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Engage with Gloria Gomez | Event Archive | Design Literacy International Network event

Date(s): Tuesday, December 7, 2021
19:00 – 20:00, Oslo, Norway time zone


Gloria Gomez will introduce the Bridging Design Prototype method which aims to support individual designers and small organisations who would like to undertake human-centred design studies and explorations. In the paper titled Bridging Design Prototypes & Autonomous Design, she illustrates the method drawing from a project in which members of a user community (i.e. teachers and speech therapists) were transformed into designers. The paper outlines its six key principles which are:

  • Develop a human-centred design study that brings a multidisciplinary thinking team approach to research the user community and the market
  • Becoming more empathic through the designer, R&D team and the user community achieving similar mental models
  • Deep understanding of the prior knowledge and familiar technological, behavioural, and social interactions of the user community
  • Development of features that make activities simpler
  • Development of features that broaden participation
  • Implementation of a prototype for early adoption enabling the user community to participate, contribute, improve features in the design process

If applied as intended, the above principles can produce Bridging Design Prototypes, which are fully functional rapid prototypes built with features familiar to a user community and with novel features a designer incorporates after careful analysis of relevant data. These characteristics bring users into the development process early because they accept to incorporate these prototypes into their real activities. At the same time, individual designers or R&D teams use them for learning about the community, the context, and the practice.

In this paper, she reflects on the possibility of this approach to enable communities to achieve goals of design of itself, of autonomy. Such reflection has started a process of deconstructing a design approach within the field of human-centred design (bridging design, fully functional rapid prototypes) for the purpose of understanding its potential contribution to the field of autonomous design for the pluriversal world, in spite of its origins in heteronomous norms.

Gloria concludes that the above framework might be useful to advance autonomous design projects seeking for communal forms of autonomía, decentring participation of external knowledge experts and designers, in their exploration of sustainable innovation models and practices for living, learning, working, among others.

Event recording:

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Gloria Gomez

Dr Gloria Gomez is a cross-cultural multi-ethnic female designer of colour, co-founder at OceanBrowser Ltd., and an honorary senior lecturer at the University of Sydney. Gloria undertakes applied design research in educational practice from an interaction design perspective and with the Bridging Design Prototype approach. This approach has promoted the novel practice of preschool concept mapping, and has informed the R&D of OB3 – Beautiful Study for Lifelong Learning (OceanBrowser, New Zealand). Overall, her studies and explorations provide insights on technology enhanced learning for sustainable innovation.

Her collaborative research partnerships include a framework to support inclusive design teaching and product evaluation, exploring how professionals with severe impairment use technology for work and study, and conceptualisations on resources for algebraic reasoning in early primary education.

Gloria was born in Guatemala to Colombian parents, raised in Colombia and Ecuador. She has a degree in Graphic Design from La Universidad Potificia Bolivariana (Colombia) and a PhD in Design from Swinburne University of Technology (Australia). Between 1997-2016, she held positions at La Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia), the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (USA), the University of Otago (New Zealand), and the University of Southern Denmark (Denmark). For 20 years New Zealand has intermittently been her home, where she currently lives, works, and plays.

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