DFA Prototyping Workshop 2013 Summer Session

Ideation Space
Ideation Space

I led another prototyping workshop for this Summer’s Design for America teams. As usual, the teams were full of energy and great ideas. This session’s teams were taking on the following issues:

  • Improving literacy among younger children
  • Helping people with dementia stay engaged and attentive
  • Helping young homeless people keep from losing important personal items like their ID, Social Security cards, etc.

I was there to help the teams move from brainstorming to expressing their ideas in more tangible forms. I wanted them to come away from the afternoon with an understanding that “prototyping” is more than just making things, but a whole new way of communicating.

Each team had very different visions amongst their members as to how they could address their constituency’s problems. By the end of the afternoon all the teams had something visceral they can now take to people and validate.

The team working on literacy are working on ideas that focus on frequency of reading versus amount. The concept is that increasing the number of chances a kid gets to read will work better than trying to find longer stretches in their day to read longer forms.

The team working with people who suffer from dementia are looking for ways to improve engagement. The idea is to stave off bored and monotony which often leads to withdrawal the start of a long irreversible slide downward.

The last team is addressing a common issue among young homeless people – they’re constantly getting important personal items stolen like their ID. Without these items, it’s almost impossible for them to do things like get a job or things that would help them get ahead.