Assignment 4


Before getting together bunch of my friend for assignment 4, firstly, I came up with two "How might we..." questions based on the problem statement from last week.

........"How might we keep ourselves warm with less winter wears?"
........"How might we spend less space to keep our winter outerwear?"

I then planned out the whole activity ahead of time in order to run the session more efficiently. I pre-cut bunch of white sheets into half and prepared more than 100 sheets for both sessions. I then decided what kind of improve games to play with, and the games were "Red Ball" and a new game "Who's Spy". I had also prepared a list of words with random objects and fictional figures, and a bag of almond chocolate to boot up my group's creativity (also to thank them for their time and help for my assignment).

First Session: "How might we keep ourselves warm with less winter wears?"

Once my group (friends of five: Lucy, Anna, Lan, Fang, and Kwen) showed up we started with the warm up game "Red Ball". I used this game since I thought this game was a good way to get everyone set in the mind of creativity because they had to think what types of ball to pass, I thought someone might came up with very creative ball.


I also videotaped the whole activity, but for the sake of privacy, I would only show the photos.

The second game I asked them to play was called "Who's Spy". The rule of the game was to give individual a word, and one of them (the spy) would end up with a totally different word. None of them knew what word the other people got. When the game started, each of them had to describe their own words, and after one round (when everyone had a chance to say about their word), they had to eliminate the spy based on their own judgment of who's spy. When only two people were left in this game and the spy was still not out, the spy then won the game. Vice Versa, the other players would win. The fun part of the game was that the spy might realize that he had a different word and knew what the other word was, in order to stay, he/she might sleek through the game.

For the first game of Who's Spy, I prepared the word Pepsi and Coca Cola. Anna had the word Coca Cola; everyone else had the word Pepsi.

1st round
Fang: a type of beverage
Lucy: carbonated
Anna: go with fast food
Kwen: brown
Lan: taste better when you add ice
Since everyone thought it was only the first round, everyone's answer seemed to be right, and they could not decide who the spy was. So we went for another round.
(It was really fun to see everyone got into debate of who's spy. Lucy was being very humorous when she asked Kwen: is your word soy sauce?)

2nd round
Fang: this beverage has different categories such as diet and regular
Lucy: this beverage has an opponent who is also producing the same kind of beverage
Anna: in order to beat its opponent, this beverage produced different types of flavors
Kwen: the company had failed in producing a different flavor so they had to change to its classical flavor
Lan: I don't usually drink this brand...
After the second round, everyone decided that Lan was out, therefore she was out. The game continued since the spy was not Lan.

3nd round
Fang: it has different type of package from mini size to bigger size
Lucy: it won't taste good when you let it stay outside for very long
Anna: it will explode when you add Mentos in
Kwen: the beverage was invented by a pharmacist
The vote became a tie, and the group had to go for another round.

4th round
Fang: the beverage had a commercial in which a man stepped on the opponent's beverage
Lucy: its CEO is a female
Anna: I love to drink it
Kwen: its CEO is an Indian
Lucy and Kwen both agreed on each other, they both pointed at Fang, and Fang was out, the game continued. Lucy and Kwen then realized that Anna was the spy, who still didn't realize that she was spy even until the last moment.

After the warm-up, I introduced the real activity to my group, each of them were given a different colored pen to identify each other's ideas.
Fang: dark red
Lucy: black
Anna: blue
Kwen: green
Lan: red

After 10 minutes of the first session, I showed them a list of words I had prepared.



The whole session goes up to 20 minutes, and the group ended up with 36 ideas, about 0.4 (0.36) idea per person per minute.
I had the group do the silent sort method to categorize their ideas, and the categories ended up being: clothing, pills and cream, medieval, futuristic technology that might never came true.


Second Session: "How might we spend less space to keep our winter outerwear?"

Before the second session, I had the group do another spy game. This time they were given the words winter jacket and winter coat. I won't go in detail this time since I felt I went too detailed for the pepsi vs. coca cola. The result was that the spy Lucy won the game, and it was because the group had different understanding on the differences between jacket and coat.

The second session followed the same format as the first session, but this time, I hand them a bag of almond chocolate to increase their dopamine.



The group ended up with 38 ideas, 2 ideas more than last session! And the IPM this time was still about 0.4 (0.38) idea per person per minute. With silent sort method, 10 minutes later, the ideas were categorized into: container (such as bag), futuristic technology (different dimension), and technique


After the first session, I realized it was a bad idea to do this type of activity with my friends. Often the time, my friends would draw bunch of drawings that were embarrassing for me to even talk about. Those drawing were still useful and were solutions to the problem, but they were inappropriate to mention.

In order to decide 5 best ones from each session, I asked my friends to put two filled circle on the ones they thought were most creative, and two unfilled circle on the ones they thought were most useful/feasible. In the end, I got to put all the ones with circle together and decided the best 5 from each session.

Best Fives from First Session

1. Charmander: Kwen's idea of having a Charmander from Pokemon that blows fire.


2. Heated walking Ball: Lucy's idea of having a invisible heated ball around you. Even though she wrote naked on the paper, I'm sure you could have your cloth on while walking in the heated ball.


3. Invisible heating pad: Fang's idea of sticking the little round pad on your skin to generate heat to your body.


4. Hair tonic: Lan's idea of using hair tonic to grow your hair in the winter, which keeps you warm during the cold winter.


5. Tablets: Kwen's tablets that generates heat in you once you had them.


Best Fives from Second Session

1. Storage Tablet: Anna's idea of having a tablet that could enlarge and decrease in size. So you can put your winter outerwear inside the tablet and decrease the size of tablet to easily store you winter wear.


2. Expandable Winter Outerwear: Lucy's idea of having an expandable outerwear, it's similar to the expandable towel.


3. 3D Printer for storage: Kwen's idea of having a 3D printer, that you could simply put your winter outerwear into a printer, which print your winter outerwear onto a sheet of paper for you to carry around.


4. Robot Folder: Lucy's idea of folding all your outerwear into a robot, which follows you where ever you go.


5. Cloth vacuum: Fang's idea of sucking all of your cloth into a bear shaped pillow, your outerwear gets compressed through the powerful suction.



Hey Xinzhu,

I enjoyed reading your blog this week. You made a great improv game, and even described and went into detail about how to play it. There were also some interesting ideas that came out of the brainstorming session. I particularly enjoyed the invisible heating pads (maybe that could end up being some sort of integration in current clothes?).
Here are some areas I liked about your post:
1) Your improv game - description and examples.
2) All the ways you used to keep the participants inspored/motivated (chocolate, random words you prepared, etc.)
3) Your conclusion on how friends are not always the best option to work with. This is a hard realization, but I liked how you realized and documented it.
4) Your translation of you words your friends wrote - otherwise I would not be able to read what it said.

Here are some areas in which you could improv your blog in:
1) Pick a more diverse group of people for the brainstorming. I think if you picked people from completely different backgrounds, you would generate different perspectives in your session.
2) Do not focus so much on the 'unmentioned' category. If you feel the category was inappropriate to mention, maybe state that one time to the user and then move on right away. Putting more details and reasons behind it just draws more attention toward it.
3) This is not about the content of the blog but more of the blog itself. Could you make the words wider than the picture frame? I think it would look more aesthetic that way.

Good job!

Before: I think the game you made up sounds interesting and induced thinking in different ways by having your guests be forced into saying different things to describe the same word. This relates well to the brainstorming session because there is one "how might we" statement that can evoke many different possibilities. Maybe limit your transcript of this event to just one round so the reader can just get a feel of the game. The focus of the assignment isn't so heavily placed upon the game, but what occurs during the actual brainstorming session.

After: Your problem statements are a little confusing. "How might we keep ourselves warm with less winter wears?" and "How might we spend less space to keep our winter outerwear?" I'm not sure exactly what kind of ideas these are supposed to evoke. Perhaps a clearer problem statement would have kept your friends on a more feasible track? I'm not exactly sure. I guess I would like to know what you gained from this exercise. Did it lead you anywhere interesting or unexpected? What would you like to pursue further? These all might be things to consider to take you to the next step in this project.

Leave a comment



  • Assignment 1 - Cookies
  • Assignment 2 - humor
  • Assignment 3 - Ethnography
  • Assignment 4 - Blue Sky Idea Generation
  • Assignment 5 - structure
Powered by Movable Type 4.31-en

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by aixxx020 published on November 18, 2013 11:32 AM.

Assignment 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Assignment 5 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.