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Title:Creating intentional environments for impromptu collaboration: Designing forms with affordances to support engagement and collaboration in the atrium of a higher education facility
Author(s):Henderson, Amanda
Advisor(s):McDonagh, Deana
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art and Design
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.F.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):user-centered design
affordances
collaboration
distributed cognition
cognitive offloading
symbolism
Abstract:The impact of a single object’s presence within a space can be immense. This fact alone, calls to mind the power and responsibility of designers as they influence the creation of these objects directly. The idea that the affordances of designed forms can create beneficial opportunities for interaction has inspired the method for designing intentional environments that is discussed in this paper and a larger research exploration: studying the ways in which the affordances of designed forms influence perceptions of and interactions with material landscapes in various contexts and at various scales. The designed forms found within the material landscapes of our lives create a network of objects and spaces. Environments that we repeatedly interact with have the potential to influence and shape our identities and overall wellbeing. The affordances of a single designed form within a material landscape have the potential to shift a visitor’s understanding of that space and inspire, or warn against, specific interactions. As creatures of habit, these affordances become particularly important in areas where people spend the most time; leading to our homes, workplaces, and learning environments having a drastic influence on our behaviors, decision-making, and socialization patterns. Fortunately, designed forms not only have the ability to create spaces, they can also adapt spaces -- transforming existing structures through a user-centered design process. This paper details the research and design development of a flexible workstation pod, designed to create an intentional environment that engages users in creative creation and collaboration through the use of affordances and symbolism. This product was designed as part of the re-imagination of the atrium of Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. This re-imagination project began as an interdisciplinary exploration of concepts to refresh the facility’s vast atrium space. From that research and ideation process a product opportunity and research method arose; utilizing an understanding of human cognition and perceptions of the affordances and symbolism of a designed form to create intentional spaces that shape opportunities within a building that is world renowned for advancement through collaboration.
Issue Date:2018-07-18
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/101595
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Amanda K. Henderson
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-27
Date Deposited:2018-08


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