Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product

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They talk about various ideas and collaboratively decide what will work best. Together the client system and the social worker make a list of goals and objectives and decide who will do what by when. In the implementation phase, the intervention is guided by the goals and objectives that have already been agreed upon. In settings such as hospitals or schools, social workers are members of teams that include other professionals. Among these might be psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, or probation officers.

The team works collaboratively to assess a problem, and different team members intervene as needed. Lawton describes a research project for the elderly that sought to learn about the deficiencies in the home environment and the way people cope with them. A social worker, an architect, a psychologist, and an occupational therapist visited the homes of fifty highly impaired older people who were managing to live alone. One of the team's findings was that many of the people they observed had set up "control centers" in an area of their living room that allowed them to view the front door and, through a window, the street.

The nearby placement of a telephone, radio, and television also enabled them to have social contact with the outside world. Additionally, on a table within reach were medicine, food, reading material, and other items of use. If a product designer had been on this intervention team, he or she would no doubt have been stimulated to create products that could serve the low mobility needs of this older population.

To advance the discussion of how the product designer might collaborate with an intervention team, we would like to suggest several options. During the assessment phase, the designer, either as a member of an intervention team or as a consultant, might be able to identify factors that contribute to a problem. In the planning phase, a designer could develop intervention strategies related to the physical environment.

During implementation, the designer could create a needed product or work with the client system to design one. These strategies differ from Papanek's proposals for social action in Design for the Real World. Papanek pits socially responsible designers against a commercial market that thrives on the production of excessive and useless products. By harshly criticizing the market economy, he limits the options for a social designer. Papanek argues that socially responsible designers must organize their own interventions outside the mainstream market, yet he gives little guidance as to how this might be done.

We believe that many professionals share the goals of designers who want to do socially responsible work, and therefore we propose that both designers and helping professionals find ways to work together. In short, we believe that designers will find many more allies in professions related to health, education, social work, aging, and crime prevention than are evident in Papanek's analysis. Nonetheless, Papanek's book is extremely helpful in describing the kinds of social products designers might create. Using as a framework a socially-oriented design office, Papanek provides long lists of products that address social needs.

Among these are teaching aids of all kinds including aids to transfer knowledge and skills to those with learning difficulties and physical abilities; training aids for poor people who are trying to move into the work force; medical diagnostic devices, hospital equipment and dental tools; equipment and furnishings for mental hospitals; safety devices for home and work; and devices that address pollution problems.

Some of these products, particularly medical and hospital equipment, are already produced for the market, but there are certainly many that are not manufactured because a market cannot be identified for them. An agenda for social design Design is most often understood by the public as an artistic practice that produces dazzling lamps, furniture, and automobiles.

This is how it is generally presented by the media and the museums. One reason why there is not more support for social design services is the lack of research to demonstrate what a designer can contribute to human welfare. A broad research agenda for social design must begin by addressing a number of questions.

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What role can a designer play in a collaborative process of social intervention? What is currently being done in this regard and what might be done? How might the public's perception of designers be changed in order to present an image of a socially responsible designer? How can agencies that fund social welfare projects and research gain a stronger perception of design as a socially responsible activity? What kinds of products meet the needs of vulnerable populations? A multi-faceted approach can be taken to explore these and other questions. Survey research and interviews with human service professionals, designers, and agency administrators can be conducted to gather information on perceptions and attitudes and to solicit suggestions for change.

Content analysis of archival data such as journals, periodicals, and newspapers can be used to gain insight into how the media report on issues of social design. Another research method is participant observation.

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This entails designers entering social settings either as part of a multidisciplinary team or alone to observe and document social needs that can be satisfied with design interventions. For example, this was done in the research project conducted by Lawton that we described earlier, except that an architect rather than a product designer was on the investigative team.

Research that centers on the development and evaluation of socially responsible products is also important. To create new products, designers have to conduct research on how to translate their ideas into finished designs. As well, they are obligated to evaluate these products in actual situations to test their effectiveness. A good example of socially-oriented product design research is MIT's AgeLab, where Joseph Coughlin, a professor of engineering, and a team of colleagues and graduate students are testing and analyzing new technologies to improve life for the elderly.

Although some of the research involves technology that can help the elderly drive more safely and possibly at an older age, much of the investigation relates to the home where such products as an in-home health center and a transit system that would allow people to schedule rides are being considered.

Finally, the social design field should have a compendium of case studies such as AgeLab that document examples of relevant practice. The combined research methods we have outlined are intended to explore questions that range from the broad social context within which designers work to the specifics of developing a product for a particular client system. The scope of research for social design includes public and agency perceptions of designers, the economics of social interventions, the value of design in improving the lives of underserved populations, a taxonomy of new product typologies, the economics of manufacturing socially responsible products, and the way that such products and services are received by populations in need.

Until now, the social interventions of designers have been hit or miss with few successes to point the way towards social support for more of the same. The education of social designers Design skills cut across all situations but skills in relating to vulnerable or marginalized populations rather than to a brief from a manufacturer need to be developed by future social designers. Students of social design will have to learn more about social needs and how they are currently addressed by helping professionals.

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They might do an internship with a clinical team in a psychiatric hospital, a community agency, or residential facility for the elderly. They would also require a stronger background in sociology, psychology, and public policy. As far as we are aware, no university programs specifically train social designers.

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We can, however, cite as a good beginning the one year certificate program of Archeworks, a private educational institution in Chicago, founded in by Stanley Tigerman and Eva L. Database under Checklists as described below. You also need to indicate a producer and a product you would like to upload the checklist for. Excel template. Please find below the intructions how to do this. In the field "A1" first row, first column , a code, copied from the given template must be entered, e. Please copy from the latest version of the checklist.

This code is needed by the Database for the validation of the checklist.

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In column C is specified, what format the values must have:. We recommend that you note in your file which fields are mandatory. If the fields as a minimum the mandatory fields are filled in, save the file and upload it as described above. Click in the box at the top, left in where the selected field is displayed and write, for example "A2" to see column A, "B2" to see column B, etc. Press Enter to confirm. Database as described above in the chapter "The Excel checklist". You will receive an email that contains a link to an file, because an error occurred, or it confirms that all the data has been successfully entered into the system.

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Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product
Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product
Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product
Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product
Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product Assessment: Social Practice and Social Product

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