Provotypes – provocative prototypes

The designer as an agent provocateur –  provocation as communication


The term of the “prototype” is a wordplay for provocative prototypes which means to use a prototype in a provocative way as a method to define outstanding questions in research. The provotype helps us to understand how people handle phenomena they hadn´t questioned before – by confronting them with situations which represent a new experience. The difference from other creativity-methods which analyse the views of people relating to future questions is that the provotype allows a tangible and interactive discussion. The distinction from a design-prototype consists in the extraordinary and provocative functionality of the provotype which doesn’t have to be transferable to the market but shows new possibilities in applied technology-research. The term “provotype” was developed by Preben Morgensen in his paper „Towqrds a Provptyping approach in systems development” in 1992.

Quantified self – The measuring of oneself | Studio Class New Media, Winter term 2011/12

Hypertension, weight, workout, sleep, mood, diet, sex: the supporters of the Quantified-Self-Movement are interested in all and any activities or bodily functions. They summarise their whole life with numbers and statistics. They capture the data with special equipment and tools and provide their own data online to share with their community – total self control.

This trend of self measurement – which is described by the term “Quantified self” for the whole movement – was the topic of the Studio Class New Media in the winter term 2011/2012. The students discussed the attitude of the movement, went to their meetings, reflected on the equipment and software tools and then started their own project on that topic. The results are interesting new tools or interventions and are different from those already known.
-> presentation on the re:publica 2012

-> video of the hybrid symposium “Digital self measurement” in May 2012

Digital Tools for Designers | Studio Class Summer term 2011

What tools do designers use in times of rapid prototyping and Co-working-spaces? What tools are missing or should be improved? In the project current tools and the aligned processes were analysed and discussed: what does a designer’s workshop look like and what is the workflow today and tomorrow? Based on these topics the students developed concepts and realized first prototypes. The results show practical design-tools and tools for documentation and inspiration.