Value Conflict [BZ5]

Ideation is something that Is totally affect by diversity. If in a group everybody has the same point of view there will be no discussion and no sharing of values form different profession.  I our ideation process we discussed a lot about the what should have been our design concept because  each of us was caring more of some aspect. All this aspect must be included in the project to get a god and reasonable project. There was who was caring more of the value and selling point, maybe because she was supposed to write the business plan of the project…  There was who was thing about the technological aspect and how our shapes can fit with an Ipad… and in the end there was three industrial designer  that where only pointing to that the project was an object. All this different point of view, also if maybe driven by mere practical purpose, brought to the concept such a good complexity and interesting values that was difficult they would have come out from a mono-disciplinary group.

As example I’m posting the summary of the name ideation in which there was people that wanted to be strong and remarkable but in the same time someone bring the fear to not be professional with some names. Or the possibilities that the name was totally not liked with the values of the project.

Df

The Ideation Pressure Gauge

[AZ5]

The ideation process is thrown into overdrive when we are given a deadline. It seems as though time restraint is the rocket that fuels the creative process. At the beginning of the project it seemed we had a lot of time to develop the concept, prototypes and pitches but as time flies and the closer to the deadline we get, the more easily solutions present themselves. Things that just seemed like fleeting ideas and passing comments at the beginning of the project are getting rehashed with new clarity and in a way that now make sense. It seems that everything has come full circle. All the ideation and brainstorming that previously look place and seemed like a chaotic dust of ideas has now settled into a beautifully put together puzzle. We have been testing our concept on a variety of users, from instigators and facilitators to our end users with only slight changes needing to made. Having conducted so much empathy work at the beginning and feeding back our ideas to all stakeholders along the way, has put us in a position where ideation and brainstorming quality has increased yet time in doing so has dramatically reduced. Ideation sessions that used to last hours are now done in a fraction of the time with better results generated.

Having all your ducks in a row before you start and then putting clearly defined restrictions on deliverables increases the productivity and effectiveness of each session. Another technique we have introduced into our sessions is that once we feel we have a good concept, we bounce the idea off some unsuspecting person who is not involved in the project  giving them minimal information to try to get them to pick holes in the concept which we then try to patch up. Having this fresh set of eyes and ears gives you a whole new perspective on the problem and allows you to assess the issues that you had previously over looked. When we come to a road block on our project, we try to look at the issue through the back door as opposed to the front door. This gives us another perspective and tends to generate fresh and insightful thought. Selecting ideas that are worth pursuing is not a random selection but a careful selection of key concepts that keep popping up in each session. These ideas can often be overlooked which is why documenting and relooking over old sessions is so valuable. One of our concepts that was thrown into the mix at the beginning as a prototype, was put onto the back burner as we could not seen how it added value to our system or could even be put into practice. This concept has now been developed into a working prototype that has been tried and tested on users with great success.

 Ideation has many different forms and stages. Some stages need pressure added to the mix and others need to be massaged to maturity. Identifying what is needed at a particular stage of the ideation process is key.

 

Trial and Error Communication

[CX4]

Communication is greatly affected when the environment changes or when a project has developed to a point of inception. In a classroom environment, communication is more analytical than when we are in a social environment when communication is much more open and free flowing.

When we have been discussing our prototype and what we want to produced, state change is a big factor and one that changes the way we communicate. We have gone through a whole list of things we want to test in our prototyping, from what we want to communicate to how we intend on getting people involved to what our prototype will demonstrate. We first started with breaking down our point of view to the core components and underlying messages. We tried to look at our project from all angles. Our first message is to try and demonstrate how networks are useful and how strengthening communication channels improved these networks. Communicating these problems from different perspectives was a major breakthrough in coming up with possible scenarios. We tried to use all our senses to uncover different outcomes such as writing, talking, listening, drawing and role playing to come up with possible solutions but they were all pretty mediocre solutions so we moved outside. Once we moved outside our thinking become much more open and our communication followed suit. We were able to take fragments of each other’s ideas and link them with each other. We were no longer solution focus but more outcome focused which allowed us to progress.

The length of time working together has also allows team members to become more comfortable and aware of communication differences. Time also allows everyone to find their feet and their preferred place in the team. Being comfortable and aware of your environment allows creativity to flow and experimentation becomes easier when the fear of failure is not an issue.

Throughout the project our communication channels have really opened up and we are now able to communicate through channels which previously created barriers. Our face to face meeting are now more productive and have actually decreased in length. At the beginning of meetings we discuss outcomes for the meetings, write them down and then cross them off when they have been addressed. Everyone has clear deliverables, with specified timeframes and channels in which to deliver them with work split according to people’s strengths and skill sets.

Due to the large number of people in our team, effective communication has been difficult. Though experimenting with different forms of communication this has greatly improved our effectiveness. Our team communication is by no means perfect but through adaptability and flexibility we been able to progress through the varying stages of design thinking and make it work.

 

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.

Mixing to Symbolise

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[BY3]

Being in a diverse team is not what you would say foreign for me, I have worked with designers and creative’s much of my professional life but a team as diverse as this takes it to a whole new level.  Architects, engineers, IT developers all think and communicate on a completely different level.  Words have different meanings, there are completely new words and the use of abstract metaphors has taught me a way of thinking I didn’t even know existed.  Some of the time I am totally unaware of what people are talking about and often need words and or phases to be translated into a language that I understand, and often I need what I am saying translated for others.

One great challenge has been generating ideas and concepts that everyone understands and agrees upon. Quite often an idea is expressed and described and everyone thinks that it’s a great idea, until the other person puts the idea into their own words and expresses it in their own way, that they soon realise that they have two completely different ideas in their heads.

We have used a huge range of concepts to extract ideas to try to represent them. Everything from role plays, diagrams, sketch’s, sounds, food, metaphors, you name it.  They all have their own place and can be interpreted in their own way. What we have found is that if one way fails to explain what you are trying to represent then try a different route and keep experimenting with alternatives until you are both on the same page.

One thing we have used time and time again is the building of ideas. Most of the ideas we have had are not actually full ideas when we start, but part of an idea. We see this as a good thing and try to encourage each other to express even part of an idea and then build on that idea in an unbiased direction. We mash these parts of ideas together and see what comes of it. Sometimes we come up with nothing and sometimes we come up with something great. It is this mashing of ideas and concepts that have given us our biggest breakthroughs.

Trying to demonstrate the building of networks into something physical has been a real challenge. We have tried using ropes and boxes, we have tried using photos and words but it has been in the drawing that we have had the most success. Whenever someone is trying to explain how the new prototype idea is going to work it always comes to light for everybody when the person draws it or uses some type of prop. Architects have used spaces, engineers have used computers, designers have used mock ups and business people have used wallets.  Whether the model is a pair of salt and pepper shakers or nuts from a tree in some ones backyard, it seems to always make sense when the person trying to explain uses an object that is familiar to everyone that the penny finally drops.

How people describe abstract ideas varies from person to person, profession to profession and from culture to culture. Being in such a diverse team allows members to expand their knowledge and develop skills of representation that works across a variety of levels.

The Art of Communtelling

 

[AX1]

Communication is altered through the varying stages of intensity. The way we speak, act, gesture and interact is much different when we stressed, excited, relaxed or sad. We have gone through pretty much all of these stages of intensity throughout this project and the communication has changed along the way. At the beginning of the project we were all in the teething and getting to know each other stage which often makes people watch what they say and how they say it, their body language is a little more reserved and upa tight and people tend to just use spoken forms of communication . Story telling takes on a slightly different form in the first few weeks as the stories people tell are more focused around themselves and their experiences. This is a great way to get to know someone and to begin to paint a holistic picture of them. The atmosphere at the start of a project is also more relaxed, which again effects communication, due to the long lead times

Each person’s perception of communication is interpreted differently; things such as slang and industry terminology have completely different meanings to some people and often, in the early stages, people do not know in what context the person is speaking. All members of our team have used a wide variety of communication to get their point across. Some use hand gestures, some doodle on paper, some stick things on walls, some are obsessed with post its, some use obscure metaphors, some act it out like they are on stage in Broadway and some use other people to translate, even though we are all apparently speaking the same language . Everyone has their own way of telling stories and communicating and as the project has developed, members learn how to communicate in a way others can better understand.

As time has gone by, we have become more comfortable with each and are more aware of the way we interact as a team and as individuals. This has allowed us to extend our thinking and go on experiential journeys with each other and come up with concepts and ideas that are so far from where we started, but so on track, it’s amazing.

Through empathy interviews we have learned a whole new level of understanding of how to communicate with people of all backgrounds and in varying situations on an even playing field. This has been possible by listening to their stories as stories allow us to visualise what they mean.

Changing to a non classroom environment, allowed us to relax and tell stories in a different way. Being in an a non- pressurised environment changed our head space and the way we communicated with each other which enhanced creativity, gave us room to think outside the box and generate new ideas. When we were getting stuck on things in the studio we would often move the park, the pub or somewhere with a nice view to spark a new interest and put a nice twist on things. This often cooled down situations when intensity started to build or we felt like we were not moving forward.

We often become so blinkered and our thoughts so channelled that we miss vital thoughts and ideas. On the flip side of the coin, a break of communication, every now and then, also lead to increased productivity and creativity as it allow all parties to step away from the intensity of the situation and look at the project as a whole.

Through non traditional communication channels we have managed to creatively construct a concept that we never thought was possible. I have learned to communicate in ways that I never thought possible. Things such as building prototypes, elevator pitching and working with people from architecture, design and engineering have opened my mind and have given me a whole new perspective on the art of communicating and storytelling

Stream of Consciousness [AX4]

Communications is something always different, it change according to the situations and with whom are u speaking. Working is group for a design project require a lot of time in meeting, this means that you will spent hours communicating, repeating and repeating the same stuff more than one time. You will speak not only about the project, but the most of the time is spent speaking about funny episode that someone had done the times before. With this intensity of work u will learn to understand what people is going to say before he open his mouth or you will start using the expressions often used by your mates. Especially in group has our, where everybody is an expat and the funny error in communication do not lack. In this situation is very likely that if you don’t know the name or the translation of something you will just start calling in a way, that obviously  if totally far from the original meaning, but doesn’t matter because the others in the group will understand and they will use the same word to express the same meaning. That will be the word to express something. This magic formation of language is only possible thanks the intensity that allow the generation of the right climate to let bloom a new language.  The inconvenient part of the intensity in communication is that it does not give u the occasion to check what you say or write as I’m doing in this blog.