Design for Social Innovation through Social Computing

Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology

Address:Atlas 7.101, Groene Loper 3, 5612AE Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Website: http://desis.id.tue.nl/;
Hosting Institution: Department of Industrial Design (ID), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e), the Netherlands
Website: http://www.tue.nl/en/university/departments/industrial-design/


TU/e is a leading international university in engineering sciences. In 2001, TU/e started the department of Industrial Design. Based on discussions with industry, the department decided in 2001 to concentrate on the design of intelligent systems, products, and related services in a societal context, which addresses aspects such as adaptive behavior, context-awareness, and highly dynamic interaction. Students learn to integrate various areas into the design process, with emphasis on designs using new technology for people in the socio-cultural and business context, in the areas of health, energy and mobility.

At ID Research and education are strongly intertwined. Teaching activities include projects, assignments, modules, expert meetings, personal coaching, showcase and portfolio development and assessment, based on a competency-based education model.  These competencies are for example integrating technology, user focus and perspective, social and culture awareness, form and senses, and business process design. We employ both university staff and design specialists from the professional field. The interaction with the professional world outside the department is therefore well supported.

TU/e DESIS Lab searches for new ways to design open social systems that connect people with and in physical / digital realities in the era of social computing. The lab does not only design and research open systems, next to educating students on this topic, it also functions itself as an open dynamic, action-centric system that crystallizes from chaos.

Primary Research Areas and Activities

We explore the impact of Social networks, Internet, multimedia, and virtual reality on behavior and society, the impact of the bottom-up power and the much flattened structure of the social media on societal transformations, the impact of the social and systematic perspective of intelligent systems, products and related services on industrial design, and in turn, the possible impact of industrial design on these on-going societal and technical changes. The primary research areas are social computing, social interaction, linking between the virtual and the physical, the opportunity and challenge brought up by connecting the web of people and the internet of things, and the related cultural and societal issues. In the era of social networking and computing, the creation of intelligent systems, products, and related services in a social context are facing a number of technology supported social challenges.

All these challenges imply that research and design in creating intelligent systems, products and related services have to pay attention to the area of social computing as a platform for social interaction and innovation. Traditional new product design and development methods and tools to deal with these new challenges become insufficient when dealing with the shift towards service centric design, the power from the flattened and bottom-up social structure, and the complexity of the social system of people and things. We try to address and face these challenges in bachelor and master student projects, in PhD research projects and in international workshops and conferences. We organize events to bring people together to discuss, learn, debate, observe, make, demonstrate, evaluate and reflect.

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People Involved

Prof. dr. Matthias Rauterberg is a leading expert in HCI and entertainment computing. He is a nominated member of the ‘Cream of Science’ in the Netherlands (the 200 top-level Dutch researchers), and in addition among the 10 top-level scientist of the TU/e.

Prof.dr. Caroline Hummels is a full Professor the theme leader of Smart Environment within Health@TU/e, interested in aesthetics of interaction, ethics in design, tangible interaction and a variety of design methods and tools. In this project she is particularly interested in the perception of time in relation to the daily schedule and calendar, especially in situations in which the calendar seems to control the life of professionals.

Prof.dr.ir Aarnout Brombacher  has a background in Electrical Engineering and Engineering science, and he worked in industry for many years. He has extensive experience in industrial quality and reliability improvement projects and the development of quality and reliability analysis methods and tools. He is currently focusing on developing quality and reliability analysis methods and tools for designing disruptive innovative systems, products and related services.

Dr. Jun Hu is an Associate Professor in the Designed Intelligence group, interested in social networks (internet of people) and Internet of Things, and the connection between these two, where the digital and the physical realities merge and blur in everyday living in a sustainable manner.

Dr. Joep Frens is an Assistant Professor in the Designing Quality in Interaction group. He is broadly interested in everything design and also has a background in design. The questions that keep him busy as designer/researcher revolve around meaningful interaction in the context of intelligent and adaptive systems.

Prof.dr. Feng Wang is a professor at the School of Digital Media, Jiangnan University, involved in TU/e DESIS Lab as an expert, providing expertise and support in the aspects of digital public arts and media. He is also the managing director of SDDC, Sino-Dutch Design Center for Social and Cultural Computing, a collaborative effort between Eindhoven University of Technology and Jiangnan University.

Dr. Mathias Funk is an associate Professor focusing on remote data collection and adaptive systems, but enjoys working ‘out of control’ with technologies from sound/video processing to the web. In this project, he is most interested in the way people interact with and take ownership of intelligent everyday systems. He is also co-founder of the TU/e spin-off UXsuite.