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



This project has improved my professional skills in the expertise of Design Research Processes. This project started with different literature reviews and exploring several methodologies and theories for doing research. I have learned to use a design as a research tool to gather qualitative data from participants. This Research Through Design project has enhanced my knowledge and skills in using different methodologies such as Lab, Field, and Showroom [1]. Comparing with the other two methodologies (lab and field), I can see the inspiration power of the showroom approach. When my design vision is to develop designs for the wellbeing of human psychology, the showroom can be an ideal choice to evoke people’s awareness of these social problems and even arouse the discussion about exploring the possible solutions. Moreover, the preparation process of debate also reminded me that designers should always keep critical thinking.
+ Design Research Processes
+ Creativity & Aesthetics



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


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