Two months ago, I’ve started a Master’s Degree in Digital Media Management at Hyper Island. This adventure takes place in a city known for its marvelous weather, Manchester. Next to the university, our building functions as a yoga centre and even a michelin star restaurant. It has been quite a journey so far and the weeks fly by like migration birds in autumn. In this read I aim to give you a little tour through my recent thoughts on this experience.
I started this Master’s Degree in Digital Media Management more than a month ago with some theory about Experiential Learning.
“Experiential Learning is the process of learning new skills, knowledge, behaviors and attitudes through active reflection after the experience itself.” — Hyper Island, Experience Based Learning
An approach that emphasizes learning by doing, reflection and experimentation. A great example to experience this theory was the so called marshmallow challenge. In groups we got the challenge to construct a high tower with spaghetti, tape and a marshmallow on top. Due bad communication it was a pale shadow of the tower of Pisa and collapsed immediately. We got the chance to reflect on what happened and build the tower again. We didn’t win the challenge, but our teamwork improved. Tell me something and I will be able to repeat it, but let me experience it and I will understand.
Hyper Island doesn’t have ‘teachers’, but instead ‘facilitators’ that guide us through these six months. After a few days I realized that I have the full responsibility for my own learning experience. It is up to myself what I take out of this year and even more important, how I reflect on my acts and behaviour to be capable of changing them for the good.
So embrace ‘do’, and also don’t be afraid to work with your hands. According to Andy Young the future belongs to the ones willing to get their hands dirty. Andy was our industry leader for the design thinking course last month and refreshed my mind on this topic with a brief introduction on the design thinking process and its tools.
Let’s talk about prototyping. According to IDEO “Prototypes are representations of a design made before final artifacts exist.” By testing your idea with people, you may receive feedback that can help you to refine your prototype. So do something, make a simple construction of materials and don’t use more than you need to show the product or service. And do it quick, the faster you fail the better.
This is not only a method that is used in a design process, but in your everyday life. If you spend an evening cooking a meal, you are prototyping. After trying out, you realize that your delicious meal taste like nothing. In order to change this you could add some salt or herbs.
In this case your meal is a prototype. but what happens when we put ourself in the prototype spiral? Basically I am nothing more than a prototype of myself of 23 years ago. As a baby you are born as a white canvas, ready to be painted in the colours of life. Everything you do or experience will define what type of person you are or will become.
“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the people you meet and the conversations you engage in. You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life.”
— Jac Vanek
At this moment I am nothing more than the experiences I’ve had so far. I encourage myself and others to experience as much new things as possible and to feel and reflect what this means for you, your prototype. Therefore I don’t think it matters who the best and strongest prototype is, as long as you try to become a better prototype of yourself.