Human Experience Design Methods for Architecture

Special Topics in Building Technology and Environment

Human experience design (hx) methods in architecture provide frameworks for understanding problems, finding design opportunities, and building testable solutions for current & critical challenges in our built environment. The fundamental purpose of this course is to teach reusable innovation methods that will allow the rapid translation of ideas into reality through ‘experiential prototyping’ for user testing, resonance, and insight identification with target audiences in the span of a semester.

Statistically, one of us will die in the next 10 years. Then, statistically, the other will remain in this big house for another 10 years, increasingly dependent on our children and the government. Then one day, the children will become impatient...and they’ll find a more institutional setting for us where we’ll have ‘company, support, and attention’, but it won’t necessarily be what we want. And by that time, we’ll be too weak and tired of burdening our children to object to whatever they come up with. And we’ll live out our lives there, dependent and unhappy.
-- Charles Durrett, The Senior Cohousing Handbook: A Community Approach to Independent Living, 2009

This semester we look deeply at the links between aging and architecture. We will read and understand references that frame this problem and analyze existing disciplinary ideas and solutions. We will generate a problem statement that identifies gaps for design. We will generate solutions and prototype them in a way that welcomes end user engagement. We will test these on who understand this problem intimately for impressions of feasibility and desirability. We will listen to what they say & present insights on a future architecture for aging.