The mini-charrette addressed how we, as designers, can create an experience through a product/service that will make the time period between receiving your acceptance letter and orientation a meaningful time rather than a time where nothing occurs.
The charrette brief however is slightly altered. The brief is as follow:
“…the current approach to the first year experience in CIF remains similar to those in other faculties and universities. Thus we seek new ways to further enrich and improve the first year experience in CIF that take advantage of the unique opportunities it has…”
A key underlying theme of the mini charrettes was the idea of an app. Although each idea varied from one another, it was clear that this was a security blanket for many of the presentations.
As a team, we decided that we should think outside of the box and create a product/service that is original and creates a unique experience for the user.
We individually brainstormed and came up with individual ideas before we collaborated with each other. These ideas were: a box with a symbolic item within to share with the cohort, an exhibition specifically for first year students, an app letting you know of special events specific to the CIF, our original app idea with improvements, and a room similar to a “seniors room” for CIF students to study and collaborate in.
After sharing and discussing with the group, it was clear that the idea of the box was unique and an experience that can allow people to come together in a way that is easy and not forced.
We came together as a group to further develop the idea. The collaboration helped in a way that:
- Group members thought about questions the audience would ask helping improve the service
- We discussed the practicality of making “bulky” boxes, this is where the idea of having flat packs was given
- Spoke about how this is reinforced and how everyone has to contribute
Through group discussion, this helped refine the idea and develop a service that creates an experience where everyone is involved.
Once presented to Jaz Choi, it was clear that the service we were providing, although was an original and clever idea, needed something more to make this experience not just stop at the stage of: giving and receiving the box.
The whole point of this brief is to create an experience that allows people to make connections and community and can be carried through their university learning experience.
Brainstorming take two
Once again, the group individually thought of ideas of how we can improve the service and product to create an experience that will help students to engage in learning and create important connections vital for design as it is common to collaborate throughout their career.
The following list are the suggestions made to improve this experience:
- First year exhibition showcasing their own individual work
- A continuation of the memento boxes (having weekly tasks where the boxes are distributed through the cohort, similar to a “pen pal”)
- Creating a workshop where students make something out of the item they receive
Through Google Hangouts, phone calls, Facebook group inbox and meetups, the group was able to discuss the ideas we had. The first and third dot point seemed to gain a lot of attention and through discussion, we combined the two ideas. This is where we create an experience where:
- Student receives ID and flat pack box
- Student reads instructions to flat pack box and makes box
- Student finds and item important to them, places item in box, and writes three key words in which this item means to them
- Student signs up to particular tutorial/workshop to exchange and receive a box
- Student has tools and crafts to create an art piece that contains the received memento
- Student uploads image to social media, hash tagging the provided links
- Students pins art work to the exhibition at The Block
- Student receives a piece of string to attach their work created to their own memento found in another’s work
Within the group, it was very difficult to be able to collaborate and meet up with one another due to outside commitments like that of work, social events and other tutorial/lecture schedules.
Studies have shown that through using social media in the workplace for communication, it is a vital tool to be able to allow all team members to be informed. (Seo Chat, 205) By having a place where people can refer back to, rather than having conversations where it is a temporary form of communication, social media is a place of archiving conversation.
Group chats were had on Google Hangouts and individual phone calls. The conversation that was had, was then relayed into the group conversation so everyone was on the same page for the charrette.
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