Master of Design

This blog tracks learning in my Master of Design degree at Griffith University 2018–19. Courses include design thinking, social innovation, experience design, dissertation writing and a major design research project. Latest posts appear first – please see the Courses index for specific topics and projects.

Nautilus spiral shell

Starting the design thinking process

The Samford Wellbeing Trail started off as an idea – how do we make it a reality? On face value it is a simple project involving designing, communicating and promoting an event. However, as a community project involving multiple stakeholders, there are a number of complex issues to be addressed before the visual communication design …

Starting the design thinking process Read More »

Visualising big data

Visualising BIG data

This report looks at the disruptive effect big data is having on the visualisation of information, by first investigating the objectives of visualising data, then examining the attributes, uses and risks of big data, and finally analysing the opportunities in this area of visual communication design.

Sharemrkt homepage

The sharing economy: a case study

This research report was prepared as part of our Experience Design (XD) course. The project involved selecting a service area to focus on, researching its context, and preparing a case study of a service operating in that area. The area our team focused on was the growing range of services in the ‘sharing economy’.

Microcontrollers and design – what’s the connection?

How are microcontrollers being used, and do they impact what visual designers do? Microcontrollers are used in all sorts of electronic devices, home appliances, medical equipment, vehicles, phones and countless other physical products. These are not what you may first think of in terms of graphic design and visual communication. However, the user interface, accessibility …

Microcontrollers and design – what’s the connection? Read More »


Ideas, ideas and more ideas

After empathising with users and defining the problem for our Design Thinking project, the next step was to start finding possible ways of solving the problem! This is called the ‘ideation’ phase. Ideas can be generated through means such as brainstorming, brainwriting, mindmaps, storyboards, challenging assumptions, sketching or many other methods.

Can speculative design save the world?

Traditionally, design is about creating effective solutions to existing problems and human needs. Designers aim to generate creative, usable ideas for new or better designed products, services, structures, interfaces or pieces of communication. Sometimes in the process of doing this, they help make the world a better place. Speculative design is the opposite of designing …

Can speculative design save the world? Read More »

BBC microbit

Embedded microcontrollers – the BBC Micro:bit

A microcontroller is a small, programmable computer on a single integrated circuit. They are called embedded microcontrollers because they are usually embedded into a device in order to run a program to do a specific task. “A microcontroller takes input from the device it is controlling and controls the device by sending signals to different …

Embedded microcontrollers – the BBC Micro:bit Read More »

Defining the design challenge from a user’s perspective

The second stage of our design thinking project involved defining the problem or problems we were trying to solve. We used insights from the empathy stage to determine ways of looking at the problem from a human perspective, restating it as a design challenge that can be addressed in the ideation stage. In order to do …

Defining the design challenge from a user’s perspective Read More »

Uses of 3D printing in graphic design and visual communication

3D printing involves making things – 3 dimensional objects – which is generally not what most people think graphic designers do. However, graphic designers have actually been designing 3D objects since the early days of visual communication – from books and brochures through to signs, packaging, merchandise, folders, cards and advertising hoardings. The question is, …

Uses of 3D printing in graphic design and visual communication Read More »

Learning about 3D printing

In our second practical class for Enhanced Design Tools we had an introduction to 3D printing. It was fun to see some samples of 3D printed work, as well as learning how to use 3D software and see our designs turned into cute little 3D objects. Here’s a summary of the steps we followed.

Community sharing and swapping in the circular economy

How can we reduce the excess stuff in our lives? There are many community enterprises and initiatives aiming to help people be more sustainable, save money, reduce consumption, and swap, lend or recycle stuff they don’t need. There are also many services enabling people to share resources like time, as well as physical objects like …

Community sharing and swapping in the circular economy Read More »