1.3 Representations, Prototyping, and Sketching

1.3.6 Conclusion

The design disciplines have long embrace the value of prototyping and sketching, regardless of the labels or denominations used. From my perspective, the line separating sketches and prototypes is very blurry. The main, and possibly the only, distinction can be found in the radiation pattern each encompasses.

Figure 21

Figure 21: Sketches contribute back to its creator, prototypes radiate outward to the others and the world.

Here radiation pattern denotes attributes along the lines of focus, impact or force vector. Let me explain: a sketch is an approach or excuse to primarily inform its creator; the work conducted is egocentric, reflective, self-driven, self-regulated, and ultimately most useful to its creator. The impact and work vectors are directed at the author and initiator of the sketch. In the case of a prototype, the work is realized by the author or creator, but its impact is outside his immediate sphere. The prototype is used to communicate something, reach or affect others (colleagues, clients, participants, the general public) in a particular way. The prototype is an instance that is meant to travel and impact the world somehow. That impact can be shaped, carved and prepared, but once it leaves the creator’s nest or bubble, viewers might adopt and perceive it in very different ways.

As we close this chapter on design representations, prototypes and sketches, part 1 also comes to an end. This first part of this thesis consisted of an overall positioning and contextualization for this work. It established the necessary foundations of design research, design representations and haptics, paving the way so we can now properly use these tools to venture into real, practical and sensible activities of designing haptics.