TU Delft
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2015/2016 Industrial Design Engineering Master Design for Interaction
Context and Conceptualisation
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. P.J. Stappers    P.J.Stappers@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
C. van der Lelie    C.vanderLelie@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
The Master course 'Context and Conceptualisation' deals with the various contexts surrounding the product and the users' interaction with the product. Examples of such contexts are the situation in which the product is used, other people that are involved and the role of the product in the user's life, even when the user is not physically using it. Contexts can be examined from, among others, local, societal, cultural, technological and future perspectives.
As what is designed grows in complexity, these contexts are becoming increasingly important for understanding, defining, designing and developing new products and services. And communicating about elements of them in academic and practical settings has become an important skill of the designer.
Study Goals
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the different contexts of user-product interaction and their role in design.
- Select relevant contexts for a design problem.
- Apply contextmapping techniques to involve users in exploring a current or future context.
- Understand the basics of Qualitative Analysis
- Analyse and communicate insights about user contexts with different parties in the design process by visual and verbal means.
- Understand principles of academic communication, and write a scientific paper
- Understand the principles of peer review
- Translate contextual information into new concepts for user-product interactions, products and services.
- Be aware of the new terminology surrounding 'service design', e.g. customer journey, service blueprint
- Understand the fundamentals of the Vision in Product Design (ViP) approach
Education Method
The primary line of the course consists of a series of lectures dealing with the above elements, and practical sessions, often in the form of workshops. Lectures and practicals are often given in a 'sandwich' format, with a lecture providing background for the following practical, which in turn is followed by a lecture building on that experience. Most of the work in the primary track is group work.
Topics of the lectures include the notion of context, contextmapping techniques, cultural probes and generative tools, analysis techniques for experience design research, visualisation techniques (mindmaps, infographics, storyboards) for communicating user experiences, academic writing and review, and basic service design techniques. The practicals and assignments are meant to provide a first experience of the methods and techniques. Further training in these skills is left to MSc projects, such as Exploring Interactions (DfI), and the Design Strategy Project (SPD). For some elements, e.g., contextmapping, service design, and VIP, there are elective courses in which students can further deepen their skills.

The secondary line, which runs largely in parallel, is mostly individual work. Students are presented a choice from several topics related to IDE research and design methods; they write an academic paper about their chosen topic; this track follows the structure of an academic conference with peer review, and contains specific lectures and workshops about writing an academic paper.
Literature and Study Materials
The course is accompanied by a course book 'convivial toolbox', a reader with key articles on the topics discussed, a separate manual on the writing exercise, and by materials on the blackboard site.
A combined assessment including three elements: written examination about the reading materials at the end of first Quarter, active participation in practical sessions, and a paper. The final course mark is a weighted average of these elements (20%,20%,60%).
Enrolment / Application
A mandatory application for all courses (mandatory and electives courses) shall be made via the electronic applications system Osiris in the period that Osiris there to is opened. This period closes about 5 calendar weeks prior to the first day of the semester in which the programme starts; the faculty announces the exact deadline for application timely. The application for courses has to take place per semester, meaning for courses of 2 quarters at once.

See http://www.io.tudelft.nl/osiris for deadlines and details.