Week 3: Design for America Workshop

Learning About Human-Centered Design

The Design for America workshop kicked off by discussing the nature of design and the significant role design plays in developing new and innovative products. The workshop took our class through a series of stages in the design process that enabled us to come up with a creative solution to the problem of distracted driving. The unique structure of the process enabled us to really think through the multiple steps of solving a problem with a tangible solution. The experience was also coupled with various exercises that challenged us to think in abstract ways. However, the activities uniquely required us to produce something or create something, which is a specific method of thought that was necessary in order to effectively go through the entire workshop and devise a solution to the distracted driving problem.

Design Workshop

Explaining our web of ideas and concepts


Using Design Thinking in Making

This workshop taught us a wealth of skills that will translate directly in our work making and producing objects. The techniques we learned to lay out our ideas and processes that enable a cluster of thought to tangibly become an object will be incredibly useful for us in the coming weeks as we begin to make things in a variety of platforms. The workshop also stressed the need for rapid and iterative prototyping when coming up with a design. This will be crucial to understand in our making endeavors because we will likely be creating and printing many different kinds of prototypes before actually being able to have a finalized product or object.

Design Thinking and The Future

In the coming weeks, I will specifically be applying these principles to making practical, but creative objects that can leverage the customization aspect of digital making. I’m also very interested in learning more about the scope of Design for America and the different environments they conduct these workshops in. I think that learning these principles is immensely beneficial and I believe that they could easily be integrated within a variety of curriculums. Knowing how to take a cluster of ideas and transform them into a tangible solution is a skill that is only becoming increasingly more necessary in today’s dynamic and technology-filled economy. The need for innovative thinkers who can quickly and effectively come up with solutions that fix a problem we see around us is growing. Hopefully more workshops like these and courses like this will continue to arise to meet this widening demand.

One thought on “Week 3: Design for America Workshop

  1. I like it that you pointed out that the “distracted driving” case we dealt with in the workshop was first started ” abstract”, which requires some imagination by ourselves to find out the potential reasons of distracted driving and different ideas, but then it ended “specific”, where we narrowed down to a major problem and select one solid solution. In the workshop, it is necessary for us to go through this process to learn about design, however, it is worth pointing out that if we are dealing with real world cases, the situation will be quite different from the one we experienced in the workshop.

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