exercise 01: physical warmup
For this exercise, Kevin and I walked around the room and told each other nonsensical stories. One of us would talk and talk and talked while the other listened. The listener was then able to control the talker by saying directions such as repeat, continue, slow, fast or normal. This was a great way to get the mind flowing and responsive.
exercise 02: bodystorming
We got into groups of five and brainstormed ideas to address the problem of sleeping on planes. First we identified the various causes such as hard head rests and bad odours. We organised our information in two ways, in a table and a drawing. The table allowed us to quickly jot problems down that we discussed as a group. While the drawing enabled us to empathise with the user.
Additionally we then body stormed or acted out possible ideas which may solve the problem. In this way, we were able to explore the feasibility or practicalities of our ideas in real life and empathise with user on a deeper level. Body storming, with the aid of props, allowed us to quickly test ideas and realise the limitations or successes. In this way, we were able to quickly prototype the design and develop it to better suit the context. Furthermore, recreating the context of the plane – by tightly packing the chairs in rows – really shifted our focus on the design possibilities but more importantly constraints such as size, location etc.
Body storming is a technique I have never done before and I found this exercise incredibly effective in generating and developing ideas. The exercise would be good alone but best with others. I guess there are limitations with the exercise. Say I have never been on a plane before and was doing the exercise alone. However if I had never been on a plane before but was given this experience through the exercise, my idea generation and development would be better than if I only brainstormed. Or maybe the situation was harder to recreate such as a tsunami or volcano explosion. In each case, we would require more simulation, through moving walls or water etc., to truly recreate the experience. Furthermore, what if I was body storming by myself but my situation called for more than one person or thing – such as a full bus or being inside a lion enclosure? Thus the exercise would best suit some problems than others.
Through props, sketching and a live discussion, we were able to generate a very holistic solution.
r e f l e c t i o n
1/ How did physically acting out help to explore ideas?
2/ Did you refine your ideas and solutions to the problem through brainstorming? In what way?
3/ What was different or challenging about body storming?
4/ Does body storming lend itself to certain types of problems?
Please see all reflection points above.