Date of Award
Master of Science
Since about the late 1990s there has been discussion in the field of graphic design regarding experience design, or what advocates of the movement describe as a refocusing of the designer's attention on the interaction with the designed artifact, rather than the design of artifacts. Given the recent birth of this area in graphic design, it seems fitting to speculate on the past and ask what areas have contributed to, or prefigure experience design. Kevin Lynch's cognitive mapping (developed in the 1950s) has been offered as one precedent, but if Lynch is suggested we also have to look to Guy Debord's simultaneous invention of psychogeographic mapping as a similar, yet distinct precedent of experience design. Lynch was an urban planning professor in the U.S., while Debord was the leader of a leftist group in Paris called the Situationist International. Neither Lynch nor Debord had knowledge of the other at the time. The shared nature of mapping human experience allows Lynch and Debord's experimental projects to form a fascinating relationship with contemporary experience design. By comparing the semiotic code in Lynch and Debord's maps this study develops a theoretical model of designer "control" versus "construction" over human experience. These findings inform contemporary experience design by addressing ethically and culturally sensitive questions. Future research is needed to document and clarify the specific areas of experience design that are affected by this model.
Derek Cori Wallen
Wallen, Derek Cori, "A critical and historical case study of experience design : Lynchian cognitive mapping and Situationist psychogeography" (2006). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 19068.