The first part of Module 1 is appropriately titled “The Challenges”. I knew this subject would be engaging, inspiring and potentially make my brain spin – but I may have underestimated the effects.
The readings and subject notes raise a number of issues, and require a substantial amount of brain processing time, hence the time taken between setting up the blog for INF536 and now.
Considering the concepts of posture, surface, ambience and density (Witthoft & Doorley, 2011), in conjunction with the physical and budgetary constraints in which we operate, has been both uplifting and frustrating. The excitement of thinking about vertical surfaces in addition to horizontal, and a broad range of seating, standing room, group and individual space has led to much re-evaluation of what is possible.
The jump from reading about the variety of challenges, while still working on understanding the definitions, to a practical application, was not as difficult as I first thought it would be. It also gave me an opportunity to present an issue to the Library team (and an English teacher who fortuitously walked in during the action) and involve them in some of the processes which have formed part of our reading investigations.
In this case the first stage, the needfinding stage, (Seidel & Fixson, 2013) found us, rather than us designing or brainstorming to define a need. The brainstorming occurred in parallel with the prototyping, and the time allowed was defined in that we had a spare half hour between meetings and required a solution for the next day.
The space before our solution was implemented looked like this and offered 21 seats including the one usually occupied by the teacher: (it’s the one with the arms on the far left).
This is how the reading area has traditionally appeared.
The process we followed was:
The result has been well received by almost everyone, with the most enthusiastic being the students (even the older students who can be conservative about changes to their space!). As each class has come in for a lesson, the seats in the middle of the space have been first occupied. There has only been one negative comment, from a Mathematics teacher who was taking a reading class for an absent teacher. He thought the students had been messing things up! He condoned the change once I explained that we had done it and why.
The dangerous thing is that we are now looking to move some other items around – and for those we will need the workmen!
Seidel, V., & Fixson, S. (2013). Adopting Design Thinking In Novice Multidisciplinary Teams: The Application and Limits of Design Methods and Reflexive Practices. Journal Of Product Innovation Management, 30, 19-33.
Witthoft, S., & Doorley, S. (2011, November 7). Cultivating innovative behavior using design. TEDxManhattanBeach. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqjXs0fNxYQ
Photographs are my own with the exception of the “before photo” which has been copied from The College website: www.hamiltoncollege.vic.edu.au and was taken by our official photographer, Liz Crothers.