Design Foundations

Design Process Crash Course

September 3rd 2021

One of our recent challenges in design foundations was the design process crash course. For this challenge we practiced skills to effectively design for others.

Day Graph

At the beginning of this exercise, my partner and I were instructed to draw a line graph of our days. The X axis represented the current time of day and the Y axis represented how good our bad we felt during that time of day. As you can see from the (messy) example on the left, my day started off poorly due to having some foot pain. As the day went on, I started to feel better and the day ended with me happy (above Y=0). After we finished drawing our graphs, my partner and I took turns explaining our graphs to each other and we took notes on what we heard from their explanation.

Sketching Ideas

The next step in our crash course activity was sketching ideas of potential solutions to problems that I identified based on the notes I took about my partners day. I identified that my partner has had problems falling asleep and staying asleep sometimes due to the room temperature. Because of this, my sketches consisted of multiple sleep related inventions including a smart bed that looks for sleep patterns to calibrate a smart room heater/cooler.

Constructing a model out of Arts and crafts materials.

Finally, we were given some arts and craft materials to try to construct a model of two of our ideas. Due to the limited amounts of materials we were given access to (I am vouching for using LEGOS in the future) the models were relatively simple. In the photo to the left I made a smart heater out of a cup and pipe cleaners and a smart bed out of construction paper and popsicle sticks.

What I got out of this

This activity allowed me to practice a technique for designing for others using empathy. The note taking of another person’s day as they explained their ups and downs allowed me to find potential problems that could be solved creatively without my partner necessarily knowing what the exact problem that they needed to solve was.

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