Learning by Design at DE2012, London

Nicole Leaper (M.S.) presented “Learning by Design: Cognitive and Emotional Factors Influencing Informal Learning Experiences in Interactive Environments” at the 8th International Conference on Design and Emotion at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design (CSM), University of the Arts London, September 11–14, 2012.

Leaper’s conference paper and presentation reported on her final research study completed during her Applied Information Management (AIM) graduate work at the University of Oregon. Her study synthesizes current literature in educational and design psychology, information design, human computer interaction, and museum studies to identify cognitive and emotional factors that influence learning. Leaper’s research offers a set of factors that museum educators, exhibit designers, information designers, and interaction designers should consider when designing informal learning experiences in interactive environments. Nine identified factor groups include affect, cognition, context, engagement, experiential learning, interactivity, narrative, self concepts, and usability.

The Design and Emotion conference is a biennial forum where practitioners, academics and industry leaders meet and exchange knowledge and insights concerning the cross-disciplinary field of design and emotion. The conference is co-hosted by CSM and the Design & Emotion Society, established in 1999 as an international network of researchers, designers and companies sharing an interest in experience driven design. Previous conferences were held in Delft—the Netherlands (1999), Potsdam—Germany (2000), Loughborough—UK (2002), Ankara—Turkey (2004), Gothenburg—Sweden (2006), Hong Kong—China (2008) and Chicago—USA (2010). Conference papers are expected to contribute widely applicable and long-lasting knowledge to the discipline. Submissions go through a blind-review process and accepted papers are presented in the conference program and published in the proceedings.

more yeon love

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John Yeon designed the Watzek House in 1934/1935 for his friend and fellow Mazama, Portland lumber magnate Aubrey Watzek. After comparing Yeon’s design to a later concept by Pietro Belluschi, Watzek chose Yeon’s plan and construction was completed in 1937, when Yeon was just 26. Yeon had no formal architecture training, and the Watzek House become his first built architectural project, setting the tone and standard for modern design in the Northwest.

The Watzek House is an orchestrated environment that soothes and delights human senses in a careful and meticulously crafted way. Yeon designed even the smallest details, including light fixtures and hardware, along with furniture and storage spaces hidden throughout the home. Built for Watzek and his mother, the home provides private spaces for each and gracious yet controlled public living spaces. The entryway is a compressed height, paneled completely in wood, including the floors and ceilings. To the right is the main living space, also wood-paneled, with vaulted ceiling and hidden storage for wood (a wood lift next to the recessed travertine fireplace), sheet music (next to an area sized to accommodate a grand piano), and more. Accessed directly from the entrance hall is the library, with custom cabinetry and built-in furniture (also with access to the wood lift). To the left of the entry are the dining room, kitchen, and servant’s quarters, along with a guest bedroom and bath thoughtfully placed away from the home’s private quarters. These are accessed through the main living space, and include a large room and bath for Watzek’s mother, along with a smaller bedroom and attached sleeping porch for Watzek himself. A hall from Watsek’s room leads to his private bath and to the courtyard. Although small, the room and hall contain well-orchestrated storage. Both the sleeping porch and the access to the outdoors from the bedroom typify Yeon’s commitment to fuse the natural world into the living experience.

The home itself is situated almost completely around  a courtyard paved with reclaimed stone, a fountain, and several ornamental trees and plantings. True to Yeon’s meticulous and ingenious design sense, gutters are built into the roof overhangs and drain into the fountain. An interior planter drains out to the courtyard if over-watered. A passive ventilation system well-ahead of its time is cleverly built into hidden panels throughout the home, allowing circulation and yet another connection to the natural world.

Flow between through interior and exterior spaces are crafted to create smooth yet emotionally resonant experiences, while the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail creates a sense of order and care. Over its 70+ year history, the home has been primarily occupied by just two owners, which is a testament to Yeon’s ability to design human-centered environments with timeless, functional (rather than ostentatious) appeal.

Yeon was an iconic self-taught Portland architect who developed the Northwest modern style of architecture typified in his designs for the Watzek House and Cottrell House. Both homes are situated on Skyline Drive in Northwest Portland, and both are owned and cared for by the University of Oregon. During his lifetime, Yeon advocated for the Oregon landscape; he owned and protected Chapman Point on the Oregon coast (now part of Ecola State Park) and The Shire, a private park Yeon landscaped to frame the view the site offers of Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. The Shire is also owned and maintained by the University of Oregon.

View documentation of my visit to John Yeon’s Watzek House at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78471351@N00/sets/72157626515592053/

View documentation of my visit to John Yeon’s Cottrell House at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78471351@N00/sets/72157619151174954/

learning by design

Learning by Design
Cognitive and Emotional Factors Influencing Informal Learning Experiences in Interactive Environments

by Nicole Leaper

Presented to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program: Applied Information Management and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science

[abstract]
This study synthesizes current literature in educational and design psychology, information design, human-computer interaction, and museum studies to identify cognitive and emotional factors that influence learning. The purpose is to produce a set of cognitive and emotional factors that museum educators, exhibit designers, information designers, and interaction designers should consider when designing informal learning experiences in interactive environments. Nine identified factor groups include affect, cognition, context, engagement, experiential learning, interactivity, narrative, self concepts, and usability.

Download white paper
Download study and white paper

Special thanks to Leo Frishberg who reviewed an early research outline, and Kelly Brown who reviewed a later draft.

experience art love

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Storm Tharp, High House, 2010 (installed view)

During a tumultuous week each year, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (aka PICA) hosts the incredible Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival. This year’s festival offered an intensely personal and emotional series of events that reaffirmed what is meaningful about experience design. See my notes here or on the PICA’s blog .

Be sure to catch works by Storm Tharp, Charles Atlas, Christopher Miner, and Jessica Jackson Hutchins as part of the beautiful, thoughtful exhibition Human Being, curated by Kristan Kennedy, on view to the public through October 17.

September 23 – October 17
Thursday – Friday 12 – 6:30 pm
Saturday – Sunday 12 – 4 pm

Last Chance ON SIGHT Salon with Kristan Kennedy
Sunday, October 17 3 pm

Washington High School
531 SE 14th Ave. Portland OR 97214

attribution remix

Attribution Remix
Embedded Attribution in Creative Commons Content

by Nicole Leaper

[abstract]
Embedded attribution is necessary in order to place re-mixed work in a historical context, balance creator and public rights, and encourage continued adoption of Creative Commons (CC) licensing. CC licenses are often embedded directly in digital works. If prescribed by the original creator, reuse must contain attribution. However, many examples of re-mixed works (like audio files, videos, or photographs) contain attribution on a credits page or in a caption that is separated from the original digital work. CC could be improved by requiring that, when specified by the original creator, digital re-mix publications require attribution directly in the digital file as metadata.

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