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New PhD Research

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Adventurous Homemaking: Exploring Collaborations toward Agroecological Probabilities

MARKUS WERNLI

2020

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This research investigates how attending to the basic needs of human bodily existence is mobilising transpersonal abilities toward integrative flourishing. Rearranging human-environment relations through the self-contracted crafting of daily life, requires courage, bodily engagement and failure tolerance. Through contemporising the co-regulating exchanges of fermentation, this study engages people’s bodyminds as biophysical agents in socio-natural ecologies which starts with their digestive byproducts—human ‘waste’, whereby human ‘waste’ becomes an integral element inside a self-contracted goal pursuit. This study evaluates self-mobilisation strategies and social buffering dynamics that assist people to commit to and prosper vis-à-vis adverse situations. A series of provocative human ‘waste’ upgrading events formulated a collective domesticity study where 22 participants participated in fermenting urine for growing edible plants and entering (biological) circulations of well-being. The dynamic tension of jointly encountered ambiguity together with the integrative goal created a failure-friendliness that was conducive to sociality, inventiveness, and rich emergence of meaning. 

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The Applicability of Participatory Design for Urban Community Building. 

Zhu Mingjie

2020

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Participatory design was introduced in Scandinavia in the 1970s, which invites researchers, designers, developers and users to participate in software design together for promoting democracy in the workplace. This research focuses on the application of participator design in community building, which regards participator design as a process of community self-organisation and development through community mobilisation and collective action. Particularly, the thesis examines the interrelationship between participatory design and community, and the adaption of participatory design within the community context of Mainland China. With regard to the concept of “community differential mode” suggested by the Chinese sociologist, Xiaotong, this study proposes specific design strategies and summarises three general principles [dynamic, transform and progressive] to enhance the applicability of participatory design in mainland China. 

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How Children Design: Observational Study of Children's Design Process 

Lo Kwok Yin Angelina

2020

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Educators and parents have met obstacles and challenges in nurturing creativity in children after almost two decades of education reform. The obstacles do not only lie in the discrepancy between education policy and practice but an overemphasis of product over process during which children create and design, in which the process refers to children’s understanding and identification of problems, ideation, materials exploration, and externalisation of ideas in the act of design and make. Through observing children's behaviour in such design process, this research depicts the typical characteristics of children design in an adult-non-directed condition. The study provides a deeper understanding of children’s design process that could be applied for future teaching strategies in children’s creative learning. Moreover, it opens up the potential for future observations and longitudinal studies of children’s design process in other socio-cultural contexts, and amongst the genders and age levels.

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Enhancing the Travel Experiences of People with Visual Impairments through Application Design

Huang Lusha

2020

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When current iOS applications or “apps” have met the basic requirements of visually impaired users, the discussion should be extended to address the higher-order needs such as self-esteem and self-actualisation. Beyond just focusing on the booking and navigation between different tourist sites, this study demonstrates how gamification assists in designing mobile applications that can enhance the tourism experiences of people with visual impairments. The study introduces a “research through design” project that incorporates app experiments, multisensory observations and interviews that are derived from sensory ethnography methodology. This research examines the perspective of applying gamification techniques to travel for people with visual impairments, which provides insights for government entities, social enterprises, and organisations which serve people with visual impairments. Ultimately, the results represent a further step towards developing advanced design research about people with visual impairments by proposing appropriate empathic insights and solutions regarding user experience design (UX), specifically in travel experience design. 

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Supporting Development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through Culture-based Innovation: Expanding the Saudi National Festival for Culture and Heritage into a National Project for Innovation and Design 

Fawaz Abid Bakhotmah

2020

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To facilitate strategies and reflect the nation's culture and heritage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Culture-Based Innovation (CBI) was launched in 2010 as the outcome of a creative initiative under the name Bellagio Mandala Group of Culture-Based Innovation. This research aims to stimulate this initiative and highlight its reputation concerning (1) the historical correlation between culture and development; (2) the innovation benefits from the advancement of cultural development, and (3) the challenges faced in Saudi Arabia due to the unclear creative cultural production model in practice. This research analyses the findings from field observations and promotes the Saudi national cultural and heritage festival to be a development platform through cultural-based creativity, innovation, and design on a practical level. Four hypotheses have been proposed, and the study summarises three comprehensive models that assist development decision makers, educators, and programmers. 

PhD Research Archive

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The Early Product Concept Prototyping Strategy in Participatory Design Process

Lee Yu Hin Brian

2019

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To foster a liveable and smart city in global and local contexts, it is necessary to articulate a better participatory design approach that engages diverse stakeholders and multi-disciplinary experts. This thesis investigates the design process in a participatory design workshop environment. It aims to inform a practical methodology for the early phase of the design concept development process – the description of a facilitator training framework that can guide participants to formulate an appropriate verbal and visual concept for the development of the early-phase product concept prototype that can ensure explicit conversations amongst the stakeholders. This thesis aims to identify the relationship between quality interaction in the prototyping process and appropriate design outcomes through a series of qualitative and quantitative case studies, interviews, and a design task. A descriptive model is constructed to articulate the parameters that improve early-phase product design concept prototyping. 

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An Embodied Approach to the Analysis and Design of Interactive Ambient Media

Tan Liang

2019

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Regarding the concept of Cognitive Linguistics, languages reflect how people think and our thought is grounded in people’s bodily experiences with physical environments. This research explores how embodied thinking supports the development of new design methodologies that facilitate the experiences of actively participating audiences in interactions with ambient media. Based on the theories of embodied cognition and cognitive semantics, this research focuses on developing an embodied approach to analysing and designing ambient media through a series of studies. To understand audience experiences with ambient media and develop an approach to embodied interaction design, an in-depth discussion clarifies and synthesises the findings from three studies, whereby the implications are summarised with a view to informing further research and design practice. Three combinations of various perspectives offer new theoretical and methodological insights for research on embodied interactions. A set of guidelines for designing ambient media is proposed, providing methodological insights and strengthening the proposed approach. 

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An Analytical Study of Motivation for Creative Workers in China’s Creative Industries 

Chan Yuet Kai

2019

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Creative industries that emphasise human creativity and intellectual abilities are the sectors that the Chinese government promotes to maintain sustained economic growth. However, a study on the current development of the creative industries in mainland China suggests that most of the organisations in the creative sector fail to establish a conducive environment for creative performance. This research investigates the relationships between various motivators and the performance of creative workers in China's creative industries. By conducting interviews and online questionnaires with managers and creative workers in China's creative industries, the findings indicate that managers and the creative workers in China are similar. Still, the execution and management of these motivation strategies do not meet employee expectations. The results enrich the knowledge in motivating creative workers in China's creative industries, in which management and policymakers in China would gain insight into the management skills required to motivate creative employees. 

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A Framework of Culture-based Innovation for the Protection and Development of Intangible Cultural Heritages for Design with a Focus on Yanchuan Patchwork

Xue Bai

2019

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With an aim to preserve and develop the cultural heritage of Chinese patchwork, this thesis illustrates a framework of culture-based innovation that articulates an in-depth understanding of the local cultural customs and the art philosophy of Chinese folk artists. Particularly, this research investigates the deeper meanings of the Gao family patchworks from Yanchuan County, which demonstrates their relevance to new design technologies. Through a generative process in which the elements in patchworks are reused to generate 3D designs, this research examines how the transformation facilitates traditional art preservation and develops relative design skills using advanced design technologies. Several methods have been proposed for the coding of the generative product design system, in which variations of these 3D products could be made beyond the imagination of the original patchwork artists.

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Fostering Sustainable Behaviour through Social Games: Elements of ‘Gamified Behaviour-Change Programmes’ Contributing to the Process of Behaviour Change for Environmental Benefit

Sharma Satyakam

2019

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The significance of behavioural change has inspired designers to make strategic use of design to induce a positive change in behaviour regarding the usage of products and resources to reduce environmental impacts. Diverse approaches have emerged which encourage sustainable behaviour in the form of social innovations. Gamified behaviour-change programmes (GBCPs) are one example. This research investigates the mechanics of GBCPs, particularly the process through which they prepare, motivate, transform and incubate behaviour under the influence of a social setting and using a game-based approach. Utilising the findings from an empirical study of GBCPs, the study investigates the factors and conditions that influence the central phenomenon of behaviour change and identifies 41 elements that directly or indirectly contribute to the process of behaviour change. This thesis provides insights into the mechanics of GBCPs and raises the importance for designers, creative idealists and social entrepreneurs to consider GBCPs as an approach when addressing sustainability objectives. 

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Urban Informality and Infrastructure Planning: A Study of the Metropolises of Hong Kong SAR and Lagos for Sustainable Urban Design Strategies

Soyinka Oluwole Abayomi

2018

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Both developing and developed cities are facing significant challenges in sustainable development regarding economic, environmental, and infrastructure aspects. This research investigates urban informal settlement and infrastructure planning (UISIP) in the metropolises of Hong Kong and Lagos and identifies sustainable urban design principles to achieve sustainable urban development. Through adopting the concepts of urban informality, circuit of culture, pro-poor, sustainability and tactical urbanism, this study suggests that there is no significant relationship between UISIP with regard to achieving sustainable urban development in the metropolises of Hong Kong and Lagos. The study proposes a tactical urbanism approach for UISIP design, which integrates sustainable urban design and planning principles with sustainable socio-economic and environmental design strategies. The proposed design guideline outlines specific policies for reforming social, economic, and environmental design in community participatory design.

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Design for Better Comprehension: Investigating the Influence of Product Appearance on Consumers' Comprehension of Really New Products (RNP). 

Peiyao Cheng

2018

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RNPs refer to product innovations that integrate advanced technology, which enables consumers to do things that they were previously unable to do. While most existing research focuses on the advertising strategies to facilitate consumers’ comprehension of RNPs, this research extends the discussion to investigate the influence of product appearance. Three influential factors of (a) visual complexity, (b) transparency and (c) product metaphor were identified and have been examined accordingly. This research first (1) investigates the influence of visual complexity on consumers’ comprehension of product innovations through a controlled experiment, whereby the design principle ‘complexity in simplicity’ was proposed. The study further (2) investigates the design intentions for adopting transparency in product innovations by conducting interviews with designers in practice. Based on an analogical learning process, (3) the potential and risks of product metaphors influencing consumers’ comprehension of RNPs are analysed. The results bridge the theoretical contributions and practical implications, which help designers and managers develop RNPs that are comprehensible for consumers and contribute to the overall success of RNPs. 

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A Review of Computer Skills in Industrial Design Education: Issues, Opportunities and Recommendations

Giovanni Jesue Contreras Garcia

2018

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The application of computers in the modelling and visualisation process is named 'Computer Aided Design' (CAD), which has become a crucial practical skill in Design and Engineering. This research surveys 38 Industrial/Product Design schools globally and analyses their corresponding curriculums. The findings are complemented by several interviews with practitioners, academics and researchers, and other sources such as artefact analysis, action research and auto-ethnography. The result shows that the development of computer skills in Industrial Design schools has excluded the concern of 3D modelling skills and other supporting skills such as project management using computers and computer programming. The results argue that most schools do not teach students to work with Polygonal Models, Solid and Surface (NURBs) models simultaneously, while students should learn to work with all three different types of models under the current trend. This research provides a series of recommendations to enhance computer skills development in Industrial Design Education by using a framework developed in these studies.

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Towards a Comprehensive and Integrated Framework that Serves as a Basis to Describe, Stimulate and Analyse Innovation in Intelligent Products 

Mengting Zhang

2018

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Under the radical development of machine learning and commercialisation of artificial intelligence technology, products are developed with new features that include decision-making, natural language processing or intuitive interaction. It is foreseeable that these intelligent products will reshape most aspects of human life in the near future. This research illustrates a conceptual framework that stimulates and analyses the innovative quality of intelligent products to provide insights into facilitating the innovation of intelligent products across industries and society. Empirical studies and in-depth expert interviews have been carried out. The study contributes to the current understanding of intelligent product innovation and can be beneficial for academic researchers and business practitioners. The research also shares a vision of intelligent product innovation in the future, which provides insights for policymakers to transform the industry. 

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The Making of Sustainable Cultural and Creative Clusters in Hong Kong

Tsang Ka Man

2018

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The establishment of creative space in a city is associated with wealth generation, job creation and urban revitalisation. Many governments recite this formula when setting up clusters. Yet, a one-size-fits-all strategy cannot guarantee sustainable development. This research identifies the fundamental factors in developing a sustainable cluster in a densely populated city. This study examines (1) the concept of a cultural and creative cluster, (2) its relation to creative practitioners in Hong Kong, and (3) its corresponding synchronic and diachronic development. A model has been developed to evaluate the sustainable development of cultural and creative clusters that involves three significant factors: cluster, community and creativity (the 3Cs model). Utilising the findings from three significant empirical studies in Hong Kong (PMQ, Easy Pack Creative Precinct and Design Incubation Programme (DIP) at InnoCentre), the result suggests four external measures that can measure the sustainability of a cultural and creative cluster. The study concludes by demonstrating the applicability of the 3Cs model for highly dense cities such as Hong Kong.

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A Cognitive Ergonomics Design Framework for Future Electronic Textbooks

Kimberly Anne Sheen

2018

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Many universities are shifting from the use of physical textbooks to electronic textbooks. Yet, there is a lack of research that examines whether this type of textbook can meet students’ task requirements. Within the context of Engineering and Design disciplines, this research investigates: (1) the role of student characteristics in the perception of future electronic textbooks; (2) the supporting tasks that students perform whilst reading both types of textbooks and how they differ; (3) the crucial aspects and components for future electronic textbooks; (4) the discrepancies between students and professors’ perceptions, and (5) the necessary changes that need to be made based on the above needs and desires and the required changes based on these needs and desires. Utilising the findings from a survey and the result of the Hexagon-Spindle Model, this study proposes a framework that serves as a guide for designers and content creators to design future electronic textbooks that meet students’ academic reading task needs and grow with technological advances. 

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The Value of Fashion Photography in the Culture of Social Media

Choi Sau Wai Athena

2017

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Despite the essential function of fashion presentation and visual communication, fashion photography appears to be a relatively neglected research topic. This research aims to examine the impact of social media on the perceived value of fashion photography in Hong Kong. The perceived values were initially categorised into six domains: identity expression, artistic expression, fashion trend diffusion, taste leadership, bloggers’ self-branding and fashion branding. This study adopts Rose's (2012) visual methodology for collecting data that pertains to the three sites of the image: the site of image production, the site of image audiencing and the site of the image itself. A theoretical framework is proposed, which illustrates the current fashion communication scenario of Hong Kong and how fashion bloggers build their self-identity as a self-branding process. The findings suggest an urgent need to develop a new curriculum in fashion studies and may serve as a practical guide for supporting the fashion media industry in Hong Kong.

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The Value Systems of Players and Their Relation to In-Game Behaviour in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game

Wang Chaoguang

2017

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With regard to the Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory (ECLET) proposed by Graves (1970, 1974, 2005), this study identifies the value systems of Chinese online game players. ECLET provides a new way to look at people's differences through successive personality stages or value systems, each with its predominant way of thinking and behaving. Through examining the characteristics of players’ value systems and their relationships with the in-game behaviour of an online game (which is played by millions of people), this research suggests the application of ECLET in game development from a new perspective. The empirical data pertaining to Chinese individuals provide a foundation for future investigations in Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory and expand the understanding of the relationships between personality and playing features in future research. 

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Smart Communication under Transforming Lifestyles: User Study of Smart Mobile Devices among Hong Kong Youth

Chen Xin

2017

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Nowadays, people rely on smart mobile devices to coordinate their everyday lives. This thesis explores how Hong Kong’s young generation is using smart mobile devices and how they have been integrated into people’s everyday lives. By taking people, society, device, and service (PSDS) model into account, this research aims to better understand smart communication and how people use smart mobile devices in the information age. Utilising the findings from an empirical study on smart mobile devices and emotion communication among the young generation in Hong Kong, this study reveals six characteristics of smart communication – security, mobility, efficiency, coordination, sociability and enjoyability. The result illustrates the corresponding types of behaviour of young people in Hong Kong and their causes in smart communication. This research suggests a framework that contributes to the development of user experience design in smart communication, which provides references for smart mobile device manufacturers to design better mobile devices and user experiences for the future market.

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Designing for Sustainable Behaviour in High-density Space: Household and Community Participation in Waste Recycling in Hong Kong

Xiao Jia Xin

2017

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Environmentalists, researchers, designers and policymakers have made tremendous efforts to reduce and recycle waste. Yet, there is still a lack of systematic studies that investigate sustainable recycling behaviour in the field of design. With a contextual framework that encompasses the physical, social and socio-cultural contexts, this study addresses the significance of contextual factors for improving household recycling and design opportunities. Utilising the findings from a theoretical review and an empirical study on household recycling in Hong Kong, this research investigates the possible design opportunities for household recycling in high-density cities. The result identifies ‘intervention’ and ‘collaboration’ as two main approaches to influence human behaviour. The changing of human behaviour through design requires an in-depth understanding of people’s needs, acceptances and responses, and the social effects of the interventions in the context of their particular situation. This thesis concludes with four behaviour models with suggestions on the applicability of design interventions and collaboration to impact user behaviour.

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Everyday Practice in Public Living Environment: Contesting Space in an Ever-transforming Urban Area in Hong Kong

Huang Yi Hua

2017

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The emerging processes of globalisation and privatisation of urban space trigger debates on the right to the city. With regard to the context of Hong Kong, the spatial differentiations between modern urban areas and traditional living areas deprive authentic everyday life that has been characterised by alienating behaviour in multiple ways. This research develops a conceptual framework which investigates the wide range of micro-spatial practices (struggle, conflict and negotiation) in public space of the city. Utilising the findings from an empirical study of Wan Chai District in Hong Kong, the study explicates how urban reclamation and multimodal urban spaces result in a hybrid regime. Through an analysis of street-life rhythms and the themes of reconstructing public space, four quadrants are suggested following the city's segmented urban fabric: the definitive modes of space of transudation, transference, translation, and transgression. The result provides a valuable narrative for understanding the production of space and the practice of planning.

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Enhancing the Museum Experience for Visually Impaired People in Hong Kong: Haptic-audio Interaction Design (HAID)

Chan Meng Kheong

2017

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Visually impaired individuals face a lot of challenges in visually oriented environments. Particularly, it is discovered that museums in Hong Kong do not provide sufficient facilities and resources to help visually impaired visitors in terms of mobility and access to information about the exhibits. This research aims to investigate the possible ways that would help visually impaired and blind individuals to understand and construct mental images of two-dimensional exhibits. This study adopts a cross-modal interaction approach in which a conceptual tactile-audio paper prototype is developed. The prototype provides multisensory feedback to the visually impaired, enabling them to construct clearer mental images and ‘see’ the museum exhibits without touching the original exhibits. The results demonstrate an understanding of the value of tactual and audio interpretation of the visual information of museum exhibits as an accessible medium for visually impaired visitors. This study addresses the necessity to rethink the inclusive museum experience that takes visually impaired individuals into account. 

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The Pedestrian Bridge as an Everyday Place: An Urban Reference to Placemaking in High-density Cities

 Wang Weijia

2017

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Hong Kong is a city of footbridges in which pedestrian bridges accommodate diverse cultural and recreational activities and commercial urban programmes. This research reveals and examines the mechanism of everyday placemaking in Hong Kong's high-density context and develops a framework of necessity and sufficiency for placemaking. Regarding the findings from an empirical study of pedestrian bridges in the Mong Kok District of Hong Kong, the study formulates the design and management strategies of everyday placemaking. A framework on performance-based placemaking strategy is proposed that clarifies the roles of designer, planner, regulator, and ordinary everyday user in the process of placemaking. Ultimately, this thesis provides a systemic analysis of the concept of “pedestrian bridges as everyday places” in a high-density urban context. 

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Policy and Design for Waste Recycling in Hong Kong Communities

Lo Chi Hang

2016

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The waste management and environmental policies of Hong Kong rely on non-legislative command and control decisions made by the government. Thus, there is a necessity to review and examine waste recycling and its direction in Hong Kong. This research investigates and reviews the waste recycling policies of densely populated Asian cities whose lifestyles and residential conditions are comparable to those of Hong Kong. Utilising the findings from an empirical study of Hong Kong, the study investigates how various living environments and social change have affected waste recycling activities in Hong Kong. This study addresses concerns over the design of recycling facilities and their provision, which encourage community and household participation in waste recycling. Ultimately, this thesis explains the attitudes and behaviour towards recycling of Hong Kong people in the lower socio-economic stratum, and suggest possible recycling guidelines and feasible designs for waste recycling facilities in Hong Kong.

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Becoming a Reflective Communication Design Student: Perceptions and Values of Reflection as a Learning Tool

Chuah Chin Kah Peter

2016

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This study examines the perceptions of a learning journal as a tool to develop students’ critical and reflective thinking of the recent graduates of the undergraduate communication design programme at a local university in Hong Kong. Utilising the findings from interviews, this study reveals several preconceptions and misconceptions about reflection and critical thinking, especially at the early stage of undergraduate education. The result suggests that critical reviews are harder to achieve due to the insufficient knowledge and skills results. It is recommended that reflection should be integrated into the entire curriculum as one of the major assessment components and should be formally introduced at the early stage of undergraduate study. In addition, appropriate scaffolding strategies could be introduced over time to ensure that students consistently receive guidance and feedback as part of their learning and development.

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Fractal Analysis of Movement Variability in Spinal Curvature

Lau Man Lung

2016

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Human posture and movement sensing have become crucial practices in health monitoring, especially with the introduction of various types of wearable technology in the recent five years. Utilising computational techniques, this research explores human movement dynamics by using a fractal and multifractal approach. The study obtains knowledge from the movement data extracted from non-invasive optical motion capture techniques and analyses the representation of physiological signals on spinal curvature movement. Design criteria have been derived for the wearable sensing devices in monitoring applications. This thesis develops a framework that investigates the small and large local scale fluctuations within physiological signals' temporal dimension along the spine. The findings contribute to the understanding of human movement and demonstrate the implication of the technical results on wearable technology design. In general, this research provides insights into how computational techniques can be used to develop wearable design applications, with considerations of both technology and interaction design aspects.

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Brand Sustainability of Manufacturing Enterprises (MEs) and Social Enterprises (SEs) in Hong Kong

Tam Ka Fung Kelvin

2016

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While technologies, markets and the environment are changing rapidly, good brands are sustainable and relatively stable in stakeholders' minds. This thesis investigates the strategies, systems and processes of the development of Manufacturing Enterprises (MEs) and Social Enterprises (SEs) in Hong Kong concerning visual design elements and brand sustainability.  Utilising the Grounded Theory, this study considers seven Hong Kong-based organisations in terms of engagement with stakeholders, emotional bonding and value creation in order to compare and contrast these elements. The findings suggest a mutual relationship among brands, offerings, values, company visions, and users' needs. People who are capable of decoding, remembering, and reflecting upon the values will continually react and support interactively in the sustainable system. This thesis argues that companies' values, visions, and needs remain intangible. It is proposed that brand sustainability and visual characteristics would help retain a relatively stable and consistent image, which can sustain organisations' successful development.

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Design for Long-Term Behaviour Change: An Exploratory Study in Persuasive Interactive Systems for People with Diabetes in Self-Management

Wong Shuk Kwan Barbara

2015

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Persuasive design is one of the concepts of design for behaviour change using design and technology to influence attitudes or behaviour in specific ways. However, the persuasive and long-term effects of different persuasive strategies, including narrative and statistical forms of persuasive systems are mixed and not well understood. Regarding the fact that people with chronic diseases require lifestyle changes and adherence to long-term medication, this research investigates how persuasive interactive systems could help motivate and persuade people with diabetes to engage in self-management and healthier behaviour over time. The study takes a multi-disciplinary approach that involves knowledge and discussions in regard to health psychology, communication theories, and human-computer-interaction. Mixed research methods have been adopted including interviews, system evaluations and a design prototype. The findings illustrate the challenges in relation to diabetes management, diet control and physical exercise, which are influenced by patients' internal and external resources. This study suggests several models and frameworks of design for maintaining behaviour change to enrich the knowledge of the design concepts, and provides insights for future development of persuasive design and other design interventions for sustainable behaviour change.

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Design of Didactic Games to Foster Student Motivation, Engagement and Performance in Classrooms: A Case of Hong Kong Primary English Language Subject (ELS) Classrooms

Gupta Paridhi

2015

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Research conducted in formal and routine classrooms reveals that children lack motivation, attention, and concentration during learning. This research aims to address this problem by adopting “learning through didactic games” as a child-centred pedagogical approach within the context of Hong Kong’s local primary schools. This study comprises three major phases. The first two phases involve a series of literature reviews and in-depth case studies on several teaching/learning scenarios within local Hong Kong’s primary ELS classrooms. Afterwards, four “learning through didactic games” experiments are conducted, which reflect on how the design of didactic games can guide and steer tactile qualities, sensory aesthetics, educational goals, defined rules, and evaluation in didactic games. These insights are then translated into a logical, empirical framework highlighting ten crucial factors for ‘designing’ didactic games for classroom use. This research contributes to the field of game design and education. It is valuable to educators and game designers that motivate them to adopt, test and explore this approach within other socio-cultural contexts.

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Freedom and Control in Public Spaces: Quality Everyday Life in the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway

Zhao Tianjiao

2015

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Urban rail transit (URT) systems have a history of more than 150 years and have become part of the city system and permeate citizens’ everyday lives (EDLs). In a sense, the URT space is a new form of city public space that carries people of different backgrounds. This research takes the Hong Kong MTR public space as a case study and investigates the freedom and control of public space. Based on the theoretical discussions and empirical findings, this study emphasises the importance of balancing freedom and control in constructing a MTR life. This thesis provides a systematic analysis of the MTR space in Hong Kong, which explicates MTR space's nature and informs designers and policymakers with a referential framework for designing the URT systems and public spaces of other cities. 

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The Mediating Role of Design Knowledge and its Relational Effects on Interactions with Fashion Objects against the Chinese Cultural Backdrop

Harah Chon

2015

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Designers engage in various activities to shape individual experiences and perceptions in the creation of finished objects, implicating the communication of design intent as an extension of design knowledge. This thesis investigates the role of design knowledge in mediating the interactions between users and fashion objects and analyses the flow of knowledge as the transaction of meanings from the perspectives of design theory and theory of design practice. The study conducts a series of pilot interviews with young Chinese designers in Shanghai, which investigates how local designers respond to change and re-evaluate their practices to align with users' needs within their local fashion communities. Their experiences were analysed to map how design practices generate knowledge of design and influence the creation of meanings. This research follows a constructivist epistemology of knowledge, taking sensory experiences into account to produce real interpretations. The fashion movement triggers social interactions to become a socially constructed phenomenon embedded with cultural meanings. 

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A Method of Interpreting Chinese Traditional Everyday Artefacts in the Context of Sustainable Product Design

Zheng Yawei

2014

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Many scholars and design professionals have advocated the significance and value of reapplying traditional design wisdom to solve contemporary design problems. This research attempts to realise this approach toward design innovation by investigating and describing the general process of how to derive design insights from traditional design wisdom and apply them for contemporary design purposes. The study takes a methodological approach toward investigating and describing the process of interpreting design insights from Chinese Traditional Everyday Artefacts (CTEAs) for the particular design context of sustainable product design (SPD), whereby a descriptive theoretical model is constructed using specific cognitive techniques to guide this interpretative process. The result identifies a new methodological approach to design as interpreting insights and provides substantial knowledge of interpretive thinking involved in the general design process. The provided method and cognitive techniques have been applied in workshops for research and educational functions for an empirical application. 

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An Interactive and Generative Framework towards Enhancing User Experiences in Interactive Music Performance Systems

Wong Ling Elaine

2013

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Musicians and engineers tend to develop new applications based on new interfaces, which introduce new user experiences and interactions to products or systems. Yet, this overlooks the need to extend the intelligence and creativity concerning music-making. To enhance user experiences and extend the engagement of music performance systems to a deeper cognitive and creative level, this research explicates a theoretical framework that incorporates generative and interactive techniques between users and the music performance system. The study suggests an adaptable solution through an adjustable mechanism in terms of interactive and generative intensity whereby musicians or dancers can cooperate with the system and contribute their knowledge in the creative and collective process of generating new music with strong features online. This research integrates generative design into interactive music performance applications as well as new digital multimedia techniques for ethnic minority people remotely connected to the outside world, whose culture presents a challenge to embracing new ideas and new techniques in their music and dancing tradition.

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Emotion in Decision-making during the Design Process for Undergraduate Students 

Ho Amic Garfield

2013

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Manipulating the design process can be a stressful learning experience for novice design students. This study explores and illustrates the close relationship between emotion and the design process by using several proposed new models and perspectives under the umbrella of "design and emotion". The results indicate that a greater understanding of design and emotion would inspire novice design students to explore how emotions can affect their decision-making and design processes. This, in turn, would enable students to develop methods to manage their emotions to make effective decisions and strengthen their ability to manipulate the design process. Thus, the subject of design and emotion provides a valuable research opportunity, and the results of this study make a meaningful and valuable contribution to the "design and emotion" literature. Furthermore, as this study examines emotion in design studies from an undergraduate perspective, it will help design educators develop methods to help novice design students improve their design education.

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Design for the Public: Public Design in Outdoor Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) in Hong Kong Shopping Centres 

Xing Na

2013

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"Public space" has been one of the most notable urban elements of the city where a large proportion of ordinary life has been conducted throughout history. This research examines the development of public space in Western and Asian cities, and investigates the development of privately owned public spaces (POPS) in shopping centres. Utilising the findings from an empirical study in the commercial districts of Hong Kong, different practices and interactions of people in outdoor POPS have been illustrated. To enhance public participation in POPS and take the business nature of shopping centres into account, this study proposes several design guidelines for the revitalisation of outdoor POPS in Hong Kong's shopping centres. This thesis illustrates a comprehensive direction for private party managers and government policymakers. The spatial planning of public spaces should include both environmental elements and social attachments through communal activities and public participation. The result suggests a public design research framework for outdoor POPS in Hong Kong shopping centres, which can be further applied in related studies of other Asian cities. 

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Creativity and Its Roles in Design Education in Hong Kong 

Wong Yi Lin

2013

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Educators and researchers of design education believe that creativity can be developed in Design and Technology (D&T) classrooms at secondary school level. This study investigates creativity and its roles in design education at the secondary school level. Its objectives are (i) to review and analyse how teachers, students, and policymakers understand creativity, (ii) to understand the practical issues in the design education classroom or school, (iii) to suggest possible methods for teaching creativity in design education, (iv) to identify the roles of creativity in design education, and (v) to determine the issues related to the cultivation of creativity in design education. This study investigates these areas using a data triangulation approach by examining exemplar design projects. Thirteen interviews with Hong Kong teachers, students, and officers were conducted to understand the creativity issues involved in design education. This study finds that creativity is not fostered to its fullness in D&T. Some perceptions of teachers and students, especially the narrow perceptions, affect the cultivation of creativity. Shifts in perceptions, teaching methods, classroom management, and assessments are suggested so that teachers can cultivate creativity more easily. 

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Designing a One-flat Church as a Small-scale Community Space in a Densely Populated Urban Environment to Perform Both Sacred and Contemporary Functions 

Poon Shek Wing Louis

2013

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With regard to the context of Hong Kong, churches are restricted to being built in a densely populated urban environment in flat space. This research investigates the relationship between theology and spatial design in Hong Kong Protestant churches and analyses the lack of design concerning sacred identity in the churches of Hong Kong, leading to an unappealing and non-sacred appearance of the Protestant church. This study aims to understand the influence of secularisation on the rationale of church design and generate the church's appropriate identity from a theoretical standpoint to serve the contemporary community effectively. By conducting an empirical study of 171 churches in Hong Kong and interviews with 15 pastors and professors, this study explicates methods to facilitate church design, focusing on the immanence quality instead of transcendence representation, which overcomes the spatial limitations in church design. 

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Managing Design in the Chinese Manufacturing Industry

Liu Xihui

2010

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Regarding the development of design management in mainland China, its theories are mainly borrowed from foreign countries without being contextualised according to local conditions. This research investigates the current practice of design management in design companies in mainland China and develops a theoretical framework that mainly serves for the manufacturing industry in China. Utilising the findings from an empirical study in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and Yangzte River Delta (YRD) of mainland China, this study illustrates the current design management situation in the manufacturing industry. Twelve companies were selected to examine the characteristics of design management in Chinese companies and relative measures were proposed for managing design manufacture-based companies within mainland China. The result was the development of a theoretical framework of Chinese design management incorporating six models whereby practitioners of design management can learn practical experience and ways of managing design from the models. This research contributes to the debate on design management in China by offering first-hand information and systemic understanding. 

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Towards Designer-centred Design Brief Formulations in Industrial Design: Relating Design Brief Perceptions to Design Expertise and the Design Context 

Lau Wing Chuen

2010

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This research aims to investigate the methods to formulate a design brief, in which three approaches have been taken into consideration from existing design theories: (1) the cognitive approach which originated from the rational problem-solving paradigm, which focuses on varying a design brief formulation that stimulates designers to produce innovative design concepts; (2) the expertise approach which refers to the reflection-in-action paradigm that emphasises how designers initiate and frame a design problem in the design brief; and (3) the contextual approach which investigates how prescribed guidelines formulate a design brief in the professional practice of commercial settings, which facilitates communication among multiple stakeholders in design projects. Utilising the findings from a card-sorting exercise, this study examines how a design brief is perceived and interpreted by designers with various levels of expertise in the educational and professional context of industrial design. The result suggests a tentative framework of formulating a design brief under a designer-centred approach, which illustrates how ‘design context’, ‘design expertise’ and ‘design brief formulations’ influence designers’ initial perceptions of design briefs. 

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Emotional Design for Hotel Stay Experiences: Research on Guest Emotions and Design Opportunities

Lo Pui Ying Kathy

2010

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Regarding the context of experience design and emotion-oriented design, this research aims to examine the emotions of hotel guests and their corresponding design opportunities in enhancing hotel stay experiences. An empirical study composed of a photo-elicitation and an in-depth interview was carried out with a focus on the hotel-evoked emotions of female business travellers. The study analyses (1) pleasant experiences, (2) unpleasant experiences, and (3) anticipated experiences by use of an analytical template based on appraisal theory in psychology, enumerative analysis, thematic analysis, coding, and memoing. The result suggests that small details serve as crucial elements that elicit guests’ emotions and differentiate guests’ experiences. This study argues that ‘design’ can influence guest experiences and evoke pleasant guest emotions and proposes a model that clarifies the relationships between hotel offerings, design emphases, guest emotions, and guest perception. This thesis contributes to relative aspects of design, including sustainability, emotions and customisation of hotel stay experiences.

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Transnational Consumer Culture and Middle-class Professionals: An Ethnographic Account of Consumption and Identity in Post-reform China 

Jacqueline Tse-Mui Elfick

2009

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Many young professionals aspire to link themselves with a transnational consumer culture, as they believe that it invokes a certain social status and sophistication. The thesis investigates the relationship between consumption and urban middle-class identity formation in mainland China, which examines the consumption practices and class in post-reform China. The study argues that there are insufficient theories which explicate the interrelationship between consumption practices and sociology theories. Utilising the findings from an empirical study in Shenzhen, this research consists of three objectives. The first is to study the interconnections between consumption and the construction of urban middle-class identity. The second is to examine the movements of consumer goods and how the narratives of transnational capitalism are experienced at the local level. The third is to describe some of the key consumption practices associated with urban middle class life. This thesis provides an ethnographic account that examines the role of consumption practices and narratives of transnational capitalism in constructing urban middle-class identity. 

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A Design Methodology for an Emotional Interface 

Sylvia Assenova Tzvetanova

2008

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Positive emotions can increase creativity which is being increasingly considered in product design as an important attribute of designs. This research aims to develop a design methodology for an emotional interface, where the interface can recognise the user’s emotions and respond with changes in its design to support a positive emotional state. This research aims to develop a framework for an adaptive interface, which supports users with positive emotion-eliciting elements. This research combines expertise in graphic design, interaction design, web design, human psychology, and cognition to identify the design model of emotional appraisal in graphic interfaces. The methodology of the thesis combines several design research practices, in which qualitative research is conducted in the form of interviews with design experts. Results are demonstrated and evaluated by visualising emotional scenarios, which shows that users find the interface designed according to the model more acceptable than a user-friendly plain interface.

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A Computational Kernel for Supporting Generative and Evolutionary Design 

Chan Kwai Hung

2008

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Many conventional studies on evolutionary design do not support multiple representations of design objects at different abstraction levels, which are essential for exploring design solutions incrementally and evolutionarily. To overcome this, a computational kernel based on a Generative and Evolutionary Design (GED) model is developed to establish design supporting system applications. This study focuses on three crucial aspects of this kernel: 1) modelling design object and design process in a generative and evolutionary manner within an integrated computational platform; 2) adapting and capturing the knowledge of how design objects are generated within this platform; and 3) enhancing the exploration ability of generative and evolutionary design applications with the use of several different evolutionary and generative computing techniques. Three examples of applying the GED kernel to design tasks are tested and evaluated. The results suggest adopting the kernel as the core architecture of computational design systems to support generative and evolutionary design applications, with improved generative, explorative, and adaptive ability to produce potential design solutions effectively and efficiently.

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An Agent-based Framework to Support Collaborative Product Design

Wang Jianxun

2007

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Collaborative design creates added value in the product development process by combining the benefits of teamwork and cooperation in a concurrent manner. However, the effectiveness and success of collaborative design are undermined by the difficulties arising from the differences between heterogeneous system architectures and information structures. This thesis investigates the requirements of collaborative product design and proposes a new agent-based framework to support collaborative product development by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the management and coordination of collaborative product design processes. Based on the investigation of a collaborative design process, a new framework for collaborative design is proposed. It adopts an agent-based approach and relocates designers, systems, and supporting agents in a unified knowledge representation scheme for collaborative product design. A prototype system is implemented, and design experiments are carried out with the prototype system to validate the feasibility and applicability of the system. These design experiments demonstrate how the proposed framework improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the management and coordination of a collaborative product design process.

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The Development of Parametric Shape Grammars Integrated with an Interactive Evolutionary System for Supporting Product Design Exploration

Lee Ho Cheong

2007

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This thesis describes the development of an interactive system that uses parametric 2D and 3D shape grammars which incorporate an evolutionary algorithm for exploring product forms at the early stage of the design process. To enhance the generative capability of shape grammars to support product design, this research focuses on two issues: 1) the development of a systematic approach to the formulation of shape grammars combining 2D and 3D forms; and 2) extending the generative capability of product design support systems which use shape grammars. This study argues that shape grammar rules modified by the genetic code scripts of an evolutionary method define a new combination of shape features for alternative designs. The research methodology reported in this thesis follows the analytical study of shape grammars and product forms with the development of new computational representations for the integration of evolutionary methods with shape grammars. The results conclude the applicability of shape grammars for real product design and indicate several strategies with which this research can be further advanced for complex design and visualisation in product design.

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Design Participation Tactics: Involving People in the Design of Their Built Environment

Lee Yanki Cecilia

2007

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This thesis documents a process of rethinking user participation in the design of the urban built environment, and investigates options for the roles of architects and designers as generators and facilitators of design processes that enable designing with people. This research investigates the tactical knowledge of participation in design and explores how architects and designers’ knowledge can be shared and developed with non-experts. The theoretical discourse of this study centres on Henri Lefebvre’s distinction between the ‘abstract space’ of designers and the ‘concrete space’ of people and day-to-day life in spatial practice. This dialectic model of space was developed as an analytical tool to define, understand and re-appropriate the term ‘participation’ in the environmental design field. This study contributes through a critical assessment of different practices of Design Participation and further defines the term ‘participation’ within the greater social context. The pursuit of increasing user participation in the design process implies a realignment of designers’ roles from producing objects, environments, and systems to that of facilitating innovative collaboration and creating platforms for social inclusion in design practice.

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Towards Capturing Aesthetic Intent of Design in an Interactive Evolutionary System Using Neural Networks

Gu Zhenyu

2006

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This thesis reports an interactive system that uses an evolutionary algorithm, incorporating an artificial neural network for improving the aesthetic appeals of design. Evolutionary algorithms have been used in computer-aided design systems for generating desirable images or 3D forms. These systems use human subjective evaluations and selections instead of objective fitness functions to control the evolution, referred to as the Interactive Evolutionary Systems (IES). However, the IES approach involves a process that may become unendurable and exhaustive for several reasons. The thesis proposes an approach to use a neural network in conjunction with an IES to obtain a smoother evaluation function to address these problems. Furthermore, the proposed framework uses an artificial neural network to learn from the designer’s preferences to produce designs that the designer most likely prefers. A learning mechanism in an evolutionary design process contributes to the formulation of the aesthetic intent of a designer in terms of an approximated fitness function for shortening the tedious and lengthy process of human evaluation and selection involved in an IES. 

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A Design Method and Computational Architecture for Generating and Evolving Building Designs

Patrick Hubert Theodoor Janssen

2005

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This thesis aims to contribute to the development of a practical evolutionary design approach, which allows a design team to evolve designs that they find surprising and challenging. Due to several fundamental problems, the evolutionary approach has had limited success in evolving complex designs' overall configuration and organisation. This thesis presents an overall framework that supports such an evolutionary design approach, and investigates and proposes how these problems can be overcome in regard to building design. The proposed generative evolutionary design framework consists of two parts: a design method and a computational architecture. The feasibility of the proposed generative evolutionary design framework is supported by a demonstration of encoding the design schema. Additionally, the generative process is used to define generative rules and representations implemented as a set of programs. These programs are then used to generate a population of three-dimensional building design models, thereby allowing the character and variability of the designs to be verified.

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A Framework for Supporting Generative Product Design Using Genetic Algorithms

Jian Sun

2002

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This thesis investigates the application of generative and evolutionary techniques in computer-aided product design, aiming to create a computer model of a generative evolutionary product design process for conceptual design. This research focuses on developing a computer model of a generative and evolutionary design. A prototype system is implemented to support designers at the conceptual design stage. The study addresses several significant issues through the implementation of a generative and evolutionary system in product design, which includes: (1) the identification of two cyclically linked stages in the design process as formative construction and design development, (2) the implementation of a prototype which tests the effectiveness of the data structures and the genetic algorithms, and (3) the computational methods and representations of applying genetic algorithms to product design. The result shows the capability to generate a wide range of solutions based on initial design requirements specified by designers, and with the support of genetic algorithms and the knowledge formulated as the concepts of the rudiments and formatives. 

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The Practice of Everyday Space: The Reception of Planned Open Space in Hong Kong

Siu Kin Wai Michael

2001

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The Hong Kong government has continuously set up strategies and plans, and sought authority through legislation to control city space. This study explores the role of city users and their interaction with the space in which they live by analysing Hong Kong people's perception of planned open spaces. The findings illustrate that the city’s open space does not run exactly according to what the government anticipates under its planning and control. Simultaneously, users are not free to operate in the open space without facing any constraints. The findings also show that it is not appropriate to presuppose that the government, and users of open space, are in binary dichotomous opposition. Finally, based on the theoretical discussions and empirical findings, and by illustrating some practical project experiences in user-oriented research and design, this study emphasises that we should respect city users’ ways of living by conducting more in-depth empirical studies. Moreover, the design or redesign of open spaces requires a participatory process where the eventual users, or representatives of the same, are involved in the design process.

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The Image of Beauty - Representations of Female Beauty: With Reference to Contemporary Women’s Magazines in Hong Kong

Leung Yuet Mei Sharon

2000

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This research provides a critique of female beauty images as portrayed in contemporary women's magazines in Hong Kong. The research identifies the characteristics of female beauty as represented in women's magazines in Hong Kong. It investigates factors affecting them by testing the applicability of Western cultural theories whilst establishing a theoretical framework pertinent to the cultural context of Hong Kong. The research explores the interaction between images of beauty and the actual situation of Hong Kong women. A comparative approach is adopted for integrating different theories and concepts, within which ‘images of female beauty' are treated as the problem, women's magazines, the case, and the paradigm of ‘beauty', the central topic of study. The study results construct a theoretical framework relevant to Hong Kong, which establishes systematic theories on traditional Chinese female beauty. The thesis also makes observations on the new eclectic images of female beauty emerging in Hong Kong, which reflect the unique cultural representations as well as the new attributes embodied in the looks of everyday women.

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