DS 110: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2021), VIA Design, VIA University in Herning, Denmark. 9th -10th September 2021

Year: 2021
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Yildiz, Mert (2); Umulu, Sila (1); Coskun, Aykut (2); Sener, Bahar (1)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Middle East Technical University, Turkey; 2: Koc University, Turkey
Section: Research in Design and Engineering Education Practice
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.89
ISBN: 978-1-912254-14-9


Time is a precious resource, perhaps the most valuable among others. How we plan and spend our time has a direct impact on our wellbeing. Research indicates that top-down time management practices imposed upon us by modern life (e.g. the concept of fixed work time) creates pressure on our wellbeing. This pressure has surely been recently multiplied by COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports on the procedure and the results of a design workshop carried out to reflect on time and timekeeping practices. The workshop aimed to explore answers to following questions: where does the work-life end, where does private life begin? how can we manage the boundaries between work-time / non-work-time in which the way we work, relax, and socialize have drastically changed due to COVID-19 pandemic? do we really have control over our time? which conflicts and tensions does our lack of control of our time lead to? The workshop carried out as part of a graduate level course at XX University. 12 graduate level students participated in the workshop to explore how our relationship with time has changed during the pandemic. The workshop carried out in two four-hours-sessions over Zoom, the sessions ran a week apart. It included two stages: i) Diary keeping (individual); and, ii) Idea generation (group activity). In stage 1, students were given an online diary, designed in Miro, and expected to fill it in the diary for a week. Each day in the diary included templates to encourage students to think about and reflect on their ‘time’ from different views, including: ‘right time’, ‘checking time’, ‘reconstructing time’, ‘experiencing time’, ‘negotiating time’, and ‘time in the new normal-’. To reflect on the certain aspects of ‘time’ they were encouraged to take photos, videos, write notes, doodle etc. However, these activities were purposefully designed for quick reflections expected to take no more than 15 minutes a day. On the completion of stage 1, students formed four groups of three. In stage 2, the students were asked to bring together their personal responses on the diaries. Then they were asked to identify patterns (if there is) by looking at similarities and differences in their responses in terms of experiences, beliefs, and problems experienced etc. After analysing some patterns and/or similar responses, the students were asked to synthesize these patterns into design insights, i.e. preliminary proposals that will help them ideate on the problems. Then, they worked collaboratively on Miro boards to ideate solutions for supporting ‘good’ timekeeping practices that have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Four group of students worked on four different problem area and come of with insights for ho these problems can be tackled through design. Class presentation and discussions were carried out. At the end of the project, students were asked additional questions to reflect on the experiences they have about a workshop that was carried out over Zoom; they were also asked to reflect on the usefulness of the workshop and the diary design as a mean for probing their reflections.

Keywords: product design, timekeeping, online diary, wellbeing


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