Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Design Thinking and a Real Pitch--to the Board of Education!

Two of my Architecture II students presented tonight to the Board of Education. They showed their furniture designs for the Learning Commons and talked about the research they had done interviewing teachers, students, and administrators. (See previous blog post: http://innovated2x.blogspot.com/2014/06/design-thinking-in-classroom.html) They showed the Board members why students need this type of space: the way they work has changed. They talked about the need for space where they could collaborate in groups and eat and work at the same time. They showed their design for a curvilinear booth that was inviting and comfortable. And the Board listened. My students were nervous beforehand. And then they were surprised at how easy it was! 

This was a real-life experience. Solve a real problem and pitch a solution to the people who make decisions. My students were empowered by it. They followed the Design Thinking process: did interviews, defined the problem, talked with experts and then prototyped and got feedback. These are the three proposed solutions from the three teams. 
Counter with cup holders and stool with backpack storage underneath
Circular, modular sofa with high back for noise control. Coffee table with charging ports
Booth with curvilinear table and bench with backpack storage