reason, senses and mind is often
difficult within the design process.
Therefore we develop frameworks,
methods, and techniques to support design students and designers
to quickly make these connections. One of our frameworks is
Designing in Skills (DiS), illustrated
by Table 1 and developed by Trotto
and Hummels [ 22]. DiS nurtures
personal engagement and the skills
of designers; it supports designers
toward what we call the first-person
perspective, enabling application of
individual sensitivities in order to
evoke resonance with the individual
sensitivities of the user. DiS guides
designers through a series of activities, all documented in videos to
stimulate the reflection process.
By going through these steps, DiS
aims at encouraging and educating
designers toward (bodily) skill-based
designing and using the power of
doing and making in their everyday
The way of doing design research.
Designers typically operate in a constantly changing context that can
never be accurately modeled [ 23].
Thus, we would expect that a reduc-tionist approach to addressing this
context and the situations within it
would fail [ 24]. Consequently, and
in keeping with our earlier explanation, we encourage design researchers to embrace the richness of a
complex design situation and act in
a way appropriate for the specifics
of that situation using a research-through-design (Rt D) approach.
Often RtD is associated with Bruce
Archer’s “research through practice,”
which is a process in which scien-
tific knowledge is generated through
a sequence of cycles of designing,
building, and experimentally test-
ing wealthy experiential prototypes
in everyday life settings [ 25]. This
implies that RtD aims at studying an
effect in a possible future, instead of
understanding the world, as is the
objective of traditional science [ 26].
Such an approach will consequently
result in conditional regularities
instead of general laws or “the
truth.” The prototype is the physical,
experiential manifestation of this,
the carrier of integrated and contex-
tualized knowledge, and the physical
manifestation of a design rationale.
Designing and design research are
highly interwoven with society. With
the exponential increase of techno-
logical possibilities, also known as
Moore’s law, in combination with
our societal challenges, we see
possibilities for design research to
explore and envision our tomorrow
in new ways, for example, by using
the Experiential Design Landscapes
(EDL) method [ 27]. EDLs are infra-
structures in neighborhoods where
all stakeholders work together, cre-
ating experienceable propositions
for citizens that evolve over time.
EDLs exploit the phenomenological
stance that meaning is created in
interaction, which is used to foster
long-term societal sustainability.
Through an exploration of new prop-
ositions outside the current frame of
reference of citizens, sense-making
becomes part of their everyday liv-
ing environment. Consequently,
the developed propositions, called
Experiential Probes (EP), are open,
sensor-enhanced, networked prod-
uct-service systems that enable citi-
zens to work toward new, individual,
and emerging behavior and, in par-
allel, foster detailed analysis of the
emerging data patterns by research-
ers and designers as a source of
inspiration for the development and
fine-tuning of future systems, prod-
ucts, and services [ 28].
Transforming Attitude and
Here we would like to propose an
alternative way of working, which
originated from a conflicting yet
constructive situation within design:
dealing with and learning from dif-
ferent disciplines. Design has always
connected different disciplines, but
it also has its own way of work-
ing and its own attitude, and this
is sometimes difficult to reconcile.
However, with our current soci-
etal challenges, we need the whole
spectrum of experts and citizens to
sculpt a valuable tomorrow. We need
different kinds of people and exper-
tise to bring our society into exis-
tence. That means we need to invest
in the craft of cooperating: the
dialogic skill of understanding and
responding to one another in order
to act together [ 29]. We hope this
story on phenomenology-inspired
design is interesting or usable for
designers as well as people from
related and other disciplines—to
stimulate dialogue, to share per-
spectives, and to get inspired and
refreshed, as we are inspired and
refreshed by other fields such as
philosophy and psychology.
society: citizens, industry, professional field, academia, government...
• Figure 6 (top).
Figure 7 (bottom).