For this exercise, the group I was a part of chose “Sleeping on an Airplane” as the design scenario. As a group we discussed ideas first – different problems related to air-travel – the physical environment inside an airplane, actors and elements that would cause issues, such as other passengers, noise, turbulence, light, staff activity and equipment, confined space etc.
1. How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
We came up with a number of small scenes to act out. Such as noisy passengers in nearby seats etc. After acting out several ideas, the observing member of our group commented and as a group, we discussed how we had felt and what we had noticed while bodystorming. As well as the physical and spacial elements, I noticed bodystorming is a helpful trigger for memory and emotion of related past experience. As all of the members of my group were frequent travellers, all members had anecdotes and comments to share about the problem.
2. Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? in what way?
As we discussed our ideas as one designer to another, sharing concepts, to actually be in the physical position of closely-stacked seating, as if we were in an airplane, was very helpful. To feel the actual confinement and restriction of movement in the small space, made it easier to describe with words and actions what we were imagining. So it helped, not only to consider the design, but also to communicate our ideas to one another. This led to a long and interesting discussion on seating arrangement design within aircraft, to which all group members actively contributed ideas.
3. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?
For this scenario, it wasn’t so difficult, it was helpful.
4. Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problem?
I think bodystorming helps illuminate and identify factors that may be unconscious or possibly thought to be insignificant – things we take for granted… This could be very useful for physical design problems that consider spacial or environmental factors, but also, so much more. So often, ‘set in stone’ ideas cripple new design, because they are taken as unchanging or absolute, but perhaps those things are no more absolute than any new constructs could be…. food for thought.