Research at Kyushu University

Research Projects and Initiatives

Recent Studies at Faculty of Design

Thinking of design as a system

Department of Strategic Design, Faculty of Design
Associate Professor TAMURA Ryoichi

When solving problems in design objects, it is important to think about the system as a whole in addition to solving the problems themselves. This requires not only cross-sectional problem solving that takes into account the various stakeholders involved but also the vertical structure of the design domains based on the individual design objects. Thus, I consider the design objects and design behaviors as a system and conduct research with a particular focus on the “identification of structure,” which enables us to understand the structure of the system, as well as the “presumption of causation,” which estimates the focal point of the system in order to realize optimal design.

■Research on service design for healthy elderly people

One of my latest research topics is service design for healthy elderly people. Many elderly people remain both physically and mentally healthy without experiencing an age-related decline in their abilities. Meanwhile, the proportion of “single-person households” is on the rise, and many solitary deaths have been reported in apartment complexes in the suburbs of large cities. Against this background, I have studied the structure of the relationship between the attributes of elderly people and their attitude toward life as well as the causal relationship between time records and behavioral change, with the aim of developing service design to improve quality of life in healthy elderly people.

Some of the results from a study on “enjoyment in daily life,” a component of attitude toward life, are presented below [Note 1]. Table 1 shows the participants analyzed. Four factors (“social interaction,” “everyday activities,” outdoor activities,” and “preferential activities”) that can be used as indexes for assessing new services were extracted, and the characteristics of four clusters were revealed (Table 2). Next, the four clusters were subjected to a chi-square test and residual analysis to reveal characteristics according to sex and household composition (Table 3). The results suggested the influence of sex in “Cluster 2, Preferential enjoyment type” and “Cluster 4, Everyday enjoyment type” as well as the influence of both sex and household composition in “Cluster 1, Interaction enjoyment type” and “Cluster 3, non-enjoyment type.”

Table 1 Participants analyzed by sex, household composition, and age

Table 2 Mean factor scores for enjoyable daily life activities in 4 clusters

Table 3 Results of c2 test and adjusted residuals in clusters by “enjoyment” in daily living

Note: p-values (two-tailed) of the residual analysis were<0.01 if |r|>2.58, and<0.05 if |r|>1.96. Dark red indicates r>2.58, light red 2.58>r>1.96, dark blue r<−2.58, and light blue −1.96<r<−2.58 in the table.

■Joint design workshop

In accordance with the agreement on academic and student exchange signed with National Cheng Kung University (NCKU; Taiwan) in June 2017, we have been holding an annual joint design workshop on IoT social innovation design in Asia since FY 2018 as part of collaborative activities [Note 2]. With the cooperation of local residents and researchers both in and outside the department, we are utilizing IoT to develop service design based on a mutual understanding of our respective cultures and customs.

Photo 1 Group photo (NCKU, FY 2019)

Photo 2 Workshop (NCKU, FY 2019)

Photo 3 Mid-term presentation (FY 2019 NCKU)

Photo 4 Booklets (FY 2018–2021)

Note 1
Ryoichi Tamura, Shigeru Furuya and Yasushi Togo: A Basic Study on the Life Consciousness of Healthy Older People − Toward the Creation of Services Aimed at Improving Quality of Life. Bulletin of the Japanese Society for Science of Design, 66 (1), pp.19–28, 2019

Note 2
Kyushu University & National Cheng Kung University Joint Design Workshop 2018
Kyushu University & National Cheng Kung University Joint Design Workshop 2019
Kyushu University & National Cheng Kung University Joint Design Workshop 2020

Ryoichi Tamura, Associate Professor
Department of Strategic Design, Faculty of Design