XII. Block Busting

Willetta Wisely, Catherine Wang, Catherine Yochum, Gabriel Winter Clark

Block busting Activities

During the in-class block busting exercises, the most memorable exercise was designing experiences/objects that lacked the assumed necessary components. For example, one of the teams deemed heat important for a toaster, and then later on they had to design a toaster that didn’t use heat! These exercises allow us to realize the many assumptions we have towards designing new products or services and pushes us to be more creative with our approaches. Something that we deemed essential to a design may just be something that we carried over from preceding designs and wasn’t something we deeply considered before including.

As a side note, Catherine Y. was able to bring that same exercise into her thesis workshop about designing utensil washing stations. Catherine W. and Nicole determined that running water was an essential component of a washing station but then were later tasked to design a station without running water. Alternative fun methods such as wipes or washing robots came up, which were never considered before that specific exercise occured.

Block busting Miro board

Our block busting miro board allowed us to revisit our own ideas using different approaches and perspectives through interesting prompts. Because we have been working with these ideas of sustainability for quite a while, we had to break some of the assumptions and expectations that we generated through this long process. For example, one of the stereotypes of acting sustainable is that it restricts people and make them unhappy.

Through this exercise, we were forced to come up with counter points that made us think: how can we make sustainable action something enjoyable and flexible? Maybe you can keep the stamp collections that you treasure and focus on other areas of sustainability and we can also design an experience that in itself has points of fulfillment/gratification.

Our exploration with senses also allowed us to explore a broad range of ideas. For example, with food and food waste we have always been focused on the grocery shopping experience or quantities. However, we can also think about how tasty a homecooked meal is and the fulfillment that comes with learning a new recipe! This way, the sustainable action starts at the store and then goes in the kitchen, making it one continuous learning experience. As we solidify our scenarios, we will continue to think about continuous experiences and reminding ourselves not to stop at awkward points where a learner hasn’t enjoyed the fruits of their labor yet.

Through the sense of sound, we also came up with interesting ways that our audience can interact with our experience. For example, if we are designing an app or website, we can use ambient noises during our scenario building to create an immersive experience. We can also subliminally categorize different scenarios and sustainable action using different sounds. Finally, as a form of reflection, perhaps people can record voice memos when they are in the process of changing their behavior to something more sustainable so that other users of the app/website can understand how the process was like and use it as an anecdotal learning resource.

Moving Forward

In our next steps, our team will be focused on making our learning experience more concrete. Specifically, we want to finalize the content of what we are teaching, since for class we have been working in a majority abstract realm where we’ve been finalizing our overall learning goals. Some content that we want to finalize include: number of scenarios, what are the different decision points in each scenario, how often this experience is done over a month/year, and many others. We want to move away from the inner/lighter circle of the 4MAT Diagram and focus more on the outer/darker circle.

With more concrete content, we believe we can think more about how to organize all the information we have and create an interactive flow between different stages of our experience.

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