I’ve always been wondering what type of methods traditional architects rely on for achieving forms that fit more appropriately to their surrounding contexts of use. Although I’ve been mostly working with visual interfaces, it always seemed like the field of architecture lagged behind in the methods and tools which are available to other design fields. In interaction design we’ve seen the user-centered philosophy permeate the field and give rise to such powerful techniques as user testing and ethnography. Do architects have similar tools at their disposal? Last week, it came as a surprise as one of my all time favourite social scientists, anthropologists and deep design research thinkers, Elizabeth Sanders, reappeared in a talk at TU Delft about her recent work in the field of architecture. Elizabeth presents her struggles in figuring out how to make traditional architecture a more friendly place with the help of participatory design techniques. Two thumbs up.
>> See video. (requires Silverlight but is worth it)