It Takes a Studio to Design a Car

In my first studio with the HCDE team, we tackled our first ever group Charrette process with the purpose of redesigning parts of a car’s dashboard interaction system. From the start, we were given paper and pen and tasked with coming up with as many possible users as we could think of, and then what kind of car we believed those users would drive to their desired destinations. All our small three person groups were then given one of the hypothetical users and instructed on how to go about redesigning and/or coming up with something new to improve those user’s driving experiences. First was simple brainstorming, then drawing out an interaction sequence chart, and finally iterating those thoughts into pictures for a short minute long presentation.

What I really enjoyed about my first experience with the Charrette process was the craziness of creativity my peers and I had during our short time. We were forced to just throw out any and all ideas we could find relevant to the task at hand, and it was enjoyable to be pushed in such a creative manor. The process in which we bounced ideas off one another and switched teams every so often, kept the result fresh and innovative, as it was exciting to see how every student interpreted each other’s work once they jumped in to a new project.

I can see myself using this Charrette process in a studio job in the future. I plan to apply to a design studio once I graduate, and being a part of a team getting a new task for a company undoubtedly needs an intense initial burst of creativity and design to get the project of the ground. Certain projects might include how to better the Keurig Coffee machine, improve a toasters capacity while conserving space, or maximizing a utility desk lamp for the busy college student hunched over a small dorm work space. Those are times when a team of designers would benefit from bouncing any idea they could imagine into the drop pot and culminating each one into the perfect product. The few times a Charrette might not be appropriate for the situation would be something like how to better childproof electricity outlets, or redesigning a stove top. Those are examples of things that already have a clearly defined purpose, but just need a critical upgrade to their operations.

All in all, the Charrette process I was immersed in for my first studio with the HCDE team was a fantastic and inspiring one that gave me an inviting taste into what the real design world is all about.


All images of GPS devices belong to Google Images


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