Research Photography

This course will introduce students to the use of photography in research for design.

Photography plays a critical role throughout the design process and is particularly important during upfront discovery research. From the preliminary framing of a design challenge through to the communication of research findings and design direction, students will learn how to take successful photographs for the end-to-end design process. Documentary photography, how images have been used to invoke social change and how time-based imaging can inform spatio-temporal studies will be covered as well.

Understanding how to analyze images from field research, effectively utilizing them as a key source of data, yields powerful insights that bring observational research to its full potential. After students successfully shoot and analyze photographs, they will learn to leverage images in illustrative narratives. These narratives can be used to describe the current user experience, provide an evocative profile of research participants, create an immersive context for idea generation and illustrate new concepts and future experiences.

Learning Objectives
Objectives focus on the role of photography in several types of research: ethnographic research, user-generated media and immersion studies. Students will learn to both compose and to use imagery to understand and communicate issues surrounding typical design challenges.

Learning Outcomes
After concluding this course, students will have improved their skills and comprehension in several areas:

  • Using photography as a tool in several research methods
  • Analyzing images to inform a deeper understanding of user behaviors, interactions with objects and environments, interpretation of artifacts and cultural media
  • Leveraging images as an illustrative element in communicating ideas and concepts
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution