1. How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
There were things that definitely occurred to each of us about the situation of being in a doctor’s waiting room, or seated in an airplane that came from being more bodily involved in the thinking process. Particularly with the airplane example, as physically mimicking the discomfort and challenges of dealing with typical cattle-class seating brought back memories for most of us of things we would want to have changed in the design of that space.
2. Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through bodystorming? In what way?
Despite being a bit challenged by the process, our group did make some refinements in the design ideas we had through the bodystorming exercise. Perhaps it was the discomfort of the exercise itself which helped us think more clearly about the benefits of a privacy screen in the airline travel situation!
3. What was difficult or challenging about bodystorming?
Materials made it difficult to bodystorm some of our ideas for the airplane travel scenario – we had some promising ideas for seating, but there wasn’t any way we could come up with to organize the physical space/objects in the classroom in a way that was particularly helpful for thinking those particular ideas through. With the waiting room scenario, bodystorming worked quite a bit better for us, as reasonable material analogues for the objects were ready to hand.Socially, it was a bit challenging to do bodystorming with a group of relatively unfamiliar people – as we worked in goups with people we hadn’t worked with before. For most people without a performing background, the ‘improv’ nature of these exercises are probably a bit difficult to get into at first – particularly those that required being right up against other bodies, as in airline travel.
4. Does bodystorming lend itself to certain types of problems?
Absolutely, I would say. Just from the two scenarios we worked with this week, it seems clear that there are some design problems that lend themselves quite well to this approach. More large-scale material interactions – like the construction of airline seating – appear to be more difficult to approach in this way. Although with the right props available, that scenario would also be quite useful to ‘bodystorm’.