Prototyping For Pennies

Bright Cards is a brainstorming group exercise that brings interdisciplinary teams together and teaches them fundamental brainstorming skills. Teams consider a problem to solve for a persona given a specific context. Brainstorming then takes place and they use lists, sketches and model-making to convey ideas and concepts. Project completed 2009.

Bright Cards is a brainstorming group exercise that brings interdisciplinary teams together and teaches them fundamental brainstorming skills. 
 
Teams consider a problem to solve for a persona given a specific context. Brainstorming then takes place and they use lists, sketches and model-making to convey ideas and concepts. 
These are examples of the persona card and context card that each group draws at random. The teams were charged to design an illumination device for a specific persona in a given context. In the example above this team would create an illuminiation device for a technophile to operate in a confined space.  Here is one groups solution to a wearable illumination device that meets the needs of their user and context. Pictured is the brainstorming work and prototype the team created for the activity. 
Each group appoints and presenter to discuss their design. Afterwards I compare and contrast the outcomes and discuss the experience with the class. The beers are a good way to get the groups creative juices flowing as we host these events after work. 
Every group is given some pieces to create rough prototypes. They are velcro parts for creating flashlights. These parts allow teams to quickly mock-up and discuss possible configurations for their devices.
I have run this session over six sessions with designers and non-designers alike. I have seen great results and people always seem to have a great time and learn something new. I never get bored running these sessions I haven't seen the same idea created twice yet! 
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