Project Kick-off


We've finally kicked-off our studio project this week! After reading about design research methods for a while now it's time to practice them in real life. 

We as a team spent about 1.5hr on our team agreement document. Though it might sound like a a total waste of time on something that's not as relevant, I found it extremely important. It not only set the rules for us to follow throughout the semester, alleviating problems caused by lack of communication, but also served as a team building activity for us. Within that 90 minutes, we all learned a lot about each other's background, interests, personalities and much much more.


We then moved onto developing our research plan in order to get started on our research process. I found it overwhelming looking at the hundreds of methods learned in the past, plus all the new ones we are reading about in class. Which ones are better for our projects? What structures should we follow? Who do we research? How many? Where? What? ..... and the questions just kept coming up. There are tons and tons of articles and books written specifically to answer these questions, but I soon realized that this "plan" we are planning can take us days before we perfect it, and we only have a week or two to actually conduct any types of research. I thought of the concept Soon Yu mentioned in his lecture last week - "the simplest approach is to go out and start talking to people." We just need to start doing something. We might not learn anything useful at first, but at least we will know something on the research plan is not working so we can fix it.

One other idea came to my mind during the planning process when we were talking about who we should talk to - wouldn't it be amazing if there is a system or App who link researcher and the researched people together? No, I don't think it is just ANOTHER APP idea. Hear me out. People like to talk about things that they know really well, and what they know is exactly what the researchers need to create better things. I know many design researchers who are constantly recruiting for focus group or interview participants, rewarding them with quite a lot of money. If there is a system in place to connect the people who want to be researched with the researcher, in exchange for some money, and/or better products, services or whatever things they might need, how much more efficient would the design process be? Especially for social innovation projects where the researchers are far away from the researched ones. This system may even bring those who live in poverty additional income, while providing information to those who are capable of improving their lives. Good idea? Bad idea? I don't know, but it would help move our project forward much quickly that's for sure :)

Let's see what we can find next week and where it will lead us to!

Quote of the week

"I've heard it said. That people come into our lives for a reason, Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led To those who help us most to grow,
If we let them. And we help them in return."

Wicked - For Good