It was a wonderful experience to lead the ‘designing future spaces’ workshop at the Symbiosis Institute of Design(SID) campus. The campus was full of colours and energy. Occassion : fundamental’2011, the annual festival of SID. The theme ‘circus of imagination’ seemed to have infected the entire campus. Bright colours, wacky graphics, and the catchy music, had transformed the surroundings into one spectacular old-school circus. The event was very well organized by a team of energetic and respectful students in black t-shirts.
I always believe in combining theory with practice. It is the only way to realize the value of time spent in learning anything. I devised the workshop into 4 sessions.
Introduction – Inspiration – Perspiration – Presentation
Team Assignment : “What it means to you ? “
Post lunch, it was time for design thinking. The task was to come-up a concept keeping in mind features of Corian® and one key attribute of future. The class was divided into 3 teams. The final presentation was a role-play.
Each team would get to be a presenter, customer, & critic in rotation.
I asked the students to start with mind-mapping of words which they believe reflects future. Then as a team decide on any one word (attribute). Afetr this, start conceptualizing in 2d, and then in 3d. The presenter team had just 4 minutes to sell their idea to the customer team. In next 3 minutes, the customer team would declare if they buy the idea or don’t, and also support their decision with reasons. Finally, the critic team shares its observations about the selling process in the next 3 minutes.
Team One : Futuristic key word – Interactivity
The team came up with an idea of a smart bath tub that not only illuminates but also indicates the temperature of water with the colour of light. This explores the translucent and morphological property of Corian®. The idea of furniture itself as a light source, and colour changing concept addresses usability aspects of a futuristic bathroom environment.
Team Two : Futuristic key word – Fludity
This team explored the seamless and flexible property of Corian® to create fluid monolithic forms. The inspiration was patterns created by flowing water to create a floating bar in the middle of pool. This is an interesting idea which seeks to create an expressive metaphorical space to create a unique use experience.
Team Three : Futuristic key word – Hi-performance
The team created a pod for relaxation and reading. The concept explores functional design in terms of an adaptable space with customizable lighting and acoustic setting.
I believe that, this is a great way to learn quickly from each other. All of us have to be in those 3 shoes in some time of our professional careers. But, unfortunately the current design education system emphasizes on presentation skills only. This might be one reason why designers might start assuming customer’s needs, without actually researching. Customer insight is something that separates a designer from an artist.
The workshop was very successful in pushing imagination and realizing ideas through a complete design-development-selling cycle. The participants were respectful, inquisitive, and innovative. These workshops are always a learning experience for me. It is truly a brilliant platform for exploring concepts and exchanging creative thoughts.
Acknowledgements : The success of this workshop was possible with the support from organizing team of fundamental, our Pune fabrication team –Mahavir Ent, and DuPont management. Special thanks goes to my dear friend Srikar, for coming all the way to attend the event and give his valuable inputs to the teams.