Borrowing from Traditional Divination

Author:
Richard Fry
Company/School:
School of Technology, Brigham Young University

BORROWING FROM TRADITIONAL DIVINATION FOR EFFECTIVE DESIGN SYNTHESIS

Richard Fry
Program Chair, ID
School of Technology, Brigham Young University

Designers make judgments from a variety of inputs daily but, the process of “interpretation” is sometimes difficult, and takes courage and confidence that not all designers (especially students) may have.  

Previous work has shown that divination is a useful metaphor for improving the ability to “interpret” in the design synthesis process.  Both processes are considered means for “sense-making” but “interpretation” (although a necessary part of both processes) appears to be less accepted as part of the design synthesis process and more accepted in divination.  Would exploration into the “Divination” metaphor help designers understand, be more confident, and engage with the process of interpretation? This presentation will present a short review of this work, but will move on to identifying the characteristics of divinatory tools, and see if this comparison helps in understanding synthesis tools currently available or evaluating tools that might be created in the future.

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