Public prototyping : a participatory design process exploring the application of co-creative sketching : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design, Massey University, Institute of Communication Design, College of Creative Arts, Wellington, New Zealand

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The objective of this research is to demonstrate that co-creative sketching as a part of the participatory process has the potential to support the developmental nature of a visual communication tool used to promote the exchange of experience. The tool is intended to create an informative hub that influences a travellers experience of a location. Ethnographic research as reflective sketching was conducted in the Tongariro National Park. Within this setting reflective sketching located the kitchen and common area of traveller specific accommodation as an ideal collaborative environment to conduct participatory design research. In this collaborative environment snowboarders and skiers who are aged between 20-30 years are identified as the target audience. This specific audience participated in co-creative sessions throughout the design process, resulting in the participatory design of the tool. The design aim of the visual communication tool was to promote the exchange of experience between snowboarders and skiers about a specific location. This was achieved by adapting generative tools made up of a visual language which supported the word of mouth exchange and individual expression. The exchange of experiences was facilitated by co-creative sketching with the visual language during a state of play. Playful co-creative sketching supported word of mouth dialogue between the snowboarders and skiers in a way that co-created an informative visual representation of the dialogue or contextmap. The resulting contextmap represented an image for experience which was beyond an individuals conception and made individuals tacit-knowledge accessible to audiences within and outside the moment of exchange, creating an informative hub which influenced the specific audiences view of experience for a location. An action research methodology is used during the course of this research, informed by the approaches of co-creation, context-mapping and generative tools. These approaches constructed a theoretical framework for the participatory development and co-creative sketching of the communication tool. This supportive thesis discusses the context, the theoretical concepts and provides an in depth account on the research through design process; the week-by-week participatory process undertaken to develop the visual communication tool.
Communication design, Co-creation, Visual communication, Snowboarding