Journey into UX

I'm Shivang Patwa

My Journey Into User Experience Design

“When bricks become pixels, the tectonics of architecture becomes informational. City planning becomes data structure, construction costs become computational costs, accessibility becomes transmissibility, proximity is measured in numbers of require links and available bandwidth. Everything changes, but architecture remains.”- Marcos Novak (Trans Terra Form: Liquid Architectures and the loss of inscription)

Design Learning

Bachelor of Architecture

(Center for Environmental Planning & Technology, India)

CEPT: Campus without walls, learning without boundaries. Emphasis was given on learning rather than teaching. There were no boundaries, no hierarchies and a complete atmosphere of free and unhampered inquiry.

I have  a Bachelors in Architecture with a focus on Technology. Since my childhood and early design education, I have always been fascinated by evolving technology, how it can be used to drive exploratory design process and address the human need by changing the human behavior through design.

Design Thinking

Asst. Professor/Foundation Co-coordinator

(National Institute of Fashion Technology, India)

Being one of the youngest assistant professors within the Accessory Design Department at National Institute of Fashion Technology, apart from teaching, I was involved with developing the Foundation Design Course Curriculum for all departments. This would be an introduction to Design for all students coming into various design disciplines at the institute.

The task involved developing and describing course objectives, the course structure, teaching/learning methodology, course evaluation, learning outcomes, suggested reading and also propose materials as well as infrastructure required to undertake this course.

Design Exploration

Founding Partner

(Atelier Anonyme Design, India)

Established in 2004 by childhood friends, I was one of the founding partners at Atelier Anonyme Design, a multidisplinary design practice driven by a desire to explore the magic of design through an immersive exploration of the clients/users and their needs. From street food journeys to the Wall Street Journal, our areas of interest were myriad as we searched for inspirations and expressions. It was cool to watch ideas from one design discipline seep to another.

The constraints and rigor of the design process often lead to unimagined freedoms in expression. People and organizations all have their stories to tell, provided we have the perception to listen, hear and relate to them. We believed in cohesive collaborative approaches and were very, very familiar with sacrosanct project deadlines.

Design Teaching

Asst. Professor/Thesis Mentor

(Sushant School of Art & Architecture, India)

As the Studio Director, along with my colleagues, we decided to focus on Abstraction as a Design Approach: The word, abstract, originates from the Latin, abstrahere, which means to draw away from. When we abstract, we begin with something and move away from it, yet remain connected to it.

The process of abstraction compels us to carefully observe and analyze what we see, paying attention to how something is formed and how we can reform it for our own purposes. We become more aware of the parts, their relationships within the design space, and how everything comes together to express the whole design. The design process was conceived as a journey to take the students from abstract representations to systematic concretization of ideas resulting in a well defined design solution grounded in research, analysis, testing and feedback.

Data-Driven Design

Masters in Architecture

(University of California, Berkeley, CA)

Local Code : Real Estates uses geospatial analysis to identify thousands of publicly owned abandoned sites in major US cities, imagining this distributed, vacant landscape as a new urban system. Using parametric design, a landscape proposal for each site is tailored to local conditions, optimizing thermal and hydrological performance to enhance the whole city's ecology, and relieving burdens on existing infrastructure. In addition, the project uses citizen participation to conceive a new, more public infrastructure as well as a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen.

Design can be engaged and extended for local benefits. Based on existing models of community design as well as new research in digital democracy it proposes place based media to shape opinions, engage communities and even aggregate finances and funding. Final outcome is a network of perfect places and virtual spaces combined.

Design Research

Research Specialist

(University of California, Berkeley, CA)

Research specialist with Prof. Nicholas de Monchaux, Local Code: Real Estates. With three billion more humans projected to be living in cities by 2050, all design is increasingly urban design. And with as much data now produced every day as was produced in all of human history to the year 2007, all architecture is increasingly information architecture. From ever-more detailed data and new, digitally augmented realities to fissures in virtual territory that mirror real-world divides, the opportunities and challenges of this transformation are enormous.

The ability for new, place-based data to better connect us to larger systems, and seek to influence them for the better, is left, as yet, under-explored. The research pioneers a new field of inquiry and action at the meeting of big data and the expanding city.

As the project manager, I led a team of eight architecture graduate students. We used geospatial analysis, integrated GIS with parametric design using customized Grasshopper and Python translators in Rhino 3D. My responsibilities also included project scheduling and budgeting, CNC prototyping, production, assembly and installation.

Design Management

Project Manager/Senior Associate

(Hood Design: Oakland, CA | SGA: Berkeley, CA)

Hood Design is a cultural practice committed to the development of environments which reflect their place and time specifically through how people inhabit various geographies.

Steven Grover & Associates (SGA) has completed projects that are creative, elegant, and has human-centered design solutions to problems involving challenging constraints, sensitivity to context, engaging public outreach, and complex functional goals and requirements.

As a project manager, I led a team of architects, directed the design ideation, design iteration, documented the design process, coordinated with consultants and gave project presentations to various agencies and clients.

User Experience Design

Function Follows Human Needs, Form Follows Human Behavior

For me personally, I see UX Design not as a transition but more as an opportunity to explore design ideas and new possibilities. All these years, I have been designing for people both in the physical and digital space. Insights derived through qualitative as well as quantitative research and analysis of how people interact with space, have informed my exploratory design process that has led to develop familiar, yet new spaces, forms and elements that are Functional, Intuitive and Beautiful. Understanding the user by building empathy, along with business and development goals are key to ‘Good Design’. With the ability to independently plan, prioritize, and manage special projects, I work effectively in a team, both as a leader and a team member.

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