I had a great time giving a talk at IIT's Design Research Conference last week, but of course the real joy was being inspired by all of the other presentations. One of the huge highlights was a video shown by Smart Design's Erica Eden entitled "The Breakup Letter"a brilliant, hysterical compilation of the results of their DRC Sex Ed Workshop just the day before.
"The Breakup Letter" is a design research tool that Smart uses to explore the emotional connection between people and their products, services, and experiences. In Chicago, participants of the workshop were asked to choose a product, service, or experience, and to write and recite a "breakup letter" on camera. Participants were limited to 15 minutes, and the video was cut that night and shown the next day. The film is unbelievably charming, funny, and revealing, and as a consumable, engaging piece of design research, this is tough to beat.
The workshop was conducted by Senior Design Researcher and Femme Den co-founder Yvonne Lin, Design Researchers Diane Lee and Sarah Nagle, and Smart's Associate Director of Industrial Design, John Kiechel.