Designing Digital Environments - Autumn 2005 - Høgskolen i Østfold
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Preparation: Readings, reading, analysis, documentation, bibliographies, writing, coding, tools and resources.

Introduction: 8/9 Introductory lecture to the course.


Designing and Making 15/9

Of the many definitions of design, a particulary inticing one is the concept that design is where theory and practice meet.

  • The nature of design
  • Form
  • Cognition
  • Design ability
  • Representation of complexity
  • Ways of designing
  • The way things change
  • Everything is connected

Representing complexity: Map of land parcels in Beirut.1


A design project: Part I Structuring data.


A digital environment: RDIF label

Digital environments 22/9

A short introduction to digital environments, discussion of their nature and history.

  • Container and contents
  • Resources and assembly
  • Tresholds and scale

Design History 29/9

A general introduction to the history of design as it relates to designing, objects, systems and organization, communication and interaction.

  • Design history
  • Design without designers
  • Global design
  • Separation of production

Design history: LM Ericsson "Ericofon"2


Ways of seeing3

Design theory 6/10

Design theory has its roots in the thoughts of Aristotle on the nature of inquiry and rhetoric which was later refined and developed in the Renaissance. New thinking on the peculiar nature of design as "forethought" is based on contemporary ideas of inquiry, exploration and the indeterminacy of design as invention as opposed to discovery.

  • Indeterminacy of subject matter
  • Understanding design
  • Rhetoric, inquiry, exploration and
  • Forethought
  • Space and place
  • Thresholds in resolution
  • Aesthetics

A design project: Part II Functionality.


Design Activity 13/10

It is the activity of design, the foregoing inquiry, the application of inventiveness and analysis to physical objects - often quite complex amalgamations of objects, to organizations and to systems that in themselves can very well be inanimate to the point where they can be argued to be abstract, that places it at the intersection of theory and practice.

  • Who designs
  • The design process
  • Design methods
  • The User
  • Sketching
  • Systems that grow
  • Handling complexity
  • Creating environmnets
  • Guest lecturer: Kjell Are Refsvik. HiL

A sketch of this page.


Design process diagram generated using dot.

Design methods 20/10

A closer examination (and application) of design methods. While methods were developed enthusiastically in the 1960's and 70's, they have later been subjected to criticism, especially by the founders of the movement. What was probably most neglected by the proponents of design methods was inherent design ability, which has later come to be understood as a necessary but not indispensable part of successful design.

Value and Responsibility 28/10

Why is it expected that designers have some measure of social responsibility that is not required of the consumer? "To do science is to be political if only because it is a political decision to spend some amount of limited human energy and social resources on a particular question. Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals, although it is by no means obvious why this should be so."4

  • Ethics
  • Production
  • Environmentalism
  • Consumerism
  • Sustainability
  • The politics of design

Epistemology and Learning 3/11

The design of digital environments include studies and the creative organization of resources from technologies and the humanities for learning and conveying knowledge by machines and humans.


Digital environments 10/11

Digital environments are real or near real-time interactive communication systems based on digital signal processing, where the communications involved can be between humans, machines, and humans and machines.

  • Their development and emergence
  • Elements of digital environments
  • Shaping digital environments
  • Forethought, activity, making
  • Responsibility and value
  • Organizations and systems of knowledge
  • Tools

The Internet in 1998. (Lumeta Corp.)


A design project: Part III Interfaces.


Al Mashriq

Cases 17/11

Exploration and criticism of projects and examples.


Cases 24/11

Exploration and criticism of projects and examples.

Digital Documentation Center, American University of Beirut

Cases 1/12

Exploration and criticism of projects and examples.

Cases 9/12

Exploration and criticism of projects and examples.




Mappene skal legges på avdelingens prosjektserver slik:.

     From: "Victor Gjeset" 
      To: "'Børre Ludvigsen'" 
      Subject: RE: Kontrabeskjed
      Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 18:54:05 +0100
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

      Studenter skal registrere seg på, under design av
      digitale omgivelser 2005. Da får de automatisk tildelt område
      for innlevering ..





  1. Jamal Abed, AUB. Maps of Beirut.
  2. LM Ericsson 'Ericofon' hand set (1954) by Gösta Thames and IBM Selectric typewriter (1961) by Eliot Noyes.
  3. Abraham Bosse (1602-1676) Plate 2 from Manière universelle ... pour pratiquer la perspective, 1647.
  4. Richard Lewontin. Dishonesty in Science. The New York Review of Books, LI(18):38-40, November 2004.

Last modified: Tue Apr 26 13:31:44 2005

Børre Ludvigsen