Constration Ideation

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Ideation has been a major part and the driving force of our project since day one. At beginning of the project, everything was so open and we just picked a subject out of thin air but we unknowingly put a restraint on it. We had 2 minutes to write down on a post it, an area that was of interest to us and that we wanted to work on. We pooled all our ideas together and the concept that was the most popular subject, Waste, was chosen.  The time restraint at this stage allowed us to move forward and move onto the next stage. We then brainstormed all the different types of waste and it was very interesting to hear everyone’s interpretation of waste: everything from garbage and landfill to talent and space. We were almost given too much rope to run with.

We were then given, the biggest and probably the most useful curveball of all, socially awkward people to focus our attention on. What were we meant to do with this and how were we suppost to link these two things together? Scratching our heads we decided to focus on one area to begin with, get that to a point we were happy with and then maybe we could bring them both together. At first this seemed like an impossible task.  So started with a clean slate, what are all the different types of socially awkward people and when do people feel socially awkward. We brainstormed, again with our 2 minute constraint, on people who are socially awkward, then times that are socially awkward, situations that were socially awkward and things that make us socially awkward. We must have had 500 post its on the wall. We stood back and assessed what we had just done and thought wow, what we have got ourselves into? How are we going to work through all this? The only way we could, was to put another constraint on and that was to pull out the most popular, reoccurring theme that kept coming through on everything. This theme was homeless people.

 It was not until we went out onto the street and started conducting empathy interviews that we truly started to progress in the right direction. It was through this state change of being out in the street with these people that allowed us to look at the world through their eyes. Every meeting up until that night was in an environment that we were comfortable in. We had been trying to solve the problem in the same way that everyone has been trying to solve this problem, in the comfort of a classroom, a boardroom, a home or a cafe. These environments were forcing us to look through rose tinted glasses and look at the problem from the outside in, when what we really needed to do was look at it from the inside out.

Changing to a non conventional environment allowed us to look at things in a different way. Being in the thick of it changed our perception and allowed us to think more clearly about the issue. We were all now thinking about it all the time. When we finally did come back into a structured environment, the solution on how to combine our two problems was staring us right in the face and we wondered how we had not seen it before. The process of being completely emerged in an environment and then being able to step out of that environment and look back on it gave us a feeling of clarity. We are far from compete, but will continue to impose constructive restraints as well as change environments when we feel we are getting bogged down and not moving forward as this is essential to ensuring ongoing progress.

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