Fashion Icons to Arouse Debate about Privacy in Public Space


Constructive Design Research | Critical Design, qualitative data analysis

Team: Vera Hijkoop, Zhiping Zhang, Haoyu Dong, and Jing-cai Liu



Protection tools to protect personal data have been widely accepted in online communities. People have a tendency to reveal or conceal their data to protect their privacy in virtual spaces. However, even with the use of ubiquitous surveillance technology around public space, the awareness and the protection of privacy is still significantly lacking. With this research,  privacy protection items are explored and tested how individuals perceive them in public spaces. The team has designed a set of provocative privacy protection items while being introduced and tried in the city center of Eindhoven, it gives greater insight into personal privacy ethics. It appears that the need for privacy protection in public spaces is limited, however people believe it could be easily acknowledged as a fashion icon or a personal statement. Meanwhile, these items increased the awareness that will lead to critical thinking about public safety and privacy.


A series of data protection items are made as research probes to evoke a discussion among citizens in the center of Eindhoven.

User Test and Result Evaluation



1. Koskinen, I., Zimmerman, J., Binder, T., Redstrom, J., & Wensveen, S. (2011). Design research through practice: From the lab, field, and showroom. Elsevier.