Ideation, Diversity and Dumplings





“The classroom glowed like a sweet shop. Sugar Paper. Coloured shapes.”

In Mrs Tilscher’s Class, Carol Ann Duffy

With exhaustion starting to set in, it was every man for himself in the campus coffee room on Wednesday morning; nothing like a double shot of espresso to warm the fingers in the cold, academic hallways of the Arts and Architecture faculty.

The room was ablaze with coloured post-it notes from the previous few days and it was great to have a space of our own, it made the process of ideation so much more fluid and satisfying.

We spent most of the day developing our concepts; compiling all of our empathy research and knowledge of the site, to create value propositions for our stakeholders.

The language and cultural barriers that were present during some of the looser design thinking exercises were bridged when we all worked on our value map; it was great to have all 6 of us working on the one piece of paper together. Our Ecopark was taking shape!

Another productive day at DUT was followed by a lecture from Jo (& team) about U.lab and its ecosystem. It was a great learning experience even for me and gave me a much deeper sense of what I was a part of. The lecture really brought home the diversity of our cultures but also the structure of education systems around the world and how U.lab is part of something really new and exciting.

A welcome early mark, gave us an opportunity to join groups and dine around one giant red table, with the biggest Lazy Susan I have ever seen. The meal was a stretch for some of us Aussies with lung and blood pate rotating around the table. If the food was a possible source of division, the antics that followed weren’t. Job decided that we should all indulge in some spontaneous singing and that got everyone laughing and joining in together. Ashily’s haunting Mongolian folk song, about the grass plains and wild horses, will stay with me forever. 


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