Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design

www.konstfack.se
Ostermalm, Sweden
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Westerlund B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2016

In this paper I explore the use of the concept representation and argue that it can complement the concept constituting in order to support the design and critical analysis of participatory design activities. John Law acknowledges that in a representation some things are made present, while others are deliberately made absent, which is necessary. But it is important to realise that there are also things that are Othered, i.e. things that are unconsciously repressed and absent. The concepts are explored with the help of two cases involving participatory design workshops. I discuss how both concepts can be used in order to make sense of these participatory design activities. The paper also reflects on the importance of what realities the method used supports to be made present. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).


Broms L.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Broms L.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | Wangel J.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Andersson C.,Aalto University
Energy Research and Social Science | Year: 2017

The artificial world is part of an on-going negotiation of meaning, manifesting in social practice. From a sustainability perspective it is thus important to critically examine what norms are imprinted into the artificial, as well as to imagine, materialize and suggest artefacts that could afford more sustainable stories and practices to form. The project Sensing Energy is an attempt to explore how design could contribute to a re-imagination of everyday life and society, as well as what imaginaries (artefacts and related stories) could come out of such an endeavour. A critical and speculative design programme comprising the three leitmotifs Natureculture, Micro-sizing modernity, and Focal things and practices, provided a frame and foundation for a series of design experiments. The resulting artefacts were presented at two different workshops in which participants were asked to form stories that integrated one or more of the design experiments into their everyday life. Based on the material from the workshops we can conclude that the design experiments worked well as parts of or catalysts for new stories of the everyday. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.


Torehammar C.,Tyrens AB | Hellstrom B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

The aspect of sound as a design element in an architectural context has been discussed for a long time, but there are still today very few permanent projects put into practice. The functional use of acoustics is easily comprehended when utilized to reduce unwanted noise from roads, or when it is perfected to convey speech and music in concert halls. To add sounds to create a sense of space, use it as a quality or defining identity is however still an unexplored field of knowledge. Finding the right balance between creating a quality for the space with dynamics and variety, while still being sustainable over time is challenging. The paper presents theories, methods, findings and results from a large project including nine installations. The project concerns indoor sound installations in large public spaces in Stockholm including acoustic investigations, electro acoustic installations and composition of sound installations for the specific space. The method is both scientific and art-based. The sound design is used as a way of empowering site-specific functions and architectural themes, but also in some cases as a solitary intentional characteristic quality of the space.


Jones R.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
Artnodes | Year: 2011

We have arrived at a point where critical theory is being called upon to answer a basic question: what is the continuing relevance, value, and productive potential of criticality, or "oppositional knowledge"? I propose a departure from relativism, the ambiguities of postmodernism and fashionable pessimism for a new "post-critical perspective". Post-criticality means engagement with proactive strategies triggering entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary, innovative, scalable and attainable solutions to collective challenges. In one sense you could say that while locking out nostalgia for an earlier and simpler time, post-criticality can mean retrofitting Modernism with what we have learned in the last century in order to begin engineering both methods and means for producing results across disciplines; not merely grandstanding jingoistic evangelism promoting a cause. From there the door opens onto inheriting the key parts of Modernism's ambition for engagement, and setting agendas for action, without having to accept the ambiguity of postmodernism.


Hellstrom B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | Nilsson M.E.,University of Stockholm | Axelsson O.,University of Stockholm | Lunden P.,University of Stockholm
Journal of Architectural and Planning Research | Year: 2014

The amount of noise in urban settings is steadily on the rise, creating a potential health hazard and causing a general nuisance. In major European cities, noise levels are so high that the majority of urban parks can no longer truly serve as recreational environments, a problem the World Health Organization and the European Union are attempting to address. This study explores various strategies that promote the sustainable development of urban soundscapes at locations meant for rest, recreation, and social interaction. Further, we look at how people are affected by the combined effects of traffic and nature sounds in parks and other outdoor settings. To this end, we adopted a new track - the use of interdisciplinary methodology - that brings together architectural analysis, artistic experiments, and psychoacoustic methodology to evaluate the aesthetic, emotional, perceptual, and spatial effects of noise on subjects spending time in public open-air spaces. We conducted a large-scale case study at a city park to explore whether subjects were affected by purposely distributed sounds and, if so, how. The working hypothesis was that it is possible to cancel out or mute traffic noise by affecting individuals' aural perceptions using a process known as informational masking. Our long-term objective is to create a scientific foundation for action plans, both preemptive and troubleshooting, targeting noise reduction in parks and similar public spaces that are meant to provide a relaxing environment. Copyright © 2014 Locke Science Publishing Company, Inc.


Hellstrom B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

Noise is steadily on the rise in urban settings, creating a potential health hazard as well as being a nuisance. In major European cities, noise levels are so high that the majority of urban parks can no longer truly serve as recreational environments, a problem the WHO and the EU are attempting to address. This study explores various strategies that promote the sustainable development of urban soundscapes at locations meant for rest, recreation, and social interaction. How are people affected by the combined effects of traffic and nature sounds in urban parks? To this end, we adopted a new track - the use of interdisciplinary methodology - bringing together architectural analysis and artistic experiments, along with psychoacoustic methodology to evaluate aesthetic, emotional, perceptual, and spatial effects. A large-scale case study was conducted at a city park to explore if and how subjects are affected by purposely distributed sounds. The working hypothesis was that it is possible to cancel out traffic noise by affecting aural perceptions using a process known as informational masking. Our long-term objective is to create a scientific foundation for action plans, both pre-emptive and trouble-shooting, targeting parks and other similar public spaces that provide a relaxing environment.


Ranjbar P.,Örebro University | Stranneby D.,Örebro University | Akner-Koler C.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | Borg E.,Örebro University
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

This demonstration presents three vibrotactile aids to support persons with deafblindness. One aid, Monitor, consists of a microphone that detects sounds from events which are then processed as a signal that is adapted to the sensitivity range of the skin. The signal is sent as vibrations to the user with deafblindness, who can interpret the pattern of the vibrations in order to identify the type and position of the event/source that produced the sounds. Another aid, Distime, uses a smart phone app that informs the user with cognitive impairment and deafblindness about a planned activity through; audio, visual or tactile interaction that is adapted to the abilities of each individual. The last aid, Readyride, uses two smart phones and up to 11 vibrators that help the horse back rider with deafblindness to communicate with the instructor from a distance via vibrators placed on different parts of the riders body e.g. wrist, thigh, back, ankle. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014.


Billstrom N.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | Atienza R.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
41st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2012, INTER-NOISE 2012 | Year: 2012

Sound is central to the identity of a place, but is nonetheless a frequently neglected component in the design process. We believe that urban soundscape planning and product sound design has much to gain by collaborating with the artistic and humanistic fields of knowledge. Applying acoustics and perception psychology as well, the sound laboratory at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design examined the domain of acoustic design in the research project ISHT - The Interior Sound Design of High-Speed Trains - in collaboration with, among others, train manufacturer Bombardier. Empirical data in this study is focused on train travel, but can easily be transposed to other contexts, such as public spaces. Methods for improving sonic experience in relation to criteria such as identity and specific needs were explored. Our thesis question was: How to create a comfortable and appealing environment by adding sounds (distributed via speakers)? The interdisciplinary research methods included field observations, listening tests, and quantitative data, as well as public exhibitions and collaborations with composers.


Blomkvist J.,Linköping University | Holmlid S.,Linköping University | Sandberg F.,Linnaeus University | Westerlund B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2012

This full day workshop intends to explore approaches, methods and techniques that can be used in participatory prototyping of services. The participants will contribute with their experiences of different ways of working with participatory prototyping. During the workshop the participants will share, explore and give feedback on the method or case that they present. By engaging in other methods there will also be a learning activity. Another aim of the workshop is to initiate research and development of knowledge within the emerging field of participatory prototyping of services and product service systems. One particular interest regards the relation between details and "the whole". The emphasis of the workshop is to have creative learning experiences. © 2012 ACM.


Axelsson O.,University of Sheffield | Axelsson O.,University of Stockholm | Nilsson M.E.,University of Stockholm | Hellstrom B.,Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | Lunden P.,University of Stockholm
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2014

A field experiment was conducted to explore whether water sounds from a fountain had a positive impact on soundscape quality in a downtown park. In total, 405 visitors were recruited to answer a questionnaire on how they perceived the park, including its acoustic environment. Meanwhile the fountain was turned on or off, at irregular hours. Water sounds from the fountain were not directly associated with ratings of soundscape quality. Rather, the predictors of soundscape quality were the variables "Road-traffic noise" and "Other natural sounds". The former had a negative and the latter a positive impact. However, water sounds may have had an indirect impact on soundscape quality by affecting the audibility of road-traffic and natural sounds. The present results, obtained in situ, agree with previous results in soundscape research that the sounds perceived-particularly roadtraffic and natural sounds-explain soundscape quality. They also agree with the results from laboratory studies that water sounds may mask road-traffic sounds, but that this is not simple and straight forward. Thus sound should be brought into the design scheme when introducing water features in urban open spaces, and their environmental impact must be thoroughly assessed empirically. © 2013 The Authors.

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