDCD Climate Action Challenge: The knowledge is there, and it’s time to share it

Many people feel helpless when it comes to climate change. The consequences are coming at us thick and fast, outstripping both scientific predictions and a lacklustre policy response. So it’s quite empowering to realise that we can make a difference with the knowledge that is already out there — if we start sharing it and connecting the right people together.

The ethnographic interview: preparing clients to be observers

It’s important to prepare client-observers who have no previous experience with these kinds of interviews, to let them know what to expect, and to avoid pitfalls that can diminish the quality of the research process and results. Here are some guidelines researchers can share and discuss beforehand in order to ensure the process is equally fruitful for researcher and observer.

New frontiers for Service Design

The ubiquity of service design tools and artefacts is also a cue for pioneers in the field to move on and focus on new frontiers. At the Service Design Global Conference in Madrid, Jamin Hegeman of Capital One pointed to one of these frontiers. He argued that it is time for service design to move beyond projects that just create new service concepts, and to focus more on ways to effectively contribute to the long-term, sustainable management of service delivery and ongoing improvement of customer experiences.

Prototyping Clean Energy Futures

In a workshop hosted by STBY during the Service Design Days in Barcelona on the 5th and 6th of October 2018, we prototyped ideas for new service concepts in response to the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge.

A New Breed of Design Research Tools

Gone are the days of lugging around clunky recorders, hefty cameras and brick-like hard drives to interviews and observation sites. The design researchers of today need only bring along a smartphone hooked up to a few complementary gadgets and software to capture and save quality audio, video and images.

STBY’s Action-packed Autumn

From Service Design Days in Barcelona to a 'Happy Pedestrian' Conference in Amsterdam, STBY has a packed agenda for Autumn. Here's a sweep of what we are up to.  

Unpacking the Journey from Farm to Fork in Nairobi

STBY recently went to Nairobi to work with local design research partners on the preparations for the latest Global Design Challenge on Clean Energy. Through workshops with creatives and energy experts we explored local energy issues and developed a better understanding of the Kenyan perspectives on climate change.

Rigorous documentation: A research superpower

When research activities get going in earnest, a lot is produced. If treated too casually, the mass of audio files and transcripts, flip-overs and mini-posters full of post-its, photos, interview notes and feedback mails can quickly turn into a massive hairball that no-one can unpick.

Where do people fit into the Internet of Things?

There are now more things connected to the internet than the number of people in the world. Many of these devices are inside our home, from Bluetooth speakers to smart coffee machines and fridges. In the future, even our plates and curtains might be hooked up to the internet. The house will then resemble a lab, in which we are the studied subjects. How much alcohol do we drink? How often do we wash our hair, or cut our nails? Are we snacking more than usual? Spending longer in front of the mirror? Maybe the homes of the future will know.

Imagining More Walkable Cities

What does ‘walkability’ mean? Exploring more walkable cities could help us envision streets that can be used and enjoyed by everyone. Much…

What Design Can Do For The Climate

How can designers tackle a problem as complex as climate change? That was the question we were faced with when we partnered with What Design Can Do…