Learning one day at a time

#DesignForAmerica #DesignProcess #MakersForLife

Human-centered design is a new up and coming scene in which designers put into the account of the target user and design around that basis. In order to successfully produce a new product, one has to be able to identify the problem and the user to identify the situation at hand and then solve it utilizing creative problem-solving techniques. Limitless. This word accurately depicts the nature of our class session this week, where we participated in a lab led by the UIUC chapter of Design for America. Through a series of exercises, we were exposed to the processes and mindset behind ideation from a designer’s perspective.

In order to give us a look at their design process and put us in a Design For America mindset, they facilitated a class activity in which we were handed 3 cards at random. One card gave the demographic which the product which we were designing for, the next gave what it will be used for, and the last card a constraint for out design. One of the group’s challenge was to design a way to make music for adventurous preschoolers and the constraint was that it should grow. They interpreted the constraint, “it grows”, as that the object expands. Their team came up with an expandable “laptop”, where it had 3 folds, one had a screen, the middle had buttons in different colors and shapes, and the last fold had a piano keyboard and a xylophone. The buttons would make noises when pressed and the screen can show cute characters dancing on the screen. The piano and xylophone allow the child to have a physical thing they can play with to make noise in case they do not like digital sounds.

As written on the website of Chicago Architecture Foundation, “The Design Process is an approach for breaking down a large project into manageable chunks.”

Although our workshop with Design for America had us create unrealistic products, the same concepts hold true. Before you can come up with a design, you need to have a specific population and a specific problem to solve in mind.  As you design the product, it needs to be realistic and be able to be manufactured, and it needs to be profitable.  Fortunately for us, our access to the Maker Lab and CU Fab Lab allows to rapidly design, create, and test prototypes.  Regardless, It is important for us keep desirability, viability, and feasibility in mind throughout the entire process.

Now, it was time to make the logos for the groups. Just seeing the logos printing made all of us so excited for what the future holds for us. What can we all create from nothing? There are still so many questions we need to ask ourselves before coming up with our final ideas and designs. I look forward to figuring out what the final products will be through design thinking.

If you want to know a more in-depth experience of each individual you go to the ‘Week 3’ tab.





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